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

Former_MSE_Helen Former MSE Posts: 2,382 Forumite
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.


  • jamesd
    jamesd Forumite Posts: 25,833
    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.
  • Percy1983
    Percy1983 Forumite Posts: 5,244
    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
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    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
  • VfM4meplse
    VfM4meplse Posts: 34,269
    10,000 Posts Combo Breaker 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

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  • Stryder
    Stryder Forumite Posts: 1,134 Forumite
    nice to see good old Christian charity and understanding is live and kicking on the forums as usual
    ............... Have you ever wondered what
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  • flexrider
    flexrider Forumite Posts: 745 Forumite
    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.
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  • Slinky
    Slinky Forumite Posts: 9,284
    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.
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  • mik777
    mik777 Forumite Posts: 6 Forumite
    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.
  • alypen
    alypen Forumite Posts: 32
    Part of the Furniture 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!
  • LilSpender
    LilSpender Forumite Posts: 1 Newbie
    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?
  • AllanH
    AllanH Forumite Posts: 5 Forumite
    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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