Dreading January? As an accountant to self-employed sole traders, we’re going to guess that’s a yes – unless you’ve managed to file your clients Self-Assessment tax returns already… hats off to you if you have!
Getting this monumental task completed early is no mean feat. But it is possible to get through the tax season without experiencing a stressful sprint to 31st January.
Here, Mike Parkes from GoSimpleTax explains how.
Gather all information soon
Don’t delay get the required data together off your clients now. Make a checklist such as the one below to ensure you have everything avoiding unnecessary delays. This aids you and your client if shared and updated between you.
Documents and Information Checklist. (suggested format)
|Documents/Information||Received||Client to send|
|National Insurance Number|
|Unique Taxpayer Reference number or UTR|
|Business/partnership name, address and company number if relevant|
|The business’s annual income and expenditure|
|Income earned from other employment|
|Any rent they have received|
|Interest paid on loans, credit cards or other credit|
|Income from overseas|
|Income received from a partnership|
|Any dividends received|
|Benefits received either from the state or an employer|
|Capital gains received|
|Gift Aid received|
|Tax payments they have already made this year (payments on account)|
Be sure to have yourself registered with the 64-8 form for new clients, to be officially recognised as their agent by HMRC so you can act on their behalf.
Remind your clients of what is required
You have shared your checklist of standard data required, but you may require extra information.
Perhaps your client has a student loan. Maybe your client (or their partner) are claiming Child Benefit. If there’s the slightest possibility your clients circumstances will affect how much tax they need to pay, you should be aware.
Make clients aware of possible penalties
Submitting the Self-Assessment late comes with penalties, so make sure your clients are aware of these and know how you will need to provide all the necessary data to ensure they avoid them.
Minimise errors with tax software
The chances of any mistakes can be reduced through Self-Assessment tax return software. It will take all the administrative work off your hands, ensuring the numbers are correct. Your client can also see their tax liability in real time, which should be an incentive not to leave it to the last minute!
Think ahead for Making Tax Digital – HMRC will not continue to maintain their own software
With MTD over the horizon begin converting your clients to a software such as GoSimpleTax and utilise their income tax calculator and submission tool for your clients business. Giving them full visibility of your tax liability in real time whilst giving and reviewing your pension contributions and investment opportunities.
GoSimpleTax is a secure cloud-based solution and it is officially- recognised by HMRC.
It includes partnership, non-resident and previous year returns. it has an easy to use interface and submits direct HMRC. GoSimpleTax are ready for MTD and the software shows the Tax liability in real time. It has a simple dashboard allowing you to switch between clients easily.
IAB members now receive a 25% discount on GoSimpleTax to receive your discount code sign-up here (example 100 client submissions £187.50inc using discount)