Business Records if you’re Self-Employed

You must keep records of your business income and expenses for your tax return if you’re self-employed as a sole trader or a partner in a business partnership. You’ll need to keep records of your personal income and if you’re the nominated partner in a partnership, you must also keep records for the partnership.


You must keep records of your business income and expenses for your tax return if you’re self-employed as a:

  • sole trader
  • partner in a business partnership

You’ll also need to keep records of your personal income.

If you’re the nominated partner in a partnership, you must also keep records for the partnership.

There are different rules on keeping records for limited companies.

Accounting methods

You’ll need to choose an accounting method.

Traditional accounting
Many businesses use traditional accounting where you record income and expenses by the date you invoiced or were billed.

Cash basis accounting
Most small businesses with an income of £150,000 or less can use cash basis reporting.

With this method, you only record income or expenses when you receive money or pay a bill. This means you won’t need to pay Income Tax on money you haven’t yet received in your accounting period.

What records to keep

You’ll need to keep records of:

  • all sales and income
  • all business expenses
  • VAT records if you’re registered for VAT
  • PAYE records if you employ people
  • records about your personal income
Why you keep records
You don’t need to send your records in when you submit your tax return but you need to keep them so you can:
  • work out your profit or loss for your tax return
  • show them to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) if asked
You must make sure your records are accurate.

Keep proof
Types of proof include:
  • all receipts for goods and stock
  • bank statements, chequebook stubs
  • sales invoices, till rolls and bank slips
If you’re using traditional accounting
As well as the standard records, you’ll also need to keep further records so that your tax return includes:
  • what you’re owed but haven’t received yet
  • what you’ve committed to spend but haven’t paid out yet, for example you’ve received an invoice but haven’t paid it yet
  • the value of stock and work in progress at the end of your accounting period
  • your year end bank balances
  • how much you’ve invested in the business in the year
  • how much money you’ve taken out for your own use

Business expenses

If you’re self-employed, your business will have various running costs. You can deduct some of these costs to work out your taxable profit as long as they’re allowable expenses.


Your turnover is £40,000, and you claim £10,000 in allowable expenses. You only pay tax on the remaining £30,000 - known as your taxable profit.

Allowable expenses do not include money taken from your business to pay for private purchases.

If you run your own limited company, you need to follow different rules. You can deduct any business costs from your profits before tax. You must report any item you make personal use of as a company benefit.

Costs you can claim as allowable expenses

These include:

  • office costs, for example stationery or phone bills
  • travel costs, for example fuel, parking, train or bus fares
  • clothing expenses, for example uniforms
  • staff costs, for example salaries or subcontractor costs
  • things you buy to sell on, for example stock or raw materials
  • financial costs, for example insurance or bank charges
  • costs of your business premises, for example heating, lighting, business rates
  • advertising or marketing, for example website costs
You can not claim expenses if you use your £1,000 tax-free ‘trading allowance’.

Costs you can claim as capital allowances
If you use traditional accounting, claim capital allowances when you buy something you keep to use in your business, for example:
  • equipment
  • machinery
  • business vehicles, for example cars, vans, lorries
You ca not claim capital allowances if you use your £1,000 tax-free ‘trading allowance’.

If you use cash basis
If you use cash basis accounting and buy a car for your business, you can claim this as a capital allowance. However, all other items you buy and keep for your business should be claimed as allowable expenses in the normal way.

If you use something for both business and personal reasons
You can only claim allowable expenses for the business costs.

You can claim for £70 of business expenses.

If you work from home
You may be able to claim a proportion of your costs for things like:
  • heating
  • electricity
  • Council Tax
  • mortgage interest or rent
  • internet and telephone use
You’ll need to find a reasonable method of dividing your costs, for example by the number of rooms you use for business or the amount of time you spend working from home.

Simplified expenses
You can avoid using complex calculations to work out your business expenses by using simplified expenses. Simplified expenses are flat rates that can be used for:
  • vehicles
  • working from home
  • living on your business premises

How long to keep your records

You must keep your records for at least 5 years after 31 January of the relevant tax year.

