Posted: 7th November 2016
If you’re thinking that there’s only 7 weeks until Christmas, remember that means that there’s only 12 weeks until the Self Assessment Tax Return deadline!
H M Revenue & Customs requires all self employed people to submit their 2015/16 Tax Return by the 31st Janaury 2017. I know that thinking of Christmas is far more enjoyable than tax, but if you miss the deadline, you will face financial penalties that can quickly mount up.
It may seem daunting but do consider who is going to handle your Tax Return submission. If you’re seeking the support of an accountant, then getting your day to day records in order will not only assist them, but more importantly, their charges are likely to be less too.
Whether you keep your records on computer or paper, go through every entry to ensure that you’ve declared all of your income received and your expenditure incurred. Then have a copy of your customer invoices to hand and receipts for all business expenses. If you’ve used your own vehicle for business travel, then maintain a business mileage log. If you work from home, keep a record of hours worked. All of these business expenses are tax deductible so it’s key to have the necessary back up records as evidence. (You may be required to provide this at a later date.)
Finally, always keep your business transactions separate from private ones. It’s a good idea to have a dedicated bank account for your business as this helps to provide an audit trail. My advice is to keep your records up to date regularly and if you have been putting it off, then try to set aside time to get it done. Do seek advice if you’re unsure and that way you’ll have peace of mind.