Making Tax Digital – FreeAgent interview

Making Tax Digital (MTD) is a hot topic on our courses at the moment.

Under current plans, from April 2021 every business, including sole traders, will have to use special software to report turnover and business expenses every quarter. So that means as they go along, as opposed to all at once at the end of the tax year.

This is a big change, and HMRC seems very keen to push ahead with this project, in spite of everything else that’s going on in the country.

At the 2019 BECTU Freelancers’ Fair in London I caught up with FreeAgent, one of many software providers trying to corner the freelancer market once MTD is compulsory.

I asked Matt Perkins from FreeAgent about the cost, whether software will replace accountants, and how on earth we choose which software to buy.

Big thanks for Ryan for the camera duties!

Full disclosure: David Thomas Media Ltd uses FreeAgent for digital bookkeeping. We pay for it just like any other normal customer.

Posted on 24 June 2019

Pensions Dashboard? Not much dash. Lots of bored.

Keep your eyes on the Rudd

I’ve been getting a lot of questions recently about pensions. Not from ancient people like me, but from young freelancers starting out on their career.

This never used to happen. Savings were never on the mind of people in their 20s, fresh out of college and excited about finding work.


Posted on 05 April 2019

End to late payment problems?

Pay On Time logo

The Spring Statement by the Chancellor got rather overlooked yesterday, what with the government falling apart a bit.

It’s worth picking up on one thing though. There seems to be a concerted effort to stop companies paying late for work completed.

Everyone knows that cash flow is all important for a small businesses, and late payments are a scourge.

Of course unscrupulous payers might find ways around any changes, so the answer posed in the title of this blog is probably ‘no’. But it sounds like there’s another attempt (at last) to do something.

You can read a short response from the Federation of Small Business here.

And don’t forget, there are already ways of putting polite pressure on clients to pay you. I’ve banged on about this many times in this blog.

Don’t take it personally if they misbehave. It’s often not malicious. They’re just inept.

Posted on 14 March 2019

Have you got a tax hangover?

HMRC website

If you were one of the many people who left everything to the 31st January tax return deadline, you might now be recovering from what I call the tax hangover.

It’s caused by a mixture of adrenaline, that feeling of wooziness because you’re not quite sure if you did everything right, coupled with relief that it’s over, followed hotly by the unpleasant realisation that you have to do it all again next January.

But it doesn’t have to be like that!


Posted on 12 February 2019

Taking the sting out of 31 Jan tax deadline

Image pound sign

You might be vaguely aware that the 31st January is an important deadline for tax affairs.

In fact it’s two deadlines:


Posted on 14 January 2019