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5 tips for a stress free tax period

31st August 2015 Print

Every year you can be guaranteed that there will be two stressful, but important events that will be at the front of your mind. One is Christmas and the other is completing your tax return on time. Neither of these occasions will ever disappear. Here are just five small tips to help reduce the worry.

1. Getting help with your tax

If you are a company that can demonstrate work which qualifies as R&D (Research & Development) then finding the right help for your tax reduction or credits is essential. At Innovation Plus you can be guaranteed that you will receive the most up to date and specialist help available. Using their expertise they have helped Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and multi-nationals claim and negotiate settlements worth up to £5m from HMRC as a result of this tax incentive. If you are ever unsure about your company’s ability to claim, you should always consult a specialist practise. 

2. Fill in your return early

If you are in any doubt about filling in your tax returns it’s always best to start them as early as possible. Even if you are unable to pay your tax you should always complete your returns to prevent the possibility of receiving fines or extra charges. These can soon spiral out of control if ignored. If you are an SME you could visit your local Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) for advice and information about PAYE or filing your company’s accounts.

3. Deadlines

Don’t wait until the last minute to fill in your form, so work well in advance of a stipulated deadline and not right up to it – if you don’t meet HMRC deadlines and requirements then might face a penalty as detailed here. For private limited companies, annual accounts must be filed with Companies House nine months after your company’s financial year ends. The deadline to pay Corporation Tax is nine months and a day after the company’s financial year ends, while the deadline for filing a company tax return is 12 months after that same period. The accounts deadline may be extended in certain situations.

4. Keeping your records up to date

Running a small company comes with its own headaches and if you can keep your records up to date during the year you will save yourself a lot of stress when it comes to presenting your tax returns. Keeping receipts and your expenses written down and filed will all make the process easier in the long run. If you employ staff then you should ensure that any travelling expenses are kept up to date and you should also keep any utility bills.

5. Recruiting an accountant

If you are a small company then your budget may be tight, but nevertheless recruiting an accountant will make the process of completing tax returns and associated administration far smoother. This article suggests looking at accountants listed on the websites of organisations such as ICAEW and ACCA, and enlisting their services on a ‘pay as you go’ arrangement rather than a monthly retainer.