Lesley Brown was born in 1961 and grew up in South East London. After living in North London and Surrey, many years later she ended up on the Northants-Leicestershire border. She is married to Pat and…

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Last Updated: 12th July 2023

Lesley Brown was born in 1961 and grew up in South East London. After living in North London and Surrey, many years later she ended up on the Northants-Leicestershire border. She is married to Pat and they have four grown-up children, as well as three grandchildren.

“I’m a self-employed carer and I specialise in looking after people with dementia or Parkinson’s, as well end-of-life care,” she explains. “I work for the people I care for or their families, not agencies, and a lot of my work comes from referrals.”

Family matters

Before becoming a self-employed carer, Lesley was a dispenser in a pharmacy. “My dad had had dementia for years, then blood cancer, which was under control,” she remembers. “My parents were co-dependent, because mum was totally immobile. Then she died very suddenly and dad had no one to look after him, so he came to live with us. My husband had retired at that point, which really helped.”

Lesley ended up packing in her pharmacy job, because it didn’t provide the flexibility she needed to help look after her dad. Social services were very supportive, she says, pointing her in the direction of organisations that could help. Soon she also learned about rules and regulations that apply to caring, knowledge that would later prove valuable. Sadly, three years after coming to live with her, Lesley’s dad passed away.

Facebook advert

Then one day Lesley was on Facebook when she noticed an advert appealing for help with caring for an old family member. “I thought to myself – ‘I have the necessary knowledge, experience and attitude’, so I made contact and got the job. I became self-employed in 2019 and my business, Daisy B’s Homecare, just grew from there, really.

“Caring for people is very demanding and you get emotionally attached – of course you do. It’s very hard when people are coming to the end, but I also get a lot of satisfaction from knowing that I’ve made someone feel more comfortable, less lonely or happier, while giving their families a break. You almost become part of the family and people treat you like that.”

Lesley found an accountant to help take care of her Self Assessment tax returns, but was less than impressed. “It always felt like I was constantly having to do all the chasing up. I like to keep all the ducks in a row and get things done as soon as possible – including my tax return. But my accountant wasn’t as eager as me, plus, I had to tell them to include my business miles in my tax return. It was like pulling teeth – and I was paying for the privilege! I decided to find another way.”

Tax made simple

A quick online Google search for “something that would make tax returns easier” led Lesley to GoSimpleTax. After downloading the GoSimpleTax app, she says she could not believe how easy it was to use. “It really is simple – it does what it says on the tin,” she smiles.

“You’re guided through the process; you enter your income and expenses, such as mileage, and it’s all done for you. I checked through again, because it all seemed too easy, and then I submitted it to HMRC. You don’t need to be a tax expert or good at maths, because GoSimpleTax does all of the hard work for you. If you’ve got your figures to hand, you just enter them as you go through the process. It’s so simple.”

As a sole trader, you need to make sure that you’re claiming all of your tax expenses, Lesley stresses. “GoSimpleTax helps to ensure that you’re claiming all of your tax expenses and allowances, which really did make a big difference to my tax bill. GoSimpleTax fills you with confidence that your tax return is filled in properly, so you can file it and get on with other things.”

Value for money

Lesley’s husband, Pat, also now does self-employed care work, Lesley reveals. “Last January he was sat there for days doing his tax return – I told him to use GoSimpleTax,” she smiles. “I’ve recommended GoSimpleTax to other self-employed people I know. Some of them can’t believe I actually do my own tax returns. I tell them: if I can, you can. I did my last tax return in under two hours!” she says.

Lesley is very pleased with the value for money she gets from GoSimpleTax, adding: “When you consider the time and effort it saves you – all for less than a pound a week – it’s amazing. I used to pay much more to an accountant, and that was far less simple! I’ve left two five-star reviews for GoSimpleTax on Trustpilot in the past two years, and I’d never do that unless I really mean it,” she concludes. 

Start your free trial of GoSimpleTax today and see for yourself why Lesley loves GoSimpleTax.

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Blog content is for information purposes and over time may become outdated, although we do strive to keep it current. It's written to help you understand your Tax's and is not to be relied upon as professional accounting, tax and legal advice due to differences in everyone's circumstances. For additional help please contact our support team or HMRC.

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