10 Common Self-Assessment Tax Return Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

self assessment income tax return 2017/18

If you need to submit a Self-Assessment Tax Return (SATR) it’s imperative you get it in on time and free of any mistakes. There are penalties for not submitting your tax return on time and you may have to pay a fine if HMRC deem you have not taken enough care in completing it.

This article explains how to get started with your tax return, and how to avoid common mistakes that people make on their self assessment tax return. (more…)

Setting Up Accounts for a Sole Trader – A Beginner’s Guide

setting up self employed accounts

If you decide to work for yourself and begin trading as a sole trader, (self-employed) you will need to set up your accounts to record your income and expenses.

In order to do this you will need to be aware of tax, national insurance and other factors that will affect the records you need to keep as a sole trader.

To help you understand your duties and to get your book-keeping done painlessly, here’s the low-down on setting up your sole trader accounts. (more…)

How to Set Up in Business as a Partnership

set up a partnership

 

If two or more people wish to go into business together, and don’t want to set up a limited company, a partnership offers a simple way to get started. It is similar in many ways to going the sole trader route for an individual.
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Thinking of Going Self-Employed? The Key Finance & Tax Points You Must Get Right

Tax and accounts advice when going self employed

In recent years there has been a large increase in the number of individuals working for themselves in a trade, profession or vocation.

Becoming self employed is a new and exciting chapter of life, but it is crucial to get all the basics right to ensure that your new business is as successful as possible. With so much to think about, we asked David Genders, author of The Daily Telegraph Tax Guide to explain the key financial and tax points you need to consider when going self-employed. (more…)

Guide to National Insurance Contributions (NICs) for small business owners

Find out what NICs you need to pay if you're self employed or a limited compay director

National Insurance is a deduction from earnings, set up originally to fund various State benefits such as the NHS, the State pension and other welfare-related schemes.

In reality, it is just another tax. In fact, as standard income tax rates have remained constant for many years, NI rates have soared.

In this guide we look at how National Insurance works, and what your National Insurance Contributions (NICs) will be as a small business owner. (more…)

Government scraps proposed Class 4 NICs rise for self employed

Class4 NIC increase reversed page 2

Just a week after the 2017 Spring Budget when Chancellor, Philip Hammond announced an increase in Class 4 National Insurance Contributions for the UK’s self employed workers, he has decided that the proposed tax increase isn’t a good idea after all!

Responding to wide criticism from Tory MPs and the perceived attack on millions of self employed workers, including the ‘white van man’, Hammond has written to MPs informing them of his decision to reverse the proposed NI hike.

His letter reads; (more…)

What small business owners need to know about the new Digital Personal Tax Accounts

For millions of UK small businesses, ‘tax season’ represents a costly, time-consuming inconvenience. But Britain’s tax landscape is transforming: in March 2015, HMRC announced its plan to update the self assessment tax payment process – moving away from annual paper returns, and towards a digitized, online system.

The government’s new digital tax accounts system introduces a fundamental shift in the way small business owners – both those working as self employed and those operating as limited companies – report and pay their tax liabilities.

The introduction of digital tax accounts will, within a few years, make the annual self assessment tax return obsolete – so how exactly will the changes affect Britain’s small businesses? (more…)

Dividend tax changes from April 2016 – A summary of the financial effects for small business owners

From 6 April 2016, the way dividend income is taxed will change significantly. The changes will affect hundreds of thousands of small business owners, many of whom will see a big jump in the amount of tax they will have to pay.

At present, company dividends are treated as ‘tax paid’ in the hands of shareholders. However, from April 2016 the tax treatment of dividends will be altered dramatically, and as you can imagine, this isn’t going to result in limited company directors paying less tax! (more…)

Tax rates for small business owners – 2014/15

With the plethora of tax rates, thresholds and allowances changing every year, here is ByteStart’s summary of the main tax rates, tax bands, and allowances for the 2014/2015 tax year. We focus on the figures that are of relevance to business owners.
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Travel and accommodation expenses for the self-employed

Are you a self-employed individual? Do you have to travel on business, and does that travel ever entail an overnight stay away from your home?

Do you know exactly which of the travel and accommodation expenses you can legitimately claim back? If you get it wrong, you could pay too much tax, or worse still find yourself in trouble with HMRC for paying too little tax!

To help you get it right, here’s an explanation of the rules regarding travel and accommodation expenses for sole traders. It explains what you can, and can’t, include as legitimate costs in your business accounts. (more…)

What is a sole trader?

There are around 2.8 million sole traders in the UK. It is the most popular, and simplest, way of starting and running a business.

In this guide, we take a look at what exactly a sole trader is, the key things you need to know about becoming a sole trader, and whether it is the right business structure for you.
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