10 Recent Blog Posts https://gorillaaccounting.com/blog/ Shows a list of the 10 most recent blog posts. Advantages of Being Self-Employed https://gorillaaccounting.com/blog/advantages-of-being-self-employed/ <p> </p><p>Becoming self-employed takes a lot of work and dedication, but there are also many benefits to being a sole trader. From financial advantages to taking control of your day-to-day, Gorilla Accounting is looking into all the reasons you should consider becoming your own boss.</p><p>And, as <a href="https://gorillaaccounting.com/sole-trader-accountants/">sole trader accountants</a>, we’re on hand to answer any questions you may have about this business structure, so speak to us at any time.</p><h2><strong>Is Self-Employment for You?</strong></h2><p>Many people dream of joining the ranks of 5 million other self-employed individuals in the UK, but it's important to consider a few things first.</p><p>Going into business by yourself can be daunting, as you won’t have a steady wage at the end of the month, like you do when you’re employed. It's crucial that you’re able to push through this and not let it bring you down, especially at the start.</p><p>You should also be self-motivated, as you’ll be the one responsible for every element of the business. This includes finding new work and promoting yourself. When it comes to doing the work itself, you must be organised and disciplined, as you must be able to perform all tasks without being told what to do.</p><p>For many, this is exciting since it offers the control they want in their careers; others may find it daunting. If you find it thrilling to do everything yourself and to be responsible for every detail, then self-employment may be for you.</p><p>After all, the many advantages of being a sole trader make it all worth it.</p><h2><strong>Earning Potential is Higher</strong></h2><p>A big reason people want to set up a business is to make a lot more money than if they stay employed. When you work for other people, you earn a specific salary that’s been agreed upon and which can only go up if you receive a raise, a promotion or simply negotiate more. If the company does well, you may not even see it reflected in your wages either.</p><p>When you’re self-employed, on the other hand, you set your own rates, which, depending on things like the industry and your experience, can be much higher. Technically, there’s no cap on how much you can earn, making self-employment a very attractive option for <a href="https://gorillaaccounting.com/accountants-for-consultants/">consultants</a>, <a href="https://gorillaaccounting.com/accountants-for-software-developers/">developers</a>, <a href="https://gorillaaccounting.com/accountants-for-buy-to-let-landlords/">landlords</a>, and so many other individuals.</p><p>And, when your business sees a boost in profits, your <a href="https://gorillaaccounting.com/contractor-tax-calculator/">take-home pay</a> can increase too. Of course, it might take some time to build up your income, but the scaling potential is massive.</p><h2><strong>You Make Your Own Schedule</strong></h2><p>Another big sole trader advantage. Making your own hours and schedule allows you to work when you’re most productive and creative – for some, this is in the morning, for others in the evening. You can take as many breaks as you feel are necessary, a flexibility that you’re unlikely to have when in full-time employment.</p><p>The same goes for holidays. You can take time off when you want or spend time with your family and friends. To do this, however, you must be organised and realistic when it comes to your workload. You may not be able to take a break immediately when you want to, or you may have to work longer hours when you're establishing your business, for instance.</p><p>Consider your work-life balance goals and work towards them from the get-go. Delegating tasks, such as your accounting, can help you make more time for yourself, your loved ones or your business, as we can take the admin burden off your hands as <a href="https://gorillaaccounting.com/">contractor accountants</a>.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img class="leftAlone" title="" src="https://gorillaaccounting.com/assets/Uploads/_resampled/ResizedImageWzYwMCw0MDBd/self-employed-sole-trader-business-owner.jpg" alt="self employed sole trader business owner" width="600" height="400"></p><h2><strong>You Choose Who You Work With</strong></h2><p>This is another key element of being self-employed. When you set up a business, you get to choose the work you do, which means you don’t have to take on projects you don’t like or to work with people you don’t want to work with. When you’re employed, however, you can’t choose your co-workers and may not be able to make any hiring or firing decisions.</p><p>The downside of being self-employed is that many people feel lonely when they don’t have co-workers to talk to throughout the day or bounce ideas off of. This is why it’s important to join peer groups and network with others in your field. This can help you to connect with people and not feel like you’re working in a vacuum.</p><h2><strong>No Day’s the Same</strong></h2><p>For people who want the same routine day in and out, self-employment may not be for them. As a sole trader, you’ll have different projects to focus on, so work is varied and it’s unlikely you’ll ever get bored. You can change up your working hours if you want, choose a specific task to work on, and so much more.</p><h2><strong>Job Security</strong></h2><p>While being self-employed can be risky (for example, you may not have a guaranteed salary every month or you can make a costly decision in your business), it can also provide you with job security. You don’t have to worry about getting fired because you’re your own boss and you don’t have to stress about going after a promotion or being rejected for it.</p><p>And, if you work on several different projects, you don’t have to worry about losing a contract. So, job security can be both a <a href="https://gorillaaccounting.com/blog/what-are-the-pros-and-cons-of-being-a-sole-trader/">pro and a con of being a sole trader</a>, depending on your situation.</p><h2><strong>It’s Easy to Become a Sole Trader</strong></h2><p>There isn’t a lot of admin involved in being a sole trader – in fact, you only have to let HMRC know you’re self-employed by registering as a sole trader and picking a business name. You'll have to submit a self-assessment tax return as well, as this is the way you’ll pay taxes.</p><p>The other thing you must do is keep accurate records of your expenses and sales and, when your turnover is above the £85,000 threshold, you have to register for VAT.</p><p>Other than this, you should be good to go. This operating structure is also a great option for people wanting to dip their toes into self-employment without committing to <a href="https://gorillaaccounting.com/setting-up-a-limited-company/">setting up a limited company</a>, which comes with more paperwork and admin, as well as more responsibilities.</p><h2><strong>More Tax Benefits</strong></h2><p>When you’re employed, you pay taxes through PAYE and don’t have to worry about a thing. As a sole trader, you must pay the right amount of tax yourself, which is why it’s so important that you keep accurate records of everything. However, don’t let this deter you, especially because a specialist accountant can help you out with your <a href="https://gorillaaccounting.com/self-assessment-tax-return-services/">self-assessment return</a>, ensuring your submission is submitted correctly and on time.</p><p>After all, if you’re a sole trader, you also keep all after-tax profits. You don’t have to split them with shareholders or anyone else (unless you’re in a partnership), meaning you may be able to take home a considerable amount of money.</p><p>You can also avoid IR35 when you’re a sole trader, as this legislation doesn’t apply to this business structure.</p><p>Another advantage of sole traders is that they’re taxed on their profits. This means you can claim expenses and allowances to reduce the profit amount and, therefore, reduce the amount of tax you must pay. You may be able to claim expenses for office equipment, utility bills if you work from home, fuel, and more. You must keep records if any expenses to prove you can, indeed, claim for certain things.</p><p>We can help you figure out what you’re entitled to claim, so get in touch with Gorilla Accounting today to learn more.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img class="leftAlone" title="" src="https://gorillaaccounting.com/assets/Uploads/_resampled/ResizedImageWzYwMCw0MDBd/sole-trader-selling-flowers.jpg" alt="sole trader selling flowers" width="600" height="400"></p><h2><strong>More Privacy</strong></h2><p>Not having to register with Companies House is another sole trader benefit for many people. You have more privacy with this operating structure because you don’t have to offer details of your accounts. HMRC’s taxpayer confidentiality rules say that your private information won’t be available to the public, so your competitors won’t be able to see it either.</p><p>On the other hand, limited companies must create public records that can be inspected by anyone on the Companies House website.</p><h2><strong>Should You Incorporate?</strong></h2><p>There might come a time where you’ll wonder whether turning your sole trader business into a limited company is the right option. There are many <a href="https://gorillaaccounting.com/blog/what-are-the-advantages-of-a-limited-company/">advantages of a limited company</a>, including limited liability, meaning you’re not responsible for any debts the business might incur, as you’re seen as a separate entity from your company.</p><p>Incorporating can also be more tax-efficient, because company directors can pay themselves a small salary and receive the rest in dividends, so they’re also paying fewer national insurance contributions. As a limited company owner, you pay 19% of corporation tax on profits but sole traders pay more (from 20% to 45%, depending on how much they make).</p><p>As <a href="https://gorillaaccounting.com/contractors-limited-company-accountants/">limited company accountants</a>, we can help when you decide to incorporate, as we can shoulder the admin burden while you focus on your business.</p><h2><strong>You Can Take Advantage of Government Support</strong></h2><p>This might be the perfect time to take the leap and become self-employed. The government understands that the coronavirus pandemic has made it difficult for businesses and people across the nation, including those in self-employment, and seeks to make life easier for many.