Expenses You Might Have Missed From Your Self-Employed Self-Assessment

If you are self-employed, you can claim back expenses against your income to reduce your overall business profit and the amount of tax you pay.

For example, if you earn £40,000 through self-employment and claim back £5,000 in allowable expenses, your profit will be £35,000, so you will only pay tax on this.

Many of these allowable expenses are obvious. And if you have been self-employed for a few years you will know most of them. But there are certain less obvious expenses that you might not have claimed for.

Cloud Accountant is Making Tax Digital Ready
Editor | 20 September 2018
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Cloud Accountant is ready to help contractors, freelancers and other small business owners make the most of HMRC’s new Making Tax Digital (MTD) requirements.

Having been awarded Xero’s Making Tax Digital Ready accreditation, our specialist digital accountancy practice can help small business owners put the required software and processes in place before the first MTD deadline in April 2019.

From next April, companies that exceed the £85,000 VAT revenue threshold will no longer be able submit VAT returns manually. Instead, companies will need to use HMRC-compliant software to track and submit the returns automatically.

FreeAgent lets you see who your best (and worst) customers are

A new feature in cloud accountancy software FreeAgent makes it easy to see who your best and worst customers are.
The Customer Sales Report was one of FreeAgent’s most requested features. It could play a key role in deciding who you should do business with in the future.
The new report shows you exactly how much income you’ve received from different clients in a given time frame. You can examine different periods of time and compare results from different months and years.

Forty percent of freelancers want to retire before their sixties

A survey of self-employed workers has found that more than four in ten freelancers hope to retire before they turn 61.
The new research focused on freelancer’s plans in 2018 and beyond. But with separate research suggesting that freelancers are not saving enough for their retirement – careful money management will become more important for self-employed people.
Cloud accounting software packages like Xero and FreeAgent can help freelancers save for their future.

Four simple tips for managing your own books

So you’ve set up your own business. Now the hard work begins.
Your head is probably swimming with ideas, possibilities and strategies that could help your business grow.
One thing you probably aren’t thinking about is bookkeeping. Recording financial information is not really the fun part of starting a new business – but it is crucial to start-up success.
You don’t have to waste money employing someone to manage the books for you, handling it yourself doesn’t need to be daunting.

How to Have a Successful Small Business Saturday

Small Business Saturday is a relatively new celebration that celebrates the thousands of small businesses that help make Britain great.

The day itself is in less than two weeks, and there are lots of brilliant ways that shops, cafes and all sorts of other independents can get involved.

Here are our top tips for a successful Small Business Saturday.

GoCardless makes collecting payments effortless in Xero
Editor | 19 September 2018
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As you may well know, here at CloudAccountant, we are big fans of Xero. If you are looking for a simple, easy way to manage bookkeeping and accounting, then Xero is your best option as the market leading accounting software.

Xero also has a choice of ways it can help you ensure you get paid – making it easier to keep on top of cashflow. And these are generally linked to Xero in the form of add-ons. The beauty of these new systems is that it adds another way of getting paid, with a simple, automated interface.

Alien encounters and other bad excuses for late tax returns

With less than a week to go before the self-assessment deadline, HMRC has revealed some of the worst excuses taxpayers have offered after failing to complete their returns on time.
Topping the list was the unlikely claim that “I couldn’t file my return on time as my wife has been seeing aliens and won’t let me enter the house”.

HMRC outlines points-based late payment penalties

At the start of December, HMRC announced plans to introduce a driving penalty ‘points’ system to punish late-paying taxpayers.
The points-based system would be introduced as part of the shift towards ‘Making Tax Digital (MTD),’ which will see many taxpayers submitting tax returns more regularly.
Now the tax authority has outlined their plans in more detail, suggesting that tax customers will receive a point every time they fail to submit on time.

If you have a Business PayPal account, you can set up an automatic bank feed in Xero.

If you have a Business PayPal account, you can set up an automatic bank feed in Xero. New transactions are imported every 24 hours. If you use multiple currencies in PayPal, then you can import each currency separately using Xero’s multi-currency capability, powered by XE.com.

PayPal bank feeds are far superior than importing your PayPal statements manually. As you may have experienced, PayPal statements have the tendancy of having line items in there that do not actually affect your balance. When you import this into Xero it can become difficult to reconcile the bank. To keep your accounts clean, Xero will only import transactions that change your PayPal balance – so you don’t need to deal with credit card purchases on your PayPal account or with currency conversions.

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