Very late returns

If you send your tax return more than 4 years after the deadline, you’ll need to keep your records for 15 months after you send your tax return.

If your records are lost, stolen or destroyed

If you can’t replace your records, you must do your best to provide figures. Tell HM Revenue and Customs when you file your tax return if you’re using:

  • estimated figures - your best guess when you can’t provide the actual figures
  • provisional figures - your temporary estimated figures while you wait for actual figures (you’ll also need to submit actual figures when available)

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27 results found, page 1 of 3.  
Sheards Accountants find out if Yorkshire is ready for Making Tax Digital

Monday 26 November 2018

A Huddersfield-based chartered accountants, Sheards, ran a survey in October to find out how prepared people were for Making Tax Digital, and cloud accounting. The results found that 29% of businesses are ‘completely in the dark’ about what they need to do to ensure they comply with next years’ Making Tax Digital legislations. Making Tax Digital (MTD) is to be imposed in the UK from 1st April 2019 for all VAT registered businesses with a turnover in excess of £85,000. Their VAT returns will need to be submitted from within accountancy software as logging onto HMRC and ticking the relevant boxes will no longer be an option. The recent research has prompted worrying suggestions that many could be unprepared for the MTD revolution. The results showed that just one third stated they were “well prepared” for April 2019. Only 42% of the respondents used cloud accounting, and 20% were thinking of migrating to cloud accounting software. Half of the respondents said that if their accountant suggested they switch to cloud accounting, then they would take their advice and migrate. All this shows positive thinking towards moving with the times. So how should you prepare for the digital tax revolution? Sheards’ Director, Kevin Winterburn, says, “It’s not as daunting a prospect as people may think, and I’d actually implore people to embrace the change as it will have many benefits. “Between now and April 2019, there’s lots of things businesses can do to prepare for Making Tax Digital. It’s important to have a healthy, coherent relationship with your accountant. They should be able to advise you on the features of Making Tax Digital, and how best to make the transition from manual to digital.” Kevin also stresses the importance of software compatibility. “From April 2019, any businesses affected by the tax digitalisation must use MTD-compatible software in order to file their returns. Not using software won’t be an option anymore, so businesses must use software that can connect to HMRC systems via an Application Programming Interface (API). The Making Tax Digital scheme will be mandated for all on 1st April 2019, but businesses are advised to introduce MTD software before the deadline for maximum preparation and a smoother transition. Sheards are hosting monthly workshops to inform and advise businesses on MTD, https://www.sheards.co.uk/news/events/archive/article/2018/September/your-invitation-to-our-making-tax-digital-workshops-are-you-ready Following the survey, a respondent was randomly picked out and the winner received a gift box of Prosecco and Truffles.
Posted by Sheards Accounts
Accountancy with a difference branches out into Commercial Finance

Monday 12 November 2018

Yorkshire-based accountancy firm Bohoruns have expanded their business offer, by branching out into the commercial finance sector. The long-established firm in Leeds has traditionally specialised in providing accounting, taxation and payroll services to small businesses and business start-ups, helping them to improve their profitability and to grow. The innovative new business arm enables Bohoruns to offer a fully-rounded package of financial services, providing end-to-end support for clients. Additional services will include support in areas like funding VAT, corporation tax payments, accessing commercial property finance, business loans and venture capital along with alternative finance options such as asset-based lending and peer-to-peer lending. Bohoruns’ Principal, Prakash Bohorun, a Fellow member of the ACCA, said: “We’ve always prided ourselves on offering a friendly, personalised service, having built up strong, trusted relationships with our clients. Recently, we’ve had a great deal of clients who are ready to grow their business, asking for advice on how to access the necessary finance. Others have needed help to overcome cashflow problems identified through our forecasting process.” “At a time when face-to-face contact is widely being replaced by automated services, we’ve found that many business owners are uncomfortable about sharing their sensitive financial information with numerous, often unfamiliar, organisations. In a nutshell, they prefer to talk to one trusted individual, as their designated contact/account manager.” “So, we decided to respond by introducing this additional function into our business mix. This has helped us to continue to develop a practice with a difference in the north and now enables us to accompany our customers along the whole of their journey – thus allowing them to obtain all their financial support in one place. We have expert advisers in place with access to over 120 finance companies available to meet each customer’s individual commercial funding needs.” Image Caption: L to R – Chloe Cooper, Prakash Bohorun, Alka Bohorun and Lindsey Cooper. For further information visit http://www.bohoruns.co.uk
Posted by ABL Business Ltd
Sheards Annual Quiz Night raises £800 for their Charity of the Year

