Self-employment hacks for bloggers
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I recently took the first step in my journey to turn my blog into a serious source of income and registered as self-employed. While this is a necessary step in what I hope will turn out to be my career, it’s still really scary, especially when you know next to nothing about accounting and business! Although I did get the highest mark in the school at GCSE Business Studies, but that was a good 13 years ago now!
If you’re in the same boat as me then you’re not alone (yay!) and here to help you are some basic hacks that I’ve picked up along the way so far…
Write everything down
Your tax return only has to be done once a year and the deadline for the year before is the end of January. So, if you’re doing your tax return now (and the deadline is the 31st – so hurry!) in January 2017, you’ll be doing your 2015 – 16 tax return. This is a whole lot easier if you have kept track of everything you’ve earned and everything you’ve spent throughout the year, especially if it’s in a spreadsheet that can calculate everything for you. It’ll save you lots of stress come January time!
Keep all your receipts
This one goes without saying but make sure you keep your receipts – in a file if they’re paper copies and it’s probably worth photographing them to save on your computer too. Also keep your invoices on file and if your client doesn’t require an invoice, you might want to raise one anyway for your records. There are a few accounting software packages you can buy including Quickbooks, which is supposed to be great for small businesses, and Sage, which is probably the biggest name in the industry.
Use an accountant
If you can afford to use an accountant then you definitely should. Accountants can offer a taxation service and really take the stress out of completing a tax return for you. It might even be worth the extra spend, as good accountants can save you money as they can advise you as to what you can claim your tax back on – you can even claim for household bills if you work from home.
Completing your tax return
When it comes to tax return time, complete yours as soon as possible to avoid paying hefty fines on top of any tax you owe. This will be easy if you already have everything written down and all your receipts kept on file. Remember leaving your homework until the night before the deadline? Well, this is the grown up equivalent. Don’t give yourself extra stress by putting it off – get it done!
Save for your tax bill
Once you’re earning extra money, it’s tempting to spend it all (my downfalls are holidays and bags!) but remember to put a little aside each month to pay for your tax bill at the end of the year. That way it won’t come as such a shock or seem like such a huge lump sum.
What are your top tips for self-employed bloggers? Let me know in the comments below!