Yes, it’s that time of year where your online self assessment must be completed and sent to HMRC, and the accountants here at Blue Skies would like to offer their tips on stress-free tax returns.
Whether you’re self-employed or working as a sole trader, a self assessment can be enough to strike fear into even the most seasoned business person. If you’re keen to do your business accounting and tax return yourself, there are a few things you should bear in mind in order to make the process less complicated.
Firstly, as soon as you’ve completed your self assessment for this year, stick a note in your diary or on your calendar to remind you in good time of the submission date for next year. This may sound obvious, but it’s so easy to get bogged down with work and for time to pass us by at an alarming rate, that if you don’t set up some reminders now, you could end up forgetting until it’s too late – and late tax return submissions mean fines and penalties! The deadline for online self assessment submission is always the 31st January.
Another tip from our accountants at Blue Skies is to keep up to date with your bookkeeping. This means completing your monthly accounts in a timely fashion – that way, when it’s time for your next tax return, you’ll have all the information ready and to hand. By keeping up to date with your business accounting, you’ll also have a good idea of where you stand financially at any given time. You can complete your book work yourself, or ask an accountant to do it for you.
One of the most common problems with self assessments is that many people don’t understand exactly what they’re able to claim as a tax deductible expense. Tax returns are not a game, and the rules are non-negotiable, so if you’re completing your accounts and self assessment yourself, you need to ensure that you’re aware of the rules, any exceptions, and potential penalties for non-compliance. Business accounting doesn’t need to be particularly complicated, but you’ll only get it right if you know what you’re doing to start with. You can find information on allowable business expenses and tax deductible items on the HMRC website.
Ultimately, when it comes to business accounting and self assessments, you need to make sure that you’re acting in accordance with the law – it’s simply not worth the stress and worry of going into it blindly. While you could ask an accountant to explain the rules to you, it would probably make more sense to hand over your accounts directly to them. Here at Blue Skies, we can take care of all your business accounting needs, including the completion and submission of your annual self assessments – feel free to contact our business accounting experts to see how they can help you.
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