Tax Return for Dieticians

What does a dietician do?
It is a dietician’s job to educate and advise people on the healthiest ways to eat. It usually involves working with somebody who struggles to eat\ healthily, including those who are overweight or ill, and help them improve their diets, thereby giving them a healthier, happier life.

What sort of person hires a freelance dietician?

As a freelance dietician, you’ll get to meet and work with a wide variety of people, including:

  • People trying to lose weight
  • People trying to gain weight
  • Children who are fussy eaters
  • The elderly
  • Those with eating disorders such as anorexia or bulimia
  • Those who are ill and so require a specialised diet
  • Pregnant women

What sort of person makes for a good freelance dietician?

Working as a freelance dietician is a great job if the idea of working with lots of different sorts of people, and then helping to improve their lives, appeals to you.
Some of the required skills a dietician needs are:

  • Being passionate about health: If you want to advise people on how to be healthy, you’d better make sure you stay healthy yourself. You won’t gain many clients if you can’t take your own advice.
  • Being non-judgemental: Bad habits are hard to change, so you need to be patient when helping your clients, and not judge them.
  • Being a good communicator: You’ll be working with lots of people, many of whom will have completely different backgrounds. You need to be able to find some common ground, while also being able to explain complex scientific jargon in a clear, simple way.

Learning how to be a dietician – training and qualifications

Working as a freelance dietician isn’t something anybody can just jump into. You need to study for a degree, MSc, or postgraduate diploma in nutrition and dietetics. It needs to be a course approved by the British Dietetic Association. You’ll need to study for four years at undergraduate level, or two years at postgraduate level.To be accepted on an approved course, you’ll also need 3-4 A-Levels in science-based subjects.

What will you learn while studying to be a dietician

Nutrition and dietetics covers a wide range of topics, including:

  • Health education
  • Food science
  • Dietetics
  • Psychology
  • Sociology
  • Microbiology
  • Communication skills

Its varied nature means nutrition and dietetics is an interesting topic to study.

The next step in your dietician career – joining the HPC

Once you’ve graduated from university, you should register with the regulator, the Health Professions Council. Being a member is a good way to show potential clients you are qualified to be a dietician.
How to find work as a freelance dietician
Once you’ve registered with the Health Professions Council, here are a few more things you could do to find new clients:

  • Set up a website: Having your own website will make you look more professional and credible, as well as being a place to show your services, prices, client testimonials, and contact details.
  • Make business cards: Hand them out to friends and family, and ask health shops if you can leave any with them.
  • Register with British Dietetic Association: They’ll send you monthly journals featuring industry news, act as the industry’s trade union, and show job opportunities on their website.
  • Join Freelance Dieticians: This is a database of registered dieticians, where potential clients can find your details.

Accounting for freelance dieticians

There are various benefits to freelancing as a dietician, from the freedom and flexibility to work with a variety of businesses and individuals to more take-home pay. But there is one downside – accounting. As a full-time employee, your tax is usually taken care of on your behalf in the form of PAYE.
As a freelancer you’ll have to keep a range of financial records and then prepare and pay a Self-Assessment tax return at the end of each business year.Accountancy can be very confusing and can distract you from your dietician work.

Getting tax and accountancy advice

With most accountants, you’ll pay them to do your year-end accounts, and then they’ll forget about you until the next year. But for your business to be run smoothly and successfully, you’ll need advice on tax and accountancy throughout the year, especially in the early days.

Citi Accounts is different

Citi Accounts provides an affordable and specialist accountancy service designed just for freelancers.
Throughout the year we’ll be on hand to give you any tax and accountancy advice you might need, including things like:

  • Take-home pay
  • Which VAT scheme to register for
  • Expenses
  • Tax allowances
  • Choosing between sole trader and limited company
  • Running your business in a tax-efficient way

We charge for our accountancy services in a clear and simple way, which means you’ll never receive an unexpected bill, and you can get in touch for advice whenever you want without the worry of being charged a fortune like you would with many other accountants.