With the January tax return deadline rapidly approaching, it’s time to make sure you’re ready. If you run a small business, you’ve already got plenty on your plate - but you must make your tax return a priority. If you haven’t completed your tax return by 31st January, you will face an automatic £100 fine - this applies even if you don’t owe any tax. Here are our 5 top tips for getting your tax return done properly and on time.
1. Make sure you have all the information you need
Don’t forget that, before you can submit your tax return, you will need your Unique Taxpayer Reference details from HMRC. If you have an accountant, they will probably be doing this for you - but check up on them to make sure they get it done well in time. You don’t want to be left the day before the deadline with a completed tax return but no Unique Taxpayer Reference.
2. Be accurate and precise with your figures
It may be tempting to use rounded values, but this can make the Revenue suspicious - even if you haven’t done anything wrong. If you have rounded figures, make sure you take a note of it so that they can be adjusted when the correct figures are known.
3. Declare different types of income
You will need to include all your different types of income. This means including details of income from capital gains, dividends from shares, bank interest and any rental income you earn. Don’t forget that interest on ISAs and some types of National Savings bonds are exempt.
4. Include all your relevant business costs
Make sure you include all your business costs in your accounts, or else you could end up paying too much tax! This includes business costs that you’ve paid yourself with a personal credit card or cash - these are called out of pocket expenses, and you can often claim tax relief on these. Remember that you can also include costs you’ve incurred but not yet paid for, such as bills from suppliers.
5. Have you got an accountant?
A qualified accountant can help you with your tax return, as you are responsible if anything is wrong. If you don’t already have one, you may want to consider finding one as soon as possible - as the deadline gets closer, many accountants will put their prices up!
The most important thing is to make sure that you’re prepared well in advance. If you haven’t started yet, what are you waiting for? Get going as soon as possible to cut the stress later on.