The FreeAgent Blog

Introducing the Spring Statement

Posted on 13 March 2018 by Emily Coltman - Jump to comments

Today the Chancellor, Philip Hammond, unveiled the government’s first ever Spring Statement. Here’s the lowdown on this brand new event in the economic calendar.

What is the Spring Statement?

Unlike the complex and comprehensive Budget announcement that we’d normally expect at this time of year, the Spring Statement is simply the government’s response to the updated Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) forecast.

Why was the Spring Statement introduced?

Back in November 2016 the Chancellor announced the government’s plan to change the Budget timetable in order to “provide more stability and certainty for business owners”.

This included replacing the two “major fiscal events” that were being held each year - the Spring Budget and the Autumn Statement - with a single major Budget event in the autumn for announcing major tax and spending changes. The Spring Statement, by contrast, is designed to be a summary of the state of the economy - although the government has said it will retain the option to announce changes to fiscal policy at the Spring Statement “if the economic circumstances require it”.

What did this year’s Spring Statement cover?

While today’s announcement didn’t include any major tax changes or spending changes, the Chancellor did make some interesting points relating to small businesses. These included:

  • More will be done to reduce late payments for small business owners. This could be a boon to anyone who is struggling to collect payments from customers.
  • The government is consulting on potential changes to the VAT registration threshold mechanism, including allowing businesses a longer period after their turnover crosses the threshold before they have to register, and/or allowing simplified VAT accounting for a certain level above the threshold.
  • The government is also seeking views from the public on whether there could be more tax relief available on self-funded work-related training for the self-employed and employees.

Now that the move to a single major fiscal event each year has been completed, we’ll be keeping an even closer eye on the Budget when it’s announced in the autumn! We’ll be reporting on the event here on our blog as usual, highlighting any major tax or spending changes and explaining what they mean for freelancers and small businesses.

Share the self-employment love this Valentine’s Day!

Posted on 14 February 2018 by Fiona Hendrie - Jump to comments

Love it or loathe it, the divisive holiday that is St Valentine’s Day is upon us once more. Rather than convince you to treat your nearest and dearest to a petrol station bouquet or a Milk Tray, we’ve focused our efforts on celebrating something far more important - all the things there are to love about being self-employed.

Freelance life can have the occasional downside (the Self Assessment deadline might still be fresh in your memory), but there are still so many wonderful upsides to running your own business. Here are some of the best things about working for yourself - which one is your favourite?

Share what you love about working for yourself over on Twitter! Click or tap on any of these images to create a draft tweet, with the images already attached! #LoveMyBoss

I can work from anywhere

While your office-dwelling 9-5 counterparts wrestle with the daily commute, your workspace is completely flexible. Your living room, kitchen, office, local cafe, or even favourite country - work happens wherever you open your laptop.

I’m my own boss

When you work for yourself, you’re fully in charge of your own workload, growth and development. Putting in extra hours when the going gets tough is paid back by the flexibility to take extended holidays, and if you want to upskill, you don’t need to ask permission to take time out to learn something new. You’re the boss!

I can do what I want, when I want

We recently asked what your favourite things about self-employment are on Facebook, and some of the answers included: ‘Knowing I can give my clients my undivided attention, and that I can structure my day as I want to’, ‘Freedom and flexibility’ and ‘Sitting in my pants whilst I work’. When you work for yourself, you make the rules, you set the hours, and you decide the uniform (even if that uniform happens to be your pants).

If you'd like to win an A2 print of your favourite poster, head over to the FreeAgent Facebook page and tell us which one you'd like to put up in your home office. Happy Valentine's Day! ❤️

Introducing the Customer Sales Report

Posted on 1 February 2018 by Roan Lavery - Jump to comments

Some FreeAgent trophies for your best customers

Knowing your best (and worst!) customers is a key factor in deciding who to do business with in the future.

Today we’re making it easier to see who deserves the red carpet treatment and who gets the one-way ticket to Dumpsville.

The Customer Sales Report has been one of our most requested features, and allows you to see exactly how much income you’ve received from each of your different customers.

You can slice and dice this data to examine different time periods, compare previous months or years, and see exactly how much income you’ve received from different customers over different time periods.

You can also download this report as a CSV if you get your kicks from spreadsheet wrangling. It takes all sorts.

Find out more about the Customer Sales Report over on our Knowledge Base.

All the best,

Roan and the team at FreeAgent

Five stages of Self Assessment stress

Posted on 25 January 2018 by Victoria Shepherd - Jump to comments

From blissful denial to grim-jawed resolve, where are you at on the Self Assessment stress scale?


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Ages to go until 31 January Self Assessment deadline. Aaaaaages.


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If you at least make a start on your tax return, you can justifiably wind down with at least three hours of Netflix... right? 😱


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You don’t normally envy your office-dwelling, tax-return-free friends, but just look at them with their ‘weekends’ and ‘free time’. Grrr.


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It’s time. Getting your Self Assessment tax return done might not be fun but a stiff upper lip is the only way to go. If you’re in need a helping hand, check out our handy Self Assessment SOS section. Now, go smash that tax return!

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