</p><p>For example, if you can’t pay your self-assessment tax on time because of the pandemic, you may be able to do it in instalments, helping you spread the cost through several months. This can help many people stay in business.</p><p>Contact us if you’re unsure which grants are available for your specific situation.</p><h2><strong>How Can Gorilla Accounting Help?</strong></h2><p>Because there are so many sole trader advantages, this is often the business structure people choose when they want to become self-employed – and we can be there for you every step of the way. Going into self-employment can be daunting and, when you’re busy trying to learn the ropes and grow a business, it can be stressful having to take time out of your day to manage your accounts.</p><p>This can be the most time-consuming task, and even a small mistake could cause problems with HMRC. At Gorilla Accounting, we take the hassle out of admin and also ensure that your paperwork is filled correctly, giving you the peace of mind you need to focus on your day-to-day.</p><p>And, with our <a href="https://gorillaaccounting.com/free-agent-book-keeping-software/">FreeAgent accounting software</a>, you don’t have to log anything manually. This tool, which can be accessed 24/7 from any device, no matter where you are, helps you stay on top of your finances and provides a real-time view of your accounts. This is great to make informed business decisions and to stay organised when it’s time to submit your tax returns.</p><p><a href="https://gorillaaccounting.com/general-enquiries/">Get in touch</a> with us on <a href="tel:03300240406">0330 024 0406</a> to learn more about our services and how we can help you maximise your tax-efficiency as a sole trader.</p> Thu, 25 Feb 2021 15:09:00 +0000 https://gorillaaccounting.com/blog/advantages-of-being-self-employed/ Stamp Duty Holiday Set To Be Extended Until End Of June https://gorillaaccounting.com/blog/stamp-duty-extension-june/ <p> </p><p>The stamp duty holiday, which was set to end in March 2021, is set to be extended by three months and will now come run through till the end of June.</p><p>The news of an extension comes just a week before Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s budget, where he will set out a post-Covid recovery plan for the UK.</p><p>Many have urged the Chancellor to push back the date as a large number of home buyers have been scrambling to push through house transactions before the initial deadline.</p><p>It is estimated that around 100,000 buyers would have missed out on the stamp duty holiday had it come to an end in March, mainly due to Covid pressures slowing down the process of purchasing a house.</p><p>Speaking of the extension, Daniel Fallows, Director at Gorilla Accounting commented: “It's fantastic to see the Government continuing to support homebuyers and lenders - and the news breaking today is fantastic for both of those groups. Those who had been worried that the March deadline may come too soon for their completion date, are now feeling much more relaxed. </p><p>"Though it's worth noting that the extension doesn't apply to those who are buy-to-let investors, as they will still need to pay stamp duty."</p><p><span style="font-size: 1.13em;">Under the current rules announced by the Chancellor last year, the stamp duty threshold had been temporality raised from £125,000 to £500,000 for property sales in England and Northern Ireland and £250,000 in Scotland and Wales.</span></p><p>The move prompted a surge in home sales across the UK, with reports suggesting house sales have increased to their highest level since before the 2007 financial crisis.</p><p>Figures from HM Revenue &amp; Customs suggest that almost 130,000 transactions went through before December 2020.</p><p> </p> Wed, 24 Feb 2021 00:00:00 +0000 https://gorillaaccounting.com/blog/stamp-duty-extension-june/ A Guide to Becoming a Self-Employed Engineer https://gorillaaccounting.com/blog/a-guide-to-becoming-a-self-employed-engineer/ <p>If you’re thinking of becoming an engineering contractor, there are some things you should keep in mind when taking the leap, such as the best-operating structure for your business or even whether self-employment is the right step for your career.</p><p>As <a href="https://gorillaaccounting.com/">contractor accountants</a>, we can help you figure these things out, so take a look at our guide on how to become a self-employed engineer.</p><h2><strong>Is Contracting or Freelancing for You?</strong></h2><p>Before deciding whether you should become an engineering contractor, think about all the pros and cons of being self-employed. Do you have the discipline to be your own boss and work even when no one’s there to motivate you? Have you researched the market and any gaps you could potentially fill? Is there enough demand for engineers or for your speciality?</p><p>Make sure you ask yourself these and other questions to minimise the risks involved in striking out on your own. Researching the market – and looking into becoming a freelancer or contractor – will also help you understand the responsibilities that business owners have, as well as all the admin duties and taxes that must be paid.</p><p>Most contractors don’t regret turning to self-employment, since the earning potential is incredibly high and you’re able to have more control over the work you do.</p><h2><strong>What Business Structure Should You Opt for?</strong></h2><p>Contractors that work through a limited company and sole traders are two different things, and it’s important you select the structure that is best suited for your business model. If you want to become a sole trader, you’ll be safe from IR35 legislation and changes, and have fewer admin responsibilities when compared to limited companies.</p><p>It can still be a hassle to stay on top of our accounts, but this is where Gorilla, as <a href="https://gorillaaccounting.com/sole-trader-accountants/">sole trader accountants</a>, can help. We'll make sure your taxes are paid in a timely manner and make sure all submitted paperwork is error-free as well.</p><p>We’re also <a href="https://gorillaaccounting.com/contractors-limited-company-accountants/">limited company accountants</a>, so we can help you handle your finances, balance your salary and dividends, claim expenses, and more. And, as a limited company, you may get a higher <a href="https://gorillaaccounting.com/contractor-tax-calculator/">take-home pay</a> than if you’re a sole trader, which is why many people opt for this structure instead.</p><p>A limited account is a separate legal entity, so your personal finances aren’t tied with the company’s the same way they are if you’re a sole trader, as you’re considered the business in that model. As the owner of a limited company, you have director responsibilities as well as more documentation to file and submit to HMRC and Companies House.</p><p>So, do your research to learn more about which structure is better for you.</p><h2><strong>Register with Companies House</strong></h2><p>This only applies if you decided to <a href="https://gorillaaccounting.com/setting-up-a-limited-company/">set up a limited company</a>. Companies House is the UK’s registrar of companies and also an agency and trading fund, and your engineering business will be listed publicly. This means that everyone can see your company’s details, such as your address. You must also submit annual returns and notify them of any changes to your accounts.</p><p>You can request professional help from a specialist accountant who understands the whole process from start to finish and who can take on this task so that you can focus on your business. With Gorilla Accounting, you get your very own dedicated accountant who can help you incorporate or manage your financials, so get in touch today.</p><h2><strong>Set Your Rates</strong></h2><p>When it comes to getting paid, self-employed engineers can actually earn more than those in permanent employment because they’re free to set their own rates. You can also choose only the projects that truly interest you, meaning you don’t have to take on gigs that don’t advance your career or that you don’t like.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img class="leftAlone" title="" src="https://gorillaaccounting.com/assets/Uploads/_resampled/ResizedImageWzYwMCwzMzhd/Industrial-Engineer-in-Hard-Hat-Wearing-Safety-Jacket.jpg" alt="Industrial Engineer in Hard Hat Wearing Safety Jacket" width="600" height="338"></p><p>Engineering is a dynamic, everchanging environment, so take this into consideration when picking the rates – are you up to speed to the latest in your industry? Do you have the latest qualifications? What's your specialisation?</p><p>Depending on your answer, you may be able to set a higher or lower amount. Your experience is also important, as you can set higher rates if you’ve been working as an engineer for many years or if you have a lot of experience.</p><p>If you’re just starting out, you may opt for charging by the hour as well, or if you’re working on a long contract or are expected to work long hours. You can also set a daily rate that accounts for a particular number of hours instead; however, it’s worth considering that you may not be able to charge overtime with this option.</p><h2><strong>Find Engineering Work</strong></h2><p>Getting that first contract – or finding work in general – is your responsibility as an engineering contractor. Whether you’re a mechanical engineer or a chemical plant engineer, for example, you have to keep brushing up your CV and your skills if you want to remain competitive, sell your services and find work. We've written a <a href="https://gorillaaccounting.com/blog/our-tips-to-write-a-killer-contractor-cv-/">guide on creating a killer CV</a>, so make sure to give that article a read too.</p><p>Networking is also very important, so get in touch with people you’ve previously worked with, interact with your peers and potential employers on LinkedIn, and more. Follow-up applications, chase agencies and do everything you can to keep your business on their radar.</p><p>You can also go through a recruiter. If you opt for this route, make sure you specify the area of work you’re interested in, where you’re looking to find work, and what you want to charge. This will help you to filter out the contractors that don’t match your requirements.</p><h2><strong>Promote Yourself Online</strong></h2><p>Marketing yourself online allows you to take advantage of the 4.66 billion people who use the internet (corresponding to 59% of the Earth’s population). Digital technologies and platforms continue to rise because of the pandemic as well, and people are expected to continue connecting to others online in the near future.