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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