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Many bloggers, vloggers, freelancers, and sole-traders are just coming out of one of the most stressful times of their year. Tax return season. Each year, we promise ourselves that we’ll be better. That we’ll keep a better track of our income and expenses and that we’ll be more prepared when the time comes.
Some of us even make bold statements about paying our bill as soon as we can next year or setting aside a little cash each month. Then January comes, and we find ourselves once more with little more than a carrier bag filled with receipts, a prayer and about 8 hours to get us finished before the deadline.
If you’re new to blogging or new to making money from your blog, you might wonder what the fuss is about. Surely, accounting isn’t that difficult? But, with many different income streams and a lack of experience with finance, it can be a lot more complicated than you might imagine. But only if you let it. Here are some tips to help you make next tax season a breeze.
When To Register
A massive mistake that many new bloggers make is failing to register as self-employed. Often either assuming that they won’t earn enough to pay tax, or that it doesn’t count because they’ve got a full-time job. But it does count.
As soon as you start, track even small earnings. Then, you are ready when your profits grow, and you’ll never need to backtrack trying to work things out or risk a fine. If you earn over £1000 gross you will then need to register.
Keep it Simple
Things tend to get overly complicated when we over complicate them. There’s no need to start keeping elaborate records of every little detail. All you really need is a simple accounting spreadsheet to record your income and expenditure. If you’d prefer having your self-assessment calculated for you, online accounting software may be preferable.
Keep a Paper Trail
You do need to keep records. But, not randomly in a carrier bag. You can use an app to track your expenses, which lets you take photos of your receipts so that you don’t need to keep them.
You can also email invoices, and keep copies in a folder on your desktop. There’s no need to print everything out. If you do want to use paper receipts and track them yourself, keep them in a folder organised by month, and track them on your spreadsheet or accounting software as soon as you get them.
If you pay staff, even infrequently, you need to record their wages. Using Cloudpay Payroll can make this a lot easier to track.
Get Into Good Habits
Every time you earn money or spend money on your business, record it. Get into good habits at the very start, and it will just become a part of your blogging journey. Spend a little time at the end of every week, or even every day, recording your earnings and catching up on any other admin that you might have. A few minutes a day and an easy tax return