'A warning to freelancers and the self-employed everywhere' blog discussion

edited 2 February 2012 at 3:01PM in Martin's Blogs & Appearances & MoneySavingExpert in the News
19 replies 7.5K views
This is the discussion to link on the back of Martin's blog. Please read the blog first, as this discussion follows it.

Please click 'post reply' to discuss below.


  • jamesdjamesd Forumite
    25.8K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper
    Interesting that at 16 in 2001 she started working on Popworld and doesn't seem to have done much else in the early years. Makes me wonder if HMRC decided that she was an employee for a significant part of that time. That's another potentially nasty trap for those who think they are contractors and things weren't anything like as clear in 2001 as they seem to be now, while even now it can be difficult sometimes.
  • Percy1983Percy1983 Forumite
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    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Combo Breaker
    I have recently setup in business but being a qualified accountant I already started doing this.

    With that my dad has started as a driving instructor this year and I keep telling him this but he isn't having any of it, I don't look forward to his tax return.
    Have my first business premises (+4th business) 01/11/2017
    Quit day job to run 3 businesses 08/02/2017
    Started third business 25/06/2016
    Son born 13/09/2015
    Started a second business 03/08/2013
    Officially the owner of my own business since 13/01/2012
  • VfM4meplseVfM4meplse
    34.3K Posts
    I've been Money Tipped!
    Silly girl. I bet she spent plenty of time musing over her image though!

    I've had the pleasure of having to complete a tax return since I was 23, so age is no excuse. If you're earning, you have to contribute. I don't suppose the HMRC make this any easier for "creatives" as there is the option to even out earnings?

    "No man is worth, crawling on the earth"- adapted from Bob Crewe and Bob Gaudio

    Hope is not a strategy :D...A child is for life, not just 18 years....Don't get me started on the NHS, because you won't win...I love chaz-ing!
  • StryderStryder Forumite
    1.1K Posts
    nice to see good old Christian charity and understanding is live and kicking on the forums as usual
    ............... Have you ever wondered what
    ¦OO¬¬ O[]¦ Martin would look like
    ¦ _______ ¦ In a washing machine
    ¦ ((:money:)) ¦
  • Hmm? We are talking about a presentor here?(excuse my spelling) Normally i through presentators and wanna be celebraties have agents who look after there intrests such as Tax payments or PR accountants. Normally them kinda jobs mean good pay so i wonder if they not declared something to HMrc which is lead to a higher charge in taxation.
    "MSE Money saving challenges..8/12/13 3,500 saved so far :j" p.s if i been helpfully please leave me a thank you but seek official advice at all times from a pro
  • SlinkySlinky Forumite
    8.1K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper
    It's not just freelancers who can get into this sort of mess, businesses can too. I always syphon off the VAT I receive when customers pay their bills into a separate account as that's not mine either. Now the rate is 20% it's a significant sum of money sitting there waiting to pay HMRC. If I wasn't disciplined it would be easy to use this money for something else.
  • Easy enough to put money away when things are going well, much tougher when you have immediate bills to pay of course and then you're forced to pinch the tax mans money just to keep going!
    Plus the way the tax system works and hits newbies fror six is that you are always based on what you earned last year - so can end up paying too little after a bad year/ good year situation or being hammered after a good year / bad year when money is suddenly tight but ouch when the big adjustment bill arrives just after Christmas... always great timing, cheers.
    I have personally switched to paying a fixed direct debit sum to the taxman each month - that way there's then just a slight adjustment either way in jan/july bills.
  • alypenalypen Forumite
    31 Posts
    Ninth Anniversary 10 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    Yes, I knew about paying HMRC in advance, but had forgotten that for my second tax year I'd need to pay for the whole year and 50% on top of that in advance for the next year, all in one go. It was a lot more painful than I'd been expecting. Of course, if I'd done the sensible thing and done my tax return as soon as the tax year ended, rather than leaving it untiil January like most people, I'd have had plenty of time to deal with the situation. I'm doing my next tax return in May this time!
  • Sorry HMRC she was obviously a 'Disguised Employee' they should pursue T4 for the lost tax as she was effectively an employee. They have no protection as she is self employed. It is the 'clients' responsibility to ensure tax is paid, its the law.

    That's why all the 'Tax evoiding' IT contractors are limited companies, its nothing to do with tax, no one will hire them otherwise. Having the ltd company there means HMRC can't bypass it and have to pursue the contractor for tax, they can't turn on the client.

    Not sure why they don't go after entertainment companies that are obviously abusing the employment & tax law? If they can get the footballers to play more or less properly why not T4 & co?
  • I went self-employed 1 Jun 2010 and my 1st tax bill is due Jan 2013, I put 30% away each month (paid into N&SI Premium Bonds account, as bank saving rates are dire and any chance of winning will be a bonus!), knowing that I should have some free after paying my 1st tax bill/next tax bill. HRMC also do some excellent FREE training and is a must for new people to attend. I also do my business banking with Barclays and although I dont normally promote services - the MyBusinessWorks software package (£15 per month) is an excellent package. (I also use an accountant). Hope this is helpful. :)
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