The Contractor’s Quick Guide to Surviving Christmas
Deciding to become a contractor comes with thousands of benefits, such as financial perks, time flexibility, deciding who you want to work with and being able to continuously develop your skills.
But what happens over the Christmas holidays?
Whilst full-time employees are used to their paid holiday, job stability and clear understanding of what dates they’ll be working to and from, unfortunately contractors don’t have this luxury.
So to ensure you have the merriest of Christmases and don’t turn into Scrooge, we’ve put together a handful of our favourite tips on how to survive Christmas when you’re a contractor.
We ho-ho-hope you enjoy it!
Ding-dong, merrily on deadlines!
How are you supposed to relax over Christmas and enjoy your Christmas pud when you know the Self Assessment is due on Jan 31, 2017, and your VAT is due by Jan 7? You can’t, it’s as simple as that. So ensure you have your finances in order before your Christmas break, so you don’t enter the New Year in a panic. We are offering our clients a special Christmas discount on our Self Assessment service to help make sure deadlines are hit, fines are avoided and Christmas spirits remain high. Have a peek here.
Get ready for some silent nights
Are you prepared for some Christmas-shaped holes in your balance sheet come January? Without trying to sound like the festive voice of doom, Christmas isn’t a busy time for contractors. So if you don’t manage your finances ready for a quiet period, then you may find yourself in a sticky situation and Tiny Tim will certainly have to go hungry this Christmas.
Have some turkey on the Taxman
Many Limited Companies will be delighted to discover that you can take your clients out for a Christmas celebration, providing you keep your receipts and make sure your accountant is informed. So take yourself and your clients out for a slap-up dinner, with all trimmings, courtesy of Mr Taxman! Don’t you just wish it could be Christmas every day?
Give ‘em a Jingle Bell early on
It’s important when you’re a contractor to talk to your clients about their plans for the Christmas holidays, and also let them know yours as you don’t want to find yourself bombarded with calls over the Christmas period asking when are you expected to work, and when you’ll pick up your work projects again. By understanding early on what the plan is, will save you (and them) time, hassle and avoid any Christmassy confusion.
It’s trickier for contractors to take holidays throughout the year, so if you do have time off over Christmas then make sure you do it properly! If this means throwing your phone into the snow, or spilling spiced wine over your laptop or even launching your IPad headfirst into the open fire, then so be it! Just make sure you make the most of having time for you and your family, as come New Year, you’ll be back on that work wheel as fast as you can say Rudolf!