22 Canterbury Road, Flitwick, Beds. MK45 1TZ
Tutor Line: 0800 542 5156
NEWSLETTER Issue 193 April 2012
The beginning of April means it’s the end of the tax year, which means that if you work for yourself it’s time to start thinking about preparing your accounts. Why? Because if you don’t, the tax man will possibly assume earnings in excess of your real income and tax you accordingly unless you can show records to the contrary! Beware; he has no mercy, he’ll take your home and put you on the street if he thinks you owe him money which you can’t pay.
However, if you’ve earned, e.g. ten thousand pounds, you shouldn’t have to pay tax on that amount. You are taxed on your profit, not turnover.
If you are driving to your clients, your car is a legitimate business expense. Estimate the percentage of your mileage that you do for business. If, for example, you believe that 99% of your car use is for business, then 99% of your fuel, servicing, repairs and depreciation should come off your income. Unfortunately, you can’t claim as much for depreciation as you might think fair. You have to spread it over four yours. That means that for each of the first four years of owning a car (new or used, it makes no difference) you should estimate the current value of the car, work out a quarter of that and declare e.g. 99% of that amount as a legitimate business cost.
If you haven’t kept receipts all is not lost. You should list your expenses as best you can remember and submit them. If they are reasonable they will most likely be accepted.
There is a tax threshold. You can earn up to approximately £8,000 profit before any tax is due at all, but you are never the less required to register with HMRC as a self employed person trying to make a living.
Count the rooms in your home. If there are e.g. three rooms in your house or flat and you use one of them as a teaching room or to prepare your lessons, submit one third of all your household bills, utilities, rent, etc. as business costs.
Submit all receipts for stationery and teaching materials, phones, computer etc. If you’re in a position to pay an accountant the tax man is far less likely to challenge your accounts when he sees that you have a chartered practitioner representing you. I recommend Tim Kemp, who looks after the agency’s accounts. He’s a small operator, so his service is more personal and cheaper than companies with shiny oak tables and waiting rooms with large TVs on the wall. Tim can be contacted on 01525 717141, email email@example.com
Jobs on the go
Tottenham: Year 1 Literacy. Home visit required.
If you can help, please call Stella on 07758 361516 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
We keep very careful statistics of how clients find their way to us in order to make the best use of publicity. The most popular answer by far is, ‘used us before,’ and ‘word of mouth.’ That means that our tutors are doing such a great job that it is their work that is making us successful despite the continuing recession.
It’s very difficult for any business to find an effective means of marketing, but with our new website which Joe (my son) put together (check out www.privatetuition.co.uk) and our tutors’ work in the field, we’re still here and prospering.
You might be sick of my telling you about our next show. Relax, there isn’t one for a while!
I’ll tell you about our last show instead.
Yes. You don’t have to read it but if you do, you’ll be glad, because I’m sure you’ll agree with what I’m about to say.
I was listening to a programme on Radio Two the other day. Apparently, the one thing that embarrasses actors in London’s West End more than anything else is the price of theatre tickets. At an average cost of £50, young people are shying away from the theatre. What young person is going to shell out £50 for a theatre ticket when they can put the cash towards an iPod?
How many families in the real world can fork out £200 to see a show? A theatre critic commented that when he reviews a play, the stalls are a sea of white, reflecting the fact that it is mainly retired people with cash to spend who go to the theatre. Once they are gone who will be the audience?
I feel so incensed at people being fleeced by the arts that I’m proud to be staging a show which is free for all, every couple of months. We now get so many people coming that we are having to get rid of the tables to create more seating space. What’s more, the standard of performance doesn’t suffer just because it’s free. Our last show, on 5th March, was judged by many to be our best ever, even better than last year’s ‘Best Of’ show, which was a hard act to follow. You can see for yourself by checking out the highlights on Youtube. The links are below. There’s even a performance of yours truly, but I don’t take the credit for the act, I was accompanying superb blues singer Debbie Murray, who pushed the bar up several notches that night.
Debbie Murray Band
Debbie Murray Band with Sue Gray
The Moribayassa Drummers
Soul Street Class.
Caribbean Culture People
Sing and Perform
Now we’re coming to this year’s ‘Best of’ show. It’s not till 10th June, so I’ll tell you more about it next time, but it will include some of the acts from the 5th March show as well as the most popular acts from the rest of the year. It’s at a different venue as we are invited to be part of the Stony Live Festival in Stony Stratford. The landlord insists that we ticket the event for Health and Safety purposes. That doesn’t mean we start fleecing our supporters; it’s still free. We’ll give the tickets out at the door; once ticket no. 130 has been issued nobody else gets in. So if you’re thinking of coming to this big show, book the date in your diary now and arrive by 6.30pm.
I’ll be there at 2.30. If I don’t let myself in we’ll have a real problem!
That’s all for another month.
Have a good month,