Carers Allowance + variable income

For information and discussion about benefits
I've done some research and I've seen this question asked before, but the answers were years old, so I wanted to check this. I'm not claiming CA yet because I wanted to get informed first. I'm self employed and I understand there's a £116 per week earnings limit with CA.

I have these questions:

(1) My earnings will be variable, is this checked every week or can I do it over a longer period - month (£464 per month?), year (£6032 over the year?)
(2) I read that pension contributions (50%) and replacement care costs can be deducted, but what else can be deducted as a business expense to lower earnings? Can anyone advise - is there a list?
Carers UK has a brilliant helpline to advise about benefits. I ran a small business for 20 years. HMRCcan give you full details about expenses. In my day they had a leaflet but I expect its online now.
Thank you. I'll call if I have to but would prefer a forum reply as I'm not good on the phone.

I just thought of

(3) If my tax/NI is paid at the end of year, how am I supposed to deduct it from my earnings weekly? Just estimate?
The phone is very busy, just email them and they will send you an excellent reply within a week.
Have a read through some of these -old but mostly still relevant ... mit=Search
Henrietta - that was very helpful. Thank you. Scally appeared to be a genius. I wish they were still active.

A few more questions their posts have prompted:

(4) Scally indicates using a pension plan to take advantage of the 50% deductions and can withdraw at any time - I wonder which one this is, or is this a common thing?

(5) Can all PCP finance costs be deducted or just a limit of £3k - or does this just happen to be how much Scally pays? Does it even have to be PCP?
Glad you found it helpful
(4) Scally indicates using a pension plan to take advantage of the 50% deductions and can withdraw at any time - I wonder which one this is, or is this a common thing?
It is any plan- I chose a Standard Life Stake holders pension as they let me put in small variable amounts which I found helpful . Now I have less time for real paid emplyment my earnigns are always below th elimit so I have a small Standing Order set up .

Other companies offer similar schemes but check with them first to see how easy it is to make contributions and how flexible they are are. it really depends how variable your earnings are- if you are regularly over the limit by about the same amount then I would say you have more choice and could cope with a standing order, knowing you will have enough funds to cover the same contribution each month.
From my own experience with variable earnings and submitting pension statements, I had to make sure I paid enough into a pension each month to cover both the earnings for that particular calendar month and also the amount that I worked in that calendar month as they kept moving the goal posts in their favour. I am paid mid month for preceding month of work so for example paid 15th June for work done from 1st May to 31st May. In this instance I need to make sure my pension covers enough to offset the over earnings for work done in May and also any payments received in June because this is when the payment is received- Just make sure you cover it from all angles. Hope that makes sense because DWP shift goal posts in their favour.

Sorry - can't think what CPC is without wading back through posts?
Wow. It's so complicated. I wish DWP would just make it easier for carers.

PCP is the car finance Scally was talking about. You pay monthly for the use of a car that you can hand back at the end of the deal. This can apparently be deducted from your earnings if you use it for employment.

The only thing is they're quite expensive and I'd rather use my own car but not sure what can be deducted. I'd have to pay for maintenance (i.e. servicing, MOT, etc) so I can do my job, but I don't know if that can be deducted from your earnings to still qualify for Carers Allowance.
Look at the HMRC website. Honestly, tax matters don't have to be something to be frightened of!

Because my husband didn't like computers, I always kept his business books the old fashioned way, on paper. I'd managed the inpatient accounts for an outback hospital like this in the 1970's, didn't even have a calculator, just an adding machine. I wrote up the accounts on a daily basis, and each day did a running total. I could always balance my books by 10am on the first of every month, I wouldn't have my morning coffee until I'd rung my boss 50 miles away to say everything balanced! Whether it was the first day, last day, or any day in between, I could always say how much people had been charged, and for what.
My husband had a random HMRC quick check one year, they asked for all vehicle receipts for the whole year. I explained that I kept all receipts together on a monthly basis, and they asked to see a monthly sheet, and the receipts. At the end of their inspection, they wrote to compliment me on the way I kept the accounts!!!
As I said before, they did a booklet detailing all allowable expenses, and this included car expenses. Don't worry about what you think, just do what HMRC tell you. We had a very simple daily receipt filing system. A 4" square block of wood with a 4" nail through it. Then we would put all our receipts on the nail/spike as we got them, and they were in reverse date order, so easy to write up. Don't be scared and miss out on money as a result.
Hi kmaz
Just to be clear all pension schemes accept money in, but you can only take out from age 55. Scally, I believe was over 55. Best check with the scheme you are thinking off before starting paying in.