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: gov.uk >

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

IR35 – new HMRC information and guidance

Tax buttons on calculator

From April 2021 the decision on whether someone is truly working for themselves – or is simply an employee in disguise – shifts from the freelancer to the end client in some circumstances.

If you run a limited company this could mean changes to the way tax is paid for some of the jobs you do.


Posted on 30 October 2020

Freelancers and Rishi Sunak’s ‘Winter Economy Plan’

This post has been updated following changes announced on 22 October 2020

The Chancellor’s statement today (Thursday 24 September) is a response to the fact that COVID-19 is not going away.

Rishi Sunak

He talked about a “permanent adjustment” to the economy and a need to deal with a “new normal”.

He needed to replace existing support with something more sustainable.

So what do his new measures mean for freelancers?


Posted on 24 September 2020

Digital banking for businesses: pros and cons

I get a lot of questions about digital banks on my sole trader courses. Are they any good? Are they better/cheaper than high street banks?

FT front page

Posted on 11 September 2020

Beyond redundancy: 6-point guide for creative people

Losing a job through no fault of your own can be hard. But redundancy isn’t the end, it’s the start of the next stage in your life. 

I’ve been through redundancy (twice!) and have been training people how to set up on their own for 15 years. Below are some tips and advice.

We cover all this and more in our ‘Beyond Redundancy: Setting up as a Sole Trader’ workshops. If you’re moving from employment to self-employment – or know someone else who is – you need to click here:


Posted on 01 September 2020

SEISS scheme and VAT returns

The Self-employed Income Support Scheme is a system by which the Treasury supplies a grant to eligible sole traders during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Most sole traders are not VAT registered, but some are. So how does the SEISS grant interact with VAT reporting?


Posted on 06 August 2020

Getting an LP10/Lorimer letter – video (captioned)

Listen to Sandra Coulson, an experienced camera assistant/focus puller, explaining how she got an LP10 letter from HMRC to help her with cash flow.

Read more below the video:
Click CC for captions


Posted on 31 July 2020

Digital taxation – coming soon-ish


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

In some ways the changes 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, and one vaguely interesting date:


Posted on 23 July 2020