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UK JSA Advice needed

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posted on May, 11 2012 @ 09:02 AM
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I’m hoping someone from the uk might be able to offer some advice concerning selling software whilst unemployed.

I’ve been programming for many years now purely as a hobby. Over the years I have developed a couple of applications for my own use. A few friends also use these applications and say they would feel lost without them. If there’s one thing the internet has taught me, it’s that if one person wants it then there’s likely many thousands of others who also want it. With that in mind and the fact that I cant find a decent job I’d like to try selling these programs.

My problem.
I’m unemployed therefore I’m claiming JSA (Job seekers allowance) and as far as I’m aware if I were to start selling software I would be classed as self employed. Certainly from the tax mans point of view I would.
I’m told that self employed people cant claim JSA but as I have no other income I need it.
I cant simply sign off JSA because its possible I wont get any sales, or it might take a while for sales to reach a level where I can support myself.

I’ve asked on three separate occasions at the jobcentre what would happen if I were to set up a website for the purpose of selling software and each time I’ve been given a different answer.
1. Yes you would be self employed and would have to sign off.
2. I can do it and any earnings would be deducted from my JSA allowance.
3. They’re not sure, try it and see what happens.

While the staff in my local jobcentre have always been very helpful I don’t trust their masters any further than I could spit, we hear of people losing JSA for the silliest of reasons. Obviously I cannot be without an income.

A bank loan is out of the question because if sales were low I’d be in the debt trap.

Is there anyone on ATS who knows the JSA rules etc?
Anyone got any suggestions?




posted on May, 11 2012 @ 09:14 AM
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reply to post by VoidHawk
 


Either sign off and Claim tax credits along with your income from the website or Stay on Job Seekers and Don't work, Unfortunately they have no way of telling how much income you are making from web-sales apart from what you yourself declare to them and it would seem your word isn't good enough, I know, the system sucks



posted on May, 11 2012 @ 09:14 AM
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reply to post by VoidHawk
 


Okay my friend I think I can help you here
... Right, go sign off the dole! Go online and sign up as self employed. Then when you get you self employment number through the post you phone up the tax credits line. You will receive about 50 pounds a week! Direct into your account. No more signing on for you!

Go do it mate and I wish you the best of luck! If you need anything clarified please feel free to ask.

Edit: Darn it, someone beat me to it! lol Tax credits can be somewhat complicated, because they want to know how much you're likely to earn! Say you do not know! They won't like it but just stick to your guns and explain why. You'll get it sorted.
edit on 11-5-2012 by mee30 because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 11 2012 @ 09:21 AM
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reply to post by mee30
 


Thanks for the advice.


Do you know whether I'll still get council tax benefit/housing? Realy want to get of the dole and will do as you suggest if those two are covered. please please please say YES



posted on May, 11 2012 @ 09:22 AM
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reply to post by mee30
 


I imagine the Tax Credit people might be happier if the OP kept detailed records of invoices and online orders for evidence purposes etc..


edit on 11/5/12 by TedHodgson because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 11 2012 @ 09:23 AM
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reply to post by VoidHawk
 


Yes, If you can prove you income is low enough Housing and council tax benefit can still be claimed


www.hmrc.gov.uk...


How tax credits affect other benefits

Getting tax credits won't normally affect any other benefits you get. But there are some benefits that take tax credits into account when the amount you'll get is being worked out. It's worth checking how tax credits might affect other benefits before you make your claim.

On this page:

Other benefits that may be affected
If you're not getting tax credits at the moment
If you're already getting tax credits
Changes to your tax credits that may affect other benefits
Tax credits effect on non-UK benefits
Contact details for other benefits
More useful links

Other benefits that may be affected

Some benefits you might get are 'means tested'. This means that the money you get depends on:

how much you've got coming in - your income
how much you've got in your savings

When your benefit is worked out, any tax credits that you (and your partner if you have one) get might be counted as income. This could be Working Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit or both. The benefits that may count tax credits as part of your income are:

Council Tax Benefit
Housing Benefit
Income Support
income-based Jobseeker's Allowance
income-related Employment and Support Allowance
Pension Credit

The more money you've got coming in, the lower these benefit payments will be. Sometimes they may go down to nothing - 'nil'.

