Why it’s worth filing your Self Assessment early
Sep 12, 2019
Business Advice Personal Finance
Okay, so the summer’s over, the kids are back at school and the days are getting shorter. But it’s still only September – surely Christmas is miles away, let alone January. So why on earth would you consider filing your Self Assessment now, when there are still over four months to go until the deadline?
Filing your annual tax return is clearly one of the major drawbacks of being self-employed, and it’s no surprise that so many of us put off tackling it until the last minute. However, if you manage to attack your books well ahead of the final deadline, it can help you keep your accounts in order and ensure the smooth running of your business – as well as make you feel suitably relaxed and smug!
Here are five reasons why you might want to consider filing your tax return early:
1. Time to budget
Even if you file your tax return early, the amount of tax you owe isn’t due until 31 January. So you have the benefit of knowing well in advance how much your tax bill is going to be, and then you can make sure you put aside enough money to pay for it. There won’t be the risk of an unexpectedly high tax bill and no time to budget for it, at what is already a very expensive time of year.
2. Time to find information
As you may be painfully aware, completing your tax return can involve collating a vast number of figures, statements, and certificates. Laying your hands on all these can take some time, and if documents disappear you can risk missing your filing deadline. It’s worth remembering that any enquiries to HMRC can also take a considerable length of time (particularly the closer we get to 31 January), and even waiting for authorisation codes from HMRC can take several days. So it’s worth getting your paperwork in order sooner rather than later.
3. Time to invest in your business
The beauty of getting your books in order, and filing your Self Assessment early, is that it leaves you completely organised. This means you can fully focus on ensuring your business is performing as well as possible, with a clear view of where you sit financially.
4. Time to enjoy the festive season
Imagine how nice it would be to totally relax over Christmas and the New Year knowing all you have to think about is eating turkey and mince pies, without the threat of your tax return lying in wait once all the festivities are over?
5. Time to find help if you need it
Although you can file your Self Assessment without using an accountant, it can sometimes save a lot of time and money in the long run if you ask for help from a professional. And bearing in mind how busy accountants are in the run up to the tax return deadline, it makes sense to find the right person to help you sooner rather than later.
If you’d like any advice on how to get the ball rolling with filing your Self Assessment, then please give us a call and we’ll be happy to help.