Self Employed? – Here’s 5 Reasons Why You Need An Accountant

For the self-employed, tax time can be an entirely different experience than for those who are either employed by another company or own their own business. Being self-employed means that you are technically both an employer and an employee, and are at times responsible for paying taxes on issues that affect both.

Taxes are already complex enough for the average individual, but that situation is exacerbated by your current status. As a result, it may be wise to talk to an accountant, as they can not only find special deductions and benefits, but save you the time and anxiety of having to figure out your tax status.

1. Special Rules

In the United States, every working individual is responsible for paying tax for Social Security and Medicare. However, the amount of tax paid is typically split between the employer and employee, whereas with a self-employed person they are responsible for both. This is just one of a number of different rules and forms that change as a result being self-employed. Having a certified accountant will help you sort through the brambles and not have to worry about an audit.

2. Loopholes and Tricks

Regardless of what type of situation you are in, it’s never a bad idea to consult an accountant as they are far more educated on how to maximize your tax return. Every year the government passes legislation or makes changes to the tax code that affects businesses of all types. Special credits and other tax friendly programs may also be introduced but not publicized to the general public.

Accountants are paid to keep abreast of such situations and how they apply to their various clients. In fact, many of the special tax benefits and tricks apply specifically to those who own a business, and having an accountant experienced with the self-employed may end up saving you far more than the cost of the hiring one.

3. Time

Even if you are willing to sift through the morass of new forms, rules and special deductions and exemptions, the one thing you will inevitably lose is time. Paying an accountant to do your taxes will save you time to concentrate on running your business. Depending on how much income you can generate with that time, it may be that it’s more cost effective to earn money to pay for an accountant than do your taxes for free.

4. Advice and Audits

Accountants can also be relied upon for advice as to how to avoid certain tax penalties or qualify for specific deductions or exemptions. For example, as you can deduct equipment purchases over a single year or over a extended period of time, you can consult them on which deduction works best for your business. If you are by chance audited, a qualified professional can assist you with the process.

5. Online Alternatives

For some self-employed individuals, it can be very difficult to pay for an accountant given their limited financial resources. Relying on an accountant, however, doesn’t necessarily mean relying on a living person. Accounting software can be just as adept at finding the best deductions provided you give it the information they require.

As a result online software is best reserved for those that have relatively simple situations, especially self-employed individuals who will likely be using the standard deduction for much of their taxes.

John Hill writes on behalf of Public Liability Insurance dot org an online resource for business insurance including childrens liability insurance.

Riots Put Strain On The Finances of UK Cities

August was a time of civil unrest in cities including Manchester, Salford, Liverpool, Nottingham and Birmingham, with shops being looted and set ablaze. Victims of the riots sadly face a tough financial crisis as they try to restore the damage to their businesses and properties while at the same time trying to recover loss of earnings and stock.

The Head of Media at British Retail Consortium had expressed concern that all the damages to shops and homes caused by the rioting and looting could hit the £1 million mark. It’s feared that many will no longer want to trade again as they know the police will not be able to protect them because of the lack of control they had over the hoodlums.

The British government may have to leverage £100 million on UK taxpayers in the coming years to help restore London. At the same time London Metropolitan Police will also shoulder the insurance to people who were affected by the mayhem. The Riots (Damages) Act of 1886 specifically dictates that if the nature of the destruction is caused by riots sparked by the peoples’ resentment against the government, then the police will have to compensate the affected ones.

Local City Councils are providing the following help to those who were affected:

Local Business Support
If you operate a business in the affected area of the rioting and it sustained damages, you could be eligible to seek help from your local council. Assistance includes loans for repairs / refurbishments; this will help to shoulder expenses that may be beyond your means. Expert advice will also be available.

Rebuild Your Home Support
If your home sustained extensive damaged as a result of the riots and you do not have the funds to repair the damage, then you could be eligible for government assistance. You could receive up to £5,000; however this depends on your personal circumstances.

Riot (Damages) Act
According to The Riots (Damages) Act of 1886, you could be eligible to claim from your local police department if you do not have sufficient insurance to cover your losses.

Riot Victim Support
If you’ve sustained physical injuries or have been emotionally shaken by the disturbance, there are a number of government-funded charities that are providing emotional support and advice on taking legal action against assailants.

The Valuation Office Agency (VOA)
The Valuation Office Agency (VOA) is a counter checking agency that is visiting affected areas and making assessments on whether or not certain properties should be exempt of taxes, or at the very least, reduce the tax that has been previously imposed.

Tax Adjustments
Should the Local Council deem you worthy, they could give you tax discounts to provide support while you’re recovering from the effects of the riots.

Sharron Ellis writes about debt and offers information on debt management and bankruptcy.