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lostwanderer5
03-22-2010, 04:02 PM
Hi Everyone,

Can you suggest where I can find more information regarding taxes for UK writers?

I know in USA, writers can claim deductions etc. before getting published, if they can prove that they are actively pursuing publication.

Is that the case in UK?

Do writers actually need accountants? Or in Uk with the self-tax thing, it's possible to do it ourselves?

I would appreciate any information, since I have got no clue about this.

Thanks

shaldna
03-22-2010, 04:30 PM
www.hmrc.gov.uk

it's the inland revenue / hm revenue and customs.

Terie
03-22-2010, 04:50 PM
Do writers actually need accountants? Or in Uk with the self-tax thing, it's possible to do it ourselves?

Not going to touch the other question as I don't know, but for this one, if you keep good records, you can do it yourself. I always have done, although for now, my record-keeping is simple.

It does mean you'll always have to do self-assessment, but with the new online version, it's easy-peasy! Once I gathered all my stuff for the last tax year, input took less than an hour.

stephenf
03-22-2010, 06:07 PM
If your a self employed writer ,you pay tax just the same way as any self employed person.I sure It is much the same in America.Every body is allowed to earn so much before you pay any tax. After that you pay tax on everything you earn ,minus reasonable expenses.You can fill in you own forms , you don't need an accountant .You calm allowances on an income.So an unpublished writer,with no income, would not be making clams against the tax man

Ms Hollands
03-23-2010, 02:36 AM
^^^Yes, that. ...but you will need to pay National Insurance contributions even if it's your second income. One benefit, at least, is if you make a loss (ie, your expenses), you can offset that against your day job income and that might bring you down a tax bracket if you've had a big loss.

Of course, this is info from four years ago when I lived in the UK! May I suggest you go here: www.businesslink.gov.uk and see what services they can offer you (some free, all cheap).

emilycross
03-23-2010, 03:10 AM
I think if you're in Ireland though, and approved you're tax exempt? I'm not sure (and they've probably changed the rules on that).

Here you go : http://www.revenue.ie/en/tax/it/reliefs/artists-exemption.html (http://www.revenue.ie/en/tax/it/reliefs/artists-exemption.html)

I don't know if this is similar in UK?

waylander
03-23-2010, 03:12 AM
No artists exemption in the UK

cscarlet
03-23-2010, 03:13 AM
I'm pretty new to all of this... what kinds of deductions can writers claim? (besides the obvious: like printer ink or conferences).

Polenth
03-23-2010, 06:14 AM
I don't know whether you can claim things back if you're not earning. I do know a bit about registering, because I did this recently. I've put a few links below, as the site can be a bit of a maze.

How to register as self employed (which you have to do in the UK). Includes a link to the online form, which is the simplest way:
http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/selfemployed/register-selfemp.htm

Various handy links about becoming self-employed:
http://search2.hmrc.gov.uk/kbroker/hmrc/forms/viewform.jsp?formId=490

Information on paying your National Insurance Class 2:
http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/payinghmrc/class2nics.htm

shaldna
03-23-2010, 01:03 PM
National insurance contributions are a big issue too.

Remember that in order to get a state pension you must have contributed so many years worth of NI conts.

You can pay a voluntary contribution, again you need to contact HMRC about this.

stephenf
03-23-2010, 01:05 PM
I'm pretty new to all of this... what kinds of deductions can writers claim? (besides the obvious: like printer ink or conferences).
There is not a list of things ,you have to use your imagination.But,if you sit in a room that needs heat, light etc,research,donations to A W any thing you you have to pay for. You need to keep all record of expenses and income for seven years .The tax man has the right to invite to in to his office, to examine you records, and if he thinks anything is unreasonable he will make you pay it back.

stephenf
03-23-2010, 01:11 PM
National insurance contributions are a big issue too.


.
It is only an issue ,if you don't pay it. For the self employed it's 30.20 every 13 weeks.

shaldna
03-23-2010, 01:14 PM
There is not a list of things ,you have to use your imagination.But,if you sit in a room that needs heat, light etc,research,donations to A W any thing you you have to pay for. You need to keep all record of expenses and income for seven years .The tax man has the right to invite to in to his office, to examine you records, and if he thinks anything is unreasonable he will make you pay it back.


