It has taken me fucking three hours to write this post, so difficult is it to explain without sending you to sleep. I finally worked out a simple way to get the information to you that I should have spotted at the start. Here goes:
Here is a little bit of practical advice which may help you, financially, in a small way. Read carefully, it is very cumbersome to explain but it might make you a couple of £100.
At some point at the start of the tax year (April) the tax office looks at your salary and gives you a tax code. You then pay tax on the assumption that you will earn that salary for the whole 12 months. So let’s say your salary is £20k a year. That will be your tax rate.
However, if you quit your job at some point and have a few months not working… then you may not earn your assumed £20k in total – so you could have paid tax and continue to pay tax on earnings you never got.
So with this in mind, maybe you should check if you’re owed anything? If you have had any time off work in the last 12 months (and not been paid) then you may well be owed some cash. It’s worth a look.
The simplest thing is to look at your P60 then go here and type your details in.
The important thing to know is. where it says ‘salary’, you don’t put in your annual salary from your current or last job, you put the figure on your P45 of what you actually earned – total pay to date or total pay in tax year, or however your payroll system words it.
Sorry for a boring post, but joking aside, people do read this blog so we may have just saved a few friends a couple of hundred quid. It’s worth it. Remember that any money the Government doesn’t have is better for society, it fights poverty and need on a global basis in a very significant way.
Just to be clear, I am NOT advising that you don’t pay taxes – that’s illegal and very stupid. I am saying pay what you owe, but not more than you owe.
Tax evasion – Illegally not paying taxes.
Tax avoidance – Not paying extra tax that you don’t have to pay.
If you do get some money back because of this advice, then consider some more advice that might be good – consider saving it, or investing it. Have you got an ISA yet? Consider buying some stocks or firstly and foremostly, paying off debts. Or buying some gold. Anything other than spending it on trainers.
£100 on Vodafone shares might sound like it isn’t worth it. But maybe the learning experience is. When you look 12 months later and realise your £100 is now £110 and the dividends were £9. You realise… if it were £1000… £10000…
I write as though speaking to the 20 year old me, trying to tell my 20 year old self what he needs to know to set himself up in life. Have you ever heard anyone say ‘if I knew then what I know now, I’d be set’?
They’re not talking about the winning lottery numbers or the horse races. It’s the little things. What they are really saying is ‘I wish I’d listened to older peoples’ advice when I was younger… and taken it’. The problem is of course, when you’re young, you’re bombarded with people advising you. Most of the advice is awful. So you go your own way, you hit 40 and then realise what you should have done.
Take saving, for example. I got lucky. I learnt about savings, the power of compound interest, how to work the stock market, at just the last minute. I saved myself with a year or two to spare. If I’d sussed it out at 20… man I’d be set now. I’d be SET.
Now my life path will be very different to yours, so a lot of what I do may not suit you. It’s your job to try and discern the gold from the crap.
Playing us out of this blog post will be, of course, Dire Straits.