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Find out everything you need to know about running a business as a freelancer in the UK. From starting up and setting your rates, to saving for tax and completing your Self Assessment, we’ve got you covered.

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Coconut Now Supports Subcontractors on the Construction Industry Scheme (CIS)
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Coconut Now Supports Subcontractors on the Construction Industry Scheme (CIS)

We’re delighted to announce that Coconut’s simple accounting and tax software for sole traders and accountants now supports subcontractors on the Construction Industry Scheme—taking us yet another step closer to ensuring that our software supports the whole of the UK’s sole trader community ready for MTD 2024.

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MTD for ITSA: The £360 Million Opportunity for Accountants
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MTD for ITSA: The £360 Million Opportunity for Accountants

We commissioned Opinium to survey 500 UK sole traders to better understand their views on Making Tax Digital for Income Tax, how prepared they are for the changes, and what action they expect to take to become compliant with the rules. The results revealed an incredible opportunity for the accounting industry.

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A Complete Guide To Self Assessment Tax Returns
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A Complete Guide To Self Assessment Tax Returns

Self Assessment tax returns are a key task in every self-employed person’s to-do list. In this guide, we cover everything you need to know about completing your tax return for HMRC, so you know exactly what income you need to declare.

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Why Coconut's Current Accounts Are Closing
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Why Coconut's Current Accounts Are Closing

We recently announced that all Coconut current accounts will be closing on 30th June 2022. Read on to find out more about what this change to our service means, why we’re doing it, and what it means for the future of Coconut.

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Introducing: the New Tax Tab
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Introducing: the New Tax Tab

For the new tax year, we’ve decided to make some key changes to our Tax tab—which we hope will make it significantly easier for you to find out how much of your earnings you should set aside for tax.

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Making Tax Digital for Income Tax: A Guide for Freelancers
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Making Tax Digital for Income Tax: A Guide for Freelancers

Making Tax Digital for Income Tax will change how freelancers keep records and declare their income from April 2024. That might seem a long way off, but it's important to be prepared—here's our guide to everything you need to know.

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Making Tax Digital Deadlines: Explained
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Making Tax Digital Deadlines: Explained

Do you know when you need to be signed up for Making Tax Digital for VAT and Income Tax? This post contains all the important dates you need for your diary so you can be prepared well ahead of time.

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4 Habits Every Freelancer Should Adopt This Tax Year
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4 Habits Every Freelancer Should Adopt This Tax Year

Whilst the tax return for work you’re doing now may not be due for months, the beginning of the new tax year is the perfect time to build good tax habits. So, in this blog, we’ve outlined four ways you can make this tax year the easiest yet.

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7 Steps to Starting the New Tax Year Right
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7 Steps to Starting the New Tax Year Right

The start of a new tax year is a big day in the self-employed calendar. So, in this blog, you'll find seven key things you can do to ensure that the 2022/23 tax year is smooth sailing for your business.

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How Do I Sign Up For Making Tax Digital? Our Step-By-Step Guide
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How Do I Sign Up For Making Tax Digital? Our Step-By-Step Guide

If you're a VAT-registered freelancer, you need to sign up for Making Tax Digital for VAT by April 2022. And all freelancers earning more than £10,000 will have to sign up for MTD for Income Tax by 2024—read our guide to find out what you need to know.

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What is Making Tax Digital for VAT? All Your Questions Answered
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What is Making Tax Digital for VAT? All Your Questions Answered

Making Tax Digital for VAT will change the way freelancers keep VAT records and submit VAT returns to HMRC—but there's no need to panic! Here's everything you need to know to make sure you're prepared and ready to tackle MTD with confidence.

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How to Submit Your Self Assessment Tax Return in Half the Time
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How to Submit Your Self Assessment Tax Return in Half the Time

Freelancers: make “January panic” a thing of the past with our quick-start guide to doing your Self Assessment tax return. We've broken the process down into bite-sized chunks—so you can tick that job off your to-do list in half the time!

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The Key Tax Dates Every Self-Employed Person Needs in Their Diary
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The Key Tax Dates Every Self-Employed Person Needs in Their Diary

From Self Assessment deadlines to payment on account dates, we’ve listed all of the key tax dates that you need to bear in mind when you're self-employed as a sole trader. Pop them in your diary to ensure you're always on top of your finances!

