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Take advantage of HMRC information for business owners

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Find out about the updates, toolkits, webinars, videos and more that can assist you in managing a successful practice.

Whether you’re a sole trader or you’re running your interior design practice as a limited company – or you’re just starting and not sure yet which route to follow – HMRC provides extremely useful and accessible information. It will get you in the know and keep you up to date as a small business owner.

To help you track down all the information that is relevant to your business, we’ve put together a guide to the useful content HMRC provides. And while there’s plenty of written information, videos and webinars provide alternative ways to find out about tax and more, and there are simple routes to getting your questions answered.

Find information if you’re a sole trader

If you run your interior design practice as a sole trader and pay tax through self-assessment, sign up for HMRC’s help and support email service and you’ll receive email alerts about self-assessment and you can register for webinars during which you can ask questions via the text box on screen.

There are also YouTube videos, and online guides, which you can find out more about on the help and support for self-assessment page.

The range of videos on self-assessment include topics such as registering for self-assessment, the expenses that can be included in your tax return, record-keeping and more. There’s even a video of bizarre excuses for late filing and the worst expense claims received by HMRC if you need a little light relief.

HMRC also offers toolkits to help with completion of the self-assessment tax return if you do this yourself. The capital versus revenue expenditure toolkit provides guidance on the errors HMRC says it finds commonly occur in relation to capital versus revenue expenditure. The income tax losses toolkit, meanwhile, does the same for errors with regard to income tax losses.

Visit the self-employment section of the HMRC site as well. Here, there are links to recorded webinars including an overview of self-employment and HMRC, record keeping for the self-employed, and completing an online tax return, together with handy videos.

Get in the know if you run a limited company

If you’ve set your practice up as a limited company of which you are a director, you can also sign up for email alerts, register for HMRC webinars, access the recorded webinars already available, and watch videos on the help and support for company directors page.

Employ staff in your practice? There are also alerts, webinars and videos via the help and support for employing people page. There’s also a selection of videos on running a small business available via this page, or directly on YouTube.

Get help if you’re starting out

For those starting a business or becoming self-employed, there are also free one week online programmes with HMRC directing you to KickOff in Business. Be aware, however, that this is not available in Greater London, the West Midlands, Cambridge and Peterborough, Bristol and Bath, Tyne and Wear, Tees Valley, South and West Yorkshire and Liverpool City region.

Meanwhile, those about to launch a practice might also find the video on choosing a legal structure useful.

Find out more about Brexit issues

If Brexit has affected your practice in any way, take advantage of the webinars and videos for businesses that trade with the EU.

How else can you get tax savvy?

Check out the A to Z of money and tax information, which you can browse if you need to discover more about particular taxes including national insurance and VAT.

There is also a list of business and finance support for those starting out, including information on finding software for filing company documents, and links to support for businesses in specific regions.

If you have chosen a company structure, the A to Z of running a limited company, covers a wide range of associated topics, including corporation tax.

Finally, if you’re a fan of using online forums, the HMRC customer forum allows you to ask questions and pick up tips on topics such as VAT, the national minimum wage and national living wage, and business tax.

Make the most of HMRC information

There’s plenty of help with running a small business to be had on HMRC’s website, and signing up for updates is a great way to make sure you’re abreast of all the issues you should be. Use our links to navigate to the right places on the site for information in the format you prefer, too.