Five tips to help you with your self assessment tax return

(3) Dont miss anything out in your accounts

When drawing up your accounts you need to take into account all the transactions your business has had in the year.

So if you started your business on June 5, 2014, and you choose the tax year end for your businesss accounting year end, you need to include in your accounts all the transactions that happened between June 5, 2014 and April 5, 2015.

Dont forget to include the following:

  • All business costs, including those you paid for yourself rather than from the businesss bank account. Remember this can include any costs that you incurred before your business actually started to trade provided you spent the money no more than seven years before the start of your business and the cost could have been included if you had incurred it after the start of your business
  • Income that you had invoiced, or which youd done the work for, before April 5, 2015, but which your customers didnt pay you for until after that date. Thats unless you are using the cash basis of accounting
  • Any large pieces of equipment (capital assets) that you bought for your business. These dont go in as day-to-day running costs but you may be able to claim capital allowances on them
(4) Dont forget other sources of income

If you have income from other sources as well as your business for example if you have a job as well as being self-employed, if you earn interest on a bank account or if you rent out a property then you will need to include these on your tax return too.

Collect all of the paperwork for this income, such as your forms P60 and P11D from your employer, or bank interest certificates. And remember you need the paperwork that relates to the tax year 2014/15 ie, the tax year which ended on April 5, 2015.

(5) If you want an accountant, find one now

Self Assessment can be a daunting and stressful experience, so you may wish to hire the services of an accountant to help you through the process by preparing, or checking, your tax return for you. However, it you do want to have this level of professional guidance, you dont want to leave it too late!

December and January tend to be the busiest months of the year for accountants and some of them may charge an extra premium to new clients who join them during this season.

So if you want to avoid the hassle and get an accountant to sort your Self Assessment out well in advance of the January 31 deadline, it’s a good idea to start looking for one now.

Emily Coltman FCA is Chief Accountant to FreeAgent.

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