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We've scoured the web to get you the most up-to-date advice which includes the most useful tools on offer from the officials themselves.

Effective tax planning is essential if you are to minimise your tax bills. Simple tax planning can significantly reduce your tax liabilities.

The self-assessment tax return is an unavoidable burden if you are liable for self-employed tax or have complicated income tax affairs.

Corporation tax is charged on a company's profits. If you trade as a limited company, ensure that paying this tax is as painless as possible.

National Insurance Contributions (NICs) are payable whether you are self-employed or employed by your own company, although different rates apply.

As well as your legal obligations, you’ll want to ensure that payroll is painless and that you use any opportunities to improve your tax-efficiency.

VAT

Effective VAT planning aims to ensure that VAT is relatively painless, and that you are reclaiming as much as possible of the VAT you pay.

Capital gains are made when you sell something for more money than you paid for it. As a result, you can be subject to tax. Take professional advice.

Business property taxes apply to businesses with commercial premises.There are two commercial property taxes: business rates and stamp duty land tax.

If you have tax problems or face a tax investigation, it pays to seek professional advice and you must act rather than just hoping for the best.

Over-50s driving the rise in self-employment

12 November 2019

Many older workers are joining the ranks of the self-employed and are benefitting from that decision, according to new research.

A new report published by the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed (IPSE) has revealed that there are now almost two million (1,907,000) self-employed people over the age of 50 in the UK: a number that has increased by 58% in the past ten years.

The growth is even bigger among highly skilled freelancers. Today, there are almost a million (950,000) highly skilled freelancers in the UK: a number that has risen by 68% in the past ten years.

IPSE's investigation into the motivations of older freelancers has uncovered the key reasons that so many older people are turning to self-employment:

  • 89% say they wanted to be able to work more flexibly;
  • 89% said they wanted more control over their work;
  • 84% wanted more control over their hours;
  • And 83% wanted the freedom to choose where to work.

However, one in four older freelancers did reveal that losing their previous job was a key factor in their decision to become a freelance worker. Just 7% of 16-29-year-olds said the same.

IPSE's research indicates that older freelancers are overwhelmingly happy with their lot. Four out of five (81%) said they were happy with freelancing - compared with three out of five 16-29-year-olds. In fact, 100% of the over-50s polled said that freelancing suited their lifestyle - compared to 90% of those in other age groups.

Chloé Jepps, IPSE's head of research, said: "This research clearly shows that over-50s have played a crucial part in the growth of self-employment in the last ten years. And what's remarkable - aside from the sheer number of older people turning to freelancing - is how happy they seem to be with it.

"Over-50s are looking to freelancing for greater flexibility and control over how and when they work. For some, it is a way to move away from the confines of the 9-5; for others, it's a way to launch or develop a passion project.

"It is clear that freelancing is not just an economic good for this country: it is also a great social good and a liberating force for millions of older workers. It is vital the government gets behind this remarkable shift in our workforce."

Written by Rachel Miller.

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