Hey there, tax season is officially upon us! Whether you're a seasoned filer or a newbie, we often find clients unsure of where to start with their returns- but no fear! We've got your back with a quick guide on the do's and don'ts of navigating those tax returns smoothly.
DO bring in your paperwork early
We can begin submitting Tax Returns as early as April 6th! Bringing your paperwork in before the deadline allows you to budget for your January tax bill in advance. Also, if you have any second payments on account due in July, completing your tax return in advance can ensure these payments are accurate, so you are not unnecessarily handing your cash over to HMRC.
DON'T bring us your paperwork in January
I'm sure a few of you will be familiar with the January rush and just how stressful it can get. With the office closed for Christmas, January can get very busy! Not only that but if we run into any difficulties with your return, such as delays at HMRC or missing information, you are risking your return being submitted late, which no one wants.
DO watch our handy video on expenses you can claim for
Before bringing your paperwork to us, watch this video, which we have prepared to let you know exactly what you can claim on your tax return. Watching this in advance will prevent any delays once we receive your paperwork, and ensures you are claiming for all your business expenses. You may be surprised at what you can include!
DON'T give us every receipt you have ever received
Weekly food shops, spa retreats, the latest designer shoes- we have seen it all! It's important you filter through these receipts that are not business-related, as it can cause delays to your tax return. Additionally, as our fees are transaction-based, bringing in excessive amounts of these unclaimable receipts will only increase your fee without increasing your tax savings. If you are ever unsure, ask your account manager- they are always happy to help!
DO tell us about all of your income
Giving us the correct information is always important to keep your return accurate. We even have a Tax Return Checklist we ask clients to fill out to make sure we don't miss anything! If you haven't yet filled yours in, check it out here.
DON'T purposefully omit or reduce your income
As tempting as it may be to reduce your tax bill, you won't be feeling the savings when HMRC finds out and issues you with penalties. Purposeful omissions can be costly, and lead to a very stressful situation if you are unlucky enough to be investigated by HMRC.
DO pay your tax bill on time
Tax payments are due to be received by HMRC on January 31st, with some taxpayers also having a second payment due on July 31st. We will remind you of these in advance of these dates, so make sure to follow us on Instagram and Facebook so you don't miss out!
DON'T pay late
Paying past the deadline will incur interest at HMRC, causing you to owe more in the long run. HMRC also uses debt collection agencies for long overdue payments, which can be even more costly and inconvenient. If you are struggling to pay, make sure you contact HMRC to set up a payment plan, which allows you to spread the tax due over multiple payments.
Phew, you made it through the tax return essentials! By following these do's and avoiding those pesky don'ts, you'll be well on your way to a smoother, more stress-free tax season. Remember, while taxes can be a bit of a puzzle, with the right guidance and a dash of organisation, you've got this!