ClearSky’s New Year resolutions for contractors

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Now that we’ve got the festive celebrations out of the way for another year, as a contractor you’ll inevitably start focusing on your goals for the next 12 months.

At ClearSky, we know there’s no ‘one size fits all’ solution to having the perfect New Year. Everyone wants different things and has their own views on what constitutes success.

That being said, there are a few things you can do to make reaching your goals that little bit easier. We’ve put together a few important things you should be mindful of.

Keep on top of important deadlines

Nothing can derail your plans for a stress-free year faster than finding yourself having to complete tax returns or annual accounts at the very last minute. That’s why it’s a good idea to familiarise yourself with important dates and plan ahead so everything can be completed ahead of schedule.

The most pressing deadline at the moment is for the self-assessment tax return, due on the 31st January. If you weren’t one of the 24,228 self-employed professionals who submitted their returns between Christmas Eve and Boxing Day, it’s essential to act now to avoid a penalty.

Of course, that’s not the only thing you’ll need to have on your radar. That’s why we’ve created this handy guide to help you keep on track of everything. This will let you plan for everything well in advance, relieve unnecessary stress and leave you free to get on with what you do best.

Plan your financial future

Whatever your goals for 2016, chances are that making the most of your income will be right up there – and who can blame you? We all know that being a company director is one of the most tax-efficient ways to work, but what else can you do to keep hold of more of your hard-earned cash?

The answer is, quite a few things actually. There are lots of tax saving opportunities out there to take advantage of, from company loans to claiming capital allowances. You can also get relief on pensions and charitable donations, so it’s really worth doing your research and finding out ways to make your money go further.

Everyone’s different so what might work for one person won’t necessarily be successful for someone else. That’s why our personal accountants are on hand to offer advice based on your own circumstances. Our sister firm, ClearSky Business, is also perfectly poised to help with things such as financial planning, insurance, savings & investments and mortgages.

Get up to date with legislation changes

This year sees a whole raft of new measures come into force. From dividend tax changes to an increase in stamp duty on second homes, it’s essential to keep up with what’s happening and be mindful of how you could be affected.

Forward planning is a great way to make sure you’re well prepared for whatever looms on the horizon. That’s why you should also pay close attention to events such as the Budget and Autumn Statement so you can get a good idea of what’s in store in the coming years.

By doing this, you can make sure you won’t get any nasty surprises and be confident that you’re in the best possible position to make the most of the many benefits contracting has to offer.

Over to you

Are you a contractor? Have you made any resolutions this year? Let us know on Twitter, or by leaving a comment below.