</p><p>After all, there are around 3.8 billion social media users around the world – a number set to rise to 4.41 billion by 2025. This can be a good way to sell your services, then. LinkedIn is a must, as many professionals and companies make the platform their home, advertising new jobs and forging lasting relationships.</p><h2><strong>Working Away from Home</strong></h2><p>Not everyone is prepared to work away from home, as this can mean a lot of travelling, long commutes or even missing out on important moments with family and friends. Your dream contract may be far away, or you may even have to stay on site for weeks or months. Some people prefer to stay closer to home, so this can be a dealbreaker.</p><p>However, part of being your own boss is only accepting contracts you like. If you don’t have to work away from home, you can choose nearby gigs instead. You have all the control.</p><h2><strong>Handling Tax as an Engineer</strong></h2><p>When you’re in permanent employment, your boss will handle all the tax and national insurance contributions you must pay, as your income is processed through PAYE and national insurance deducted. However, once you become self-employed, whether as a sole trader or as the director of a limited company, you have to take care of this yourself.</p><p>You're an employee of your company, so you must know the correct way of paying yourself and paying the right amount of taxes, for example. As a sole trader, you have to submit your self-assessment tax return with details on how much money you made and how much you owe HMRC.</p><h2><strong>What About IR35?</strong></h2><p>At Gorilla Accounting, we know very well how IR35 impacts contractors across the nation. With the new changes arriving in April 2021, you should confirm whether any contracts you have – or accept in the future – are inside IR35.</p><p>If you are, then it means HMRC considers you an employee for tax purposes. If investigated, you may have to pay fines and back taxes. But, if some of your contracts are caught within IR35, you just need to pay the right amount of tax on them in order to avoid an HMRC investigation.</p><p>HMRC focuses on a few points to determine whether you’re a disguised employee or not, including:</p><ul><li> <p>Control – If you are under the direction and control of your client then this is a sign that your engagement would be inside IR35.</p> </li> <li> <p>Mutuality of Obligation – If you’re an employee, there is likely to be an obligation that your employer will continue to provide ongoing work for you.</p> </li> <li> <p>Right of Substitution – If you can have someone replace you for any reason, then this is more likely to be a business to business relationship rather than employer and employee.</p> </li> </ul><h2><strong>Get Insurance</strong></h2><p>Accidents happen and property can get damaged, so it’s crucial that you have insurance in place to protect your livelihood against the unexpected. You may also find that some companies prefer to deal only with contractors that are insured as well.</p><p>You may be the best engineer in the world but problems can still happen; for example, you can give the wrong advice or you can measure something wrong, which costs a lot of money to repair.</p><p>Before you start contracting, get the relevant <a href="https://gorillaaccounting.com/contractors-insurance/">contractors insurance</a> to protect you against claims and to give you peace of mind as you go about your day.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img class="leftAlone" title="" src="https://gorillaaccounting.com/assets/Uploads/_resampled/ResizedImageWzYwMCwzMzhd/Back-View-of-Industrial-Engineer.jpg" alt="Back View of Industrial Engineer" width="600" height="338"></p><h2><strong>Benefits of Being a Self-Employed Engineer</strong></h2><p>To round up the article, we’re taking a look at some of the reasons why you should become a self-employed engineer, including:</p><ul><li> <p>Freedom to choose the contracts you like</p> </li> <li> <p>Control over every aspect of your business (you make all decisions)</p> </li> <li> <p>Job satisfaction, as you’re doing what you love</p> </li> <li> <p>Variety of work, since no contract is the same and you can choose the most exciting projects to work on</p> </li> <li> <p>Higher wages because you can set your own rates</p> </li> <li> <p>You can get new equipment whenever you want</p> </li> <li> <p>You're able to set your own schedule</p> </li> </ul><p>As <a href="https://gorillaaccounting.com/accountants-for-engineers/">accountants for engineers</a>, we can help you grow your engineering business. Every case is unique and has its own challenges, so it’s important that you select an accountant who can understand the ins and outs of your company and industry.</p><p>When you become a client, you get 24/7 access to <a href="https://gorillaaccounting.com/free-agent-book-keeping-software/">FreeAgent accounting software</a>, so you can manage your accounts on the go, no matter where you are. You also receive real-time information, so you can make key business decisions easily.</p><p><a href="https://gorillaaccounting.com/general-enquiries/">Speak to us</a> today on <a href="tel:03300240406">0330 024 0406</a> for more information about our services and how we can help your business become more tax-efficient.</p> Wed, 17 Feb 2021 15:50:04 +0000 https://gorillaaccounting.com/blog/a-guide-to-becoming-a-self-employed-engineer/ IR35 Update & How Changes Under the New Finance Bill Could Affect You https://gorillaaccounting.com/blog/ir35-update/ <p> </p><p>If you are self-employed as a Contractor or Freelancer, or indeed you work with the same as a recruiter/agency, then you need to be aware of the changes as they potentially affect your working practices directly. The summary below sets out how the changes may affect the private sector with regard to off-payroll working reforms.</p><p>The proposed changes, although not as draconian as expected, do mean that you need to review your working practices regularly to ensure you remain compliant. Although much of the responsibility for determining IR35 status will fall on your client, you still have a vested interest as the Contractor or Recruiter, to ensure the determination is accurate and monitored.</p><p>For those of you who are compliant and operate correctly outside of IR35 – you have nothing to worry about. The legislation is aimed at targeting those individuals who blur the lines of Self-Employment and manipulate the current system to afford themselves a more favourable tax position.</p><h2><strong>The Changes Under the New Finance Bill</strong></h2><p>From April 2020, new legislation outlined in the draft Finance Bill proposes that private sector clients will be responsible for assessing contractors’ IR35 status, shifting the responsibility from contractors as has been the case since the introduction of IR35. This measure will apply to contractors who engage with medium or large-sized organisations in the private sector, while engagements with small organisations outside the public sector will be exempt, in an attempt to reduce the administrative burden; therefore, contractors engaging with small companies will still be responsible for determining their IR35 status, as before.</p><p>HMRC defines a small company based on the guidelines set out by the Companies Act 2006, which describes three main criteria in order to qualify as a small company:</p><ul><li> <p>Annual turnover must not exceed £10.2 million</p> </li> <li> <p>Assets outlined on the balance sheet must not total more than £5.1 million</p> </li> <li> <p>No more than 50 people employed by the company</p> </li> </ul><p>Should a company exceed the above conditions, it will then be considered either a medium or large company and will therefore be responsible for evaluating their contractors’ IR35 status. By clients we mean the end company/organisation which you/the Contractor provides their services to. The Client will be required to pass their status determination and supporting reasons for their conclusions to both the first party they contract with in the labour supply chain, and the worker.</p><p>When assessing IR35 status, the end client or agency must complete a status determination, meaning that there should be no blanket assessments placing contractors inside IR35. Any issues surrounding the determination will be addressed via a new ‘client-led status determination process’. The full details of what this process will include are yet to be published.</p><p>As a result, a contractor will be able to dispute their status by appealing directly to their client, should they feel a decision has been made incorrectly. With this in mind, it is important that contractors work with their clients to continue to ensure that their contracts accurately reflect their working practices and remain classed as outside IR35 where appropriate.</p><p>Guidance on how clients can take ‘reasonable care’ to decide their status and how the dispute process could operate will be published by HMRC.</p><h2><strong>Implementation</strong></h2><p>Over the next few months HMRC will release further guidance on the new legislation and will roll out targeted communications to raise awareness.</p><p>An updated online Check Employment Status Tool (‘CEST’) will be made available before the end of the year, although it’s still unclear what changes will be made to the tool. It will be interesting to see whether the points raised following the recent success taxpayers have had in court arguing that IR35 does not apply to them are also addressed in the update.</p><p>Rules surrounding who would be considered an employee for IR35 purposes remain the same, the only difference being the party who determines this shifting from the contractor to the end client as described above. The new regulations should therefore not alter the status of a contract, providing it has been correctly identified as either inside or outside based on the existing guidelines surrounding IR35.</p><h2><strong>Non-Compliance for Medium and Large Companies</strong></h2><p>The draft legislation suggests that the liability for any unpaid PAYE and NIC transfers to the party in the supply chain closest to the client and, if necessary, ultimately to the client itself.</p><p>The draft legislation, however, does recognise that in certain situations (unclear what these are at this stage) it would be inappropriate for HMRC to pursue unpaid liabilities in this way. HMRC will indeed issue detailed guidance on this in due course and clarify further which steps clients will need to have taken to show “reasonable care”.