There are a lot of fear and stress around the topic of money and tax. I have been working with doctors since 2014 and have also been following the trends about public health. I have seen a lot of articles and stories in the media about doctors being stressed out, constantly overworked or even sadly committing suicide. I feel as though they are supposed to be the ones to look after other people’s health but how can doctors be expected to save more lives, if their own well-beings are not taken care of.
Also in order to stress less and feel good about finances, I do believe there are two parts of financial well-being that need to be looked at. The first part is the inner world, that is the self-worth and the relationship with money. The second part is outside practical guidance. This is the clarity of what’s going on with the own tax bills/finances. There are a variety of professional help out there to give enough practical guidance and look after your taxes. However, there is not enough professional advice on your mindset on money and how you feel about it. Fortunately, today I will be able to bring both of them together as three simple steps in which you can take to get rid of these fears related to your tax bill.
3 Simple Steps
- Own your own financial power
A lot of healthcare professionals say they are not good with money and do not like numbers. In fact, every human being is inherently valuable and you need to believe that you do have whatever it takes to be good with money. You need to have the mindset that you are the only person that can look after yourself. Of course, you will ask for help from an accountant or financial adviser, but eventually you will need these people to work for you and not let them own your power.
Throughout my years of experience, I have noticed that the clients that gain the best results are the ones who are more self-aware. They are aware of the basics of tax, their financial situation and they know who to speak to. This is really important as you are the person who needs to take responsibility of your own finances.
- Money you pay into the system is still YOURS
The tax you pay into the system is still yours because you are the one who added value and you have worked hard to earn this money. The taxman will take their share and you do need to pay your fair share as well. If we look at the bigger picture, the tax is eventually funding our public health and public facilities which are benefitting us.
When you receive a payslip, there are different kinds of deductions. One of them is tax and the other one is called national insurance. National insurance is a social security, these are the money used to fund the state benefits like your state pension. Another example of a state benefit is if you lose your job then you will receive unemployment benefits. If you are pregnant and have stopped working for a while but you are not entitled to any statutory maternity pay, you will get a maternity allowance. This goes to show, the money you pay into the system does benefit you indirectly or in the long-run even if you will not see it immediately.
- Understand the universal rule of tax
To explain this, I usually refer to the Cash Flow Quadrant by Rich Dad Poor Dad:
- Employee – If you are employed, the tax rate is 40% because most working-class people are paying 40% in tax.
- Self-employed – If you are self-employed and run a very profitable self-employed business, you would need to pay approximately 50% of your profit as you pay two kinds of national insurance on top of it. Also, there are different rules such as having to pay half of next year’s tax in advance.
- Business Owner – Currently, if you run a corporation, corporation tax is 19%. The percentage is much lower than people that work as employed or self-employed.
- Investor – If you are an investor, when you have an investment you do have to pay different kinds of tax. This applies when you have dividends or when you sell assets as you will have capital gains tax. On the other hand, if you are a sophisticated investor, you will be aware of how to invest in a tax-efficient way. There are certain types of tax-efficient investments out there. Investing £10,000 in start-ups will enable you to gain £5,000 back from the government which is one of the very generous tax-breaks that investors can get. Perhaps you could put a portfolio in a tax-free environment, which means you will not need to pay any tax. If you save £500 per year, that is £5,000 for 10 years which is an example of how the tax savings amount will build up over time.
Business owners and Investors have more earning potential than employees and self-employed but they are riskier. As an entrepreneur, it is difficult and investments can go down which will lead to you losing money. Effectively, if you look at the whole economy, business owners start businesses because they want to solve people’s problems and they create jobs. This is adding huge value to the economy, as they are giving more people jobs, giving people stability and guarantee a decent life.
Investors are injecting capital into the businesses, if they become successful it will make their dreams come true. They are also adding massive value to the economy. In comparison to employee or self-employed, you are still adding value but you might serve one or two clients in one go, which means the adding value factor is not as repetitive as businesses and investors. Even though they pay less tax but are earning more money, eventually they are adding massive value to the economy which is why the government rewards them with more tax breaks.
P.S. – Do you want to replace your anxiety about taxes with clarity, reassurance and financial well-being? We created an online programme ‘How to prosper as a trainee doctor’ specially to help you get there.
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