Putting the AI into TrAIning

I suspect everyone poo-poos new tech as a threat to their job until they can see that it really is a moving a big tank onto their lawn.

I had a sudden ‘get off my land’ moment just a few days ago.


Posted on 11 May 2023

Happy new tax year to all freelancers!


Income tax years in the UK run (bizarrely) from 6th April to 5th April. And the rules change every year. Sometimes it’s a tweak and sometimes, following a general election, it can be a radical new direction.

There can also be ‘interesting’ new directions when the Prime Minister is Liz Truss. That’s another story, so I’ll leave it between you and your mortgage lender.


Posted on 05 April 2023

Get organised for the new tax year – especially if you’re two types of freelancer

Sitting at a desk doing admin

I get a lot of questions from people on my Finance of Freelancers courses about what happens to tax if you have a mix of PAYE income and sole trader income.

PAYE income and sole trader profits are both taxed using the income tax system, which is pretty straight forward.

But PAYE income is usually taxed by the time you get it, and sole trader income never is. 


Posted on 05 April 2023

Tax latest for freelancers

HMRC logo

If you’re a freelancer it’s good to think like a business, and part of that is keeping an eye on how tax works. You can sometimes save a bit of money just by tweaking your behaviour across different tax years.

Yesterday (17 November 2022) Chancellor Jeremy Hunt unveiled the latest plans to deal with the UK’s financial woes.


Posted on 18 November 2022

Of Tweets and Toots

David's Twitter profile

What to do when you feel your social network no longer cuts the mustard?

This is the question loads of people have asked themselves since Elon Musk took over Twitter.

For many it seems the answer is Mastodon.

I started my training business before social media existed, and usually claim that I only use them for work, not personal life.


Posted on 07 November 2022

What are ‘payments on account’ for sole trader income tax?

Sitting at a desk doing admin

I’m often asked about the idea that sole traders have to pay tax ‘in advance’.

That’s not quite true, but the ‘payment on account’ system means you might have to pay tax in advance of knowing precisely what the final bill for the year will be.


Posted on 22 July 2022

How national insurance changes affect you from April 2022


Every year at this time I outline some tweaks and changes to the tax system, so that you can plan your finances better.

This year it’s more complicated, partly because of the government’s reaction to the pandemic and partly because of some decisions made by Chancellor Rishi Sunak to change the balance of who gets taxed and how.


Posted on 01 April 2022

Student loans and freelancing

NB: This blog mainly uses 2021-22 figures for Plan 2 loans. Figures change every tax year, and might be different for Scottish residents, but the principle is the same.

For useful links, scroll down to the Find Out More box.

Student loan repayments are a bit of a pain when you’re a PAYE freelancer.


Posted on 03 March 2022

Fancy being an HMRC digital guinea pig?


I was struck recently that only nine people are in the pilot scheme for Making Tax Digital for Income Tax Self-assessment (known, horribly, as MTD-ITSA).

This is the massive HMRC project requiring sole traders (people registered as ‘self-employed’) and landlords to report turnover and business costs quarterly from April 2024, using special ‘cloud accounting’ software.


Posted on 01 March 2022

Confusion over taxable status for Covid hardship grants

Last week I tweeted angrily, not something I do often:

The tax office appears to have decided right at the last moment that certain Covid hardship grants should, after all, be taxable. Whereas they’d said earlier that they were not.


Posted on 31 January 2022