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img class="leftAlone" title="" src="https://gorillaaccounting.com/assets/Uploads/adult-banking-blonde-1059119-4.jpg" alt="adult banking blonde 1059119 4" width="600" height="479"></p><h2><strong>How Will the IR35 Update Affect Me?</strong></h2><p>The new legislation will act as an extension to existing regulations surrounding IR35 in order to increase compliance and is aimed at individuals supplying their services through an intermediary to a medium or large-sized organisation. HMRC’s view on the impact of this that “those who are complying with the existing rules should feel little impact. The measure is targeted at individuals who are not compliant with the current rules.”</p><p>So, the main effects will be felt by those who are non-compliant, meaning they will be required to pay tax at the correct levels, which could incur additional tax liabilities as a result.</p><p>The flexible workforce remains an important part of the economy and we anticipate that demand for contractors and freelancers will not be affected by the updated regulations, as the criteria surrounding IR35 itself are not changing.</p><p>Providing contractors have taken the necessary steps to ensure compliance, they will not be likely to encounter any issues as a result of the new legislation. A proactive approach is ideal in this scenario, so contractors should begin discussing the updated regulations with their clients sooner rather than later, to make sure that both parties are informed and compliant in their working practices.</p><h2><strong>What is IR35 Compliant?</strong></h2><p>The legislation is complex, so you may be asking yourself: am I IR35 compliant? And what can I do to prepare for the new April 2021 changes?</p><p>Being IR35 compliant simply means paying the right amount of tax and national insurance contributions if you’re within IR35. Because the responsibility of confirming the IR35 status will change from the employee to the agency or end client, if you're caught by this legislation, the agency or end client will also be accountable for tax and national insurance deductions.</p><p>In short, you have to pay national insurance and PAYE on the salaries you draw throughout the year.</p><p>At the end of the tax year, it's important to ensure that you’ve made the right deductions. This is because the salary you get after these deductions is called a ‘deemed payment’ and it’s how you’ll receive most of your income if you’re inside IR35.</p><p>Many people are worrying about how to be IR35 compliant, so you’re not alone. The good news is that it’s not your company that can be within IR35, but the contracts you take on, so even if some are inside IR35, some possibly won’t. This is also why it’s usually still tax-efficient to operate through a limited company (we can also help you <a href="https://gorillaaccounting.com/setting-up-a-limited-company/">set up a limited company</a>, so speak to us to see how it can benefit you).</p><p>Companies must be aware of their new responsibilities and must understand what IR35-compliant contracts mean. The same is true of consequences, so that they can correctly determine the status of potential employees.</p><p>As for contractors, you can take steps to help make sure you’re IR35 compliant by taking the <a href="https://www.gov.uk/guidance/check-employment-status-for-tax">HMRC IR35 test</a>, which will allow you to assess your current business practices. You can also provide a substitute if necessary, as this is a crucial element in HMRC investigations and can help you being found outside IR35.</p><p>There are many other ways to remain compliant, so don’t hesitate to talk to a specialist who can advise you further. Due to the complicated nature of this legislation, it’s better to be safe than sorry.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img class="leftAlone" title="" src="https://gorillaaccounting.com/assets/Uploads/desk-electronics-hands-159762.jpg" alt="desk electronics hands 159762" width="600" height="400"></p><h2><strong>HMRC Loses IR35 Cases</strong></h2><p>It’s also important to remember that HMRC is not all-powerful and have, in fact, lost a significant number of IR35, some of them high-profile.</p><p>The latest is Helen Fospero, who avoided paying £80,000 in income tax and national insurance contributions after being able to prove that she was outside IR35. While HMRC argued that the ITV presenter was an ITV employee and owed back-taxes for the 2013-13 and 2013-14 tax years, Fospero was considered self-employed by a First Tier Tribunal judge.</p><p>Other cases include Paul Hawksbee, who was considered to be inside IR35 by HMRC but appealed this decision and ended up avoiding a tax bill of £140,000, and Kaye Adams, who managed to avoid a PAYE tax bill of £81,000 and a further £43,000 in national insurance contributions.</p><p>Lorraine Kelly was another famous figure who fought back against an HRMC tax bill of £1.2 million.</p><p>If you’d like to read more about IR35 losses, we have written a comprehensive article titled ‘<a href="https://gorillaaccounting.com/blog/-hmrc-lose-more-ir35-cases-/">HMRC Lose More IR35 Cases</a>’.</p><h2><strong>Our Opinion</strong></h2><p>The changes are not as bad as everyone expected. For those that are genuinely self-employed and operate outside of IR35, there should be nothing to worry about. It is, however, crucial that you as a Contractor, or a Recruiter, ensure you align yourself with a specialist advisor in this area.</p><p>Our IR35 expert partners, <a href="https://gorillaaccounting.com/[sitetree_link,id=]#https:/gorilla.kingsbridge.co.uk/buy" target="_blank">Kingsbridge Contractor Insurance</a>, can provide the professional advice you need to make sure you’re on the right track, so get in touch with us on <a href="tel:03300240406">0330 024 0406</a> to learn more or send us an <a href="https://gorillaaccounting.com/general-enquiries/">online enquiry</a>.</p><h2><strong>How Can Gorilla Help?</strong></h2><p>Our advice surrounding IR35 and being IR35 compliant remains the same. We are specialist Accountants/Advisors to the self-employed and we live and breathe IR35 every single day.</p><p>Our advice is simple – have your contracts properly reviewed. We have specialist advisors connected to Gorilla who can quickly look at your papers and give you an accurate determination as to your current IR35 status. The consequences of not getting specialist advice or indeed operating in a non-compliant way could be devastating for you and your company.</p><p>At Gorilla Accounting, we specialise in providing a service for freelancers, locums and contractors and we will continue to support our customers by providing tailored tax and accounting advice throughout these changes, to ensure our clients stay informed and have the necessary tools at hand to maximise their finances.</p><p>Ultimately, we expect contractors who are fully compliant will notice little change once the bill is in effect and we will continue to offer advice and guidance to our contractor clients.</p><p>If you are affected by the above, then <a href="https://gorillaaccounting.com/general-enquiries/">get in touch</a> with us as soon as possible.</p><p><em>If you would like to read further on the subject, then </em><a href="https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/rules-for-off-payroll-working-from-april-2020"><em>here is a useful link to the draft legislation</em></a><em>.</em></p> Mon, 15 Feb 2021 08:00:00 +0000 https://gorillaaccounting.com/blog/ir35-update/ Brexit: Where Are We Now? https://gorillaaccounting.com/blog/brexit-where-are-we-now/ <p> </p><p>With the start of the new year, the UK has also entered a new phase when it comes to business and trade. The UK is now completely out of the EU and considered a third country, which means businesses must make changes to ensure the flow of people, goods, data, and more, between them and the EU.</p><p>So, in this article, we’re taking a look at what Brexit means for the self-employed now that a UK/EU agreement has been drafted, as we like to stay on top of the latest developments as <a href="https://gorillaaccounting.com/">contractor accountants</a>.</p><h2><strong>What Does the UK/EU Deal Entail?</strong></h2><p>Now that the transition period is over and we’re operating under new rules, it’s crucial that contractors and freelancers know all they can about the deal. The most obvious thing is that the post-Brexit agreement is currently leaving businesses with more barriers to trade than they had while in the EU.</p><p>There have been some issues at the border since 1 January 2021, with lorry drivers and business owners facing new rules and legislation. This has led to <a href="https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-55659006">heavy delays</a> and to the <a href="https://www.aljazeera.com/economy/2021/1/20/bb-cantcope-after-brexit-uk-border-customs-system-hits-limit">UK border customs system reaching its limit</a>, among other problems.</p><p>There appears to be both positive and negative takeaways from the deal. The agreement is fairly complicated and long at over 1,200 pages, but some of its key points that may impact the self-employed include:</p><ul><li> <p>There’ll be no tariffs on goods moving between the UK and EU or limits on how much can be traded, which is good news for many businesses. However, there are new customs procedures to follow, which are causing confusion at the border.</p> </li> <li> <p>UK businesses must certify the origin of their products to quality for tariff-free trade.</p> </li> <li> <p>Hauliers can move between the UK and EU without the need for European Conference of Ministers of Transport permits.</p> </li> <li> <p>You can continue transporting goods by plane without restrictions - the only difference is that UK airlines can’t fly between two places in the EU.</p> </li> <li> <p>A deal on energy supply is included in the agreement, which is important because the UK imports 8% of power from the continent.</p> </li> <li> <p>Brexit won’t affect how most UK companies report information to Companies House, but some EU organisations will no longer be able to register in the UK.</p> </li> <li> <p>While the UK no longer has to comply with EU data protection regulation, things will stay the same for, at least, four months (if the UK doesn’t change the rules).</p> </li> </ul><p>We've already spoken about <a href="https://gorillaaccounting.com/blog/brexit-and-self-employment-what-s-next/">Brexit’s impact on self-employment</a>, so check out our article or get in touch if you want to learn more or need help with tax rules and legislation.