Yes, it’s that time of year again. Isn’t it worrying how quickly it comes around each time. I am sure it gets quicker each year!
The 31st October 2008 is the deadline for sending in a paper Self Assessment Return (SAR) and if you want, HMRC will calculate your tax for you – more on that in a minute.
You can submit an electronic SAR right up until 31st January 2009 but if you would like your outstanding tax collecting through your tax code, you need to submit the SAR before 31st December 2008.
Not everyone who is liable to submit an SAR uses a bookkeeper or accountant, in fact less than 50% do. This means there are a significant number of small business owners who do everything themselves, no doubt in a misguided attempt to save money on fees, and who are at serious risk of a full and lengthy tax investigation into their business and private affairs.
The Tax Office love dealing with “undefended” taxpayers because they are much more likely to have a “successful” (more expensive for the taxpayer) outcome than someone who has an accountant and professional fee insurance in their corner.
Back to the option to have HMRC calculate your tax for you if you submit your paper SAR before the end of October 2008. Why would you???
They will not give the same care and attention to your business records and particular circumstances that an accountant would. You are likely to deal with a low level assistant and just be one of their 100 odd tasks a day. They simply do not have the time or professional knowledge to do everything in their power to minimise your tax bill. They will not understand you or how you run your business and you will pay much more tax than you should.
And, you are no less likely to have a full in-depth investigation because HMRC have done it for you (despite some pub talk I have heard). In fact, you are more likely to have problems because someone higher up has to check the work of the afforementioned low grade assistants who do this for you.
The moral is – use an accountant. I don’t understand plumbing and twice this week I have had near disasters because I thought I could cope and not wait around for the busy expert. Everyone has their field of expertise, but if you want an accountant to come round and fix your blocked toilet then call me, you will get a much more professional, insured and trustworthy job done if you call a qualified plumber but I will be cheaper!
Dealing with the Tax Office at the moment is best left to the professionals. The only consequence of me doing my own plumbing was s### all over the bathroom floor. The consequence of dealing with the might of the Tax Office on your own could be a heck of a lot messier and cost you a fortune.
If you would like to talk about your Self Assessment form, if you are not sure if you should still deal with it yourself, if your present accountant isn’t giving you the time and attention you need – please call me on 0800 047 0731 for a no-obligation chat.
I never charge for the first 30 minute interview and sometimes this is all it takes to put someone’s mind at ease. But if you would like us to take over your case, we will bring all our expertise to bear on your situation until it is resolved.
I never let a tax return out the office without personally going through it, and the supporting information, to ensure nothing slips through un-noticed.
Remember though, if you choose to become a client, you will be expected to either join the Federation of Small Business, or let me see that you are covered for professional fees for a tax/vat investigation. This helps us maintain the highest reputation with the Tax Office and ensures you have the best possible team behind you if an investigation does start.
So, ring me today on 0800 047 0731 and let’s have that 30 minute free chat.