Last updated: 21 Dec 2020 09:00 Posted in: AIA

Dreading January? As an accountant to self-employed sole traders, we’re going to guess that’s a yes – unless you’ve managed to file your clients Self-Assessment tax returns already… hats off to you if you have!

Getting this monumental task completed early is no mean feat. But it is possible to get through the tax season without experiencing a stressful sprint to 31 January.

AIA spoke to Mike Parkes from strategic partner, GoSimpleTax and asked him to explain some easy to follow points to make for a stress-free January.

Gather all information soon
Don’t delay get the required data together off your clients now. Make a checklist to ensure you have everything, avoiding unnecessary delays. This aids you and your client if shared and updated between you.

Be sure to have yourself registered with the 64-8 form for new clients, to be officially recognised as their agent by HMRC so you can act on their behalf.

Remind your clients of what is required

You have shared your checklist of standard data required, but you may require extra information. Perhaps your client has a student loan. Maybe your client (or their partner) are claiming Child Benefit. If there’s the slightest possibility your clients circumstances will affect how much tax they need to pay, you should be aware.

Make clients aware of possible penalties

Submitting the Self-Assessment late comes with penalties, so make sure your clients are aware of these and know how you will need to provide all the necessary data to ensure they avoid them.

Minimise errors with tax software

The chances of any mistakes can be reduced through Self-Assessment tax return software. It will take all the administrative work off your hands, ensuring the numbers are correct. Your client can also see their tax liability in real time, which should be an incentive not to leave it to the last minute!

Think ahead for Making Tax Digital – HMRC will not continue to maintain their own software

With MTD over the horizon begin converting your clients to a software such as GoSimpleTax and utilise their income tax calculator and submission tool for your clients business. Giving them full visibility of your tax liability in real time whilst giving and reviewing your pension contributions and investment opportunities.

AIA Director of Operations David Potts commented, “I am confident that if our members follow these top tips from GoSimpleTax they will have lower stress levels as we enter 2021”.

If you need any further advice or assistance in the lead up to the tax return deadline we have a dedicated membership services department on hand to help.”

Follow these top tips and we are confident they will help you to lower your stress levels as we enter 2021.

If you need any further advice or assistance in the lead up to the tax return deadline we have a dedicated membership services department on hand to help.