Planning tax returns – hints and tips for bloggers

Does it depress you to think that I am already planning my 2013/2014  tax return?

Are you a January filer?

Do you leave everything to the last minute?

I just don’t know how you do it. I am so ridiculously organised with my accounts that I just cant stop myself from filing as soon as I am able too. It stops me stressing and this year should give us a nice tax rebate on Gaming Daddy of Twos earnings.

I am currently preparing my March accounts so I can add any small changes in just before I file at the beginning of April. This year its not just my accounts but Gaming Daddy of Two as well. His are a bit more complicated as he worked for part of this year and then he has all the set up costs for his blog too. Its so exciting. Ok maybe not for you but I used to be an accountant and this time of year is always a buzz in the accounting world so I feel a bit left out.

Mind you I still know it will be fairly easy to file the returns as i keep fantastic records and as it is coming up to the beginning of a new
financial year I thought I would give you a few little tips that will really help get your organised for next year.

My biggest tip is get a diary. One that is just for your taxes. Sounds weird right? How many events have you traveled too that you have forgotten about? how many expenses have you not claimed because you mislaid the receipt?
Buy a 2014 diary now and start it from the 5th April, then from 1st January 2015 turn to the beginning of your diary and work up to April. Add in any events you attend, how you traveled, cost of travel  or mileage and any other expenses you have. Now when you spend money for the purpose of your blog put it in here too.

I would also recommend keeping a small sealable plastic wallet to store receipts. Empty this monthly and add the details onto a spreadsheet. If you can scan them brilliant but if not file them away somewhere safe. You shouldnt need them again as all the details are on your spreadsheet but you never know if the tax man might like to take a look.

So far these two tips on expenditure will save you an absolute fortune but what about income?

I have two paypal accounts I run one for my blog and one for Blogs Up North. This helps to keep my income streams separate. I also use my bank statements to track the few companies that like to pay by cheque or bacs. Tracking income is fairly easy and you can either add it to you diary, place it in your spreadsheet or just pull it all together at the end of the year. Personally I like working on a monthly basis and use online statements from my bank and paypal to work out my income and add it to my spreadsheet each month.

Its really quite simple, you dont need a complicated system to do the basics and once the basics are in place you can start looking at other deductions you can make such as working from home or phone calls. You can find out more about those from the HMRC website. These two links are a great source of information

Good luck! Get organised and if you have any questions I can always see if I can help!