Wednesday 24 October 2018

Sheards Accountants have announced that their annual quiz night, held on Thursday 18th October, raised a fantastic total of £800. Following the news of their chosen charity of the Year for 2018/19, all funds raised will go to The Welcome Centre, the largest food bank in Kirklees, based in Huddersfield. Once again guests were entertained by the legendary quiz master, Kevin Sanders, who tested the sold-out audience with fun-filled questions about general knowledge. He also added some multiple-choice questions and a bingo style quiz. Alongside the fun quiz, there was a raffle to help raise money for The Welcome Centre, with prizes kindly donated from local businesses and staff, to whom they are most grateful to. Over the years, Sheards have carried out a range of activities, including various business events, quiz nights and seasonal dinner’s, in order to raise money for their chosen charity each year. Their events over the past 18 months have raised an impressive total of £14,083 which is a record fundraising total for Sheards. Kevin Winterburn, Director of Sheards Accountants commented: ‘The event was a sell-out and we saw plenty of teams from local businesses, many of whom now attend each year and helped to make this year’s event an even bigger success. We have more events coming up to help raise more funds for The Welcome Centre, including our Bonfire Bake Off and the Curry Night next year.’’ Emma Greenough of The Welcome Centre said: “2018 has been a challenging year for The Welcome Centre, with a 30% increase in demand for the food bank services. This demand means that we need the support of the business community more than ever so that we can continue giving nutritious and filling food parcels to last seven days. Being chosen by Sheards as their Charity of the Year means a lot to us. Their first donation following the quiz night of £800 will enable us to provide 16 families with enough food to last a week. That's the equivalent of nearly 1300 meals of food.”
Posted by Sheards Accounts
Luke makes the grade with business banking credentials

Tuesday 09 October 2018

Commercial finance broker Luke Rodgers has been awarded the Certificate in Business Banking and Conduct (Cert BB&C) from The London Institute of Banking and Finance. Luke, who works at ABL Business in Cleckheaton, passed the exams set by the industry-recognised body, after studying for a year as part of his company’s Continuing Professional Development programme. The LIBF was established in 1879 to advance banking and finance by providing outstanding education and thinking. Focussing on lifelong learning, it aims to equip people in the sector with the right knowledge, skills and qualifications to better meet the needs of businesses, individuals, and society. Through its educational programme it aims to make banking and finance more accessible and better understood, enhancing social inclusion through financial capability. The Level 3 Certificate in Business Banking and Conduct is designed to develop and enhance understanding of FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) regulations in relation to business banking customers and provides essential knowledge of the sector to set an independent standard in customer service excellence. Aged just 21, Luke deals with applications for business finance and manages relationships with his company’s growing client list. He specialises in Asset Finance, sourcing money for entrepreneurs who want to borrow against vehicles, property and invoices and on an unsecured basis. He joined commercial finance brokers ABL Business straight from the 6th form at Lightcliffe Academy, starting out as an apprentice then progressing through the ranks, first completing AAT (Association of Taxation Technicians) qualifications to become a finance broker. He said: “This is a real achievement for me and key to the next big step in my career. ABL Business have been very supportive throughout and I feel that this approach of enabling you to learn on the job has helped me to grow and become more confident in what I do. This, in turn, equips us to provide the best possible service to our clients.” Joint Managing Director of ABL Business Alex Beardsley said: “We’re committed to supporting Continuous Professional Development for all our team members, which strengthens the support that we can provide to businesses. We’re very proud of what Luke has achieved in such a short time. He’s a real asset to the team and his efforts in constantly developing his skills within the sector are much appreciated by his clients.” For more information visit www.abl-business.co.uk
Posted by ABL Business Ltd
Sheards Accountants prepares Yorkshire for Making Tax Digital

