A+ Resources For Tutors
In the following series, Philip White, a Maths tutor for over 15 years, offers tips on how to start and run a successful private tutoring practice.
|9.3||Do I need an accountant?|
9. FINANCIAL & OTHER CONSIDERATIONS
Remember to keep all receipts of business-related expenditure. File them in chronological order. Do not pile them into a shoe-box.
If you visit your pupils homes, and wish to claim your motoring expenses, you will have to negotiate with the Inland Revenue to determine how much you can claim for business purposes.
On the next page is a list of the expenses you will be able to offset against your tuition income.
9.2 Allowable expenses
- % of heating
- % of lighting
- % of telephone
- % of motoring expenses (if you travel to your pupils homes)
- rent (if you rent premises)
- office furnishings - filing cabinets - photocopier - tables/chairs - PC
- Textbooks, paper, calculators, pens etc.
- Professional subscriptions
- Accountancy fees
REMEMBER - items such as computers etc. are classed as capital expenditure
However, be careful if you use a room in your house solely for tutoring. You are likely to be liable for capital gains tax if and when you sell your home. It is a good idea to put a futon, or sofa bed, into the room. That way you can legitimately claim that the room is used as a guest room, and not solely for tuition.
9.3 Do I need an accountant?
Deciding whether or not to employ an accountant is a difficult decision. It depends very much on what your tuition income is, and the degree of complexity of your business.
My experience is that private tuition does not justify the expense of an accountant.
Shop around. Do not be afraid to ask exactly what you will be charged, and make sure you get a written quotation before making any commitments.
There are some useful guides available regarding taxation for the self-employed. Have a look on the net.
9.4 Job satisfaction
Finally, no matter how successful you become, you will always experience a warm glow of satisfaction when you receive the kind of letter I have quoted below.
"As an ex-pupil of Mr. White who has just achieved success in A Level Maths I felt that I should write to recommend his services to any A Level or G.C.S.E. pupil. Mr. White is to be recommended in that his lessons are designed to teach you how to succeed in the dreaded exams. This may sound obvious, but at my, and I expect many other schools, much of what we were taught was irrelevant in terms of what we would face on our maths exam paper.
Mr. White's lessons however will quickly counter this problem as you get down to the nitty gritty, and you will soon be gladly crossing out formulas, examples and exercises in your textbooks which you do not need to learn.
Mr. White's lessons are also of benefit in that his obvious deep knowledge of the various syllabi, and past exam papers, means that he can predict with great certainty what sort of questions you will have to face and thus what topics will require greater/less scrutiny.
These assets, and a' user friendly' method of teaching, make Mr. White indispensable to his pupils."