Showing posts with label Self-employment. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Self-employment. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Top 5 Tips to Choose the Best Accountant for a Contractor

The accounting needs of a contractor are not similar to the needs of regular business people. If you are a contractor you have to look for the ideal accountant to look after your financial matters. Here are some effective tips to find the best contractor accountant. 

Contractors that operate their own businesses sometime contemplate the idea of running their accounts all by themselves. However, the burden of administrative tasks proves to be too time-consuming for them and most of the contractors find laws regarding taxation highly confusing and complex. 

All these reasons triggered the need of a specialist accountant for a contractor who is adept in dealing with the accounting needs of these self-employed people. But there is a plethora of such accounting professionals available in the city of London to choose from. 

Here is some insider tips that contractors should pay heed to in order to trace out the best accountant:

Consider only specialist contractor accountant in London

Being a contractor, your accounting needs are different than those who run their small businesses. This is why the foremost thing that you have to ensure is your chosen accountant is well-versed in dealing with your financial matters specifically. 

The accountant must have several years of experience of working closely with contractors and not giant corporate houses or SMEs. To find such accountants out you can keep a close eye on paid advertisements and the portals that are focused on contractors because only accountants with experience of working with contractors will have them advertised.

Select only regulated and well-qualified accountants

Accountants that are members of business organisations of contracting sector and are regulated by professional guilds your best bet. It will be even better if your chosen professional is also accredited by any organisation of freelancers as well. Overall, you have to ensure that the accountant has industry accreditation from recognized contracting bodies.

Select the accountant that offers services you actually need

There are umpteen contractor accountants in London  and their offerings are not the same and so do the requirements of hundreds of contractors in the city. Hence, be very clear about your needs and choose one accordingly. If you want accounting professional to take care of your annual accounts only the individual you will eventually choose will never be the same individual who will be working for another contractor that want all his financial aspects to be taken care of.

Opt for accountants with knowledge in contractor legislation

As mentioned earlier, your accounting and taxation needs are different so you have to ensure that your accountant is knowledgeable enough to carry out your financial tasks flawlessly. The professional must have deeper and proper understanding of IR35, Section 660 and MSC or Managed Services Company legislation. The individual must also understand the complex tax laws clearly. Any error in filing taxes can cost you dearly so it is a must that your accountant is top of these laws.

Many accountants also offer a few extra services for free such as IR35 contract reviews and if you come across any such free offerings don’t hesitate to grab them if you are certain that the quality of the service would be excellent.

Ask other contractors

You are not the sole contractor in the city of London. There are thousands more and chances are high that many of them have their own accountants as well. You can ask them directly or in online forums about the performance of their accountants. You need to choose that accountant that receives great reviews from clients. You can look for testimonials online to locate accountants that have previously performed well for other contractors.

If you follow these tips you will definitely find a qualified and experienced accountant. Most of these professionals charge a fixed monthly fee and the amount will be determined by the number and significance of services they are supposed to execute.

Author Bio

Jason Fox pens down write-ups on taxation and accounting on frequent basis. His articles where he shares effective tips to find the right accountant for contractor  are highly acclaimed in contracting world. 

Friday, November 1, 2013

Becoming Your Own Boss: It’s Never Too Late

Some people look forward to retirement for most of their working lives and can’t wait to stop the daily grind. However, for others the prospect of giving up a career isn’t so appealing. 

If you’re in this position, you may want to consider launching your own business. After all, there are lots of benefits associated with entrepreneurship. Being the boss of yourself might sound good but is not so easy. 

There is a lot of stress and you might find yourself working too many hours. Since this is your own job, you have to make sure everything works fine. You can start as a professional individual or start a company. That depends on your personal goals and ambitions.

By starting a company, you will become your own boss, meaning you can focus on issues that really interest you. In addition, while starting a firm certainly involves plenty of hard work, it also enables you to function according to your own schedule. 

This extra flexibility can be ideal as you get older. Furthermore, there are the financial plus points to consider. The cost of living is on the rise and many pensioners now find it tough to make ends meet. By starting a small business, you stand to boost your bank balance.

To increase your chances of success, it’s important to bear some fundamental principles in mind. For example, before committing money to projects, it’s vital that you do plenty of research. 

Thanks to the web, it’s now easier than ever to set about getting the information you require. You’ll need to determine the potential market for your goods or services and size up the competition out there. 

