Lessons To Learn From The Self Assessment Comedown

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February 02, 2017
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The January cut-off point for your Self Assessment has come and gone, leaving a trail of bewildered freelancers in its wake. How was your experience? Did tax submission leave you cold, as if the weight of the financial year was cleaving your brain in two?

You aren’t alone – every deadline affects hundreds of thousands of people in the UK, all of whom could be taking some hard-earned lessons away with them. Bright Ideas has been in a pensive mood as of late, and we’ve been thinking about the mistakes and head-scratchers to avoid for next time round:

Paperwork is a nightmare

The demands of running a business are manifold, and the small stuff can easily escape our attention. When you have a huge store of clients to manage, invoices can mount up into a tall, daunting pile of paper documentation. And that’s without factoring in receipts, which have to be proven to get the thumbs-up from HMRC.

So why deal with paper at all? Digital solutions have advanced to the level where you can just snap a picture on your smartphone, and upload the data into your real-time assessment status. Our go-to software, FreeAgent, does exactly that. It runs on the Cloud, meaning your information is accessible from any device.

It pays to have foresight

Time is our most precious commodity. Tax deadlines can seem like a distant cloud on the horizon, shifting imperceptibly towards us. Yet when we take our eyes off them, it’s a shock to discover that only a few weeks remain, during which there’s a tendency to scramble and gloss over vital aspects of a submission.

It just makes sense to complete your Self Assessment way ahead of the due date. The January deadline, particularly, can cause a lot of stress, since it rears up just after Christmas and New Year i.e. time that we don’t want to spend on our bookkeeping. Do yourself a favour and sort your payment periods, bank statements and other accumulative evidence out in advance. Who knows – that one fatal error might get the taxman on your back.

Doing it yourself is a pain…

This might sound like a given, but it’s true: entrepreneurs are forced to perform rigorous tax exercises, all to ensure they don’t get penalised for not being an expert. It’s no surprise that HMRC launches countless investigations every year for those who’ve slipped up in some respect. But, at the same time, these individuals are burdened with a lot more than Self Assessment criteria, and they’re bound to overlook things.

Henceforth, it’s a great move to hire an affordable, scalable accountancy service that picks apart the details of your finances, advising on how to proceed. Bright Ideas is a premium example of a helping hand when you want to sit back and focus on your passion. Our packages include quarterly or monthly health checks, contract reviews and income/mortgage references, as well as a complete analysis of your tax submissions.

Interested? Take heed from the pains of the past, and upgrade your accounting skills before another deadline pulverises your sense of calm and serenity. Call 0161 669 4221 or email info@biaccountancy.com to get started on a smarter track!

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