edit on 11/5/12 by TedHodgson because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 11 2012 @ 09:23 AM
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reply to post by VoidHawk
 


you could have a look at the New enterprise allowance too linky



posted on May, 11 2012 @ 09:28 AM
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reply to post by davespanners
 


Oh Dave your a genius, Why didn't i think of that....




posted on May, 11 2012 @ 09:35 AM
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reply to post by TedHodgson
 


I'm not talking about while you're working, I'm talking about when he makes his initial claim. He won't have any records, unless he makes some sales between now and when he makes his claim. I know all this because I went through it recently. And besides the tax credits do things yearly. So the next time he would have to tell them how much he earned the year before. Then he could use his record as proof. That's assuming he makes any sales in his first year. Which I hope he does obviously.

I'm not sure even if the tax credits will be interested in seeing the proof or records of his earnings. That will be the tax mans role. He merely needs to fill in the blank with tax credits.



posted on May, 11 2012 @ 09:37 AM
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reply to post by VoidHawk
 


Thing is this .. I make every bet that I can find 20 open source alternatives for each tool you developed.

Why would I bother paying money for something that I can have better for free ?

Furthermore, if you are, as you say, a skilled programmer, there should not be any problem finding a lucrative job. The IT branch is booming, worldwide demand of skilled developers is very high.

Not trying to sound too harsh here, but the fact that you are unemployed can only mean one of two things:

1. You are not a good developer, or not as skilled as you may think.
2. You are not looking hard enough ( Can't imagine that though, I receive about 2-3 job offers from .hunters a week through my xing profile )

I'm a PHP/SQL/XHTML/RUBY programmer developing reporting applications.



posted on May, 11 2012 @ 09:38 AM
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reply to post by VoidHawk
 


No problem. And yes, you can get your housing benefits paid too. Although you have to keep accounts and take them down monthly I believe to show them how much you earned and they will adjust it accordingly. If you earn nothing you write a statement to say so. You can always phone up your local council as they might do things differently.

Best of luck to you mate. I'm sure you'll do well! Oh btw do I get a freebie for the advice? lol



posted on May, 11 2012 @ 09:40 AM
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reply to post by mee30
 


Still counts as overall income though, Your right they probably would use last years taxable income to determine the level of Tax credits given



posted on May, 11 2012 @ 09:44 AM
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reply to post by TedHodgson
 


What still counts as overall taxable income? The tax credits? Yeah sure it does, don't remember when that was discussed. I was just saying when you make your initial claim they want an estimate of your earnings. But that is so hard to do! So I just put down zero! lol They took it in the end.



posted on May, 11 2012 @ 09:52 AM
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reply to post by H1ght3chHippie
 


Ubuntu is FREE but still millions of people are on windows! What was your point exactly? To try to bash the guy when he tries to get a foot on the ladder? What have you added apart from negativity? And to tell him that you are better than him? Bloody hell man he's trying at least and that is all that counts! He may well fail, but you can not even fail without first trying! That is why failure is a fantastic thing, it means you're trying!




posted on May, 11 2012 @ 11:43 AM
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reply to post by VoidHawk
 


Do it as a "hobby."
Continue to look for work,then you can stay on JSA.

Instead of billing customers in a normal manner-make it clear to them that a "voluntary donation of £X.XX is required.



If it was me I would probably sign off after a few customers though-as they always try to force you into some naff job eventually-or worse one of their less than useless "back to work" courses...I think they design them to be so boring you begin to think even that factory shift work would be more enjoyable-then they hit you with a factory shift job.

edit on 11/5/2012 by Silcone Synapse because: sp



posted on May, 11 2012 @ 03:49 PM
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I didn't want to come off negative, I was just trying to be realistic.

To add something constructive:

You should look into developing apps for Android systems, this is booming like crazy right now and companies are desperate to have their app shoved onto your "smart phone"

Ubuntu was mentioned, yeah it's great, both as an operating system and a developement box. So are other falvours of Linux. I pray to the mighty Tux three times a day, it's my religion.

Try getting some certifications, basically they don't really matter but human resources people love them. You can get basic M$ certs for 150$ on. Well for the test that is.

There, I'm being constructive




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