Writers can only claim for heat/light etc if they have an office that is seperate from thier residence (bear in mind that a garage /granny flat office conversion does not count as 'separate'

Also, volutnary donations that are relevant to your occupation are not counted. Only donations to registered charities.

lostwanderer5
03-25-2010, 02:15 PM
Oh you guys are the GREATEST :-)

Ok, I will check out all those links.

I guess what I was wondering was if you can claim for expenses even when you are not earning (so in effect making a loss) - because I do have a day job, and spending money on writing stuff while I am revising my book.

But I will check all of these stuff out - just wanted to start learning the ropes so to speak.

Thanks :-)

zahra
03-28-2010, 07:55 PM
Oh you guys are the GREATEST :-)

Ok, I will check out all those links.

I guess what I was wondering was if you can claim for expenses even when you are not earning (so in effect making a loss) - because I do have a day job, and spending money on writing stuff while I am revising my book.

But I will check all of these stuff out - just wanted to start learning the ropes so to speak.

Thanks :-)

I've been claiming as a writer and actress for about ten years now, and I haven't made any money from either for about 5, I think. But I have a day job, and I spend money on pursuing writing and acting, so I claim. I do the self-employed and employed forms online. Usually gets me a little chunk of change every year. Worth doing, and entirely fair if you spend on your career pursuits.

lostwanderer5
09-28-2010, 11:34 AM
I've been claiming as a writer and actress for about ten years now, and I haven't made any money from either for about 5, I think. But I have a day job, and I spend money on pursuing writing and acting, so I claim. I do the self-employed and employed forms online. Usually gets me a little chunk of change every year. Worth doing, and entirely fair if you spend on your career pursuits.

Yes, this is what I need to find out about. Because I am spending money on writing related stuff now, while I work on my book (hoping to submit it next year), but I do have a day job.

I figured I better learn about this now, so I can find out what I need to keep or do. Hate doing this sort of thing :( but necessary evil I guess.

lostwanderer5
09-28-2010, 02:51 PM
Quick question

When you do register as self-employed in UK - can you claim expenses for BEFORE that date. For example, if I am spending money on writing related expenses now, but register as self-employed in beginning of 2011, can I include those expenses?

Thanks

Alitriona
09-29-2010, 02:33 AM
I think if you're in Ireland though, and approved you're tax exempt? I'm not sure (and they've probably changed the rules on that).

Here you go : http://www.revenue.ie/en/tax/it/reliefs/artists-exemption.html (http://www.revenue.ie/en/tax/it/reliefs/artists-exemption.html)

I don't know if this is similar in UK?

For the moment it still stands, we'll see what happens with the buget in November. An artist must turn in so many copies of their work, depending on the nature of it. After that, you're more or less exempt until the big leagues.

nicolane
09-29-2010, 03:02 AM
The best thing to to is actually call your local tax office and ask - they will be able to make suggestions and answer questions with the correct answer. They will also be able to direct you to the right information on their web site.

whacko
09-29-2010, 05:24 AM
Hi,

Tax in the UK is... taxing. We've got the most complicated system in the world.

To keep it simple: If you earn money from writing, you have to declare your earnings. So you pay tax. Even if it's not your main job.

Not nice, but the good thing is you can then claim deductions for tools of the trade and offset them against your main income. So that may be heat/light etc.

But you could also try and swing a new laptop as a legitimate business expense, and reduce the tax burden. You could even even claim an iPod if it's for business use, i.e. downloading podcasts for, er, research purposes.

Unfortunately, if you're not making any money at writing, you're stuck. It's basically just a hobby then. And train spotters don't, or shouldn't, be deducting the price of a new anorak and notepad from their tax bills.

So it all depends on your circumstances. If you're not declaring money coming in, don't deduct expenses. You could try it though. It's the luck of the draw. All they will do is say no and readjust your return.

And yes, you can claim expenses before you become self-employed. They are start-up costs. Which is a legitimate expense.

Hope this helps,

Whacko