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MadManMike

Quick question on self assessment / tax returns

22 posts in this topic

Conflicting information on Google, so I thought I'd ask here, because TF knows everything.

I've just registered as a sole trader and want to do my tax return for 2018 & 2019, but I don't have a UTR. It looks like they send me one in 10 days, is that correct?

I might miss the 31/01/2020 deadline, by the looks of it.

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The plane takes off.

@Tom Booth might be your man for this one. I know @Ali C does his own tax shizzle but don't think he's registered as a sole trader.

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If you've just registered, you'll get your UTR through in 10 working days, so getting towards the end of the month but still a few days to complete your return online. HMRC are, despite what you'll hear a lot, much better these days than they've been previously, so you may recieve it sooner than the 10th day but best to assume the worst rather than relying on anything else!

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Definitely ring them dude, they're super helpful and actually quite common sense and lenient. Either explain the situation an they might give you a grace period or organise your number over the phone.

Are you self employed but still employed? By that I mean do you still have a 9-5 an your self employment is for your photography.

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Cheers guys. @Luke Rainbird that pretty much confirms what I'd read, just wanted to double check.

@Tom Booth - yep, full time employed, but invoicing for weekend work.

Estimating my tax bill to be about £1.5k for the sole trader work.

I'll give them a call and explain then :)

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Your tax figure could be all over the shop given it's alongside usual employment too, mine was for abit when I was on the books for my dad's business. Originally they split my £11.8k allowance over both jobs, so anything after £5.9k in both businesses was taxable, it kinda worked out the same but given I was paying weekly tax on one job, then annually on the other was where it got messed up, I got a hefty rebate though the following year so wasn't the end of the world.

The best thing I ever did was using an accountant for submitting my books. I'm fully self employed now and have been for the last 6 years. I'd imagine your books would be pretty simple really dude, mine are hardly vast and they're pretty straight forward (rent, electricity, purchases and sales) then I just use an accountant to submit them once a year. I think he charges me £100+ vat to submit them once a year but I know using him means I'm on the right track.

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12 hours ago, MadManMike said:

Cheers guys. @Luke Rainbird that pretty much confirms what I'd read, just wanted to double check.

@Tom Booth - yep, full time employed, but invoicing for weekend work.

Estimating my tax bill to be about £1.5k for the sole trader work.

I'll give them a call and explain then :)

If your normal work uses PAYE it should be pretty straight forward once you've received it.  The only thing is you'll need your P60 from your full time gig, so if you don't have that already it may be worth chasing it up - if you've got that it's a case of just firing numbers from that into the relevant boxes on the HMRC self assessment pages.  I had to do it when I had a tax year split between PAYE and self employment and it wasn't the total balls up I was expecting it to be.

The online system is straight forward for the most part.  There are a few really weirdly worded questions that if you're a tax wonk will probably make total sense, but if you aren't won't.  It's genuinely not too bad though - I had a half hour consultancy with a tax accountant in 2013 and I've been flying solo since then.  I'm sure if I get audited it'll go gigantically tits up, but hey ho. 

I've set myself up so I've got a spreadsheet on Drive that has invoice names/numbers, totals, mileage incurred for the invoice, expenses incurred for the invoice and any other info I need, so when it comes to the end of the tax year I can just highlight a column and have the total income ready to go, my mileage ready to go, etc.  Just doing a bit of admin stuff as you go along is infinitely better than letting it roll around to this time of year and having to go nuts trying to collate invoices.

Tom's right in that an accountant would probably be able to help you squeeze your tax bill down by getting the most out of your expenses, but if all you're really doing is stuff like mileage, equipment and any home bills related to work then it's fairly straight forward to do yourself.  Once you've got your UTR and then jump through the Government Gateway ID hoops (which may hold you up a bit too) you'll be away.

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another vote for an accountant! I haven't the foggiest when it comes to taxes so I pay £60 a month for a shit hot accountant who does everything (I still need to submit receipts, mileage etc which I still fudge up at times).   

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1 hour ago, Mark W said:

Tom's right in that an accountant would probably be able to help you squeeze your tax bill down by getting the most out of your expenses, but if all you're really doing is stuff like mileage, equipment and any home bills related to work then it's fairly straight forward to do yourself.

