Self employed guidance
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Self Employed Guidance
If you are unsure on how to complete a benefit self employed form, please read the following guidance for assistance.
Step 1 - Where to start
Self-employed earners are allowed to offset some business expenses against income when claiming benefit. Please note that the expenses allowable under the Housing Benefit Regulations may differ from those allowed by Her Majesty’s Revenues and Customs.
You will need to keep your business receipts to ensure that your allowable expenses are treated correctly.
If you have more than one source of self-employed income you must submit separate details for each business. If you have a partner who is self-employed in a separate business they must provide details for that business. If your spouse/partner is a partner in your business you will need to complete a separate self employed form for them.
When checking your receipts the Council only needs to see expenses that are directly incurred by the business and related to the assessment period. For example, if your telephone is used for both domestic and business purposes you only need to tell us about the proportion that is business use.
Your first task is to check what period your self employed earnings are being assessed for. Remove any receipts or invoices that are not relevant to the period that is being assessed.
Step 2 - Organising your self employed evidence
Secondly, you will need to organise your evidence for us to check. The easiest way to do this is to take a folder and divide it into monthly splits e.g. January, February, March etc.
Once this is done, you should categorise your evidence. Take an envelope and label it with a relevant category of expense or income, e.g. income from sales, advertising, materials, postage etc.
Insert your relevant receipt into the envelope that it applies to, e.g. insert your January ‘BT’ Bill into the telephone envelope in your folder. Repeat this process with all your business invoices and receipts until the period is completed for all your categories.
Step 3 - Organising your self employed information
Once you have organised your monthly income and expenses, you will need to work out your total income and total expense for each category within that month. This is done by adding together all your receipts in that month.
Once you have added together all the receipts in that category, write the total on the front of the envelope. You then need to repeat this process for all your categories in that month.
Step 4 - Completing self employed form
Now that you have done this you can complete the self employed form you have been provided with. This can be done by inserting the total you have put on your envelopes, relevant to the period and category, e.g. the total you have on your envelope for your telephone, would be put on the telephone category on the self employed form.
Repeat this process for your income and expenses until all categories are completed. Then double check your figures are correct and sign the declaration to show that the information you have provided is accurate and correct.
Step 5 - Submit your completed self employed form
Benefit Review Process
Have you just started? You must supply a realistic prediction of your expected income for the first 6 of months trading
If you have been trading for more than 6 month? You must provide details of your actual business income and allowable expenditure for the previous 6 months.
If you been trading for more than 12 months? You must provide details of your actual business income and allowable expenditure for the previous 12 months.
Please note if you have accounts prepared by a qualified accountant or bookkeeper you may submit those rather than completing the statement of accounts on the self employed form.
If you are still unsure on how to complete the form after reading the guidance, please call the benefit office on 01273 292000.