Midsummer Holiday Blues

 

Live your dream

I’m sitting in the car waiting for one daughter to finish her piano lesson while my other daughter is reading my tax adviser magazine and I’m sitting on my laptop blogging! Hmmm… I wonder which generation we should worry about!

Anyway, this isn’t why I started blogging. We are half way through the school summer holidays and this is the first summer holidays that I will be working in an office job while juggling childcare. So far, getting to the half way point has not been too bad. The first week and a half, we went abroad on holiday, the next week and a half, the girls stayed over at my mums which is an hour away in a different town. That was incredibly hard as I missed them so much, especially as I had just spent 10 amazing days just chilling with them all day long.

Fourth week

This fourth week of the holidays, however, is proving to be a bit more difficult. They want to stay with me all the time. They don’t want to go to their other grandparents’ house or the summer camp I booked them in for which are the only choices they have. I had no idea how everything would work out over the holidays so I had back up plans for every day just in case something happened and I got stuck. Apart from occasionally questioning my reasoning for starting an office job when I could have been working from home and chilling with them over the summer holidays especially while the weather has been so good, it’s been ok.

Anyway, I’m at home two days a week so that helps. However, working in an office-based job does tie me down to our city which is fine most of the time but I do miss just spending holidays at my mum’s chilling with her or with my friends from back home and working around my summer social life. Oh well. I guess I can’t have everything and the grass does always seem greener on the other side.

Boundaries

I don’t, however, miss the lack of boundaries where I constantly worry about finding time to work and then working til late at night. It is good to have fixed cut off times for work. Plus, my daily hours fit in perfectly with the school run so for half the year, life will be good, the rest of them time I will enjoy the chaos.

However, the tax returns are looking good. I have completed quite a few of them and only have two big ones left to do. I still have a few last minute simple tax returns to do which usually don’t come til the last minute, however, they are usually quite easy to do so I don’t normally worry about those. Apart from feeling like I should be doing something more, everything generally seems to feel good at the moment.

 

15 simple steps to create a filing system for your accounts paperwork

These 15 simple steps to create a filing system for your accounts paperwork are aimed at self employed sole traders. You need to keep paperwork for at least 10 years in case you ever get an enquiry from HMRC. Being organised can help your accountant turnover the work faster and also resolve HMRC enquires faster, if you were ever in that situation. Continue reading “15 simple steps to create a filing system for your accounts paperwork”

Tax Return Season

In the midst of the tax return season, I decided to join a bloggers group on Facebook. I guess I’ve been feeling disillusioned with accountancy. Or maybe just overwhelmed and out of my depths for a while and I wanted to do something different. I like writing and blogging was one way I could do this without worrying too much about how it sounds. Recently I’ve been thinking about what to do with my blog and how to justify the time I spend on it. This led me to joining the bloggers group hoping I would get some ideas on how to make my blog better.

An Accountants Help

However, as soon as they found out I was an accountant, I received a few tax return questions. Maybe because it is tax return season that I have a lot of questions but secretly I was so pleased. The questions are really simple questions that I could easily answer. This made me feel really confident in my ability as an accountant also a renewed interest in accountancy.

It made me think about one of the reasons why I chose accountancy in the first place. I remember going to our careers library and thinking what can I do with a maths degree. There were lots of accountancy brochures so I started looking through those. Anyway, in the ACCA brochure, there was an accountant who worked for a football club. As I was still not sure (at 21) what I wanted to do, I thought that this would be a good idea. Once I was fully qualified, I can decide and then go and work for a company I have an interest in.

Back to tax returns

At the time, I wanted to be an accountant for a bookshop. Actually, I could still happily go and work at a bookshop. However, that never happened as I remained in practice for most of my working life. Now though, with this blogging group, I feel inspired to help them with their tax queries and even look into things and find out more if required.  It might only last the tax return season and I still have some tax returns to complete so I should probably focus on that first.

Coming back to reality, as I mentioned in previous blogs, the HMRC queries have still not cleared and its really hard to feel that I am getting anywhere with it. Most of the people I talk to at HMRC seem clueless or so stuck in what feels like scripted answers that I don’t seem to get anywhere.  Letters seem to take forever to get a reply but this seems to be the only way I can get a response that vaguely makes a bit of sense. Another thing that annoys me about HMRC is the inflexibility and lack of understanding they have for the general hard-working tax payers while multinational companies and wealthy celebrities can get away with paradise papers.

I’m discovering though, that there are lots of things about accountancy that I am still good at and I can still be of use to even a small community on Facebook.

Originally posted on https://www.accountingweb.co.uk/community/blogs/lilac1/tax-return-season

 

Claiming just expenses on your tax return

Recently I was asked if they could do a tax return if they didn’t have any sales and just put expenses through. My initial thought was why go through the whole hassle of doing a tax return and the stress of meeting the self-assessment deadline if you don’t have to? With a new business, you can go back up to 7 years to claim your expenses and if you earn less than £1000, you can receive trading allowance before you even need to declare your income.

Technically though you could claim just expenses. There are some restrictions in that you would need to prove to HMRC your business is genuine. You need to do at least 10 hours a week with a view to making a profit. Continue reading “Claiming just expenses on your tax return”

VAT rates in the UK

VAT was originally introduced as a simple tax on purchases of goods and services in 1973. It was originally called the purchase tax but changed its name to VAT when the UK joined the EEC. VAT is now anything but simple.  It is an indirect tax charged on the purchase of goods and services. Most goods and services in the UK are charged at the standard rate of VAT which is currently set at 20%.  Continue reading “VAT rates in the UK”

Women in Tax – Leicester

Last Thursday I attended the women in tax meeting at the RSM offices in Leicester. I wasn’t sure what to expect. Would it be formal? Would I have to talk about anything? I’m I intelligent enough to talk about anything tax related? It has been a while since I felt proficient in tax. The most I do now are personal tax returns. And I do generally leave it till the end of the year to really worry and think about them.  Continue reading “Women in Tax – Leicester”

What is Corporation Tax?

In its most simplest definition, if you have a limited company, you would need to pay tax on your profits.  This is called Corporation Tax. You would also need to pay corporation tax if you are an association, a club or co-operative.  If you are a sole trader or a partnership, your profit is not subject to corporation tax and any tax you have to pay will be through your self-assessment. Continue reading “What is Corporation Tax?”

The budget and the PAYE

Chancellor holding the iconic red breifcaseEvery year when the budget comes out you hear about taxes going up, the economy growing and unemployment going down. If you’re in employed work and receiving a monthly salary you might not really understand or care how the budget affects you. However, the salary you receive in your bank account is what you get after your employer has taken the PAYE. Your PAYE is made up of your national insurance contributions and income tax.  Continue reading “The budget and the PAYE”