Achieving success in the world of enterprise hinges on being able to exploit workable gaps in the market. By spending some time and effort on establishing the facts, you can help to minimise the risks you face.

Meanwhile, you’ll also need to decide what sort of business you want to set up. Becoming a sole trader is the simplest option. 

However, it’s worth bearing in mind that if you register as a limited company instead, your personal assets will be protected if your venture runs into financial problems. Another option is to set up in partnership with other people.

Then there is insurance to think about. If you’re operating from your own property, you may need to change your existing home insurance to reflect this. Also, if you employ at least one member of staff you’ll need employers’ liability insurance. Depending on the nature of your organisation, you may need various other forms of financial protection too.

To help you get your company off the ground, it’s a good idea to seek out local support. Networking will help you build contacts and you can also get some top tips from fellow entrepreneurs. In addition, there may be groups in your area that offer mentoring services to fledgling companies, as well as funding opportunities.

As long as you are methodical when setting up your business, you stand to achieve potentially impressive results.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

5 High-Paying Jobs After Retirement

retirement (Photo credit: 401(K) 2013)
When going through the burdensome days of employment during the peak of your working career, sometimes, there is a possibility that you may relish the idea of retirement. To put it simply, retiring may bring an unfathomable joy considering the fact that you will not have to stick to any kind of deadlines or wake up in the early mornings to rush to your workplace. 

Besides, the idea of retirement conjures up images of an idyllic life playing golf and spending all your savings on premium vacations and just lazing through the entire day. While this may sound like music to your ears now, you are sure to feel the emptiness that will be created due to the absence of a work pattern. 

The idea of not being able to do anything and just sit idle, counting hours away may not exactly seem ideal and therefore, you can consider doing some good high-paying jobs to kill time and most importantly to enjoy yourself. You could opt for jobs with a criminal justice degree or something more relaxed, the choice is yours. Given below are some high-paying jobs that you can consider taking up after retirement.

1.) You can consider being a consultant:

This holds true especially if you have done jobs with a criminal justice degree or other such highly specialised and intensive studies in your formative years. it gives you an upper hand over the other consulting firms for the simple fact that you have spent a large chunk of your life working in that particular field and therefore, you can most certainly provide superior quality services that will benefit not only your clients but yourself as well.

2.) Opt for running a retail business:

There is nothing like being your own boss and taking control of the situation by running your own retail business. If you are good at DIY products and are confident of the quality, you must most certainly consider making and selling them. This does not call for you to get into the technicalities of buying your own shop and investing a large sum of money in the same. You can open your shop virtually without really paying a penny and you can sell your products on such platforms.

3.) Opt for freelancing:

If you are good at photography or writing you could consider looking for clients who may be interested in your work and start offering your services. Besides, if digital media is your strong point, web designing for instance, you could most certainly post ads on the plethora of job seeking websites to reach out to your prospective clients. It is an excellent way to do what you enjoy and earn a good chunk of money from the same.

4.) Be on the lookout for part time jobs that do not require much effort on your part:

Rigorous work may wear you down and therefore, it is important that you constantly look out for jobs that follow a stress free pattern and does not call for you to exert too much mental stress. You could consider working at a call centre or start a tutoring business. Although not high paying, it can be fulfilling.

5.) Temporary jobs are excellent for a fresh change:

Temporary jobs are the perfect way to enjoy your work in a more flexible manner as you get to do varied jobs on a temporary basis and therefore, you can find time for both earning money and enjoying doing activities that you love. Your job position can change quite frequently giving you the opportunity to learn something new every single day.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Five More Reasons Not to Look for a Job

