Our latest training plans as lockdowns ease

Following announcements about the likely easing of lockdown I wanted to make sure I update you swiftly on our training plans for the rest of 2021.

I’ve been delivering training online for about six years with some clients, and was able to move everything online pretty swiftly in March 2020. 

READ MORE >

Posted on 06 July 2021

Digital taxation – coming soon-ish [updated]

Freelancers

Originally posted July 2020. Updated to include delayed implementation date.

HMRC have announced how they’re intending to move to digital tax reporting under their Making Tax Digital project (MTD).

In some ways the announcements are not that surprising. They’ve been talking about MTD for years. I’ve banged on about it many times.

Reporting VAT via MTD is already compulsory for businesses with a turnover of more than £85,000 per year.

What’s new is their timetable for making all businesses MTD-complient. There are two significant dates:

READ MORE >

Posted on 23 July 2020

Will your iPhone help you concentrate?

iOS15 focus control

If you use an iPhone you may be aware of Apple’s latest operating system, iOS 15.

Apparently it’s full of “amazing” new features. Apple are going big on new memojis, and clever things that FaceTime can now do.

As a trainer in freelance business skills the new feature which caught my eye is called ‘Focus’.

READ MORE >

Posted on 29 September 2021

What does the new Health and Social Care Levy mean for freelancers?

HMRC logo

The Westminster government invented a new tax for the UK this week. You can’t have failed to notice that we’re all going to be paying a ‘Health and Social Care Levy’.

You’ve probably also heard that it’s something to do with national insurance.

Well sort of. Here’s a look at the key features and how they might affect freelancers.

READ MORE >

Posted on 09 September 2021

Video explainer: How do deductions work?

If you work for someone else they will make deductions from your pay if you’re paid PAYE.

If you’re self-employed you sort out the deductions yourself. This video explainer looks at how the money flows.

READ MORE >

Posted on 02 August 2021

An end to silly tax dates?

Christmas calculator

When you train people in understanding tax in the UK, you get to be a bit of a tax nerd after a while.

One of the nerdiest issues is why on earth does the UK start the income tax year on 6th April. (Look it up if you must.)

So now the Office of Tax Simplification is wondering whether to suggest changing the income tax year from 6th April-5th April to 1st April-31st March. Or even 1st January to 31st December.

Read the story here >

I’d be ok with 1st April to 31st March. But the idea of a year end between Christmas and New Year would fill most people with dread I suspect. All that admin while you’re hung over.

Which would you prefer? And why?

Posted on 02 July 2021

How much should I charge?

coins and note

One of the most stressful things for a new freelancer is talking about money. We’re not culturally set up to do this in the UK.

But there are ways to approach this knotty topic which will reduce stress and help you come across as professional.

READ MORE >

Posted on 18 May 2021

Fighting late paying clients

Happy money

[Updated 23 July 2021 to include a note about holiday pay.]

Every few years there’s a new initiative to help freelancers get paid on time.

Maybe I’m getting old, but it seems to me that if these initiatives were effective, there wouldn’t need to be any new ones!

Nevertheless, it’s good to see that there’s now a Small Business Commissioner working to the BEISS (the business department).

It’s a common problem. Sometimes it’s a policy of the paying organisation to hang on to cash as much as possible. Sometimes it’s pure ineptitude and someone forgets to press a button to action your payment.

READ MORE >

Posted on 04 May 2021

Mortgages for self-employed people

I’ve had a flurry of questions recently about whether self-employed people or PAYE freelancers can get mortgages.

The short answer is yes – but there aren’t so many options. Usually the deposit has to be bigger, and some lenders like to see the last two years worth of accounts so that they can work out a typical profit figure.

It’s a good idea to talk to a few mortgage brokers if you’re self-employed. They should be able to point you in the direction of something that fits your circumstances. Don’t just rely on the high street lenders.

READ MORE >

Posted on 26 April 2021

2020-21 in stats

The beginning of the end of lockdown has coincided with the end of the David Thomas Media tax year.

So I’m crunching some stats from 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2021.

175

Number of online training sessions (Zoom fatigue, anyone?)

READ MORE >

Posted on 01 April 2021

Farewell FEU Training. Thanks for all the fun.

FEU logo

March/April marks a change of financial year for many, and with it the coming and going of various funds and budgets.

It’s a time when posts are closed and people move through a redundancy process into the next stage of their careers. Hence our monthly Beyond Redundancy: Setting up as a Sole Trader courses.

This year feels more poignant than most, as the effects of Brexit and Conservative policies are landing in parts of the creative industries. And that’s even before we look at the effects of the pandemic.

FEU Training (England)

READ MORE >

Posted on 01 April 2021