Because tax and accounting for small businesses can be very complicated as it's based on rules for big business, and because I'm human and sometimes have to double check what I've written about because someone queries what I've said, I'm adding a couple more specific types of article to this series:
Featured Seller: The Cycling Artist (Tina) Find her shop at Etsy here
and about her work (and guest blogging to come) at the bottom
Stop Press - these will be posted when
Firstly, someone's asked me a question about what I've written which makes me wonder if I've got it wrong.
If that happens (like yesterday with the TSCB 5: When & How to Claim Expenses when someone asked me if Home Phone Line Rental expenses were claimable - yes they are) - then I'll go back into the Article itself, put a temporary note in red above the relevant paragraph warning that it might be changed, go and look it up, then make any necessary changes (removing the temporary note) and add a note at the bottom (an Addition) explaining what I've changed, if anything and why or if there weren't any changes, a confirmation that none were needed and why. Just to be clear, there are no changes to TSCB 5, because what I said was correct for sole traders (the restriction on line rental applies to employees only) and there's an Addition at the bottom saying that.
I'll also issue a Stop Press if changes were needed so that any regular readers who might never go back to that article are aware that there was a mistake. So the right answer will be in both places, the amended Article and the Stop Press.
You might be wondering why I'll be shouting out about mistakes. After all, what I really want is for my readers to trust what I'm saying, so why make them doubt me by telling them that sometimes I get it wrong?
Well, for me, I trust someone more if they're open and honest about mistakes, and if I'm trusting them for something that costs me money, I want to know there's a reliable and easy way for me to find out if there's any changes to what they've said. Whilst my Disclaimer that sits at the bottom of the blog makes it very clear that I'm not responsible for any actions you do or don't take as a result of reading my tax articles; there's no point in me writing a load of misleading twaddle and expecting people to keep on reading it!
And secondly, someone asks me a question about one of the articles that makes me realise I could do with giving an example or a bit more information, but it's such a small point that it's not worth making a whole new article about - I'll do a Stop Press on it. If there's obviously a bit of a hole and enough people are confused, then I'll do a Supplementary Article explaining a bit more or a Summary Article.
Or thirdly, if there's a bit of news that I think it's worth telling you about sooner rather than later. But don't only rely on me for that, the HRMC website http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/ has a section on news, keep an eye on it.
Speaking of supplementary articles, having said I was moving onto Employee Costs and Travel Costs next, that was a lie - from the feedback received, I think I need to do an additional article giving some simple practical examples of how the ideas covered in the recent Expenses articles work in practice because I didn't emphasise enough that most of the complications I've been covering, whilst they apply to everyone, not everyone's circumstances mean that they have to deal with that particular complication.
The issue of how to deal with Stock will apply to most craft businesses, and I think some examples would help there too.
So the next article will be Summary Examples for Expenses covered so far, then I'll move onto the next set of expenses of Employee Costs and Travel Costs.
In case people are thinking, 'huh she doesn't have any comments, how does she know what people are thinking?' - I'm reacting to feedback people have given me away from this blog, in emails, Convos in Etsy and comments on various crafting & accounting Forums that I'm involved in.
Guest Blogger Articles
There are quite a few people out there who know more than I do about certain areas affecting small crafting businesses. And when I find out who they are, I'm going to persistently and politely ask them to write a guest article until they give in. And then nag them until they produce the goods.
So far, two people have graciously agreed to do some guest blogging for me once the current series on tax is finished (probably early February onwards):
The first is Tina Mamooser, today's featured seller, whose shop on Etsy is The Cycling Artist which you can find here. She also sells from her own blog (and other places), and at the moment is working on small studies to help her understand more about how to get the visual effects she wants on her large works. And, as a bonus for us, she's selling 100 of these studies for a limited time at the bargain price of £10. Find out more about this on her blog at http://tina-m.blogspot.com/p/100-for-10.html
Anyone who has spent time in the Etsy Forums looking for UK tax or business advice will notice that Tina makes some pretty accurate and sensible comments. As well as selling her work as an artist, she also works as a design consultant/ contractor - and has some very useful and interesting things to say about what small craft businesses need to consider when they start needing a helper for their business, and how HMRC deals with it.
The second is Louise Roberts Battison. Louise has her own business concentrating on tax planning for individuals and uincorporated businesses, her new website is at http://www.taxperspective.co.uk/ - sign up to be notified when it goes live.
Louise & I have known each other for, oof, around 15 years, we've worked together, and whilst we are both practising Chartered Tax Advisers in the area of personal tax for individuals and unincorporated businesses (sole traders and partnerships) - our specific experience isn't in exactly the same areas. For example, Louise has much more experience than I do on dealing with employees, and she's kindly agreed to write an article (I'm trying to persuade her to do several) on those sorts of issues - around the areas of the tax consequences of giving up your day job for a full-time craft business, running your own payroll for helpers and/or taxable benefits.
So, now's the time to leave a comment to give me an idea of what sort of issues you'd like to see covered in future, whether the articles are at the right pitch, and about things you didn't understand about the articles already posted, and I'll see what I can do.