after a bit of procrastination, I finally got around to thinking about VAT and whether I've hit the threshold - answer? Yes. In August... oh dear. I got into a bit of a panic and rang the VAT office - they were quite nice and said that they'd send me stuff. I then realised that I could register online and so have done - I just need to work out now how much of a penalty I have to pay (it really is a tax on being lazy - something I wholly approve of as I have a stupid thought process that thinks if this happens enough then I'll start getting around to doing things on time...).
I then looked into VAT a bit more, and as far as I can see - I'm going to make money out of it...
first things first - we're in a bit of a silly situation as the Government will give money to the NHS Trust for whom I'm working, who will then give it to me, so I can give it back to the Government (and rinse and repeat - oh hang on, this isn't a shampoo ad...)
second thing - I'm going to bill my client for the VAT and then I don't have to give all of that money to the VAT man?! Evidently I take the money, off-set any VAT I've paid for things like stationery and phone billage and then give the remaining to HMRC. It doesn't seem to matter that I'll have already off-set these things against my income tax. It feels a bit like stealing, and more like money laundering (in the sense that it's quite complicated and then I end up with money that I seem to have got for free).
I'm generally confused about all this, but it appears that it's not only legal, but expected... mmm... I shall wait for the nasty men in black shades to turn up.
in other news, I'm home now and properly back into the swing of things here. I'm missing everyone in the States massively, particularly Jessey, but I've seen so many great friends over the past few days that I've really felt glad to be back.
I can definitely recommend Fortnum & Mason's Classic Tea - they do a dairy free version - so on Saturday to celebrate Jude's 30th, I ate copious amounts of scones and clotted cream (have no idea how they do this, but I'm not complaining) which was wonderful!
and talking of 30th birthdays, I'm really looking forward to my party now (it's on Sat - tee hee!). I have a gorgeous dress courtesy of my folks, and I can't wait to see everyone. Now all I need to do is get around to telling everyone when it is... Drop me an email if you've missed messages about it and want to come along!