Looking for a job has been unproductive for you and for good reason. I have written on this issue a number of times on my own blog and here are yet more reasons why looking for a job is an activity left over from the last century and won’t be productive this year, next year or in 10 years. 
  1. You are one of 300 resumes for one open position. The odds are way against you so why waste your time. You are likely someone that also buys lottery tickets figuring that someone has got to win. Good luck to you. 
  2. A robot will likely replace your job or has already done so. If you don’t watch Sixty Minutes, you should. A recent episode explains how so many jobs have already been replaced by robots and way more to come. People who are unskilled are now also unneeded. Sorry, but if you could not figure out why you had to learn geometry on ninth grade (it was to learn how to think) and now you have no skills and no ability to think and need a job where someone shows you what to do, you are out of luck. 
  3. Looking for a job is backwards. You are trying to find someone who needs a worker and then you will fit yourself to the position. That is backwards. The way to make money is to figure out what people value, what they will happily pay for and then learn how to provide it. That is called making yourself of value. Note that learning something does not necessarily mean going to school. Some of the most successful people are self-taught. 
  4. You place yourself in a continuous position of dependence. If the job disappears or the company goes out of business, you are back in the same place. Don’t look for a job—figure out how to earn income that is independent of some company or someone giving you anything. Make yourself valuable so that people want what you offer. I pay the woman who cleans my house $160 for 5 hours of work. She has worked for us for 30 years and I hate to think she might ever retire. She has no education, speaks only some English but is valuable. 
  5. Looking for a job is just laziness. Up until the year 1900 or so, there were no jobs. People farmed their land, learned a trade or took up a profession. These people sold their talents and skills to other people in town. Looking for a job is finding someone who has already done the hard work or creating excess work so that you can simply show up and get paid. The good times are over. There is no excess work. 

A few months ago, I saw an interview on CNBC with Jack Welch, the ex-chairman of General Electric. He said that one of GEs business was hurt so badly in the recession, that its revenues would not recover until 2014. However, that division would achieve its pre-recession revenues with 14,000 people instead of the 23,000 employed pre-recession. The point—if you are just "labor," this economy has little need for that. What the economy needs is skills, talent, ability to innovate, motivate, create and move an idea from inception to fruition.

Fast food workers can strike all they want but the reality is, none of the above is required to work in fast food service. Reality is just that, like it or not, fair or not. You can piss and moan or use this post as a description of the new reality.

Larry Klein is publisher of the Wealthy Producer Blog, is among the 1% and has not has not had a job in 33 years.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

The Financial and Emotional Benefits of Vocational Rehab

CO: ATU Local 1001 hearing with RTD to prevent strike

The unemployment rate in America has been tragically high for the past few years, but the unemployment rate for people with disabilities is much higher. Midway through 2013, over 13 percent of disabled people are without work - and those are only the ones who are actively looking. 

According to the Wall Street Journal, a surprising 8 out of 10 disabled people aren't in the labor force at all. In order to combat these statistics, every state has a public vocational rehabilitation agency. These agencies employ vocational rehab counselors who help veterans and other clients struggling with physical and mental conditions identify their career goals and personal skills and then identify the support they need for employment. While many disabled people might not consider themselves candidates for work, VR counselors can open doors to greater financial and emotional security.

1. Developing your IPE

Anyone who is receiving Social Security Disability is eligible for VR services unless they are too profoundly disabled to benefit from them. And even if you're not on Disability, any condition which presents an obvious barrier to employment can qualify you for VR. When you are assigned a counselor, their job is to work with you to formulate an IPE - Individual Plan for Employment. 

Vocational rehab is not about just sticking you in the first job you can get. It's about discussing your interests and skills and finding out what you'd most like to do, then carving out a path for you to work in that industry. This can involve assessing the most basic needs, such as transportation to and from work or an interpreter for deaf clients. And it can also involve major needs like college classes, training, and actual placement assistance. 

Often, your VR counselor will refer you to other organizations or resources. They may send clients to a community rehabilitation provider, which can provide more extensive services and update the counselor on your progress.

2. After You Find Employment

Most people don't realize that VR services continue even after you have found a job. Support and counseling is available for at least 90 days following placement, and your services can continue for up to three years after your case is closed. 

Disabled clients often go to work and find they need a period of adjustment to the facilities, or that the tools they need to do the job aren't always available. VR counselors can be your advocate, making sure the company is accommodating you and you will be able to keep your job once you've found it. 

According to NPR, the federal government pays more for disabled workers than for food stamps and welfare combined. With an increased number of elderly and diseased workers in this country, you will find your ability and drive to succeed in the workplace will be applauded, and the services you need will be provided at little or no cost.

3. Why Work is Important

Steampunk Wheelchair
Many disabled people are afraid to reach out for VR benefits because they're intimidated by the prospect of employment. But the psychological benefits of work are numerous, especially for those who have already felt isolated by their condition. 

The self-worth that comes with employment has been proven to stave off depression, substance abuse, and other mental health issues. While over 17 million Americans suffer from depression every year, the risk is up to 10 times larger for people with disabilities and chronic illnesses. 

