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Amending Mistakes on your Tax Returns

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I wrote a post about filing your tax returns as a freelancer some months ago, and it was well received. So this post is really just a follow-up post, to answer some questions that were asked in the comments and via email.

I set up this blog – Fashion and Style Police in October 2012. And then I knew little or nothing about how bloggers make money. I just wanted an outlet to write. So filing a tax return or registering as self-employed was the last thing As the blog grew, I started getting sponsored posts requests (I wrote all about these in my book, check link directly above) and then I started to think about best ways to send out invoices, registering myself as self-employed and filing the ‘Almighty’ tax returns.

The number question that was asked by many bloggers and freelancers is – “What to do when you have made a mistake filing out your tax return“, followed closely by “How best to keep track of your finances” and “To employ an accountant or not to employ an accountant”.

Here are 3 tips you should answer these questions:

 

Submit your Tax Returns Early

Submitting your tax returns is the first step in getting the process right because you are more likely to complete your tax return without errors when you submit it early. Panic, rush and anxiety usually leads to mistakes. I like to submit my tax returns by May/June (tax year ends April) after the tax year-end even if I have till January. I like to sort out important stuff quickly. And plus if I do make a mistake on my tax returns, I have 12 months to amend it on the HMRC website. So it is better to submit early just incase there are any errors.

 

Check and Check Again

I check my tax returns multiple times before submitting, just incase I missed an error or not included a vital information. I usually get a fresh pair of eyes to check with me as well. It is better to be safe than sorry.

 

Speak with an Accountant

If you are not on top of your finances, to busy to deal with your tax returns or you rather just employ a professional, then speak to an accountant. Sometimes it is best to let the professionals do the work they are trained to do. If you don’t have a budget for an accountant or you are not earning much from your self-employed career, then you may attempt to file your tax returns yourself. I did, and trust me, it is not as difficult as it appears to be. It is quite straight forward, and there are loads of information on the HMRC to guide you. You can aslo call the HMRC office if you need clarification on any tax related issue. The best times to call are Tuesday to Thursday, between 8.30am – 10am, 11.30am – 1pm and 2pm-4pm, but lines are usually open at at 8am Monday – Friday.

 

Do you struggle with filing your tax returns?

 

*This is a collaborative post.

 

 

 

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How to Combat Writer’s Block

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As a freelancer, writing forms a major part of my business. I must admit that there are times when I want to write but I find myself staring at a blank page. Sometimes the struggle is real, and I feel uninspired. Writer’s block happens to even the best of us. It occurs when you are unable to write because you don’t have an idea of what to write or how to write it, or you just feel ‘blank’. Writer’s block is usually caused as a result of stress or tension, which can rob you off the inspiration to write.
Fussing over perfect opening paragraphs, punctuation, or perfect pictures can be a lot of pressure. For some freelancers, fear is the number one reason why they stop dead in their tracks when they want to write.  They’re afraid that their write-up will not be loved by anyone. Forcing the writing process is also a reason why people face writer’s block. Some freelancers who suffer from writer’s block think that the reason why they face writer’s block is because they’re not good writers. But that’s absolutely wrong! Having writer’s block doesn’t mean that you are a bad writer. Even the best writers the world has ever known go through this problem. What is important is that you are able to identify the triggers and work towards the solution.
If you have been struggling with writer’s block, then fighting the root cause of the problems is the best way to deal with it. Here are some tips you may find useful –
Acknowledge that your writing doesn’t have to be perfect
This is where freelancers are the worst hit. It’s not a bad thing to want your work to be perfect. In fact, it’s a good thing. But when you obsess over making every sentence perfect, you hamper your writing process.
If perfectionism is what’s holding you back from writing, then do a brain dump. Freely write about a topic that you want to feature in your blog or article. Don’t worry about the punctuations, spellings, or grammar, you will edit the typos later. Just concentrate on pouring everything you intend to write out on paper or a word document. You’ll be surprised with the amazing content you were able to write down!
Be confident with your writing
I understand that you don’t want anyone to criticize your writing. I feel hurt when someone says ill things about what I write or how I write it. But this should never stop you from writing. If the fear of criticism is holding you back, before you start writing, imagine that you are writing to your best friend, a beloved fan or someone who is in desperate need of the information you are sharing. Since you are coming from the point of being loved, this trick will help you feel relaxed and the ideas will flow freely. Trust me, this tip works like magic.
Make the writing process fun
Although very subtle, some people face writer’s block because, unknown to them, they are forcing themselves to create. It’s very difficult to write under such a condition. The best way to deal with this is to make the writing process very enjoyable. When you catch yourself battle with writer’s block, take a break. Walk around the garden, go for a jog/walk, make yourself a cup of tea or call up a friend. This will help you feel more refreshed and less under stress.
Another tip is to come to writing with the mindset that you’re going to enjoy every moment of writing. Don’t see writing as a job but more as a means of expressing yourself. Give yourself little gifts or rewards for writing. This turns writing into a fun game with a reward attached to it.

Do you struggle with writer’s block? How do you cope with it?

 

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