Happy new year

Today is the first day of the new tax year (it runs to 5 April 2013). As of today you can earn £7,440 over the next 12 months without paying any tax.

But that is £7,440 after expenses. That’s after you have deducted the cost of travel, of equipment, of any studio time or other professional services you might have needed during the year. It’s after you have deducted the cost of working from home (if you do). It is even after you have deducted the costs of being a member of the appropriate union.

So April is a good time to start thinking seriously about how you keep your accounts, how you organise your financial affairs and how you operate as a business. That is key: as freelances, we are small businesses. When it comes to money we need to think of ourselves not as creative people but as businesses that provide creative services or products.

By the end of April I hope to have given you plenty of ideas about how you can make more of the money you earn yours by keeping better records and using the full range of tax allowances and benefits available to you.

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