Feelings of hopelessness and frustration, as well as a lack of interest in activities or daily life, can be associated with the increased challenges a disabled individual faces. That's why helping them find employment, especially in a field they enjoy and feel passionately about, can make all the difference to their quality of life. Plus, being able to financially support yourself is a huge boost to your well-being and mental state.

The services available from Vocational Rehab counselors are extensive, and you should never assume you don't qualify. Every American should be able to pursue their goals and live their dreams, no matter what physical or mental barrier is standing in their way. VR can be the first step to overcoming your fear and taking back your life.

Brett Harris supports his local vocational rehabilitation center by volunteering his time to help the counselors. If counseling interests you as a career, check out the Top Online Masters in Counseling Programs offered by several schools.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Taking Vast Strides with an Offshore Umbrella Company

Making your way in the self-employment arena is a huge step that one could ever possibly take for them. This step literally makes one lose the office job security feel and can give a sense of no fullback or support.

People are now realizing the cold truth that this safety net was more like an illusion. This illusion like another social condition is fast to fade. But still one must realize that the self-employment world makes you entirely responsible for the financial days ahead. Such decisions are need a brave mind and sound one as well.

But if one does take time out to plan out the situation, things can seem to be a whole lot easier. Butterflies in the stomach are natural and are something that only go away once you face the situation head on. When you are making a plan for signing up for an onshore or offshore umbrella company, you need invest more time into the details. Making them your employer, even though you want to work on your own requires a closer look.

Offshore Umbrella company benefits

There are so many big advantages which come to mind regarding umbrella companies.
  1. Umbrella companies keep your salaries away from corporate tax and instead subject them to independent contractor rates.
  2. As a temporary worker, one enjoys a certain level of privacy.
  3. There protection from any kind of liability. All worries can be left at back of your mind with umbrella companies.
  4. You will get inside information form their professional for which umbrella service is tailor made for you.

These are just a few of the actual benefits that one enjoys when signing up with an umbrella company.

So why should one use the help of an offshore umbrella company?

It is possible for one to look into signing up with a umbrella company which is offshore than one which is in your own country. These offshore umbrella companies offer some valid reasons for dealing with them rather than your native ones. With offshore umbrella companies one gets to enjoy 100% identity protection. The second reason would be taxes. You won’t have to pay so much tax if you have signed up for an umbrella offshore company.

Many people try to set up their own umbrella service company for business but it is a whole lot easier to seek the help of an offshore company which is already established. These companies are quick to act and have simple workflow processes which are easy for common people to understand. In short, dealing with an offshore umbrella service company is much easier than bringing your own to existence.

So why should one resort to an offshore umbrella company?

You don’t want to take a jump into quicksand without thinking about all the pitfalls, do you? Nobody does. This is primarily why such decisions regarding an offshore umbrella company require due consideration and a good sit down. Thinking hats on folks! This decision is going to affect your financial days ahead and as of now is probably isn’t the most traditional way of leveraging. If you must, get professional advice. They will guide to choosing the right offshore umbrella company and will give you good inside information about how things work there. The professional advice will come in handy in making a good selection.

Always make sure that you pick an offshore umbrella company which has a good reputation in the Industry

Many people affiliate themselves with an offshore umbrella company just because their advertising was so good. One would be shocked to know how many people actually do that. One doesn’t need to be told this, but only good can come when you are linking yourself to an umbrella company that is well spoken about. Dealing with an umbrella company that has managed a good reputation over the years is the need of the hour.

Before taking the plunge, make sure that you do your homework and work to find facts and figures before signing ontoan offshore umbrella company. Make the most of the Internet and be as diligent as possible to ensure you are dealing with the right kind of people. This tactic is going to help you increase your savings and will reduce all liabilities that you are usually responsible for. It is important as a customer that you enjoy the full benefits of privacy which you wouldn’t be able to get otherwise. Choosing an offshore umbrella company requires a lot of research and is a decision that must be taken with utmost seriousness.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Top 10 Tax Tips For The Self-Employed

(Photo credit: patrick h. lauke)
Self-employment is a tough road to go down, but luckily there are a few things that you can benefit from. Self-employed individuals will have a different tax status to those who are employed by someone else. As a result, you are going to want to take a look at your taxes and see what you can do when it comes to making the most out of your situation.