</p><h2><strong>Check Your Website Domain</strong></h2><p>We were already going through a digital revolution, with most businesses needing a digital presence, even if just a website or social media. However, with the pandemic and consequent lockdowns, an online presence is now essential. However, because of Brexit, it’s important that you check whether you can still continue using your domain.</p><p>This will only apply if you hold a .eu domain. You can only have one if you’re an EU/EEA citizen (or reside in the EU/EEA) and if you’re an organisation established in the EU/EEA. You will lose your .eu domain otherwise, so make sure you’re still eligible to use it. The deadline to confirm this is March 31<sup>st</sup>.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img class="leftAlone" title="" src="https://gorillaaccounting.com/assets/Uploads/_resampled/ResizedImageWzYwMCw0MDBd/working-on-laptop.jpg" alt="working on laptop" width="600" height="400"></p><h2><strong>Self-Employed in the Services Sector</strong></h2><p>There isn’t a lot of information on the services sector, which accounted for <a href="https://commonslibrary.parliament.uk/research-briefings/sn02786/">80% of the UK’s economy</a> just in 2019, which means businesses providing services like banking are still uncertain about what’s going to happen.</p><p>What's known so far is that these businesses will lose the automatic right to access EU markets and professional qualifications will no longer be automatically recognised. If you’re a <a href="https://gorillaaccounting.com/accountants-for-locum-doctors-pharmacists/">locum doctor</a> or <a href="https://gorillaaccounting.com/accountants-for-surveyors-architects/">architect</a>, for example, you’ll have to check the rules of each EU member to ensure your qualifications are accepted.</p><p>However, not everything is negative. Both the UK and EU are looking to improve the service sector in the near future, so things may change very soon.</p><h2><strong>Brexit and the Construction Industry</strong></h2><p>There’s been a positive reception to the UK/EU deal on the part of the construction sector. This is because the agreement means no tariffs, quotas or duties, which will make life easier for the businesses who want to keep moving materials between the UK and EU.</p><p>Both have also agreed on trader schemes and cooperation in customs at the border, which is meant to reduce admin and delays. In the same vein, an agreement on the collection of VAT and debt recovery also ensures that the UK can set and control taxes as it sees fit.</p><p>James Butcher, head of policy at the National Federation of Builders and chair of the Construction Leadership Council’s Brexit working group, <a href="https://www.builders.org.uk/news/uk-eu-trade-deal-a-good-day-for-british-construction-says-nfb/">says that</a>: “The UK and EU’s announcement of a trade deal will come as welcome relief, not just to the construction industry but to the global economy. The agreements reached will enable construction companies to continue to reliably forecast the cost and availability of products and materials imported from the EU or comprising components made in the EU.</p><p>“The mutual co-operation in respect of reducing technical trade barriers and co-operation at the border will also undoubtedly help to avoid some of the risks of delay and disruption. This deal delivers certainty at a time when it is needed most and represents a good day for British construction.”</p><p>When it comes to quality, EU regulations control the quality of construction materials and goods, such as the CE mark. Products with this mark will continue to move into the UK until 1 January 2022, after which the government will replace it with the UKCA, which industry experts hope will be equivalent. If so, it means there’ll be no need for additional testing and products can be mutually recognised.</p><h2><strong>Labour in a Post-Brexit Era</strong></h2><p>Things have also changed in regard to the movement of people, as there’s no more free movement between citizens of the EU and UK. This means new immigration rules and, of course, new labour legislation. EU citizens with settled status can remain in the UK, and those living in the UK before 1 January 2021 can stay until 30 June 2021 if they’ve applied for the scheme but received no answer yet.</p><p>Now, people who want to work in the UK is subject to a points-based system, designed to attract skilled workers like engineers, architects, surveyors, carpenters, and more. Because of the new rules, some companies are worried about their ability to hire workforce from the EU, as this could delay domestic projects, for example.</p><p>This is one of the main reasons why contractors will be in demand, since they are ready to hit the ground running. Contractors and sole traders can fill in any position in a company without the need for training, which saves business owners money and time. UK self-employed individuals are not subject to these new immigration rules either, so they’ll be an attractive option for many companies.</p><h2><strong>Higher Taxes for Freelancers?</strong></h2><p>Due to the pandemic and the havoc it’s been causing to the UK economy, the government seeks to repair this damage with higher taxes. In 2020, the coronavirus outbreak caused deficit to grow to around £400 billion, and a raise in income tax, for example, is expected to help fix the issue by adding approximately £200 billion a year.</p><p>We may see a hike in Capital Gains Tax as well, as the Treasury expects this to rake in over £14 billion; many are afraid this move will hinder entrepreneurship, since the tax rate on investments could double from 20% to 40% for higher rate taxpayers and from 10% to 20% for basic rate taxpayers.</p><p>Other tax raises could be on National Insurance Contributions, which would also impact the self-employed. While this issue is not strictly related to Brexit, it certainly doesn’t help to assuage worries, as many contractors and freelancers are concerned of the ‘double attack’ of the pandemic and the UK’s exit from the EU.</p><p>However, the government is also providing help through grants and schemes, which aims to assist business owners across the nation. For example, the <a href="https://gorillaaccounting.com/blog/furlough-scheme-extended-april-2021/">furlough scheme has been extended until April 2021</a>, which helped many to breathe a sigh of relief.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img class="leftAlone" title="" src="https://gorillaaccounting.com/assets/Uploads/_resampled/ResizedImageWzYwMCw0MDBd/self-employed-potter.jpg" alt="self employed potter" width="600" height="400"></p><h2><strong>Changes to VAT</strong></h2><p>When it comes to UK/EU VAT changes, it’s not just the import and export of goods that are affected. The main change is that the EC sales list is no longer required unless the seller is based in Northern Ireland. VAT MOSS has also suffered changes, as the regular scheme is no longer available for UK clients.</p><h3><strong>Supplying Services to the EU</strong></h3><p>All supplies of digital services to consumers in EU member states are liable for VAT in the consumer’s member state. The £8,818 annual threshold for cross borders sales of digital services to EU consumers no longer applies. This means that EU VAT will be due on all supplies of digital services to EU consumers, regardless of the value of the sales.The place of supply will be where the consumer is located.</p><p>You must either:</p><ul><li> <p>Register for the Non-Union VAT MOSS scheme in an EU member state</p> </li> <li> <p>Register for VAT in each EU member state where you supply digital services to consumers</p> </li> </ul><p>Any UK clients currently on the VAT MOSS scheme can technically continue to do so; however, they must register for the “Non-Union” MOSS scheme. They must do this by the 10<sup>th</sup>of the month following a digital sale (for example, if digital sales are made in February, the registration must be completed by 10<sup>th</sup>March).</p><h3><strong>Importing Goods from the EU</strong></h3><p>There may be situations where businesses must pay UK VAT on goods imported from overseas. The new legislation means that products under the value of £135 will have UK VAT applied at the point of sale if the seller is based overseas, even if the goods are already in the UK.</p><p>If an online marketplace is involved in the sale of the product (for instance, Amazon), it’s their responsibility to account for VAT.</p><h3><strong>Exporting Goods to the EU</strong></h3><p>VAT-registered UK businesses continue to be able to zero-rate sales of goods to EU businesses. EU member states will treat goods entering the EU from the UK in the same ways as goods entering from other non-EU countries. This means that import VAT and any customs duties are due when the goods arrive in the EU.</p><p>Instead of the EC sales list, UK VAT-registered businesses exporting zero-rated goods to the EU have to retain evidence that the goods have left the UK.</p><h2><strong>Becoming Self-Employed</strong></h2><p>Despite everything – especially the uncertainties of Brexit and the impact Covid’s had on businesses and the economy – this is still a good time to become a contractor or sole trader. You get to make your own rules and schedule, take on the projects you like and charge how much you want. The lack of tariffs and quotas is another positive for businesses who want to trade with the EU.</p><p><a href="https://gorillaaccounting.com/blog/firms-looking-to-hire-contractors-2021/">Firms will still be looking to hire contractors in 2021</a> and, with Manchester’s reputation as the fastest-growing tech city in Europe and second only to London when it comes to tech investment, now’s also a good time to <a href="https://gorillaaccounting.com/blog/why-you-should-consider-it-contracting-today/">take the leap into IT contracting</a>.</p><p>At Gorilla Accounting, we understand this can be a daunting step to take, but we’re here to help in anyway we can. Our clients get expert advice and 24/7 access to <a href="https://gorillaaccounting.com/free-agent-book-keeping-software/">FreeAgent accounting software</a>, not to mention an answer to their most urgent queries on the same day when they contact us before 3pm.</p><p>Find out more about how to make your business more tax-efficient by <a href="https://gorillaaccounting.com/general-enquiries/">getting in touch</a> with us on <a href="tel:03300240406">0330 024 0406</a>.</p> Mon, 01 Feb 2021 16:22:00 +0000 https://gorillaaccounting.com/blog/brexit-where-are-we-now/ 'Quick wins' can help self-employed Britons with their taxes this year https://gorillaaccounting.com/blog/quick-wins-help-self-employed-britons-with-taxes/ <p> </p><p><span style="color: #333333;"><span style="font-family: Arial, serif;"><span style="font-size: small;"><span>SEISS, otherwise known as the Self Employment Income Support Scheme, has provided financial help to self-employed people impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.