I don't necessarily use an accountant to milk the expenses, it's more security knowing that what I've input tallies up to make something logical. I see it as £120 for a properly educated second opinion every 12 months. I guess it's covering my back as from the outside my books would look rediculous, some months I've spent what I've earnt in 12 months in a matter of weeks, but then 2 months later that's back with profit rather then a steady income that looks more legit I guess.

Your on the same page as me with the book work though, make it as simple as possible! I have a4 sheet quartered into costs/items purchased to sell, expenses, sales and then a totals. Keep it simple and it's no real hardship to do.

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7 hours ago, Ali C said:

another vote for an accountant! I haven't the foggiest when it comes to taxes so I pay £60 a month for a shit hot accountant who does everything (I still need to submit receipts, mileage etc which I still fudge up at times).   

£60 a month? Mine charges £150 a year and he's the best one I've had in over 10 years. You can definitely do better than £700 a year.

Edited by LEON
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depends what they do, I'm happy paying £60 a month and not have any stress, my accounts were practically sorted in august this last year. all I have to do is upload my receipts to receiptbank and link my bank accounts (including Paypal) to quickbooks and he does the rest, no spreadsheets, no paperwork and he can sort out all my random earnings and find loopholes to save me the most money. Other than my mistakes in the past for not saving towards tax he saves me more than I pay him. 

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That's still a lot of money to pay, mine does all the same things but comes to me at my convenience, looks at my receipts etc, comes back a week or so later, gets my signature then I've got my money within about ten days. I don't do any of it online. I always ring him on the 5th of April and I've never been paid later than about the 20th, that's also from multiple jobs. It's definitely worth asking other self employed people who's best and cheapest. Yeah I'm pretty lucky and their prices/service all vary but you should easily be able to knock £400 off that.

Edited by LEON

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This guy was the most recommended guy I got. I got him early on while he was doing this on the side of a full time job, he now has his own company and employees and charges a lot more than £60 a month to new customers! He's a complete nerd but in the best way possible, he loves what he does and is constantly researching and finding better ways to save people money. 

I'm very happy to carry on paying him £60 pm

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I pay £300 a month for a very good accountant to do both my personal and business returns.

He more than covers his costs and it's one less thing to worry about.

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Nah, that sounds decent to me, Ali. £720 a year is worth every penny to know that you're covering your back, doing things right and taking advantage of all allowances you can ("loopholes" makes it sound like they're sketchy, they're entirely legal and there to be used!

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Just be ready for the accountant to say "Yeah because your tax amount is over this much you need to pay half of what they're forecasting for next year too".

F'kin snakes.

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Yeah, I got that nice surprise for the last tax year (2018/19 one).  I don't even really pay much tax, so I'm not sure what the tipping point is for it. 

Luckily I put that tax year's stuff through in April just after the deadline, so I found out about it with enough time to put some money aside.  If I'd just winged it now, I'd have been fully boned.  Another reason to get stuff done early!

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Tell that to 2019 April Tom please.

According to my accountant it's £999.99, anything after that is half of next year upfront.

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24 minutes ago, Tom Booth said:

According to my accountant it's £999.99, anything after that is half of next year upfront.

Sounds familiar, fairly sure I read for an exam that £1k and up meant payments on account. I make a point of not being a tax expert though :lol:

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Cheers for all the in depth replies, chaps.

This should be really straightforward in my case, as it's about £4k in earnings with no expenses - literally just invoicing for my time, as it's been working on stands at trade shows. I invoice for a days work and that's it.

I have 9 invoices in total which are all simple, so it shouldn't be too tricky, just need the UTR to show and I can have a crack at it - I think I've done all the other stuff you need to do, so it's just that, hopefully!

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If you drove yourself to those shows/weren't paid for fuel you can claim that sweet sweet mileage.  45p a mile, #justsaying

In the random accountant chat I had back in the day, he got really interested in the idea that I rode my bike around filming and actually found the rate I could have charged for mileage spent riding filming for videos.  I chose not to because it's a faff working it out, but if I'd done that for all the videos with @ben_travis I wouldn't have to pay another penny of tax for the rest of my life :P 

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It's all charged as one amount, but yeah my fuel costs are included. To make invoicing simpler, we agreed a flat fee per day.

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