With the January 31st deadline looming, it’s about now that many small businesses are starting to panic about their self-assessment. If you’re yet to submit your return, here’s a few top tips to help:

First step: just do it.

It isn’t a particularly fun task, but it needs doing, so I’m afraid biting the bullet is a necessity. The later you leave it, the more stress you’re going to add to the job. The online system is notorious for crashing at the last minute, plus you may encounter issues with logging in, need to prove your identity and a range of other usually-minor tasks that can cause issues when put under pressure. You’re far better off getting it completed with all issues ironed out way before the final rush. The tax itself doesn’t have to be paid until the deadline (January 31st), so don’t cause yourself undue stress by hanging on to the last minute – it won’t save you any money.

Get your ducks in a row and make it easy for yourself.self assessment

Get everything you need together. Gather paperwork on your expenses and earnings such as employment, rental and trading income and don’t forget things like certificates of bank interest etc. too. Keep them by your side as you fill out the Self-Assessment form online – it’ll make it SO much easier than having to hunt down lots of bits of paper as you go.

NEVER never ever guess on your self-assessment.

If you’re struggling, or aren’t sure how something should be treated on the return, find out. Don’t guess. This will save you making a mistake negligently, which can then accrue interest and cost you more. It’s best to check and get it right first time. Do some research online (the gov.uk website has some great guides) or ideally speak to HMRC or an accountant, who will be able to advise you. A good accountant will save you money through a whole range of allowable expenses e.g. use of home.

Many people worry about filing their return correctly and on time. Why not leave it in the hands of a professional next year? Not only can an accountant free up your time and relieve the stress from you, but you can rest easy knowing that they can run a helpful eye over your figures and help you keep as much of your hard-earned money as you’re entitled to. Contact us – we can help.

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