</span></span></span></span></p><p><span style="color: #333333;"><span style="font-family: Arial, serif;"><span style="font-size: small;"><span>But, undoubtedly, 2021 will be a highly pressured year for these individuals, with a number of responsibilities to meet. Alongside trying to keep a business running amid a lockdown and applying for SEISS support, many self-employed Britons will also need to file a Self-Assessment tax return by the end of January.</span></span></span></span></p><p><span style="color: #333333;"><span style="font-family: Arial, serif;"><span style="font-size: small;"><span>Our Operations Manager, Richard Hepburn ACCA, was featured in the Daily Express offering some great tips and advice on making the best of your taxes as a self-employed individual.</span></span></span></span></p><p><span style="color: #333333;"><span style="font-family: Arial, serif;"><span style="font-size: small;"><span>Read more about it </span></span></span></span><span style="color: #0563c1;"><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><a href="https://www.express.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/1388626/SEISS-self-employment-tax-support-pension-tax-allowances-self-assessment-2021-exclusive"><span style="font-family: Arial, serif;"><span style="font-size: small;"><span>HERE</span></span></span></a></span></span><span style="color: #333333;"><span style="font-family: Arial, serif;"><span style="font-size: small;"><span>.</span></span></span></span></p><p><span style="color: #333333;"><span style="font-family: Arial, serif;"><span style="font-size: small;"><span>Another great example of people leaning on the expertise of our accountants here at Gorilla.</span></span></span></span></p><p><span style="color: #333333;"><span style="font-family: Arial, serif;"><span style="font-size: small;"><span>Are you self-employed and looking for an award-winning accountant to take the stress away so you can focus on your business?</span></span></span></span></p><p><span style="color: #0563c1;"><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><a href="https://gorillaaccounting.com/general-enquiries/"><span style="font-family: Arial, serif;"><span style="font-size: small;"><span>Contact us</span></span></span></a></span></span><span style="color: #333333;"><span style="font-family: Arial, serif;"><span style="font-size: small;"><span> today for a FREE personal tax consultation with an accountant.</span></span></span></span></p><p> </p><p> </p> Wed, 27 Jan 2021 15:39:00 +0000 https://gorillaaccounting.com/blog/quick-wins-help-self-employed-britons-with-taxes/ What to Do if You Left Your Self-Assessment Tax Return for Last-Minute? https://gorillaaccounting.com/blog/what-to-do-if-you-left-your-self-assessment-for-last-minute/ <p>With the end of January approaching, the self-assessment tax return deadline is looming for the self-employed. Many people have to fill out and submit a tax return; for example, if they’re a sole trader, if they have other untaxed income (from investments, savings and dividends), or if they're a buy-to-let-landlord.</p><p>January can be a stressful month for self-employed individuals because of this, especially if you’re at risk of missing the deadline. So, if you’ve left it until last-minute or were unable to send it before now for any reason, take a look at how you can get it filled and submitted with little to no fuss.</p><h2><strong>Submitting by 31<sup>st</sup> January</strong></h2><p>As <a href="https://gorillaaccounting.com/">contractor accountants</a>, we aim to help you avoid that automatic £100 penalty you’ll incur if you miss the 31<sup>st</sup> January deadline and are up to 3 months late.</p><p>A lot of self-employed individuals will be leaving things until the last-minute, which can cause delays and even issues in the HMRC system. So, even though we’re already mid-way through the month and it seems like a lot of work to do, you’ll want to start as soon as possible to ensure you submit your return by the end of January.</p><h2><strong>Check If You Have Everything Ready</strong></h2><p>The last thing you want is to suddenly find out you have no access to the government’s system, so make sure you’re prepared with everything you need. This includes your Unique Taxpayer Reference number and your Gateway user ID which will allow you to access the Government Gateway.</p><p>Once you register with HMRC and your account is created, you’ll get a letter with your Unique Taxpayer Reference number within 10 days if you’re in the UK – you'll also receive a letter with an activation code for your account.</p><p>There are many things to take into account that can delay your submission, especially if you’ve not filed a return before – so, check ahead of time if you’re able to access the system.</p><h2><strong>Calculating Expenses</strong></h2><p>When you don’t have a lot of time to submit your return, you may not get the chance to actually calculate all expenses you’ve had throughout the tax year. It takes time to go through everything so, instead, you may be able to use flat rates for everything if you’re working from home, for example.</p><p>If you’re unsure whether you can do this, don’t hesitate to contact professional <a href="https://gorillaaccounting.com/self-assessment-tax-return-services/">self-assessment accountants</a> who can help. At Gorilla Accounting, we’re able to offer advice and even complete your tax return for you while advising you on minimising tax liability. We can liaise with HMRC if necessary as well.</p><h2><strong>Claim Your Allowable Expenses</strong></h2><p>As a business owner, you need to keep records for, at least, 6 years, so it’s highly likely you’ll already have all the information you need for the current return. In this case, you only need to gather all existing invoices and receipts to figure out the expenses you can claim.</p><p>You can check on the HMRC’s site to confirm what you can and can’t claim, but it’s essential you do this in order to work out your taxable profit. This means you may end up paying more than you should on your return if you don’t account for your deductions.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img class="leftAlone" title="" src="https://gorillaaccounting.com/assets/Uploads/_resampled/ResizedImageWzYwMCw0MDBd/checking-receipts.jpg" alt="checking receipts" width="600" height="400"></p><h2><strong>Double-Check Everything</strong></h2><p>It may be tempting to send out your form as soon as it’s completed to get it out of the way. We understand that, especially because self-employed individuals can spend a lot of time on it instead of focusing on their business. However, it’s crucial that you check and re-check everything before you send it.</p><p>This is because you may incur penalties for mistakes on your return. HMRC will determine if you were careless or made a mistake on purpose, for example, before deciding how much to charge you.</p><p>So, if they decide you’ve been careless, you can end up paying anything between 0% to 30% of the extra tax you owe. If you’ve made an underestimation of how much you should be paying HMRC, your penalty can be between 20% and 70%. If you underestimated the amount owed but tried to hide this, your penalty can be higher (between 30% and 100%).</p><p>You have some time to correct an issue on your returns, so write to HMRC and explain your situation to fix it as soon as you can.</p><h2><strong>Pay the Tax You Owe</strong></h2><p>It can be easy to get bogged down by all the paperwork and actually forget you have to pay HMRC the right amount of tax. Keep it in mind when you’re filling the return out and consider the payment method you’ve chosen. Typically, if you pay by debit card, the payment will go through the same day (or the day after). If you pay with direct debit, the payment can end up taking a few days.</p><p>So, make sure you have enough time to send the payment to HMRC in order to avoid late penalties.</p><h2><strong>Don’t Postpone the Return Even If You Can't Pay the Bill</strong></h2><p>Even if you can’t pay the amount of tax you owe, it’s crucial that you complete and submit your self-assessment tax return. Having penalties to pay on top of your bill will make your situation even worse – additionally, you may be able to pay HMRC in instalments.</p><p>While this option does mean you’ll be paying interest, you have more time to settle your tax bill without worrying about HMRC knocking on your door. In order to set up a payment plan, you must owe £30,000 or less and not have any other debts or payments plans with HMRC.</p><p>It's worth keeping in mind that, if you’re very late with your return (over 60 days past the deadline), you won’t be able to set up a plan, so don’t postpone it.</p><h2><strong>Get an Accountant to Help</strong></h2><p>Tax returns can be complex matters, especially if you don’t have much time to fill it out. A specialist accountant can help every step of the way and even do it for you. This way, you can be confident that, despite submitting the return last-minute, your documentation is still correct and with no errors.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img class="leftAlone" title="" src="https://gorillaaccounting.com/assets/Uploads/_resampled/ResizedImageWzYwMCw0MDBd/calculating-tax-bill.jpg" alt="calculating tax bill" width="600" height="400"></p><p>As <a href="https://gorillaaccounting.com/self-assessment-tax-return-services/">self-assessment accountants</a>, we’ll ensure everything is submitted on time so you don’t pay penalties and fines, and all you need to do is send us copies of your records – then relax as we handle it!</p><p>We also offer 24/7 access to <a href="https://gorillaaccounting.com/free-agent-book-keeping-software/">FreeAgent accounting software</a> to all our clients, so that you stay organised throughout the year and, most importantly, when it’s time to fill and submit your tax return.</p><p>To learn more about our services, don’t hesitate to <a href="https://gorillaaccounting.com/general-enquiries/">get in touch</a> today on <a href="tel:03300240406">0330 024 0406</a> to speak to a member of our team.</p> Wed, 27 Jan 2021 15:13:58 +0000 https://gorillaaccounting.com/blog/what-to-do-if-you-left-your-self-assessment-for-last-minute/ Do I Still Have Time To Complete My 2019/20 Self-Assessment? https://gorillaaccounting.com/blog/do-i-have-time-self-assessment/ <p>With the 31/01/2021 deadline less than 2 weeks away, if you haven’t already filed your self-assessment for 2019/20 then it’s essential that you complete this immediately.