Determine Your Net Income

Your net income is the income that you receive after all of your business expenses have been deducted. This can be done after a year of working to determine what you are most likely to earn.

Keep a Record

Make sure to keep a record of everything that you earn. Knowing how much you earned every week or month will allow you to figure out the proper rate at which you will be taxed.

Calculate Estimated Tax

Try to determine what percentage of your tax you are going to have to pay. Deduct this from your net income and you will have an idea of how much you owe.

Expenses for the Home Office

If you have a home office, then you will be able to make it a tax-deductible business expense. Remember that you are not able to deduct more than your net business profit.

Get an Accountant

Having someone to take a look over all of your expenses is a great thing. On top of this, you can also deduct what you pay from your accountant as a business expense.

Remember to Report

Making over $600 from a client means that you are going to have to report it to the IRS. When this happens, your client is going to give you a 1099-Misc.

Set Up a Separate Account

Get a separate account where you will be able to put all of your estimated taxes in. This is much easier than scraping for the money at the end of the year.

Keep a Track of All Business Expenses

Business expenses can include anything that you use in order to carry out your business. These can include your computer, your desk, your phone and your Internet connection. Make sure to keep a track of everything in this regard.

Remember to Pay Quarterly

You do not pay your taxes on a yearly basis. Instead, you pay every quarter of the year. This means you have to make sure that you have everything organized.

Keep Everything Together

Get files for all of the necessary expenses and tax records that you are going to need. Organizing all of this properly will ensure that you know what is going on when the time comes to pay.

Being self-employed can be difficult for many reasons, but it is always a good idea to keep on top of your tax returns. There are a number of things that you can also do for tax relief, so make sure to take advantage of them if you can. This way, you can ensure that you make the most out of being self-employed.

If you are interested in more tax relief tips, the author recommends you visit

Thursday, November 22, 2012

6 Do’s and Don’ts of Being Self-Employed

found photo: business leaders
(Photo credit: squareintheteeth)
There are many advantages to being self-employed from tax efficiency and flexibility to career enhancement. As with any job in any sector, there are rules to abide by. When one works in a permanent role, you have a strict work schedule you need to adhere to and you have an employer that you are answerable to. 

Contracting is more flexible but there are still do’s and don’ts that you need to stand by. You are your own boss however there are certain things which you need to know.

Here is a guide to help you comply with all UK law.

Claim for expenses 

There are special rates and allowances which you can claim back as a freelancer. During your work you will incur certain expenses like mileage and accommodation. Although you will have to pay these with your own money, you can submit a claim to your client and get the money back. Find out what rates you can be compensated for because they are tax deductible.

Pay taxes on time 

As a self-employed person, you are in charge of your own tax affairs which means you need to file your own tax return and pay any owed taxes by the deadline set by HM Revenue & Customs. Any late payments will get a fine so make sure you file your return on time whether it is by post or online.

Have the right business structure 

There are various business structures available to choose from such as limited company, umbrella company, sole trader and partnership. You need to choose the right one for you and make sure you operate within the law.

Business structures to choose from include:

  1. limited company 
  2. umbrella company 
  3. offshore benefit employer trust (EBT) 
  4. sole trader 
  5. partnership 
  6. limited liability partnership 

Keep business, business 

When you become self-employed, you need to keep everything about your business separate to your personal life. This can be difficult but by having a dedicated bank account just for your business finances, you ensure no lines get crossed. If you have a profile on social networking sites like Facebook or Twitter, set up separate business accounts.

Get expert help 

One of the main things you must do is get expert help. If numbers has never been your specialty and maths isn't your strong point, it will benefit you to seek professional accounting help. It may seem like a waste of time and money but in the long-run it will save you much more money. The specialist accountants can help you to avoid costly mistakes whilst advising you on legalities like IR35 and the Agency Workers Regulation.

Do your research

Being self-employed isn't a walk in the park. There will be times when work is quiet and therefore you will have dry financial periods. Make sure you do your research to ensure your desired industry is competitive and thriving.

Have a back-up plan in place and remember, if it doesn't go to plan don’t beat yourself up about it. Being self-employed just doesn't work out for some people.

Follow these do’s and don’ts to become a successful freelancer!

This article was provided by Nixon Williams, a leading freelancer accountancy firm in the UK.

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