Self Assessment and the End Of the Tax Year

Monday March 16, 2015

A large part of being a successful business explorer is knowing when to step back and take a good, hard look at yourself and your accomplishments. The good news is that HMRC have already decided when that time is. The bad news is they get really cross if you miss it.

Here's what you need to do:

  • Know your deadlines
  • Get your paperwork organised early.
  • Stick to your system.
  • Keep it simple.
  • Find help in the RIFT.

There are set deadlines for sorting out your Self Assessment tax return each year. If you need to send in a paper return, it'll have to be received by the 31st of October, but if you do it online you have until the 31st of January. There are a couple of niggly exceptions, but these are the general dates you should keep in mind. You have to wait until the end of the tax year (the 5th of April), but it's definitely a good idea to be prepared to get it done as early as possible after that. As soon as you've got the last of the paperwork you need in hand, you should be thinking about filing your return.

With all great adventures, planning and organisation are everything. Bank statements and receipts are essential, sacred documents and must be treated with the reverence they deserve. Keeping your paperwork orderly will save you money as well as stress, and the less time you spend hunting through a year's worth of accumulated debris, the more time you'll have to actually run your business. File everything as it comes in and you'll have a stronger business and an easier life.

Of course, you'll need to do more than neatly stack papers to manage your Self Assessment obligations. Your accounts aren't just some uncomfortable obstacle you have to clamber over once a year. They're the blood in your business' veins, and if their flow is congested or springs a leak the prognosis could be grim. Sticking to a financial fitness plan will go a long way toward easing the pressure, so be sure to set aside some time on a regular basis to put your accounts through their paces. You can't run a marathon in the last minute, but you'd be surprised at the results you could see from putting as little as an hour per week into managing your books.

There's a lot you can do to streamline your bookkeeping, from setting up a spreadsheet if your accounts are very simple to using full-featured accounting software if your needs are more complex. Invoicing, managing bank transactions and tracking your outgoings can all be handled electronically, and finding the right tool for the job will always pay off.

The most important point to remember is that going your own way in business needn't mean going it alone. RIFT Accounting is always there to handle your paperwork and keep your business safe. We can deal with HMRC on your behalf, calculate and file your Self Assessment returns and make sure you never miss a deadline or an opportunity.

Get in touch now to learn more about our Business Bodyguarding service

Call us on 01233 653006 and see how we can help you today.

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