How to Avoid Tax Return and Year End Panic

CX6NKC A man filling in an income tax return form, uk

Don’t Delay, Get It Out of the Way Today

If the words “tax return” strike fear and dread into your heart, there is only one solution. Get it done today, and you can relax and get back to business.

Tax Return
CX6NKC A man filling in an income tax return form, uk

As the new year gains pace and March looms closer on the horizon, the Andy Williams favourite It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year that accompanied all the festivities a few short weeks ago takes on a new and sinister undercurrent. This is the time that many small businesses dread, but tax returns have to be done, and the longer you put the task off, the worse that feeling of impending doom will become.

Operating in one of the most important small business hubs in the UK, accountants in Peterborough are only too well aware that submitting tax returns can be stressful and even panic-inducing for SMEs. But this is the time when business owners need to make the best possible use of their accountants, and by following some basic best practices, getting that tax return in is really not as daunting as it might look.

Stay on top all year round

If preparing for your tax return involves furiously searching through files, desks, drawers, pockets and other improbable locations for invoices and receipts, then of course the whole task is going to be a nightmare. A business’s primary purpose is to generate revenue, and it needs to do so in just as organised a way as it delivers its products and services.

Keeping financial information up to date and properly organised all year round saves a world of hurt later and makes for a more efficient and successful business. There are so many digital tools to help achieve this, there is really no reason not to do it. Speak to your accountant to get tips on the best system or software options and choose one that will allow you to share information directly with them to make the process of submitting the tax return even easier.

Look at it objectively

If you are among the thousands of business owners who tends to mentally switch off at the very phrase “tax return” the whole concept can seem overly complicated and time consuming. Take a deep breath, force yourself to look at the HMRC guidelines and you will see that this is simply not the case. They do not actually require a huge amount of complex information, and if you are even vaguely organised, it will all be at your fingertips. The main things you need to provide are as follows:

  • Bank statements
  • Purchase and sales invoices
  • Petty cash records
  • Sales and purchase books
  • Staff payment records
  • VAT returns for the year
  • Details of any loan or HP agreements for the year

And that is really all there is to it. You can provide most of these things electronically to your accountant, and then it is a case of rewarding yourself with a cup of coffee and getting back to what you do best – driving your business forward.

Not so taxing

A few years ago, HMRC got some stick for adopting the tagline “tax doesn’t have to be taxing” and granted, as catchphrases go, it was a little on the twee side. But it was absolutely true. Prepare now, and if your record keeping for the past year makes the task a little more taxing than it ought to be, take that on board as a lesson to do things better next year.