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Self-Employed Tax Rates For 2022/23: Sole Traders
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Self-Employed Tax Rates For 2022/23: Sole Traders

If you're self-employed as a sole trader, here’s a summary of the key self-employed tax allowances, income tax and VAT rates, and national insurance contributions you need to know for the 2022/23 tax year.

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Spring Statement 2022: What It Means for Self-Employed People
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Spring Statement 2022: What It Means for Self-Employed People

On March 23rd 2022, the Chancellor delivered the Spring Statement to Parliament. In this blog, we’ve listed what was announced, and how each measure will impact self-employed people operating as sole traders in the year ahead.

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What’s the New Health and Social Care Levy & How Will It Affect Self-Employed People?
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What’s the New Health and Social Care Levy & How Will It Affect Self-Employed People?

The UK government has outlined plans to increase National Insurance contributions in the 2022/23 tax year, as part of the new Health and Social Care Levy. Below, we've summarised what these changes involve, and how they will affect you as a self-employed person.

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2022 and the Countdown to MTD ITSA
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2022 and the Countdown to MTD ITSA

The extended tax season is over and so for accountants that means we’re gathering our thoughts and making our plans for 2022. What’s different this year is that it’s the last year before MTD ITSA really kicks in which will dramatically change how we work with sole traders. Read on below to learn how Coconut will support our Accountant Partners through this change.

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How Nancy Used Her Professional Skills to Launch Her Alterations Business
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How Nancy Used Her Professional Skills to Launch Her Alterations Business

Up until March 2020, Nancy was Deputy Head of Wardrobe for the Book of Mormon. But then her hard-earned career came to a halt when Covid-19 hit. In this edition of Community Spotlight, we spoke to Nancy about how she adapted to a tough situation, and used her skill, initiative, and courage to start her own business.

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Squarespace, Surfing & Swimming: How Going Freelance Allows Katy to Live Her Dream Life
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Squarespace, Surfing & Swimming: How Going Freelance Allows Katy to Live Her Dream Life

In this edition of Community Spotlight, we spoke to SQSP Queen, Katy. As is so often the case, going freelance has allowed Katy to live the life that she has always wanted: by the sea, doing a job she loves, on her terms.

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How This Self-Taught Jeweller Is Shaping Her Future Through Self-Employment
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How This Self-Taught Jeweller Is Shaping Her Future Through Self-Employment

In this edition of Community Spotlight, we spoke to self-taught jeweller, Esh: a self-taught, freelance jeweller building a more fulfilling career for herself; one that can fit around her life and potential health concerns in the long-term.

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“My Dog Ate My Tax Return”: When Is It Okay Not to Submit Yours?
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“My Dog Ate My Tax Return”: When Is It Okay Not to Submit Yours?

“I had an argument with my wife and went to Italy for 5 years” is the perfect example of an excuse that HMRC *won’t* accept for a late tax return. So what does count as a reasonable excuse? And is it ever okay not to submit a tax return? We explain all in this blog.

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What Is Making Tax Digital (MTD)? The Ultimate Guide for Sole Traders
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What Is Making Tax Digital (MTD)? The Ultimate Guide for Sole Traders

Are you ready for Making Tax Digital, or still figuring out what that means? This post contains everything you need to know to prepare for the new system and simplify your tax admin—so you can focus on the stuff that really matters.

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How to Reduce Your Payments on Account
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How to Reduce Your Payments on Account

Payments on account are designed to spread the cost of the upcoming year’s tax bill, but the assumptions used to work out your payments might not be quite right if your business has been impacted by the pandemic.

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All You Need to Know About Student Loans and Employment Income for Self Assessment
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All You Need to Know About Student Loans and Employment Income for Self Assessment

If you have a student loan or income from other sources, such as employment salary or rental income, this may affect what you’ll need to pay or the tax rate applied to your self-employment income. Here's what you need to know.

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How to Register as Self-Employed with HMRC
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How to Register as Self-Employed with HMRC

So you've decided to become self-employed—great news! Here's what you need to know about registering as a sole trader with HMRC.

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What Expenses Can I Claim As a Freelancer?
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What Expenses Can I Claim As a Freelancer?

When you’re self-employed, you can deduct a wide range of business-related costs from your taxable profit. Here’s a handy list of the most common things you can claim for as "allowable expenses".

