8th January 2019


Let’s get the heavy stuff out of the way – tax return is coming up in January. If you are self-employed, this can be a daunting time of year, especially for those of us who have always been bad at math and economical logic. It is unfortunately a necessity, so here’s a few tips and articles that can help you out. 

  1. Get QuickBooks Self-Employed! Most self-employed people swear by this app, that for only a few quid a month gives you a platform that is linked to your bank account where everything can be sorted; mileage, keeping photos of receipts, sorting out what is personal and business. In the end of the year it will be a helpful tool in preparing your self-assessment. (Side tip: the app also allows you to split your bills, for example if you work from home twice a week. You can split rent, heat etc by percentage into business and personal).
  2. Keep your receipts if you don’t take pictures of them and don’t claim every single meal as a business meeting, because people do actually get caught and it’s just not worth it. 
  3. Check if any of your other work is already deducting tax at the source. No need to double pay it!
  4. Some things relating to your career can be deducted, some can’t, it’s a fine and confusing line. But here’s a list of deductible things that help a bit: https://www.gov.uk/expenses-if-youre-self-employed
  5. Your personal allowance this year is £11,850. This means you can earn this much before paying income tax (you still have to pay national insurance tax, which will be £153.40 a year for most self employed people). Make sure you set money aside every month to pay your taxes as the basic income tax rate is 20%. 
  6. There are plenty of help to get out on the big wide web. This article for example, explains quite well how to get started with taxes for actors: https://uk-taxreturn.co.uk/index.php/tax-guide-for-self-employed-actors/. And you would be surprised how good www.gov.uk can be, mainly if you call them up, they’re super nice and helpful.
  7. If you have the finances to hire an accountant, there a plenty that can magically fix all your taxes as a one-off fee. They can be a bit pricey, but if you’re okay with getting an online accountant they can be as cheap as £80. On QuickBooks Self-employed there is a directory of accountants that do free advice as well. 
  8. The deadline to complete your tax return is 31st of January 2019! 

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22nd January 2018

The LIAR #004 – London International Actors Recommend

Judith Georgi Recommends NoFilmSchool

Nofilmschool.com – A website that offers advice to aspiring filmmakers on just about anything from setting the right light to pitching your film to a producer. As an actor, it’s always good to know the difference between a cap and a cheat on set and, maybe, there are some tricks to steal from your fellow filmmakers as well. Successful directors are incredibly good at selling their films, after all…. Finally, you can also find the latest Hollywood film scripts on there – something to take to your acting class. 

Lory Simonetti Recommends 1tap receipts

It’s January, so if you’re a freelancer, you know it’s that time of year again. With the deadline coming up to file your HMRC Self Assessment online, Lory has found that the 1tap receipts app has taken the stress out of filing a tax return, and has helped her organise her receipts, expenses and invoices all in one place. The app extracts all the important information, such as the supplier, date, amount and then categorises it. The only thing that you need to do is email or take a picture of the receipts, bills or invoices, and that’s it! You’ll be able to track your all your taxes. It also saves everything on the cloud for the next 7 years, so you won’t have to worry if you end up losing a receipt. With less than a month to go, it’s a great way to not only get last year’s tax ready, but also organise this year’s tax so you’ll always be prepared for the January 31st HMRC deadline!

Daniel Anderson Recommends the Pomodoro Technique

Daniel has been experimenting with the Pomodoro Technique recently. It was developed by Francesco Cirillo in the 80s, who would use a tomato shaped kitchen timer (Pomodoro, italian word for tomato). The technique consists of using a timer to break work down into 25 minute intervals, separated by 5 minute breaks. After 4 Pomodoros, you can then take a longer break, of 15 to 30 minutes. Daniel says it’s helped him considerably with his time management by dramatically reducing the time it takes for him to sit down to work, as well as the time he usually spends procrastinating during tasks. There are loads of free versions available for both iPhones and Android, so just google “Pomodoro Timer apps” and get yourself on the right track this New Year!

Judith Georgi Recommends to Make that Cut

Even on a small budget, there’s no need to have a haircut that looks like the Cookie monster… if you bring a bit of patience with you, that is. Trainee hairdressers at Sassoon Academy and other high-end salons offer very affordable cuts, or even free cuts (bonus!) to willing hair models. The sessions can take up half your day so make sure to bring something to read and snack with you. But, if you’re lucky, you’re getting a cut worth a few hundred quid in return. And as Joan Crawford once said “I think that the most important thing a woman can have – next to talent, of course – is her hairdresser.”

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