Friday 28 September 2018

Huddersfield based accountancy firm, Sheards, have announced that they will be hosting free workshops from October, to help advise businesses on HMRC’s Making Tax Digital (MTD). Sheards specialise in cloud accounting and offer services to help bring businesses into the digital age. With the deadline of April 2019 getting closer, Sheards have set out to support and advise those moving to a cloud-based system, and are the first in the region to do so. With more than 40% of businesses still unaware that the Government is introducing this change, these workshops are a necessity for many business owners. From April 2019 all VAT registered businesses, with a turnover over £85,000, will need to submit their VAT returns through accounting software, as the option currently available of logging onto the Government Gateway will no longer be available. Sheards Cloud Account Manager Mia Baptiste says: “These monthly workshops will focus on critical areas that business owners will need to know, in order to comply with MTD regulations. The workshops will also share the impact it will have on businesses and the extensive benefits cloud accounting can bring. We look forward to helping to support businesses with these upcoming changes.” · The events will run on the first Wednesday of every month, from 3rd October 2018 to March 2019 (excl January) and will take place at Vernon House, 40 New North Road, HD1 5LS. For more information visit https://www.sheards.co.uk/news/events
Posted by KC Communications
Sheards’ renowned Property tax events to return this month

Thursday 13 September 2018

Sheards Accountants have confirmed that one of their renowned Connection Events, Property Tax Pitfalls, is returning, by popular demand. They are running an event that will take place on Thursday 27th September at the Waterloo Suite at Huddersfield RUFC. The event starts at 18:00 and will last until 20:30, and refreshments will be available. Sheards’ expert-led events are a great way to further professional development, and they also provide a great opportunity to network with fellow professionals in the industry. With topics at this event ranging from Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) to Incorporation of Property Portfolios. The event will provide attendees with an update on the current legislation regarding the purchase, renting out and selling of residential properties. It will be presented by Sheards Accountant’s Tax Manager, Chris Barwick, with special guest speaker, Ridley & Hall’s Solicitors Adam Fletcher. There is also a Q&A session at the end. Sheards’ Tax Manager, Chris Barwick, commented on the event: “Due to some really positive feedback, we decided to carry out the event again, changing the hours to the evening. It offers a great insight into the often-ambiguous world of the current property tax legislation. We are looking to add to the success of the last Property Tax Pitfalls event by sharing information to those who will need it most. It is really important and incredibly insightful for people in the property industry, and they will have an opportunity to converse with us after the event has taken place.” Please register your interest here for September 27th https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/property-tax-pitfalls-connection18-tickets-47846934469 or contact lucys@sheards.co.uk
Posted by KC Communications
34 jobs saved as popular Charcuterie and Bar enters administration