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How to Complete Your Online Self Assessment Using Coconut
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How to Complete Your Online Self Assessment Using Coconut

Once you’ve got your income, expenses and any other allowances and adjustments organised in Coconut, you’re ready to fill in your tax return. You'll most likely be completing your Self Assessment online through the Government Gateway—so this article lays out what you can expect from the process.

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How to Capture Adjustments and Allowances for Your Self Assessment
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How to Capture Adjustments and Allowances for Your Self Assessment

Adjustments in Coconut are a way for you to account for any income or expenses that you haven’t already captured in your transactions. This could be extra income outside of your Coconut account, cash expenses, or work from home (WFH) allowance and mileage.

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Using Coconut to Categorise Your Transactions for Your Self Assessment
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Using Coconut to Categorise Your Transactions for Your Self Assessment

To ensure that all of the information in your Coconut tax return summary is right, it’s important to take the time to check that all of your transactions are categorised correctly. This helps us determine which transactions fall into income or expenses.

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What Is the 'Rent a Room' Scheme & How Will It Affect Your Tax Return?
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What Is the 'Rent a Room' Scheme & How Will It Affect Your Tax Return?

What is the UK's 'Rent a Room' Scheme, who can make the most of it, and do you have to declare the rental income on your tax return? We've summarised the key points in this article.

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What Are the Standard Rate & Flat Rate VAT Schemes?
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What Are the Standard Rate & Flat Rate VAT Schemes?

When you’re self-employed and VAT-registered, you can choose between the standard or flat rate VAT schemes. Here’s what you need to know about both.

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How to Get the Right Numbers for Your Tax Return Using Coconut
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How to Get the Right Numbers for Your Tax Return Using Coconut

We know that doing your Self Assessment can be a bit overwhelming. But it doesn't have to be that way! This guide will show you how to use the Coconut app to get to the right numbers for your tax return in six simple steps.

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Why We’re No Longer Opening New Current Accounts
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Why We’re No Longer Opening New Current Accounts

Coconut 2.0 signals a big shift in our business strategy—one that we think has the potential to revolutionise the working lives of self-employed people. But as well as all of the new things we’re working on, there are also a few things we won’t be doing in the future; most notably, opening new bank accounts. Here’s why we’ve made that decision, and what it means for the future.

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2021: A Big Year for Coconut and Our Accountant Partners
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2021: A Big Year for Coconut and Our Accountant Partners

2021 will be a year that we’ll remember at Coconut for a while. This year saw a big change in our business come to fruition.

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Coconut Web: Manage Your Bookkeeping on Desktop
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Coconut Web: Manage Your Bookkeeping on Desktop

The desktop version of our mobile app is live! Coconut Web gives you access to the transaction history of any bank accounts you’ve linked up to Coconut, and allows you to complete your key bookkeeping tasks, all within your browser. Give it a try now!

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Are BACS, CHAPS and Faster Payments the Same as Bank Transfers?
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Are BACS, CHAPS and Faster Payments the Same as Bank Transfers?

What's the difference between BACS, CHAPS, and Faster Payments? Here's what you need to know about all three types of bank transfer, and why we use Faster Payments at Coconut.

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We’ve Evolved: Meet Coconut 2.0
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We’ve Evolved: Meet Coconut 2.0

Join us on 15th December to find out how Coconut has evolved over the past 12 months, what our plans are for the future, and how “Coconut 2.0” will make it easier than ever for self-employed people—and their accountants—to manage their finances.

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Tech-savvy Accounting Firm Gets More Done in Less Time with Coconut
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Tech-savvy Accounting Firm Gets More Done in Less Time with Coconut

“The key thing for all accountants is time saving and efficiency, because there are never enough hours in a day I think any accountant who looks into Coconut will realise the potential time saving is massive.”

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How Coconut Helped the barefoot accountant Run Smoother, Plan Smarter & Prepare for MTD
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How Coconut Helped the barefoot accountant Run Smoother, Plan Smarter & Prepare for MTD

The barefoot accountant provides accountancy services to creative sole traders who just want to be fabulously creative and not worry about the boring stuff. Operating from a shop front in Hertfordshire, the firm delivers personalised tax and accountancy services in a relaxed and judgement-free zone.

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A uniquely sole trader problem
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A uniquely sole trader problem

Imagine if clients and you could un-muddle business and personal without having to open a new bank account?

