It’s that time of year again! As every contractor and freelancer knows, January is the time to get those accounts straight, file your return and pay any outstanding tax. While we’re all familiar with the nuts and bolts of the self-assessment process, we thought we’d take a closer look at the bigger picture. So here are 10 things that you might not know about self-assessment. Hopefully you’re in the 52% of people who have already filed their self-assessment with HMRC – if so you can sit back and read the rest of this blog in a self-satisfied state of calm.
2018 was a great year for us (and our customers). We pride ourselves on providing the best possible service, and our feedback shows that’s exactly what we do. For most, a new year is a chance for a new beginning. For us, it’s simply a case of doing more of the same. We’ve put a few brief snippets on the poster above for you to take a look at.
Want to see more? Head on over to our Feefo page to see our latest feedback: https://goo.gl/JD6KRX
Price hikes and poor service have seen the UK’s troubled rail transport system hitting the headlines again over the last month or two. But until we master the power of teleportation, commuting by train is a necessary evil for many contractors and freelancers who need to visit sites or meet with clients. This blog offers some tips to make commuting less expensive and more productive.
Split tickets are quite possibly our favourite “life hack” ever. A quirk of the ticketing system in the UK means that splitting your journey in half and buying two separate tickets can work out far, far cheaper than buying one ticket for the whole journey. For example, if you need to travel from Birmingham to Reading and back, splitting your ticket at Banbury can save you nearly £60. There are helpful online tools such as Trainsplit to help you find the best ticket combos for your journey. You don’t have to get off at the intermediate station, though the train you travel on does have to stop there.
Another year, and here we are ready to be oh-so-well-intentioned and make those obligatory New Year’s Resolutions. I’m giving up sugar! I’m going vegan! I’m going to read a book a week for the whole year! Inevitably, by the third week of January we’re sat back in the pub, tucking into a mixed grill and a sticky toffee pudding, only up to page 53 of Great Expectations.
That said, a new year can be a useful waymarker on your self-employed journey. It can be a time to take stock, reflect on past achievements and look at the ways forward for your business. The key to New Year’s Resolutions that stick is to make them achievable, impactful and beneficial. Here are some ideas for resolutions for contractors and freelancers that might make 2019 less stressful and more profitable.
Christmas as a contractor or freelancer can be a time of mixed emotions. Yes, it’s a relief to have some downtime and spend a few days with loved ones. But as clients go quiet on us, paid jobs dry up until January and offices and sites across the UK close for the Christmas period, it can also provoke anxiety. Perhaps you’ve been canny this year and scheduled in some ongoing work to tide you over the quiet spell. Or perhaps you are planning on switching off the computer, sending the phone to voicemail and taking some well-deserved time off to scoff mince pies and wear novelty jumpers. But if not, how can contractors and freelancers make the Christmas period a productive one? Here we take a look at some jobs you can do to make best use of this time.
Dear Father Christmas,
We contractors and freelancers have been very good this year. We’ve finished all our jobs to the highest standard, completed our tax returns on time and still managed to see the kids and keep on top of the housework.
So, this year, all we really want for Christmas is…
Kingsbridge had an interesting and very jolly new client call up this week, looking for cover for his present manufacturing and delivery business based in the Arctic Circle. The client works on a contract basis for approximately 75 million parents across the world. The majority of his deliveries are scheduled for December 25th, so this is an extremely busy time of the year for him. He asked us to quickly assess his insurance needs – here are our recommendations.
This client is world-renowned and his reputation is first class. However, with over 600 million presents to deliver, there is always a chance that an unforeseen error might mean a child receives the wrong present on Christmas morning. We advised that he protect himself with a sufficient level of professional indemnity insurance to cover damages arising from such an incident.
We’ve had a busy few months at Kingsbridge HQ. September to December is very much awards season in the business world. Having made it to the very final stage of both APSCo Affiliate of the Year and Business of the Year at the Gloucestershire Business Awards only to be pipped at the post on the evening, we were delighted to win Independent Broker of the Year at the Insurance Times Awards last night.
Seen as the most prestigious event in the insurance industry calendar, the ITA’s welcomed all of the industry’s biggest players to the InterContinental at the O2 in London to celebrate a year’s worth of outstanding achievement. To win such a highly-regarded award in the company of our peers (and host Jimmy Carr) was an honour and one that was well-deserved in light of the continued growth and success of the business.
The judges gave the following rationale for the victory: “To grow fast as an independent broker you need to focus your expertise. The winner has done just that, working with recruiters to identify contractors who are under-insured, building relationships with over 400 recruitment firms across the UK, and rapidly growing turnover to £12m and profit to £5m.”
We’d like to take this opportunity to say a huge thank you to our customers, to our business partners, and to our staff for the continued hard work they put into making Kingsbridge what it is today.
Now, if you’ll excuse us, we’re off to celebrate!
Why getting insurance is a bit like getting your flu jab
Flu season is upon us, and once again the NHS is hard at work convincing us to get our flu jab. The flu jab is offered for free to over 65s, people with certain medical conditions, pregnant women and children aged 2-10, and people outside these groups can pay to have the jab privately to get protected. As newspaper after newspaper publishes articles urging us to get vaccinated, we started to think about how getting your flu jab is a bit like organising insurance for your business: in your head, it seems like a big, scary, unnecessary expense and a pain to organise, but in reality, it is over quickly, easy to arrange, cheaper than you imagine and protects you from a far worse alternative.
65 is the new 35, and many of us are finding that we’re not quite ready to stop working when we hit retirement age. There are, of course, valid financial reasons for deciding to work longer. Many of us are expecting to live longer, and so being able to keep ourselves in a comfortable lifestyle for longer is an attractive prospect.
But more than that, work is a source of fulfilment to many people. It keeps us social and active both mentally and physically.
Having worked hard all our lives, when we hit retirement, most of us aren’t exactly aching to keep doing full-time, 9-5 hours in stressful jobs. A survey by Merrill Lynch found that only 5% of those at retirement age wanted to work full time, while 33% said they wanted to balance work and leisure.