It’s almost a week on from the tax return deadline and, aside from business owners relishing the feeling of accomplishment that comes with getting their returns in on time, there are also more than likely a few well-intentioned promises being uttered to never again suffer the last minute rush.
It is a daunting process, especially for new business owners, but it needn’t be a yearly battle.
This is a good time, with the panic still fresh in your memory, to start thinking about how to ensure you’re better prepared for the next tax season.
Here are a few early tips to help you:
1) Sort out any outstanding issues – The last minute self-assessment rush can often lead to some errors. But the good news is that you can file any amendments to your return (even if you filed a paper return) within 12 months of the original deadline. HMRC will then update your bill and let you know if you are owed a refund or if you owe more tax. Find out more about making corrections here.
2) Take stock of how you fared – Spend a bit of time making note of anything you really battled with when doing your self-assessment. What tripped you up? Was it not having enough information? Did your figures not make sense? Figure out early on where you struggled to help you next time round.
3) Reconcile and start making it a habit – The tax return deadline has passed but if your financial year runs from May, then you still have some number crunching and book balancing to crack on with. Reconcile your accounts and make sure all your business finances are in order. Accounting software like KashFlow makes bank reconciliations incredibly easy, so much so that you can make regular reconciliations a good habit for a healthy financial year.
4) Keep ‘paperwork’ in order – Were you scrabbling for all the receipts you neatly tucked away in your kitchen drawer (along with all your other odds and ends)? Were all your invoices present and correct? Did you find everything you needed? A smart system of filing your paperwork is important to avoid a panic and the smartest way to deal with this is investing in software like KashFlow. Not only does this mean that all your accounts information is stored in your cloud account, but you can also use add-on applications like Receipt Bank to keep digital records of your receipts. Much easier than the proverbial shoebox!
5) Consult an accountant – Investing in the services of an accountant will save you loads of time and stress in the future, and if you have your daily bookkeeping requirements in order, you can actually benefit a lot more from your accountant relationship. If you switch to cloud accounting solutions, you can give your accountant access to your account, meaning time previously spent on data entry can be used to give you real professional advice on your business growth and more.
Want to find out how KashFlow can make doing tax returns a breeze? Click here for a 14 day free trial.