Has the end of the tax year brought 'Self Assesment Dread'?
When it comes to tax, we’ve found that there are two kinds of people – the organised, and the disorganised. If you’re at the organised end and have already submitted your figures for FY2016/17 to your accountant, you can stop reading now – but if you fall into the ‘less organised’ category, then read on for some handy tips on how to make FY2017/18 much less of a headache.
Getting your figures in order
Once the tax year ends, many people don’t even think about getting their figures together until the tax return deadlines start looming later in the year. Then it’s a mad rush to remember where the paperwork is and try to get it into order for their accountant. But even doing your figures as soon as the year ends is not the answer.
The answer is to get organised at the start of the tax year. So, 2016/17 will still be a challenge we’re afraid, but why not start 2017/18 on a new footing? Our advice is to manage your tax figures as you go, so you never get a backlog of invoices and receipts, which gather dust under the bed or in a drawer, and need sorting in one hit later on.
Tools to help make it easier
There are a huge number of software packages available to help you – including our own Vantage portal of course. But those are only the tools, you still have to gather the information yourself. The secret is to do it at regular intervals, putting a reminder in your diary to ensure that you do. Then enter them into a software package, or even just an Excel spreadsheet, and forget about it.
Even better, enter each expense as soon as you get back to your PC after incurring it. This way you never have a backlog of information to record, and when the tax year ends, the job is done. Figures all ready to hand over to your accountant, while you can relax and focus on the new tax year ahead.