SEISS, otherwise known as the Self Employment Income Support Scheme, has provided financial help to self-employed people impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. But undoubtedly, 2021 will be a highly pressured year for these individuals, with a number of responsibilities to meet. Alongside trying to keep a business running amid a lockdown, and applying for SEISS support, many self employed Britons will also need to file a Self Assessment tax return this month.
Looking forward, individuals will also need to get their tax affairs in order for the new year, which can be an additional challenge.
To provide further insight to Britons, Express.co.uk spoke to Richard Hepburn ACCA, Operations Manager at Gorilla Accounting, about the matter.
He said: “Despite what has been a tumultuous year for the self-employed, many more Brits are going it alone.
“In 1975, eight percent of workers were self-employed; by 2019, this had increased to more than 14 percent.
Mr Hepburn continued: “Some may view this shift as surprising as it is easy to view the employed as more looked after, which is paramount particularly at a time such as this.
“However, the benefits of self-employment are ringing true and we expect see another rise in 2021.
“Tax can be very confusing for those new to self employment – or even those who aren’t, so it’s important to seek professional advice.
“The best way to ensure you are tax efficient in 2021 is to get a personal tax review and see if there is a way of making a saving.
“Your circumstances or the law may have changed, so it is important to do this annually.”
There are however, some tips Mr Hepburn has provided, describing these as ‘quick wins’ for those who want to address their tax affairs.
The first issue to confront is pension contributions, alongside gift aid donations, as Mr Hepburn described these as tax efficient ways of saving for the future and helping charity.
Next, people should consider looking at what expenses they are entitled to, alongside dividends.
If anyone is paying dividends, then they should also try to make the most of any tax-free and basic rate allowances which are available.
Tax relief has been an important issue this year, with many claiming working from home tax relief from their companies or the Government.
However, Mr Hepburn also highlighted tax relief is available to those with professional subscriptions with professional bodies.
Self-employed individuals may also gain access to what is known as a trivial benefit allowance, which covers things like gifts to employees under £50.
Mr Hepburn concluded: “There’s no limit on the number of ‘benefits’ you provide, as long as they don’t exceed £50 at a time or £300 in total over the year.”