Tuesday 14 August 2018

Renowned Specialist Bar and Brasserie, Friends of Ham, with premises in Central Leeds and Ilkley entered Administration on the 7th of August 2018 when Charles Brook and Michelle Chatterton of Poppleton & Appleby, Huddersfield office were appointed Joint Administrators by the Company’s directors. Trading in New Station Street, Leeds since 2012, the business introduced a novel and popular experience for its clientele, specialising in charcuterie, cheese and craft wines and beers. The original business in Leeds has remained very popular with loyal and new clientele but the business in Ilkley took longer to establish itself. Meanwhile, the companion business of Ham & Friends, operated through a separate company, didn’t flourish and was latterly re-launched as a drinking venue trading as Lucky No. 7. After in-depth reviews, the directors reluctantly concluded that a sale of the businesses, as a going concern, should be pursued urgently with a view to saving jobs and improving the outcome for creditors. Friends of Ham Limited which was the company running the businesses trading from New Station Street, Leeds and Ilkley, entered Administration on Tuesday the 7th of August 2018 whereupon an immediate sale was concluded with a local independent buyer, Glentrool, who have 25 years’ experience within the corporate sector and drinks industry. Ham & Friends Limited, which ran the premises trading from Merrion Street, Leeds ceased trading on the 5th of August 2018. Charles Brook Partner of Poppleton & Appleby said: “In a highly competitive market the cost of managing the development of the Ilkley and Merrion Street businesses placed significant strain on the combined financial resources of the two companies. Although the original business was resilient, cash flow suffered and the companies came under increasing pressure to maintain payments to their creditors. The directors took advice and it was initially hoped that a CVA might be proposed to and agreed by creditors; however, even as those proposals were distributed, it became apparent that the protracted UK heatwave had caused a significant short-term reduction in footfall within the Leeds City Centre and especially at the flagship premises which didn’t have the benefit of an outdoor area for its clients.” Katie Pannu of purchasers, Glentrool said: “We are delighted to be investing in such a unique and vibrant business and want to confirm that all of the remaining employees from each of the locations have been retained.   Friends of Ham has been meticulously developed by Anthony and Claire Kitching over the past 5 years as the go to destination for the craft beer and food lovers of Leeds. It is a fantastic concept in great locations with loyal customers. Our investment ensures the future of Friends of Ham and we look forward to working with Anthony and Claire”. The Joint Administrators were represented by Peter Harling a Partner at Chadwick Lawrence LLP Solicitors in Leeds. Marketing and valuation support was provided by Daniel Hey of Walker Singleton, Chartered Surveyors. Glentrool were represented by Matthew Thompson and Dahren Naidoo of Freeths Legal Services.
Posted by Poppleton & Appleby Northern
It’s good to talk - when a business venture hits financial trouble

Thursday 26 July 2018

We recently received an urgent referral asking if we could help a business venture that was heading for the rocks, having run into serious financial difficulties. It was a high-profile hospitality sector project which was eagerly awaited, so there was much speculation building up about why there was no sign of it opening, more than a year after it was originally promised. Far from being an ill-thought-out scheme, it was part of a very credible expansion plan by a successful entrepreneur. The problems that arose were, on the face of it, no fault of his own. It wasn’t until things reached crisis point with negative rumours being discussed online, that the business owner decided to speak out publicly about the situation. When our contact raised the alarm, we quickly set the ball rolling, knowing there’s nearly always a way to source funding that will salvage a viable proposition. Very sadly in this case, “too late was the cry”. The landlord of the premises had reportedly terminated the lease and called time on the venture. No-one likes to dwell on a negative, but this was not an isolated case and we feel there’s a lesson to be learned. The moral of the story is that “it’s good to talk” in many cases where we’d really rather not; about our health problems both physical and mental, and about the ill-health of our business and finances too. The time to speak up is when there’s still chance for someone to step in and save the day. This entrepreneur already had a successful business, so maybe asset finance, borrowing money against existing property, would have sustained the new venture to fruition. With a venue poised to open, invoice finance might have been appropriate, lending against future payments owed to the existing business. A bridging loan could tide things over until the new venture is off the ground. An experienced commercial finance broker, like ABL Business, will carefully assess the situation and put together an appropriate tailored package. We have access to over 120 funders, including many alternative lenders who are much less risk-averse than traditional banks. Alternatively, we may have been able to connect the entrepreneur with potential investors or venture capitalists through our partnership with the “dealmaker” Business Catalyst Club. Unfortunately, there’s still a huge taboo around airing our financial woes in public. Understandably no-one wants to admit to themselves and others that a venture or a business is in trouble. But, just like with our health problems, there’s no shame in asking for help. An expert with a different perspective may be able to turn the situation round or, at worst, help you protect your personal assets from the impact of a business failure. So, in conclusion PLEASE DO “talk to a human” before it’s too late. You can always call us for a confidential chat on 01274 965356
Posted by ABL Business Ltd
“Cheers!” as funding package makes pub dream come true