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The £1,000 Trading Income Allowance: Explained
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The £1,000 Trading Income Allowance: Explained

Find out how the £1,000 income trading allowance from HMRC works and if you can use it with our helpful guide.

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How to Prepare for Your Tax Return
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How to Prepare for Your Tax Return

How and when to file your sell assessment form and complete you tax returns with HMRC if you're self employed or operating as a sole trader.

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Coconut Is Not a Bank – It’s a Tax App for Self-Employed People
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Coconut Is Not a Bank – It’s a Tax App for Self-Employed People

When Coconut first launched in 2018, we offered a product that combined an accounting product with a business current account. We’ve now stopped opening new accounts, so that we can focus on making our bookkeeping and tax app for freelancers the best it possibly can be.

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Sole Trader Tax Rates For 2021/22
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Sole Trader Tax Rates For 2021/22

Take a look at the latest sole trader tax rates for the 2021/22 as well as our advice on how to prepare for the new tax year.

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Covid-19 Scams to Watch Out For – And How to Protect Yourself
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Covid-19 Scams to Watch Out For – And How to Protect Yourself

We want to help you protect yourself against Covid-19 fraud. Here’s what you need to be aware of and what to watch out for.

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Budget 2021: Financial support available for self-employed people
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Budget 2021: Financial support available for self-employed people

The SEISS has been extended until September, and there has been one significant change for the better. The grant has been extended to ~600,000 people who were previously excluded by including those who filed a 2019/20 Self-Assessment tax return by midnight 2nd March.

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Budget 2020: Top Takeaways for Self-Employed People
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Budget 2020: Top Takeaways for Self-Employed People

The SEISS has been extended until September, and there has been one significant change for the better. The grant has been extended to ~600,000 people who were previously excluded by including those who filed a 2019/20 Self-Assessment tax return by midnight 2nd March.

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5 Top Tips on Setting Your Freelance Rates
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5 Top Tips on Setting Your Freelance Rates

"What’s your rate?" It's a question freelancers get asked every day, but a surprisingly hard one to answer; there are many factors to consider when deciding how much to charge for your services, and many different ways to do so. Whether you're new to freelancing or have been in the game for a while, here are some of the top tips we've learned.

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Setting Up Your Business So You Can Save Too
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Setting Up Your Business So You Can Save Too

Saving can often be an afterthought when you're freelancing and have a fluctuating income. But it doesn't have to be—discover some money saving habits in this article.

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A change of focus for a photography business facing challenging times
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A change of focus for a photography business facing challenging times

For Paul, Covid-19 has brought many collaborations that will help his business to boom once the pandemic is over. Find out how he's adapted in this interview.

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How Will Brexit Impact Freelancers?
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How Will Brexit Impact Freelancers?

With January around the corner, here are some tips for everyone in the self-employed and freelance community to prepare for a deal or no deal brexit.

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How Ben got his zest for his career by going freelance, at just 19
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How Ben got his zest for his career by going freelance, at just 19

Freelancing can be really liberating and often helps people to take control of their careers. But how does that work if you start freelancing at the very beginning of your career? Find out by taking a look at Ben's story.

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3 challenges self-employed people face — and how to overcome them
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3 challenges self-employed people face — and how to overcome them

Self employed people come across plenty of challenges when they're building a business from the ground up. Find out how to overcome them in our latest blog.

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How redundancy gave John the push he needed to go freelance
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How redundancy gave John the push he needed to go freelance

Redundancy leaves many people feeling stuck and unsure what to do next. Instead of waiting for a new opportunity, why not create one? That's what John did.

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UK Lockdown: Updates to Financial Support
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UK Lockdown: Updates to Financial Support

With November's lockdown already upon us, we've put together a list of the latest government updates to make sure you can navigate your way through it.

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Saving for Tax Survey: The Results Are In
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Saving for Tax Survey: The Results Are In

We asked 500 self-employed people how they feel about saving for tax - take a look at the results and see how Coconut can help you to save for tax soon.

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Digital adoption: How fitness instructor Elle Linton adapted during Covid-19
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Digital adoption: How fitness instructor Elle Linton adapted during Covid-19

Find out how fitness instructor Elle Linton adapted her business when covid-19 hit the UK this year and the role that digital played in making it happen.

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Coronavirus Business Loans - Find and Apply for Funding with Swoop
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Coronavirus Business Loans - Find and Apply for Funding with Swoop

Covid-19 support for self-employed people: Bounce Back Loans. And we've teamed up with Swoop to help you navigate the application process.

