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

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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.

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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.

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Posted on 01 March 2022

Confusion over taxable status for Covid hardship grants

Last week I tweeted angrily, not something I do often: Unbelievable: @HMRCgovuk suddenly decides Arts Council Emergency Response grants for freelancers during lockdown are now to be treated as taxable. With 3 days till tax deadline. This was the ONLY income for some people during lockdown. Inhuman.https://t.co/b9kCXR0myq — David O Thomas (@davidowenthomas) January 27, 2022

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Posted on 31 January 2022

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. 

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Posted on 06 July 2021

How much should I charge?

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.

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Posted on 18 May 2021

Fighting late paying clients

[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

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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

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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?)

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Posted on 01 April 2021

Farewell FEU Training. Thanks for all the fun.

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

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Posted on 01 April 2021