Okay, that’s not true, but now we’ve got your attention, let’s talk about how you can get HMRC self assessment ready and stop it being the bane of your life.
Let’s get the scary stuff out of the way first. The self assessment tax return is your responsibility. A tax accountant only files what you approve, so if there is any incorrect information or you have failed to declare something, the tax man will come after you, not your accountant.
And it’s not like the old days, when you could get away with HMRC never finding out. Nowadays their databases are all linked together, so they have a very good overview of your tax affairs. It also means it’s incredibly easy for them to spot any anomalies in your information. So, don’t think you can sell your holiday rental without them finding out.
The good news is you can access the tax details HMRC holds on you through your personal tax account. It includes:
Get access to your personal tax account as soon as possible. If the details in the account tallies with the information you give your accountancy services, then the chance of errors is minimal. And no errors mean no HMRC investigation, which is a good thing!
What would you rather do over Christmas? Have a good time or scrabble around trying to ensure you don’t file a late tax return?
Just because the deadline for the HMRC self assessment submission together with payment is January 31st, doesn’t mean you have to wait until then. The new tax year starts in April, which gives you a full 9 months, and the earlier you submit the better. And the good news is, even if you submit a return in April, the HMRC tax payment isn’t due until January. So, not only will you know well in advance exactly how much you owe, but you’ll have the time to get the money together.
Most people dread pulling together all the information needed for self assessment, but it doesn’t have to be that onerous. Follow these guidelines and you’ll wonder what all the fuss was about.
1. Identify all your sources of income: This includes everything from self-employment income, dividends and pension contributions to rental income, royalties and capital gains.
2. Keep a list of all your relevant expenses: if you have a rental property, keep track of any money you spend on repairs and insurance, as this will reduce the amount of HMRC tax you pay.
3. Keep everything in one place: it doesn’t matter if it’s a drawer, folder or plastic bag, just make sure that as soon as you get anything related to self assessment you put it in this one place. Then it’s simply a matter of handing it over to your tax accountant.
We know that getting organised and ready for self assessment is a lot easier said than done, which is why we try and make things as easy as possible for you and help ensure you won’t get fined for submitting a late tax return.
So, while HMRC don’t give away free gifts and you’ll always have to pay HMRC tax, with a bit of simple planning, self assessment definitely doesn’t need to fill you with dread. We are more than happy to help, so if you are looking for accountants in Aylesbury, please get in touch.
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Palmers Business Support was founded to help ambitous small business owners grow their personal wealth and achieve their ideal work/life balance. With accountancy as the central pillar of our offering, we take the view that timely accounts and efficient compliance is the bare minimum our cients should expect.