• Always issue invoices/receipts to your customers and keep copies, along with details of any quotes you also provided.

  • Always get and keep receipts or invoices relating to expenditure, no matter how small the amount.

  • Keep your personal and business matters separate e.g. separate bank accounts and separate records. 8

Annotate bank statements for the source and nature of receipts and the destination and nature of withdrawals, where it is not clear what the item is.

Having an accurate record keeping system which you keep up to date will help you:

  • pay the right amount of tax

  • avoid paying any extra tax or penalties

  • keep track of your expenses

  • see quickly what you are owed by others and how much you owe them

  • ask for a bank loan or credit if you need to

  • save time and accountancy costs

  • receive the right amount of benefits or credits.

  • If you are self-employed you should register for business taxes with HMRC. We can help you can do this online. Once you have registered, HMRC will send you a Unique Taxpayer Reference and set up the right tax and National Insurance records for you. They will then ask you to complete a tax return each year.5

    If you stop being self-employed, you will still need to fill in a Self Assessment tax return for the tax year in which your self-employment ends. The tax year runs from 6 April to the following 5 April.

    The tax return deadlines for both self assessment and partnership returns are 31st October after the end of the tax year for paper returns and 31st January for online returns.

    You also need to pay any due tax for the previous year by the 31st January. It is also the deadline for your first payment on account if you need to provide one. If you do you will need to pay your second by the 31st July. If you don’t submit and pay your tax by the deadlines above you may have to pay a penalty and interest.