</p><p>If you fail to file before the end of January 2021, you will receive an immediate £100 fine for late submission, and this will be subject to interest the longer you go without paying.</p><p>With HMRC already warning the self-employed that their <a href="https://www.contractorweekly.com/tax-a-ir35-news/hmrc-in-meltdown/">customer service team are on the verge of collapse</a> due to the high volume of applications, there is no time to delay. With further warnings that call waiting times have tripled in recent weeks, there are around 5.4million self-assessment forms yet to be submitted.</p><p>At Gorilla Accounting, we can take the stress away from filing your self-assessment, but we would encourage you to <a href="https://gorillaaccounting.com/general-enquiries/">get in touch</a> today to ensure your application goes through in time. You can also use our quick and easy <a href="https://gorillaaccounting.com/personal-tax-questionnaire/">online personal tax questionnaire</a> to get started immediately.</p><h2>Why Choose Gorilla Accounting?</h2><p>If you’re struggling to find the time to submit your self-assessment form, then it’s vital you enlist a respected and skilled team of accountants to act on your behalf. At Gorilla Accounting, we specialise in accountancy for the self-employed, so you know you can trust us when it comes to filing your accounts accurately and quickly.</p><p>Here’s just some of the reasons you should choose Gorilla Accounting for your self-assessment submission:</p><ul><li>Enjoy peace of mind knowing that a fully qualified accountant has reviewed your figures of bookkeeping prior to submission.</li> <li>We can take away the stress of waiting in a queue to get through to HMRC, allowing you to focus on growing your business and earning more money.</li> <li>Our experts will thoroughly evaluate your accounts, giving you detailed information on where you stand with your taxes to move forward.</li> <li>Benefit from our accountant’s wealth of experience on allowances and expenses that you may be able to claim.</li> <li>Avoid penalties and interest which can build up if left for a long period of time.</li> </ul><p>Our team of <a href="https://gorillaaccounting.com/">contractor accountants</a> can still help, so please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us if you haven’t filed your self-assessment for 2019/20 yet. Prices start from just £100+VAT and we can ensure you file on time, avoiding any penalties or fines for late submissions.</p><p>Please complete our <a href="https://gorillaaccounting.com/personal-tax-questionnaire/">online questionnaire</a> to see how we can help you now.</p> Thu, 21 Jan 2021 00:00:00 +0000 https://gorillaaccounting.com/blog/do-i-have-time-self-assessment/ Why You Should Consider IT Contracting Today https://gorillaaccounting.com/blog/why-you-should-consider-it-contracting-today/ <p>There are many benefits to becoming an IT contractor, such as the possibility of earning more money and complete control over your career and schedule. If you’re considering it, whether as a sole trader or by setting up a limited company, you’re not alone – there were 6 million businesses in the UK at the start of 2020, with 5.94 million of them being SMEs.</p><p>As <a href="https://gorillaaccounting.com/it-contractor-accountants/">IT contractor accountants</a>, we believe this is a good time for individuals to take the leap, and in this article, we’re looking at some of the main reasons.</p><h2><strong>More Investments in Technology</strong></h2><p>Manchester is now second-only to London when it comes to tech investment, according to The Business Desk. In a recent article, they mention how Manchester has cemented a reputation as the fastest-growing tech city in Europe, having overtaken Cambridge for the first time ever.</p><p>The city has a strong connection to manufacturing, a sector that helped eCommerce thrive. The presence of fast-growing tech companies, like Auto Trader UK, ensures the digital market continues to grow – there are now over 100,000 people employed in Manchester in this industry.</p><p>Many believe Manchester can grow even more, with the likelihood of more technology investments. According to the piece, there are 3,690 IT vacancies in the city and 4,235 across Greater Manchester.</p><p>This means IT contractors could benefit from plenty of work from both small and larger businesses. There is an effort to discuss the challenges that the IT sector faces, as well as how to create jobs, which could further help those interested in striking out on their own.</p><p>As mentioned, one of the main perks of being a contractor is being able to make more money; according to Adzuna, an employment site for job ads, the average IT salary in Manchester is £49,765, while the average salary across the city is £37,197.</p><p>As <a href="https://gorillaaccounting.com/contractors-limited-company-accountants/">limited company accountants</a>, we can help you set up a business and manage your accounts, so speak to us if you’d like to learn more.</p><h2><strong>Contractors in Demand</strong></h2><p>Despite concerns over Brexit and IR35, contractors will likely see a rise in demand for their services. This might be especially true in the IT sector, considering the importance technology plays in our lives and jobs. This has become even more apparent since the start of the pandemic, which saw digital-based businesses (or businesses with a digital presence and offering) thrive.</p><p>It's likely that we’ll continue to see IT contractors in high demand because of what they bring to the table:</p><ul><li> <p>They specialise in certain skills, like cloud computing.</p> </li> <li> <p>Companies don’t have to spend time and money training contractors.</p> </li> <li> <p>Companies can hire a contractor to fill a vacancy quickly or to complete a project without having to hire additional personnel.</p> </li> </ul><h2><strong>Government Help</strong></h2><p>It's also worth mentioning that the UK government is helping business owners with grants and loans because of the coronavirus pandemic. If you’re on the fence about becoming an IT contractor because you fear a lack of support, then this may help you to make a decision.</p><p>From the furlough scheme and the business rates relief to the VAT payments’ deferment and the bounce back loan, you may find it’s not as challenging as you think to build and grow an IT business at the moment.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img class="leftAlone" title="" src="https://gorillaaccounting.com/assets/Uploads/_resampled/ResizedImageWzYwMCw0MDBd/IT-contractor-working-with-program-code.jpg" alt="IT contractor working with program code" width="600" height="400"></p><h2><strong>What About Job Security?</strong></h2><p>This has always been one of the main concerns for contractors, no matter which sector they work in. And, when you’re permanently employed, you also get benefits such as holiday leave, sick pay and maternity leave from your employer, which doesn’t automatically happen when you’re your own boss.</p><p>However, as we’ve seen with the COVID-19 pandemic, being permanently employed is not a guarantee of job security. Many people were made redundant when companies started to struggle.</p><p>There are also downsides to setting up a business – you must find work yourself, so you have to continually promote your business and your skills and look for new gigs.</p><p>On the other hand, becoming an IT contractor means that you’re in control of everything. You can’t get fired and can progress your career the way you see fit. You can also accept only the contracts you like, as opposed to doing what’s been asked of you by an employer.</p><p>For those who worry that there may be periods where they have a lot of work and others where they have less, it’s crucial to diversify your sources of revenue. So, if you work with several clients at once, you won’t run out of work when you finish a gig.</p><p>If you’re considering IT contracting, now’s the time, especially with the growing demand for contractors and increased investment in technology. And, as <a href="https://gorillaaccounting.com/">contractor accountants</a>, we can handle the financial side of your business while you focus on running your day-to-day operations.</p><p>Our <a href="https://gorillaaccounting.com/free-agent-book-keeping-software/">FreeAgent accounting software</a> also allows you to access your accounts and transactions in real-time, help you to make fast business decisions and to keep yourself organised. So, <a href="https://gorillaaccounting.com/general-enquiries/">contact us</a> today on <a href="tel:%2003300240406">0330 024 0406</a> if you want to know more about becoming an IT contractor and how we can help.</p> Fri, 15 Jan 2021 10:30:00 +0000 https://gorillaaccounting.com/blog/why-you-should-consider-it-contracting-today/ New Year's Resolutions for Contractors and Freelancers https://gorillaaccounting.com/blog/new-year-s-resolutions-for-contractors-and-freelancers/ <p>2020 was a year packed with surprises, twists and turns. Now that we’ve welcomed in the new year, it’s time to put it all behind us and look ahead to what 2021 will bring. For contractors and freelancers, this time of year is a great opportunity to analyse your business, the successes, the failures, and the goals you want to achieve in the next twelve months.</p><p>In this article, we're looking at ways that self-employed individuals can grow their business and become more efficient – and how we, as <a href="https://gorillaaccounting.com/">contractor accountants</a>, can help you to reach your goals.</p><h2><strong>Develop Your Soft Skills</strong></h2><p>Having your own business doesn't just mean being the best at your job; it also requires you to develop skills like communication, problem-solving, flexibility and organisation. From learning to negotiate new rates to understanding how tax returns work, there’s a lot more that goes into being a contractor or a freelancer than meets the eye.</p><p>So, there are many key skills you should consider developing if you haven’t already, as they will help you improve the way you manage and grow your business.</p><p>It's hard to measure soft skills but, in essence, they support the work you do. They allow you to perform at a higher level and to gain and retain clients, so we believe 2021 is the perfect time to develop these skills and increase your chances of success.</p><p>Soft skills can be overlooked at times, as they don’t usually come with a certification, but they’re just as important – often, they’re developed through experience, training and interacting with others, so make sure you’re focusing on them this year.