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Self Assessment: Should You Defer Your Second Payment On Account?

Our latest affiliate is  Go Simple Tax who are offering our mastermind group (The Insiders – learn more here) a 10% discount on all of their packages. They will also be writing for us so together we can help you stay up to date on what you need to do….

For those that are new to the Self Assessment tax return process, payments on account are one of the most common stumbling blocks. Despite being introduced as an initiative to help taxpayers spread their tax payments, it often results in annual frustration and can actually harm your cash flow if you’re caught unaware.

That’s why, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, HMRC announced that they would allow taxpayers to defer their second payment on account (that would have normally been due on 31st July 2020). It is hoped that this gives taxpayers the chance to prepare. But is that the right course of action? We’ve brought in Mike Parkes from GoSimpleTax to set the record straight.

What is a payment on account?

Payments on account are advance payments towards your next tax bill. They’re calculated based on the amount that you paid the previous year.

HMRC splits this amount into two, and places the deadline for payment six months apart from one another. For the 2019/20 tax year, the first was due by midnight on 31st January 2020, and the second would normally be made by midnight on the 31st July 2020.

This latter payment is what can now be deferred, as long as it is eventually paid by the 31st January 2021.

If you had a £5,000 tax bill for the 2018/19 tax year, for instance, you would need to make two £2,500 payments on account towards your 2019/20 tax bill.

But if your 2018/19 Self Assessment bill was less than £1,000 or if over 80% was deducted at source (such as employment), then you will not need to make a payment on account – you would simply need to pay any outstanding tax by the 31st January.

What are your options?

If you are required to make payments on account, you will still need to pay your second one. Although, as HMRC has offered taxpayers the opportunity to delay this, you can choose to make your second payment as late as the 31st January 2021, alongside the submission of your Self Assessment tax return.

HMRC will not charge any interest or penalties should you choose to do this. However, by delaying your second payment to January, you do run the risk of having to fulfil all your tax responsibilities at once. This could result in you having insufficient funds in place to cover all your tax liabilities.

Your therefore have three options:

Pay in accordance with the original July deadline

If you can afford to pay your tax bill as you would do normally, you should do. If anything, it creates a sense of ‘business as usual’ in an otherwise tumultuous time.

I appreciate that, for many, paying in July will harm their cash flow. However, it is my view that clearing debt where possible is more sustainable and allows January to mark the start of a new financial year – and a fresh start.

Reassess and reduce liability

If you’re doubtful that you can afford a second payment on account right now, calculate your 2019/20 tax liability before the 31st July 2020. This will confirm the actual amount to be paid in July 2020, January 2021 and July 2021, and give you clarity. To do this, you need to file your 2019/20 Self Assessment tax return early.

Filing early won’t mean that you have to pay your tax bill early, after all – but it does allow you to determine what your total tax bill will be ahead of time. From here, you can consider two key points:

  1. Does the July 2020 payment on account need to be deferred?
  2. Do the January 2021 and July 2021 payments on account (for the 2020/21 tax year) need reducing to reflect the impact that COVID-19 has had on them?

Defer to later in the year

Of course, there will be some cases that are unable or unwilling to pay anything towards their tax bill in July now that they can defer. In this instance, it’s important that they are reminded of the Self Assessment late penalties should they wish to push this all the way back to 31st January and be unable to make payment at that time.

Deferring could have an impact on cash flow in 2020/21. If you are also VAT-registered and have deferred your VAT payment, then it is worth noting that this also needs to be paid by 31st March 2021.

Ultimately, it falls to you to make the decision that best suits you. However, it is my view that, by planning your 2021/22 payments now, you will be in a much safer position.

About GoSimpleTax

With GoSimpleTax, business owners can get a clear picture of their obligations. All your income can be logged in an easy-to-understand format, and their software will highlight areas where you can potentially reduce your tax liability through tax relief.

Register for their free trial today and stay abreast of all the latest tax changes. When you’re ready to file your Self Assessment tax return, upgrade to their full service and submit straight to HMRC.

  • July 18, 2020

Do you have to put your freelancers into your pension scheme?

Freelance workers based in the UK have a lot of rights but did you know they have a right to join your workplace pension scheme and must be included in your auto-enrolment?

It sounds a bit daft on the face of it, but here is how it goes for workers based in the UK:

  • workers earning less than £5,786 a year have the right to join but you don’t have to make ’employer minimum’ contributions.
  • workers earning £5,786 or more a year have the right to join your workplace pension scheme and you must contribute if they do
  • workers earning £10,000 or more must be automatically enrolled (unless opted out) and you must contribute

My freelancers are self employed

If you’re thinking – what has this got to do with me as my freelancers are all self-employed? – then you could be in for a shock.

Freelancers can be running their own business, but they can also be categorised as workers (or even employees).   Your label on the relationship does not define their status.  Nor does the fact they invoice you, or have other clients, always help. 

If they don’t have a company and are invoicing you in person  there is a risk your freelancer will be categorized as a worker and this may trigger their entitlements.

How to handle freelancers and workplace pensions

  • Check whether they are invoicing you via a company or just using a business name
  • Check the freelancer’s base – are they working from the UK?
  • Check whether you have a written contract with them
  • Get that contract reviewed to establish the status 
  • If no written contract exists (or an out of date one) update it to properly reflect the arrangements between you.  Here’s a link to ours.
  • Talk to your accountant/payroll/pensions provider and let the know you have potential workers who may be eligible
  • Talk to us about how to contract and manage your freelancers in a way that is appropriate for your business

Want a free contract review? 

