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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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)


Posted on 01 April 2021

Tax changes announced in Budget: March 2021.

Tax buttons on calculator

I always listen carefully to the changes announced in budget statements. It feels personal purely because I need to change all my training materials.

So what was announced on 3 March 2021?

Income tax

This is how PAYE people get their income taxed, and it’s also how profits are taxed for sole traders.

The personal allowance – how much you are allowed to earn before you pay income tax – is up to £12,570 (from £12,500) from 6 April 2021.


Posted on 03 March 2021

Budget: March 2021 – Coronavirus support for freelancers

There are three types of freelancer in the creative industries. This post looks at how announcements made by Chancellor Rishi Sunak on 3 March 2021 affect each type. It focuses on coronavirus support.

Three types of freelancer

For an outline of each type of freelancer, go here >

Read about announced tax changes in my separate post >

Sole Trader Freelancers

Sole trader

What’s new


Posted on 03 March 2021

Brexit for freelancers

Image by Tumisu from Pixabay

Now that the formalities of leaving the European Union are behind us it’s time to unpick the practical effects and what it means for people who freelance in the creative industries.


Posted on 07 January 2021

SEISS Grant 3 available – but you might want to wait

The third coronavirus support grant for sole traders is available from today (30 November 2020) until 29 January 2021.
See full details on: >

sole trader

This grant covers three months and, like grant 1, is based on 80% of average monthly profits calculated on sole trader profits between 2016 and 2019.

Much has been made of the fact that the eligibility criteria haven’t changed. If you were helped by the first two grants you’re probably eligible for this one too. Cold comfort for all those who’ve had no support since March.

And just to state the obvious, none of the SEISS grants support single directors of limited companies. In government-speak, directors of limited companies do not fall within the definition of a ‘sole trader’.

Less well publicised has been the addition of further restrictions. These take the form of declarations and predictions that a sole trader now has to make.


Posted on 30 November 2020