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Covid-19: SEISS Q&A for Self-Employed People
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Covid-19: SEISS Q&A for Self-Employed People

Our answers to the big questions we've had about the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme from our customers and the wider self-employed community.

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Coconut’s Guide to Effortless Expenses
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Coconut’s Guide to Effortless Expenses

Here's our quick guide to effortless expenses to make sure you're not missing out on key tax savings.

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Self-employment stories
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Self-employment stories

Clyde is a chef working in London. He used to work in the kitchen of one of Britain’s top private banks before he decided to make the move to self-employment.

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What is the VAT Cash Accounting Scheme?
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What is the VAT Cash Accounting Scheme?

Understand the VAT Cash Accounting Scheme. Who it's for, how to qualify and what it could mean for you and your business.

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Should You Be a Sole Trader or a Limited Company?
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Should You Be a Sole Trader or a Limited Company?

It’s often the first question people have when starting their self-employment journey. Should I become a limited company or a sole trader? Read our guide to find out the pros and cons of each, and decide which is the best setup for you and your freelance career.

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3 Reasons to Separate Your Business Expenses from Your Personal Expenses
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3 Reasons to Separate Your Business Expenses from Your Personal Expenses

Read this short article on how to save your self-employed business time and money by separating your business expenses from your personal expenses.

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The Pain of Dealing With Late Payments
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The Pain of Dealing With Late Payments

The self-employed population contributes £271 billion to the UK economy - so why are so many still getting messed about when it comes to getting paid?

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The Top 5 Business Expenses You Didn't Know You Could Claim
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The Top 5 Business Expenses You Didn't Know You Could Claim

Time for your annual tax return for HMRC? We’ve created a list of the top five business expenses most commonly overlooked.

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Open Banking: The money revolution of the century
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Open Banking: The money revolution of the century

Coconut has won the final stage of Nesta’s Open Banking Challenge: Open Up. We’ve won £250k so far from the previous three stages. What does it mean for our customers? More here...

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Is a rentable workspace right for you and your business?
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Is a rentable workspace right for you and your business?

Rentable workspaces are making more appearances in some of the larger UK towns and cities. We speak to some industry players, as well as some people who have used this style of working.

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Overcoming imposter syndrome
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Overcoming imposter syndrome

Katy Carlisle from Freelance Folk looks at how 'imposter syndrome' can affect people who are self-employed, and discovers what other freelancers and small business owners do when they’re doubting themselves.

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What is it really like to be a digital nomad?
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What is it really like to be a digital nomad?

What is living life as a 'digital nomad' really like? And why is this work revolution on the rise? Coconut speaks to three freelancers who have lived and breathed the lifestyle, and give their advice to those considering the leap.

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Planning for Taxes as a Freelancer
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Planning for Taxes as a Freelancer

Worried about filing your taxes as a freelancer? In this article, we’ll show you how to plan ahead so you can nail your self-assessment like a pro.

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How to Beat Procrastination – and the Science Behind It
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How to Beat Procrastination – and the Science Behind It

Can you ever avoid procrastination? We find out how to beat procrastination and why our mind constantly tries to distract us.

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Sole Trader Pensions: Will You Be Ready for a Life Free of Work?
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Sole Trader Pensions: Will You Be Ready for a Life Free of Work?

Freelancers lack the support structure to guide us through the complexity of retirement saving. This article takes the mystery out of sole-trader pensions.

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Can I ever own a home as a freelancer?
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Can I ever own a home as a freelancer?

Can I get a mortgage as a freelancer? Yes. Will it be easy? No. But that’s not an exclusive issue for the freelancer demographic.

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25 mistakes new freelancers always make
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25 mistakes new freelancers always make

Freelancing can seem daunting, especially if you are going it alone for the first time. Making mistakes is part of any job, and freelancing is no different.

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How to Deal With a Client Who Doesn’t Pay on Time
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How to Deal With a Client Who Doesn’t Pay on Time

Most freelancers experience a client who doesn’t pay on time, especially those just starting out. So how do you deal with these clients?

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Banishing my freelance loneliness
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Banishing my freelance loneliness

Flying solo is pretty great. But how do freelancers look after their own mental health when it’d be all too easy to let the loneliness rule our lives?

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