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Accountants

Discussion in 'Dog Walking' started by Darrell Jones, Feb 3, 2017.


  1. Darrell Jones

    Darrell Jones PetForums Member

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    How many self employed Dog Walkers use Accountants? Is it possible and easy enough to keep your own accounts and file tax returns?
     
  2. Waggle n Purrs

    Waggle n Purrs PetForums Member

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    I do my own on line - really easy.
     
  3. MilleD

    MilleD PetForums VIP

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    If you aren't planning on becoming VAT registered - it's easier and cheaper to do it yourself.

    Online self assessment is far easier than filling in the old forms. All you really need is a day book or excel spreadsheet, keep decent records and Bob's your uncle.

    I am an accountant and it really is overkill to pay someone to do something you can do yourself.
     
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  4. Darrell Jones

    Darrell Jones PetForums Member

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    Thanks both. Do you find it easy enough to claim back some of the costs of petrol etc against tax when doing your own accounts?
     
  5. Waggle n Purrs

    Waggle n Purrs PetForums Member

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    I didn't earn enough to pay Tax in my first year so didn't bother with putting fuel costs - would be interested in how to claim if necessary though :)
     
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  6. Siskin

    Siskin Look into my eyes....

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    I used to put mileage through, I think HMRC rate is 40p per mile. It was offset against the income and treated as an expense. There is only a certain amount you can claim at that rate, can't rmember the details too long ago:D
     
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  7. MilleD

    MilleD PetForums VIP

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    45p for the first 10k. 25p thereafter.

    This covers all vehicle expenses so you can't then also claim for an element of insurance etc.

    It's the 'simplified expenses' way of claiming for travel costs. It's slightly complicated in that you can't claim this if you've used capital allowances for the vehicle, but if it's just your regular vehicle you already own it's the easiest way to claim.
     
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  8. Waggle n Purrs

    Waggle n Purrs PetForums Member

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    Thanks for that info - will bear it in mind if I need it :)
     
  9. Northampton Dog Walker

    Northampton Dog Walker PetForums Junior

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    I've just started my dog walking business but I'll be doing my own accounts. Had my own travel business before and used an accountant for first two years before realising he was completely useless and gave me bad advice.

    If you're sole trader as I suspect most of us are it's pretty easy to do accounts yourself and HMRC are very helpful. You just need to learn what can be claimed as a business expense, for example a portion of your broadband and maybe home office costs. I have one mobile number dedicated to the business only. The one decision you need to make early is which method to charge for vehicle costs. I'm going to keep it simple and charge flat rate 45p a mile and it's easy to zero the mileage counter every trip so you know what was business related.

    Only other advice I'd give is get organised early, maybe use excel and record things. Try not to leave accounts to last minute, less stressful if you do them early.
     
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  10. MilleD

    MilleD PetForums VIP

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    Be a bit careful if you claim for anything on you home. You can become liable for capital gains on that proportion when you sell your house.

    I absolutely agree with that last bit though.
     
  11. Dr Pepper

    Dr Pepper Banned

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    As everyone has said, really easy to do yourself. It was made even simpler recently so now it's just clicking a load of yes/no boxes and inputting your income and expenditure.

    A few tips though, spreadsheets are pretty much essential, if you don't have the software Open Office is free and will do everything you need.

    Keep all your receipts, even the small ones. They'll add up to more than you think and better 29% of their value in your bank than HMRC's. As has been said above, record your mileage daily, it'll be your biggest expense and if you get tax inspected they'll want evidence it's correct.

    The tax year ends April 5th. This gives you from April 6th to January 31st to file and pay your return. Don't leave it until the last minute! I usually do mine before the end of April, one less thing to worry about.

    Most importantly don't forget the first year you pay tax under SA you pay next year's in advance as well. So if your liability is £4,000 you'll pay £6,000 by January 31st and £2,000 by July 31st.
     
  12. Northampton Dog Walker

    Northampton Dog Walker PetForums Junior

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  13. Dr Pepper

    Dr Pepper Banned

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    You can claim a percentage of the mortgage interest (or rent). As it's interest there is no capital gain. Obviously there is no capital gain on utility bills etc.

    Seems a bit unfair if you don't have a mortgage.
     
  14. MilleD

    MilleD PetForums VIP

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    What you're essentially saying is that you are converting a percentage of your home to a business premises by claiming anything against it.

    Obviously if the amounts are insignificant it's unlikely to cause you a problem, particularly if you factor in any capital gains allowance.
     
  15. Northampton Dog Walker

    Northampton Dog Walker PetForums Junior

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    Yes I don't have a mortgage but will still claim a little of the cost of broadband and perhaps heating and lighting for the one room that I use as an office. Since you are outdoors most of the time dog walking I will keep the claim small but I don't think it's unreasonable when you update your website, do your own accounts and spend few hours on admin each week.

    Gary
     
  16. Dr Pepper

    Dr Pepper Banned

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    Same here, no mortgage so not much to claim. I don't bother with heating, lights etc as I don't have a dedicated office. I do claim a percentage for broadband though for website updates, emails etc.

    Having been tax inspected (and vat) in the past it's best to be honest and keep it simple.
     
  17. Siskin

    Siskin Look into my eyes....

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    If you have a room as an office, not used for much else, then I believe you can offset an amount from your council tax
     
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  18. Quinton Ross

    Quinton Ross PetForums Newbie

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    Looking for an accountant for my tax-free business....
     
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