It may be that paying your July tax payment on account has spurred you into thinking about tax in general, or maybe you have already been sent a few reminders from your accountant about getting this year’s tax return records to them. But yes, it is that time of year again where the 5 April has well and truly passed and from now on, the sooner you get your tax return finalised the better, so you can have an early indication of your next tax bill.
Is your bookkeeping up-to-date?
The first step to gathering all the information that you need to send to your accountant is to check if your bookkeeping is up-to-date to your financial year end.
If you are using a software package like Xero, or Freeagent, then it is likely you have been keeping on top of your record keeping throughout the year. However, even so you may have some small bits to finish off to get it ready.
If you still record your income and expenses manually, or on a system like Excel that takes more time, then you may find you are behind and still have many months to tackle.
Either way, getting your bookkeeping 100% updated is the first step.
Gathering the rest of the paperwork
Long gone are the days where there is significant paperwork to gather at the end of the tax year. However, depending on your personal circumstances there may still be some.
Do you have bank interest? If so, your accountant will need a summary, either paper or electronic.
Do you have a rental property? If so, your accountant will need details of income and expenses so this can be included in your tax return.
At AJN we have an easy-to-complete checklist for all our clients regarding their tax to make the process quick and straightforward, minimising the time you have to spend on your accounting.
Send everything together
Sending all the records your accountant requests together, will save you time with going back and forth with questions and further documents.
Allocate a couple of evenings in a week and commit to just getting everything to them so they can then take over and do their bit.
It will also keep to a minimum the amount of time your accountant needs to tidy up and finalise your accounts, leaving them more time to be able to give you advice on your business planning and saving tax.
Do it soon
Whilst there is technically still until 31 January 2018 to file your tax return, it really doesn’t pay to leave it until the last minute.
The sooner you can get your accounts and tax return finished and signed off, the better. It means you will know your tax bill in advance so you can start saving more if you need to.
Also, it is likely that at this time of year your accountant can get your job turned around fairly quickly.