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5 tips for stress-free self assessment

As the self assessment deadline of January 31st looms upon us, here’s 5 top tips to ensure you breeze through the tax return season.

  1. Get your business paperwork in order – ensure you have copies of all invoices you issued to customers between 6th April 2016 and 5th April 2017 and collate receipts for all business expenses relating to the same period. Make sure you understand which expenses are tax allowable – if you are uncertain visit https://www.gov.uk/expenses-if-youre-self-employed for guidance.

  2. Organise your bank statements – download copies of statements for both personal and business bank accounts covering the tax year.

  3. Presentation is key – in the absence of an accounting package, record your income and expenditure for the year in a clear and concise way, ie) a simple spreadsheet detailing your invoices and receipts.

  4. Don’t forget other income – prepare paperwork for any other income received during the year including, P60’s from your current employer, P45’s if you have left an employer during the tax year, details of any dividends from investments and any bank interest.

  5. Keep us in the loop – inform us of any change in circumstances, for example, marriage, birth of a child, business loans, student loans, investments to ensure nothing is missed from your return and your tax calculation is accurate.

How to make next year even easier….

Prepare your accounting records early – commit to completing your paperwork as soon after 5th April 2018 as possible. As a result, submissions are more likely to be made well ahead of deadline, which in turn gives you early visibility of your tax bill, providing you with ample time to manage your cash flows to meet your liability.

Invest in a cloud based system to manage your books – not only do the many systems on the market take the time consumption and mundanity away from managing your accounts but most provide a running estimate of your tax liability, helping you to plan your cashflow effectively and avoid the uncertainty that often comes hand in hand with your tax return submission.

There are many competitive deals on the market and several banks are now affiliating with providers to offer discounted or in some cases, free access to their customers. With the Government scheme for digitalising tax administration coming into effect from April 2019 for VAT and a planned April 2020 launch for other taxes, it would be sensible for you to get your business ahead of the game.


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