</p><h2><strong>Take Time Off</strong></h2><p>Many contractors and freelancers struggle with taking a break, especially when they’re at the start of their career. It can be difficult to take time off when you know you have a lot of work and don’t get holiday pay like permanent employees do. It’s still crucial that you invest in your personal life and make time for your family, friends and hobbies, since this will keep you from burning out.</p><p>Nonstop work may feel like a necessity when you’re only starting out, but the truth is that it can quickly get out of hand and your performance will suffer. Taking a break will help you feel refreshed and more energised, and you’ll be more creative, confident and productive in your day-to-day work.</p><p>So, to improve your wellbeing while ensuring you can deliver consistently good work, take a few breaks throughout the day, a lunch hour and, of course, holidays. Organise your schedule in a way that allows you to take days off work and make sure all your clients pay on time – or that you’re chasing late payments as needed. This will help you to feel less stressed about taking time off.</p><h2><strong>Get to Grips with IR35</strong></h2><p>IR35 continues to be an important topic for contractors. Updates to this legislation will come into force this April, after being postponed for a year. The delay was meant to help businesses and individuals deal with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. From 6 April 2021, not only public sector bodies but also medium and large-sized clients in the private sector will be responsible for determining the contractor’s employment status.</p><p>So, you won’t be the only one to determine the right tax and national insurance contributions you’ll have to pay. You will, however, have the opportunity to dispute your status determination if you don’t agree with it by appealing to the client.</p><p>This reform is set to add £1.3 billion a year to the Treasury starting in 2023.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img class="leftAlone" title="" src="https://gorillaaccounting.com/assets/Uploads/_resampled/ResizedImageWzYwMCw0MDBd/contractor.jpg" alt="contractor" width="600" height="400"></p><p>Small companies will be exempt from this private sector rollout. A company is a classed as a small company if, during a period of twelve months, their turnover is less than £10.2 million, their balance sheet total is less than £5.1 million and they employ less than 50 employees.</p><p>IR35 is a complex matter but, at Gorilla Accounting, we’re here to help. You don’t have to spend your valuable time trying to understand all the ins and outs of this rule, so let us do it for you. Our expert <a href="https://gorillaaccounting.com/what-is-ir35-advice/">IR35 advice</a> can assist you in figuring out whether you’re inside IR35 or not and if you are, how much tax and national insurance contributions you must pay.</p><h2><strong>Review Your Rates</strong></h2><p>The New Year is a great time to review and update your rates. As a general rule, bills and expenses tend to rise in the new year, so why not ensure your rates reflect the more elevated living costs too? Also, as 2020 showed, it’s important to be prepared for the unexpected, and having some money tucked away for a rainy day is increasingly crucial.</p><p>Raising your rates can help you to put away savings and to ensure that you’re getting paid what you deserve. After all, if you’re continuously developing your skills and can deliver a growing portfolio for your clients, you should charge appropriately.</p><p>Many contractors and freelancers find it tough to ask for higher rates because they fear their clients will leave them or that they’ll have difficulty finding work. However, if your clients know how reliable you are and how well you do your job, they’ll be happy to pay for your services.</p><p>Your rates should also take the industry into account, as well as what your competitors are charging, so update them at the start of the year to reflect this.</p><h2><strong>Network More</strong></h2><p>Being a freelancer or a contractor can be lonely at times, as you may spend most of your time by yourself. Networking is not just a good way to engage with other professionals and forge new relationships, but also great to help you feel part of a community.</p><p>When you’re employed, you have your co-workers to chat to, but things are different when you’re your own boss. So, make it a point to engage with more people this year and start conversations on social media or LinkedIn. This can lead to collaborative projects and new gigs.</p><p>Business events are also fantastic for contractors and freelancers. They allow for face-to-face interactions; however, because of current social restrictions, you’ll need to look to online events and professional forums.</p><p>Networking can also provide you with feedback and allows you to learn more about what your competitors are doing at any given time. If you didn’t do much networking in 2020, start now.</p><h2><strong>Do More Things You Like</strong></h2><p>For most contractors and freelancers, a big reason they became self-employed is to work on the projects they enjoy. So, in the new year, set a goal to accept only the jobs you find interesting or challenging, or gigs that are valuable to you from a contractor’s perspective.</p><p>It can even be something that will help you develop as a self-employed individual, as long as you like it.</p><p>Of course, we understand the importance of also choosing jobs that help you advance your career – however, make time for fun projects or try something new you’ve never done before but always wanted to.</p><h2><strong>Plan for Key Deadlines</strong></h2><p>There are important dates and deadlines to keep in mind when you’re a contractor or sole trader, and you’ll want to make sure you’re prepared for them in advance. For example, you know you have to submit a tax return, so be ready ahead of time – this includes being aware of how much you should pay, since this will allow you to budget better.</p><p>Planning for the future will also give you peace of mind. You won’t have to scramble to get everything sorted at the last minute, something that can increase the risk of errors and mistakes. You also don’t have to spend time rushing through your paperwork when you could have been focusing on your day-to-day.</p><p>Running a business takes time and effort, so make it easier for yourself by planning everything with time to spare.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img class="leftAlone" title="" src="https://gorillaaccounting.com/assets/Uploads/_resampled/ResizedImageWzYwMCw0MDBd/contractor-shipping-boxes-to-customers2.jpg" alt="contractor shipping boxes to customers2" width="600" height="400"></p><h2><strong>Automate Your Accounts</strong></h2><p>Something that can make your financial planning easier is to automate your accounts. Noting your cashflow by hand or chasing invoices manually is time-consuming and can lead to mistakes, so avoid that by investing in bookkeeping software.</p><p>We use <a href="https://gorillaaccounting.com/free-agent-book-keeping-software/">FreeAgent accounting software</a> for this so, as a client, you’ll have 24/7 access to this tool no matter where you are (or the device you’re using). You can easily track your expenses and transactions in real time with FreeAgent, automate your invoices, track your incomings, and so much more.</p><h2><strong>Hire an Accountant</strong></h2><p>We've previously showcased all the benefits of <a href="https://gorillaaccounting.com/blog/do-i-need-an-accountant-as-a-contractor-/">hiring an accountant as a contractor</a>, so consider this a new year resolution. There are many ways in which an accountant can make your life easier, including:</p><ul><li> <p>Helping you to stay compliant with current regulations. As a self-employed individual, being up to date with UK laws is crucial, since this will help you to avoid penalties and fines.</p> </li> <li> <p>You’ll get advice tailored to your business, from how to boost your tax efficiency to how to claim expenses. At Gorilla Accounting, we provide you with your very own dedicated accountant who’s always on hand to answer your most pressing questions.</p> </li> <li> <p>Talking to HMRC can be daunting, even if it’s to request further information on your taxes, but an accountant can help you through the process.</p> </li> <li> <p>You can get many admin tasks out of your mind when you hire an accountant. From payroll to self-assessment submissions, your accountants will handle it all for you.</p> </li> <li> <p>Your accountant will keep track of all important deadlines as well, meaning you don’t have to worry about missing a key date or submitting a late document.</p> </li> <li> <p>Your returns also need to be submitted correctly. Choosing an accountant with a lot of knowledge of finances and of your industry will ensure that every field and every line is filled in properly, and that there are no errors in your paperwork.</p> </li> </ul><h2><strong>Make Sure You Stay on Track</strong></h2><p>Most people start off a new year with good intentions but end up not completing their goals. A major part of this is because they set unrealistic goals. So, for 2021, make sure that any goal you set yourself is achievable and realistic. You can dream big and aim high, but make sure to include smaller goals and objectives you know you can achieve.</p><p>This way, you won’t be disappointed or frustrated. These goals shouldn’t be set in stone either. Your industry and your business are always evolving, so it stands to reason that your goals will do the same. Review and adjust them as needed so that you can keep up with your short-term and long-term strategies.</p><p>Gorilla Accounting can take the stress away from your admin and help you to achieve your goals in 2021. We'll focus on your accounts while you invest your time in your business, and we’ll help you to become more tax-efficient as well.</p><p>Whether you’re looking for <a href="https://gorillaaccounting.com/sole-trader-accountants/">sole trader accountants</a> or <a href="https://gorillaaccounting.com/contractors-limited-company-accountants/">limited company accountants</a>, contact us today. Just <a href="https://gorillaaccounting.com/general-enquiries/">send us your enquiry</a> or call us on <a href="tel:03300240406">0330 024 0406</a> and we’ll be happy to discuss your requirements.</p> Tue, 12 Jan 2021 09:31:46 +0000 https://gorillaaccounting.com/blog/new-year-s-resolutions-for-contractors-and-freelancers/