financial matters

How Could a Contractor Stay on Top of Finances in the 2013-14 Tax Year?

Finance MattersIf you are a contractor or considering becoming one, you may be easily forgiven for thinking that all you need to do is source and complete your own contracts. Unfortunately, this isn’t quite the case, as you will also need to stay on top of various financial and administrative matters, including – among other things – tax returns and accounts.

While setting up as a limited company gives you the opportunity to set your own working hours and decide which projects you work on, it is worth bearing in mind that this freedom also means you must take on the responsibility for making sure you meet all the necessary accounting regulations. Unlike when working for an employer, such matters cannot be left to your HR team to sort out for you, and if things like tax assessment returns are submitted late then you might find that you are issued with a fine from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

As such, it is vital that you make the effort to keep a firm grip over your finances. With the new financial year just a few weeks away (in case you weren’t aware already, the 2013-14 fiscal period begins on April 6th), now is a good time to start getting your finances in order. This will require you, among other things, to maintain accurate records about all the income received from your contracts and have receipts for all the goods and services you have bought as part of your work and that you wish to claim tax back on as expenses.

Creating a methodical system for tracking all your incoming and outgoings throughout the tax year ought to be your first step in doing this. However, it can be difficult to stick to when you’re busy working on existing projects and simultaneously attempting to secure future contracts.

Even if you are relatively confident with financial matters, you might not always be able to devote as much time to sorting out tax and other accountancy affairs as you would like. As such, it’s a good idea to utilize the services of an accountancy services provider. In doing so, you will have a team of accountants and other financial experts who will assist you to make sure all of your records are accurate and can help to maximize your income in the most tax-efficient manner possible. Working with such an organization will also help you to ensure that all compliant statutory tax returns that need to be submitted to HMRC and Companies House are done so correctly and on time, enabling you to devote more energy to working on projects.

The above is only a brief guide for contractors looking to manage tax and other finance-related matters, so if you need further guidance it is best to speak to HMRC or an accountancy services provider like PayStream. In doing so, you will be able to get advice that will be relevant to your individual circumstances.

Please share your experiences of keeping on top of your finances and other administrative matters by posting a comment below.

What Does the IMF do for Financial Markets

What Does the IMF do for Financial Markets

With the financial markets as volatile as they are today, we tend to highlight things we may not have noticed before and question the governing institutions that have direct and clear influence over the economy. One such financial markets institution is the IMF otherwise known as the International Monetary Fund and sometimes known simply as “The Fund. Although there have been a few red flags of late leading to increased scrutiny of the IMF, most still don’t know what the institution does, how it works or where it came from. Let’s look at some of aspects of the IMF as we try to understand how they influence financial services and markets today.

The Founding of the IMF

In July 1944, the United Nations conceived an idea to create an institution that would stabilise the world’s monetary system, much in the same way the United Nations sought to stabilise amicable relations between countries. The priority was to ensure the breaking of the vicious cycle of competitive devaluations that was a major player in the events leading up to the Great Depression. Although we still have recessions and major setbacks in financial markets today, the IMF strive to hold back the worst of it.

The IMF Today

Even to this day the IMF seeks to fulfil their initial purpose of keeping the monetary systems of the world in check. However with financial stock markets and the forex adding more complex systems to the infrastructure of the world’s economy, it remains a constant battle. However the IMF acts as an ideal; their existence promotes sustainable economic relations and growth, strives to increase living standards in a proportional and balanced way and reduce overall poverty worldwide. It’s truly a noble endeavour; capital and financial markets can afford to grow while the IMF remains vigilant on standby as the world’s economic fire fighters.

The IMF as Guardians

One of the ways the IMF helps is through offering loans to struggling countries in times of need; they can balance out those countries ailing economies which can bounce back into the global financial markets due to the stability those loans offer. One major recent example was the struggles that Greece has been going through in regards to the Euro Zone crisis; the IMF stepped in and offered a helping hand. The IMF is able to function in this regard in a few ways that other similar financial markets and institutions operate. If the current trends are to be believed then financial markets are going to need all the help they can get; it’s a good thing then that the IMF waits in the wings to lend a helping hand.

Eugene Calvini is a writer and forex enthusiast; armed at first with a FX demo account he has gone on to be a fully fledged Metatrader 4 forex broker and enjoys sharing his insight on forex topics.

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