Virgin StartUp of the Week: Taxo'd
No matter your industry, experience or location, mention the word "Tax" to an entrepreneur or freelancer and you'll be met with similar reactions: terror, fear, sheer confusion (unless you're running an accountancy business). It's a word that conjures up panicked January 31sts, the rubbish treasure hunt that is searching for crumpled receipts in the pockets of every coat you own, and cursing your past self as, instead of invoices, you find mysterious notes reading "Bob paid me £50 for a thing".
Luckily, help is at hand with ingenious app Taxo'd, which takes the headache out of doing your tax return. It's a platform created by freelancers, for freelancers, that works out the tax for you as you go along, leaving you free to concentrate on the important stuff rather than wrestling with calculations. They're doing incredibly well already, making it to the semi-finals of Pitch to Rich 2015 and seeing over a thousand people sign up to the beta service. We caught up with founder Dave Legion to find out more.
Ground to floor 1 – Explain what your business does
TAXO'D is a simple business finance management tool designed solely for the self-employed. That lets you simply record transactions in and out as you go, shows you how much tax you owe in real-time, and then files your tax-return for you right within the app itself.
Floor 1 to 2 - Where are you based?
I'm in London, the rest of the team are back in Cardiff.
Floor 2 to 3 – What’s the business model?
TAXO’D will be a subscription model, with monthly or annual payment options. We aim to keep costs low and extremely competitive, so freelancers at any stage can afford to stay in control.
Floor 3 to 4 – Who are your competitors?
Although we are the first end-to-end platform to focus solely on the self-employed, we see other accountancy firms and their software as our main friendly competitors.
Floor 4 to 5 – What’s your USP?
TAXO’D is focused only on the self employed, and designed to do a few things simply and effectively, with minimal interaction. You just record as you go, know what you owe, and then we file your tax-return for you. TAXO'D (strangely enough) is not really about tax, it's about all the other things you can be doing with your time and energy when tax is one less thing to worry about.
Floor 5 to 6 – Where did the idea come from?
I remember the shock I got the first year of freelancing when the tax-return deadline came around. I had only just discovered the meaning of self-assessment, and that I was responsible for it. I knew absolutely nothing about managing my own business finances. As I dug deeper into world of taxation, the more confused I became. HMRC had all the answers, they were just hidden in an inception of links and endless seas of jargon. Why couldn’t I just record what comes in and what goes out and it tell me what tax I owe? And that was it — why wasn't that option there already?
Floor 6 to 7 – How much funding did you receive from Virgin StartUp?
A handy £7,500
Floor 7 to 8 – How are you going to use it to grow your business?
As we move towards our public BETA launch, this will help towards further development.
Floor 8 to 9 – Who’s your Virgin StartUp Mentor?
Fiscal master – Paul Burgess.
Floor 9 to 10 – What’s your workspace like? Send us a photo from your phone
Floor 10 to 11 – where will your business be in 12 month’s time?
We want the independent workers of the UK to experience the benefits from using TAXO'D. Our goal is to keep simplifying and further automate the process as much as possible. We can then expand our service overseas, with the same level of focus, understanding, and execution.