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Self employed whilst claiming housing benefit... Anyone got any experience?

(10 Posts)
JulietBravoJuliet Wed 18-Sep-13 18:59:37

Right, at the minute I'm claiming a bit of housing benefit as I've recently been made redundant from my main job and the income from my other 2 part time jobs just isn't enough.

I've been approached by a local businessman to do some freelance PA work for him - initially a few hours a week for a rate of £50, but if I prove myself, he says there's more work to be had. I'm working on some stuff for him now, but haven't received any payment yet, and I've got an appointment with the HB people to discuss tomorrow.

I'm going to have to register as self employed for this work, which actually sounds quite a nice idea as I'm fairly sure I can expand on this and get more work; looking at setting up as a "Girl Friday" and basically doing whatever people are prepared to pay me for (within reason!!!).

Any ideas how this will work re HB? Obviously the initial £50 a week won't make up for the £700 a month I lost when I was made redundant, so I'm still going to need some help until I've built up my client base. Will I just need to show them invoices that I've raised to prove what I've earned, or do I need an accountant to do projections? I'm hoping I won't be relying on them for long, but I'll need a bit of help while I get up and running.

TIA smile

Jellykat Wed 18-Sep-13 21:14:17

I'm SE, but only claim Council tax benefit as i own my home.
Its the same application form however for claiming both CTB and HB.

As i remember i had to fill out an initial forecast for incomings/ outgoings, in exactly the same way as a self assessment form.. it is reviewed about 3 months later, and then at@ 6 months to check estimations, in the first year.

I did need my UTR and proof of SE status when initially applying, and it can take a while to arrive, so if i was you i'd ring the tax office as soon as.

HTH a bit.

JulietBravoJuliet Wed 18-Sep-13 21:21:23

Thank you smile

What's a UTR? I have to go in every month with wage slips anyway, as my income fluctuates. How on earth do you predict what a new business is going to earn?

EhricLovesTeamQhuay Wed 18-Sep-13 21:33:56

You don't need an accountant but you do need to provide accounts. You get your unique trader reference (UTR) when you register with hmrc. There's a form to fill in to apply for exemption from voluntary NI payments if you earn under c£8000 as self employed, don't forget to do that if you think you won't earn masses.

Jellykat Wed 18-Sep-13 21:35:37

UTR = Unique Tax Reference number, you are sent one when you register as Self Employed.

How to predict is a bit tricky, but if you have to go in every month then yours will be actual, not estimated, figures anyway. smile

Jellykat Wed 18-Sep-13 21:43:44

Have to say though Ehric, i and most SE people i know pay Class 2 NI, at £68 every 6 months its not much.

JulietBravoJuliet Wed 18-Sep-13 21:51:15

Cool, thank you smile I'm trying to decide whether to just trade under my own name, or set up under a business name? Which is best?

Jellykat Wed 18-Sep-13 22:01:43

I do both, my designs are under a business name umbrella which looks professional, but i include my name immediately underneath.. Cheques are therefore made out to my name.. You want to try and avoid having a business account with the bank, as they charge a fortune. You're not supposed to, but everyone does. wink

EhricLovesTeamQhuay Wed 18-Sep-13 22:17:17

Yes I know, XH does too (I'm not SE) but if OP is also earning through paye she might end up paying twice, which would be silly if she only gets a little SE work at first.

Jellykat Wed 18-Sep-13 22:21:09

Ah yes, apologies Ehric, i missed that bit about other work smile

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