Sign up for Making Tax Digital - is it the right time?

Written by Steve BicknellSteve Bicknell, 6 June 2019 in Making Tax Digital

While there is a considerable amount of information available regarding HMRC’s new Making Tax Digital (MTD) initiative, it can quickly become confusing for businesses that are required to now submit their VAT returns online with approved software.

Get the timing right for MTD sign up. This calendar and computer are all you need.

For example, many businesses were not aware that it is necessary to sign up for MTD. Qualifying businesses are not automatically able to submit VAT returns online.

Businesses already working with HMRC-approved software also had the belief that this meant they were already signed up for MTD, or that by connecting through their current software, this would sign them up. This is not the case.

... continue reading: Sign up for Making Tax Digital - is it the right time?

The Spring Statement and UK small businesses

Written by Steve BicknellSteve Bicknell, 11 April 2019

With Brexit looming, the impact on the economy is almost palpable. Yet business must continue and so on March 13th, Chancellor Philip Hammond presented the Spring Statement to provide details on measures that could affect UK businesses.

This article breaks down the 2019 Spring Statement and focuses on elements that have the potential to affect UK freelancers, sole traders, and small businesses.

Green leaf, indicating the arrival of spring, and with that the Spring Statement in the UK

... continue reading: The Spring Statement and UK small businesses

Home office? Learn about the tax advantages (and issues)

Written by Steve BicknellSteve Bicknell, 28 February 2019

Many who are self-employed either start out with or continue to run their business from home. The home office is a cost-effective way to get started with a business, also preventing the hassle of finding and arranging a workspace or shop.

Whether you’ve converted a room to your home, made a space in your living area, or equipped your garden or garage to meet your business needs, your home office is a space dedicated to growing your business.

While you save money on the obvious rental costs of a space outside your home, there are also a number of tax advantages to the home office.

In some cases, you can claim renovation costs for a home office, like this picture of a room being repainted

... continue reading: Home office? Learn about the tax advantages (and issues)

What the 2018 Autumn Budget means for you

Written by Steve BicknellSteve Bicknell, 7 November 2018

Last week, Chancellor Philip Hammond gave a speech going over the changes to the Budget for Autumn of 2018. It was delivered earlier than usual, owing mainly to an effort to avoid any conflicts with budgets or regulations expected as part of Brexit on March 29th, 2019.

Pounds Sterling - how the Autumn Budget might affect UK small businesses

The topics touched upon in the budget have a broad range - affecting both large and small businesses based in the UK. While small businesses are already expecting changes thanks to Making Tax Digital for business (expected April, 2019), a new set of figures from the budget generally give a little more breathing room.

... continue reading: What the 2018 Autumn Budget means for you

Brexit and buying local

Written by Steve BicknellSteve Bicknell, 16 May 2018

Next spring might seem ages away, but it will arrive more quickly than we expect. With it comes the final stages of Brexit in March 2019. While the full impact of Brexit won’t be clear until after the official deadline, there are some things that can reliably be predicted beforehand.

Limiting the effects of Brexit can be accomplished by looking to local suppliers

... continue reading: Brexit and buying local

Self-employed: what’s your cut?

Written by Steve BicknellSteve Bicknell, 15 March 2018

In freelancing or running a small business, it can be difficult to determine how much to take out of your business to support your personal living expenses. But it is possible to determine the optimal amount, depending on your business. After all, you still need to get paid.

It can feel like you’re taking money out of your business, but it is important to support your own needs while ensuring your business can still run efficiently. It’s rare for a business to be profitable right off the bat.

So the question becomes: what is the right amount for a small business owner to be paid from their business?

Steve Bicknell discusses the best way to determine the right pay for you

... continue reading: Self-employed: what’s your cut?

Tax in the UK in 2018

Written by Steve BicknellSteve Bicknell, 5 January 2018

In mid December last year (2017), HMRC made a number of announcements that will affect the way that many businesses pay tax. Occurring just before the annual tax return date, the changes can have implications for freelancers, sole traders, and small business owners looking to manage costs.

HMRC has made some changes to how you can pay tax. Steve Bicknell fills us in on what small businesses need to know.

... continue reading: Tax in the UK in 2018

The ethics of business

Written by Steve BicknellSteve Bicknell, 19 October 2017

A popular topic, especially after the events that unfolded over the course of 2008 and the economic impacts that have been experienced since. Ethical behaviour in business has certainly come up in the past but it’s arguable that it’s never received so much attention.

It’s arguable that there is a clear line between ‘ethical’ and ‘illegal’, the latter of which is certainly to blame for the eventual economic depression. However, to what extent does unethical business behaviour contribute?

Ethical behaviour in business is more than just doing the right thing. It can actually increase sales.

... continue reading: The ethics of business

Late CIS Registration: avoid it

Written by Steve BicknellSteve Bicknell, 3 October 2017

The UK’s Construction Industry Scheme (CIS) tax deduction is applicable to those working in the construction industry, working regularly with subcontractors. The scheme outlines that a tax deduction be added to each invoice of 20% or 30% on applicable items, depending on the registration status.

Don't wait til it's too late, register for CIS and keep track of your CIS deductions with invoicing software like Debitoor

Contractors should generally be registered under CIS if they are working with subcontractors, and there can be a hefty penalty fee in the event that a self-employed worker in this industry fails to register.

... continue reading: Late CIS Registration: avoid it

Rise of the side hustle: second income & HMRC

Written by Steve BicknellSteve Bicknell, 20 July 2017

A side business (or the buzz-worthy ‘side-hustle’) is not an uncommon pursuit for those already employed in the UK. In fact, recent studies have revealed that over a third of workers pursue more creative pursuits in their off hours. And get paid for them.

The income generated by these side businesses contributes an impressive £15 billion to the British economy each year. There’s a number of factors that keep these side hustles running, but the majority reports that it’s not about the money but about their passion for what they do. However, 10% do plan to eventually shift their focus and efforts 100% to their side business.

So what kinds of side businesses are most popular? Creative endeavours reign, with food, gardening and photography being the most popular. Knitting isn’t far behind.

No matter what your side hustle, manage your second income easily with Debitoor accounting & invoicing software

... continue reading: Rise of the side hustle: second income & HMRC