Thursday 26 July 2018

Commercial finance brokers ABL Business have been raising a glass with licensee Janice Atkinson after helping her to realise her dream of owning her own pub. Janice had run the popular gastro pub, just outside Manchester, for several years when the opportunity arose to buy the premises. ABL’s joint Managing Director Alex Beardsley, Commercial Finance Executive Luke Rodgers and their team worked with Janice to secure a cash injection which she has used for the purchase and refurbishment of the pub. Janice was first introduced to ABL towards the end of 2017 when she was looking for some expert advice on how to get the finance to cover the full cost of buying the pub. After gathering all the necessary information from Janice and gaining an understanding of her and her business, it was decided that her best option would be a 100% purchase price mortgage from Barclays. That meant that the full purchase price was covered without Janice needing to find a deposit. Like many commercial properties, the pub purchase was liable for VAT on top of the asking price, so there was also a specialist VAT Bridge loan put in place to cover this expense. Many commercial property sales are exempt from VAT but people have to pay it upfront then claim it back. The VAT Bridge loan covers this expense until the client is in a position to reclaim the payment and clear the outstanding debt. Once she’d bought the pub, Janice came back to ABL Business at the beginning of this year, seeking help to source an additional loan to cover the cost of a refurbishment. Alex Beardsley said: “As we’d already built up a relationship with Janice it was easier for us to understand her needs and work out what the best course of action would be. At this stage it was decided that an unsecured business loan from alternative funder RateSetter would work best for her and the pub. “An unsecured business loan is easier for small businesses to obtain, as they don’t have to come up with collateral - so Janice did not have to secure the repayments against her property.” The newly refurbished pub is now up and running, serving great food in a beautifully-refurbished restaurant area upstairs and putting on popular evening events for customers. In this case, the ABL team were particularly delighted to join their satisfied customer for a celebration drink. Alex added: “We’re delighted to see the project come to fruition and wish Janice and her lovely pub every success for the future.” Janice says: “It’s been a pleasure to work with ABL Business Ltd to get the funding I needed to be able to purchase the pub and to do the refurbishment. If any businesses are looking for finance, be sure to speak to ABL”. • Should you have any funding requirements; whether for development or business growth, the team at ABL Business will work with you to structure a finance package that suits the needs of your business. Find out more at www.abl-business.co.uk, call 01274 965356 or email info@abl-business.co.uk .
Posted by ABL Business Ltd
Sheards Smash Fundraising Target

Monday 16 July 2018

Over the last 18 months, Sheards have carried out a range of activities such as various business events, quiz nights and seasonal dinner’s in order to raise money for their chosen charity of the year, Kirkwood Hospice. Their events over the past 18 months have raised an impressive total of £13,283 which is a record fundraising total for Sheards since they started forming charity partnerships. Sheards were originally hoping to raise £5,400 for the hospice so that they could purchase a pressure relief mattress- a piece of equipment to prevent patients from developing pressure sores. But having smashed their fundraising total, the Hospice can now spend the money on further equipment vital for the Hospice and its patients. Kevin Winterburn, Director of Sheards Accountancy commented: We are thrilled to have raised such a significant amount for such an outstanding charity. We would like to thank every single business and individual who has come and supported our events as you are the reason we have been able to end the year with such a high total for Kirkwood Hospice. Kate Leadbeater from Kirkwood Hospice said ‘We would like to wholeheartedly thank Carolyn, Kevin and the whole Sheards team for all their time, effort, support and a truly amazing year! All funds raised will purchase mattresses for our in-patient unit ensuring the comfort and safety of our patients and for this, we are truly grateful.
Posted by KC Communications
27 results found, page 1 of 3.  

Events Posted

2 results found 
Image for
Making Tax Digital Workshop
Wednesday 6 February 2019, 12:00 - 13:00
Vernon House, 40, Sheards Accountancy Limited, New North Road, Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, HD1 5LS
20 Credits - 12 places remaining
Image for
Making Tax Digital Workshop
Wednesday 6 March 2019, 08:00 - 09:00
Vernon House, 40, Sheards Accountancy Limited, SHEARDS, Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, HD1 5LS
20 Credits - 12 places remaining
2 results found 
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