Tax Returns for Couriers
In the age of online shopping, couriers are in higher demand than ever before. That means there are more job opportunities than ever before, especially as a freelancer.
How to find work as a freelance courier
To become a freelance courier, you’ll obviously need a van. This can be one you own, or one you rent. As a freelancer, you can either take on work from a courier company such as FedEx or UPS, or you can start your own business.
The pros and cons of each courier option:
If you decide to take work from another courier service, you won’t have to worry about sourcing your own clients, but you will be tied to that company. If you decide to start your own business, you’ll have more freedom in the clients you work for, but you’ll also have to put in all the hard work and money into finding those clients.
Marketing your courier service and getting clients
If you decide to start your own courier business, here are a few ways you can market your services:
- Set up a website: Having your own professional website will make you look more credible and is a good place to list your services, prices, and contact details.
- Use social networking: Social networking website such as Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin are good places to make new contacts and advertise your services as a freelance courier.
- Business cards: Make business cards showing your name, services, and contact details. Give them to friends, family, and potential clients.
- Advertise in local shops and newspapers: Using local advertising is relatively inexpensive, and targets people in specific areas.
Becoming a better self-employed courier
The better at your job as a freelance courier you are, the easier it will be to attract clients.
Here are a few of the skills that all of the best couriers possess:
- Knowledge of the streets: If your satnav ever breaks while you’re on the job, it will help if you know your way around without it. Or at least keep an A-Z in your van’s glove compartment.
- The ability to stick to deadlines and schedules: Customers want their packages, and they want them quickly. With lots of packages to deliver, you’ll need to work on sticking to the schedule.
- Being a good driver: This should go without saying. You need a valid UK driving license, and stick to the Highway Code.
- Fit, with a steady hand: You’ll be spending much of your time sitting in your van, but you’ll have to load and unload often heavy or delicate packages, so you’ll need to be strong to make sure you don’t drop anything.
Accounting as a freelance courier
There are various benefits to freelancing as a courier, 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 delivering packages.
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
- 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