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Getting established in England, seek advice
Thread poster: TRADL

TRADL
France
Local time: 15:43
English to French
+ ...
Aug 1, 2002

I currently live in England and work for a translation company but I am thinking of going freelance and would like to know what steps to take, ie. how does it work with taxes and NI, where do I have to register as a freelance...Thanks for your help !

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Mary Worby  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 14:43
Member
German to English
+ ...
Hints Aug 2, 2002

You don\'t have to register as a freelancer as such. You need to tell your local tax authority (there\'s actually an Inland Revenue national advice line, the number should be in the phone book) that your status has changed and you are now self-employed. You will also have to make NI payments (initially, assuming your income is low, these are fixed payments - when income increases it becomes variable and more complex). The best think is to ring up the Inland Revenue and take it from there.



In terms of finance, the most important thing is that you keep an exact record of everything. All invoices, receipts, payments, etc. Unless you\'re an accountant yourself, or know a friendly one, you\'ll have to pay for an accountant at some point



You don\'t need to register for VAT unless your turnover is 50,000 pounds a year, so you\'re unlikely to have to worry about that in the first year



HTH



Mary


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Mary Lalevee  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 14:43
French to English
Being self-employed in England Aug 2, 2002

Hi,



It is really very easy to start up. As a freelance translator you are \"self-employed\" and you need to register with the Inland Revenue, which you can even do by phone (! - I used to live in France and it is SO much easier here in the UK) and I think you have to register wthin three months of starting work. You will pay NI contributions of £2 a week. As the other Mary said, you have to keep a precise record of what you earn and of your expenses, as, at the end of your first tax year, you will have to fill in a tax form (or get an accountant to do it for you), to declare your earnings, on which you will pay approx 25% tax. For example, I started work last Sept (2001). I filled in a tax form in April, and got my tax bill a few weeks ago. I have to pay it next January, when I will also have to pay half of the following year\'s estimated tax bill. The other half I will have to pay next June.



So you have to be careful to put money aside for that tax bill.



The Inland Revenue run seminars to help self-employed people get set up - I attended one and it was very helpful.



Good luck!

Mary


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Gillian Searl  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 14:43
Member (2004)
German to English
It's very easy Aug 2, 2002

like Mary said. All you need to do is contact the Inland Revenue and they\'ll pass on your details to the Contributions Agency for National Insurance. Tell the Inland Revenue you are now self-employed and they\'ll do the rest. Then you buy an all singing and dancing computer, write a CV and send it to as many agencies as you can. When you get work, keep good records and chase the late payments and you\'re up and running! Then you just need to fill in the self-assessment form and the authorities will be very happy to take the tax and NI off you!

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OlafK
United Kingdom
Local time: 14:43
English to German
+ ...
I agree Aug 2, 2002

I\'ve been freelancing for two years and it is very easy to set up.

But in addition to the £2 per week NIC you pay 7% NIC with no benefits attached, just another tax. The regular Tax is, I think, 22% for income upto £28.000.

The tax return forms are easy enough to fill in.

I don\'t think you should take an accountant in the beginning, \'cos in the UK they charge an arm and a leg. But maybe they know tricks we don\'t!

I never had problems with late payments but so far I have only worked for clients in the EU, mostly in the UK. I think it\'s important to have a chat on the phone with them first. Always negotiate the price first. Sometimes you might get a call from a PM who doesn\'t know how much you charge and doesn\'t care, but the company will. And make sure you have a purchase order before you return the job.



Good luck


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TRADL
France
Local time: 15:43
English to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Brilliant ! Aug 2, 2002

Thanks for all your contributions ! It does seem fairly easy then, I am still hesitating as to whether to go freelance or not but I am most tempted. Thanks again !

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Geejay
German to English
Changes in taxation Jan 10, 2003

Quote:


On 2002-08-02 18:34, lentieul wrote:

Thanks for all your contributions ! It does seem fairly easy then, I am still hesitating as to whether to go freelance or not but I am most tempted. Thanks again !



Dear Lentiuel, Just to let you know: there have recently been changes in the tax law whereby you should change to a limited company instead of being a sole trader(because you pay lower NI contributions). That\'s what I am in the process of doing at the moment. It costs GBP 211.50 to set up, your accountant (if applicable) will charge more, but the tax savings are dramatic (in my case about GBP 2,000 p.a. less). You switch to PAYE, pay yourself a salary at the level of the minimum allowance (approx. GBP 4,800), plus dividends (which are not subject to NIC). Hope this helps.

Geejay

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Adrian Woods
Spanish to English
Co. Limited / NIC Jan 29, 2003

Quote:


On 2003-01-10 13:41, Geejay wrote:

Quote:



On 2002-08-02 18:34, lentieul wrote:


Thanks for all your contributions ! It does seem fairly easy then, I am still hesitating as to whether to go freelance or not but I am most tempted. Thanks again !





Dear Lentiuel, Just to let you know: there have recently been changes in the tax law whereby you should change to a limited company instead of being a sole trader(because you pay lower NI contributions). That\'s what I am in the process of doing at the moment. It costs GBP 211.50 to set up, your accountant (if applicable) will charge more, but the tax savings are dramatic (in my case about GBP 2,000 p.a. less). You switch to PAYE, pay yourself a salary at the level of the minimum allowance (approx. GBP 4,800), plus dividends (which are not subject to NIC). Hope this helps.


Geejay





I set up a Limited Liability Partnership, a new figure somewhere between Sole Trader and a Co.Ltd. (DIY, about 100 pounds).



The Inland Revenue self-employment kit says national insurance is Class 2 (2 pounds/wk) plus Class 4 (7% on earnings when declared). However, I found a \"new rules\" section that said if you were charging through a company you (and family) own more than 5% of (or take more than 5% revenue out of) you have to use PAYE (pay as you earn).



Has anyone heard about that?



Adrian Woods

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