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5th November 2019

You are probably dreading the thought of another self-assessment tax return, and who can blame you. It is the first cold shower after the warmth of Christmas, so why not get it done before the holidays?

Let’s talk about the self-assessment return as it is, a pain in the backside, but unfortunately, one that we cannot avoid. We’ve come up with a few compelling reasons why you should get it done early:

Avoid unnecessary stress

Remember when you couldn’t find the password to log in to your account and were on hold with HMRC for 50 minutes? Leave yourself enough time to sort out unexpected delays.

If you have an accountant to help you, they will be swamped in January and difficult to get a hold of last minute. It is much easier to get answers before the rush, should you need them.

Are you sure you have all the records required to prepare the return? A missing P45 or P60 will take some time to replace; you don’t want to leave it to the last minute.

Probably a good idea to get an accountant. An expert pair of eyes on your return can spot problems or ask the right questions to save on your tax bill. They will talk to HMRC on your behalf and remind you of payment dates.

It will cost you less

This is an obvious one: paying a late filing penalty makes your return more expensive, so why risk it? If you have the records required to complete it, do it.

As mentioned above, hire an accountant as they may be able to save you more money on your tax bill than what they are actually charging you — an instant win. You could be due some tax back, which is even better.

Some accountants (like us) reward you for getting it done early with a tiered system; our service starts at just £110+VAT if you are early enough.

More time to budget for the bill

A tax return bill received in late summer or autumn is far less painful than one received in January. Let yourself have enough time to budget for the bill, especially if you have lots of gifts to buy at Christmas.

Pay it and forget it. Do you have the funds to pay the bill now? Perfect! Pay it, so you don’t have to worry about the deadline or coming up with the funds in January.

Your tax return cannot be completed unless your company’s records are up to date. You need to allow time for your accountant to prepare your accounts. The most practical way is to use cloud accounting software, like FreeAgent’s, to help you with the admin. No more lengthy spreadsheets to prepare or bank statements to e-mail. We use it, and our clients love it.

We are here to help

We hope that the above has helped prompt you to take action and get the tax return sorted so that you can enjoy the holidays with it on your mind.

If you’d like us to help you with your tax return, please contact our tax manager Robert Trappe; if you are our client, we will likely have half of the information required to complete your tax return already.

Please remember to follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter for regular updates, guides and industry news.

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