One of the most important things to think about when you have your own business is tax. It’s really boring and tedious, but it’s so important that you keep a record of both your earnings and your outgoings because once a year, you will need to fill out and submit your tax return to the HMRC. It can be really confusing at first and you need to make sure you get it right. So, I’ve put together a little guide for you..
Even if you’re only earning a small amount from your blog, you still need to make sure you register as self-employed and get your tax return filled in at the end of January each year. You need to make sure you register before the 5th October of the year you start earning. It’s a good idea to use a spreadsheet to keep track of all of your expenses.
Here’s what you can class as expenses:
- Any equipment you have bought for the sole purpose of blogging (ie. camera equipment, your laptop etc.)
- Travel to blogger events (train tickets, bus tickets – but you must keep the receipts!)
- A rate for working from home (as you will be paying for your electricity/internet etc.)
- Anything you pay for to run your blog (your yearly domain fee, your web hosting, any themes/photos you purchase etc.)
As well as having a spreadsheet, it really helps to keep all of your receipts and train tickets etc in one place. I’ve found that a folder on my desk is a great place to start and then I keep them together according to the month which makes it a lot easier to sort out at the end of the year. You need to be able to prove that these things have contributed to your blog, so you can’t just do an ASOS haul and then claim that as expenses.
What you class as your earnings:
- Any money made from sponsored/guest posts
- Any money made from affiliate links
- Any money made from advertisements (banners/links etc.)
- Any gifted items you’ve been sent as payment for a post
If you’re really stuck and this all sounds too complicated for you, you can always have a look at the Tax Talk website which has a lot of advice and useful tips. Once you’ve managed to do your tax return once, it gets a lot easier though, I promise!