Simplified accounting for sole traders (webinars)
I'm often asked by trainees on our self-employment workshops where to get more information about keeping records. The short answer is 'the horse's mouth'.
HMRC have been developing a series of webinars aimed at new small businesses. I've taken part in some of the live webinars and they are very friendly and helpful. I find Twitter is the easiest place to keep on top of what's on offer.
There are two new simplified accounting systems which may be of interest if you're self-employed and have a turnover less than the VAT threshold (£83,000 per year as of April 2016).
The first system is called 'Cash Basis' and allows you to calculate income tax based on what you've received rather than what you've invoiced for.
The second change is the introduction of a couple of flat rates to cover using your home as your business base (or your business base as your home – eg when you run a small hotel and live there too).
The flat rate mileage system for using your own vehicle is unchanged.
All these approaches are optional. You can calculate all expenses the long way round and in detail if you prefer, and you can still base your end of year accounts on invoice dates rather than cash received if you like.
You can watch a pre-recorded video on YouTube about all this. Yes – HMRC has a YouTube channel. Who knew!
Posted on 02 June 2014