If you are paying a UK based freelancer and not sure if they are a worker or running their own business  let us check it out 

  • June 21, 2017

Why you should join the Insiders

In business, it can be lonely not being able to turn to the right kind of people to get advice. Not just the plethora of “you’re awesome, just go for it” comments that social media is saturated with but genuine ideas and help to work out if this is what your business really needs. So many business owners experience the Shiny Syndrome where they are on a focused path and get distracted into something else because it came along at that time. “Does it fit, or is it right for you right now?” doesn’t feature as you get distracted by the shiny syndrome.

The Insiders is a great way to ask yourself “Do we really need this for our business or are we getting distracted?” It’s like having your own team to challenge, inspire, support and ensure you stay focused on what really needs to happen!

The affiliates list is also growing and you can now get at least a 10% discount on things from laptops, web sites, and coaching, to policy documentation, printing and training on social media. Even our Founder’s Mandie Holgate’s courses and coaching is reduced for Insiders, and they were inexpensive in the first place!

Have you checked out who you could be doing business with for a discount as an Insider?

One business owner told us that in their first month of being an Insider the savings they’d made had paid for 2 years on the Insiders!

The other great thing about the affiliates is as an INsider you can suggest webinars that the affiliates host for you, sharing a level of content they don’t share anywhere else! Affiliates are happy to deliver personalised webinars just for our group!

££££ of training on top of everything else, for free!

Don’t see what you want or need?

Got an idea for us?

Then you know you can always talk to us. The Insiders is here to help you grow personally and professionally to create a business you love, to sustain and grow it. So if you think we could help in another way, just say.So are you in yet?

Do you want to know how this gets even better?

You can also get a discount on sponsoring the BWN website (reduced to £250 for 2019) AND access full day face to face training days for just £75!

We aim to over deliver in everything we do. So join us on the Insiders!

  • May 21, 2017

Ok just stop it now

I’m really excited about the launch of the Insiders. It’s a way that I as Founder and our Insiders affiliates can help you more AND you can ask anything you like (confidentially) and we will do our best to get you the right expert to help you.

So today in preparation for our first webinar in the Inisiders secret Facebook group I thought I’d share the 7 top tips I’d give to anyone that was looking to increase their chances of success in 2017 when setting goals. And then in the webinar you can ask me anything you like relating to achieving your goals;

  1. Where has your goal come from? Who defined it? When a goal is not wholly created by you, according to your values and beliefs then you are less likely to achieve. I’ve seen this enough times to know this. The business woman that wanted massive levels of success and quoted many a entrepreneurial author at me, as I reminded her “Her brain didn’t get the memo on that, take all information and advice in like water into a sponge, then wring out what you don’t need.) In the webinar I will look at how to create a powerful goal. One that you take action on, like this business woman did and wowsers it was a “stand back and watch her go!” moment, that’s for sure!
  2. Challenge what you think. When I work 1 2 1 with a client I can literally stop their thought patterns in their tracks, by bringing to their attention their choice of words. It’s a point that the Institute of Directors picked up on in their review of my book, which leads us onto point 3.
  3. Watch your language no not the swearing but your choice of words. As I say if you wouldn’t say it to your best friend then don’t say it to yourself because our choice of words drastically impact on our success. However have you considered how you word your goal? The language you use? Challenge the assumptions and the idea that it’s going to half kill you to get the results you want in 2017.
  4. Who will motivate you? Clients do leave buzzed up and ready to take on the world. Audiences leave my talks in the same way, however as I point out in 6 weeks time when your cat/partner/child/work colleague has given you the lurgy and you feel as sick as a dog and like death, how are you going to get nearer your dream goal for 2017?  Our network is described as THE place to stay motivated and guess what that does when you combine it with the professional and personal training we provide too? Who will keep you going? And if you are an insider you have a confidential place to share when you need a boost too!
  5. And for the love of you, know when not to keep going! I had to fight for a whole chapter about “The Fear of taking time out.” in my new book Fight the fear, however so many of us think we need to be some robotic soulless machine to get to that big goal. There is a thing called life that you can’t forget about. For instance if your goal for 2017 is to grow your business, can your health, business model or family take it? If not what are the chances that you will achieve? I’ve seen enough people scupper their own success because they’ve feared how they will cope with success. What do you need to do to ensure success?
  6. Never fear saying “No” “I need to help” or “I don’t understand how to do this” If you do, then what are you agreeing to? I will share some ideas from my book on how to do these without damaging your confidence, brand or reputation.
  7. How will you monitor your results? The person climbing the mountain that doesn’t take the time to observe the view, rarely can appreciate how far they have come. If you were to compare who you are and what you have achieved right now to 2 years ago, would you be so cynical, critical or worried about what you can achieve? Likewise by breaking your goals down (I get my clients to create 1,3 and 5 year goals and critically importantly Now Goals too.)  you can start to see what actions need to be prioritised. And a big obstacle for so many business women is that they get distracted by the first shiny thing that comes along that looks easier than what has to be done and go off at a tangent, thereby slowing down their success and goal achieve. 

I could share a ton of ideas here to help you rocket your chances of success in 2017. For now check your confidence levels and follow these 7 top tips, and I look forward to seeing you in the Insiders next week. Not joined yet? You can here. 

As founder of The BWN Mandie Holgate care’s passionately about your success as much as our coordinators do. If there is something in particular you would like assistance with. What ever it is get in touch and we will do all we can to help. (And as always, without you having to spend a fortune!)

  • December 31, 2016