This is a collaborative post.
I set myself up as a sole trader back in January 2014 and boy, it wasn’t easy. If I was to do it now, I think it would be relatively easy to set up but back then, I really did struggle. I visited the website, I called them on the phone and came out none the wiser, if I am being perfectly honest.
I’d started working freelance so knew I had to set myself up and went online to see how to do it. We all know that the site can be super glitchy at times and this time was no different. Once I managed to get in, I was very confused by it all and needed someone ‘real’ to talk to so I gave them a call.
Now we all know that ringing HMRC can also be a tiring experience, ending up on hold for hours on end. I managed to be on hold for over an hour before getting through to someone and even then, don’t feel like I knew any more than I did before.
I hate ringing them up, whether it be for sole trader stuff, tax credits or something else. It takes ages to get through to someone and even when you do, you can guarantee that they will say different to someone else who works there. I’ve lost count of the number of people I know who’ve been told two or three different things by different members of staff there.
This is why I am glad HMRCTalk are around. People like me need it broken down in more simpler terms – laid down bare,exactly it is. They provide helpful articles to inform people about policy changes and things to do with self assessment and benefits and they also provide hard to reach HMRC contact numbers so you don’t end up on hold for hours before getting cut off before speaking to someone. We all know how frustrating that can be.
I am not great at talking to people on the phone and with people telling you different things, you never quite know which one you should listen to. I find it especially hard as a blogger and a freelance writer – it is almost like HMRC hasn’t quite caught up to the fact that it can be a career yet and they don’t quite know what to do with it. With so many people asking as the blogging world continues to grow, hopefully we will have some more clear guidelines soon.
Until then, I will be relying on HMRCTalk to help me when I don’t quite understand. If people are prepared to take the time to understand everything and write it for us readers in a more comprehensible way then I am all for it. Did you know about this fantastic resource? Will you be using it when you need a better understanding of things like this? I know I’ll be bookmarking it for future use – I need all the help I can get!