Beating the Deadline: Pro Tips to File Your Tax Return on Time

Jan 18, 2024 | Accounting

Alright, let’s have a natter about something that might not be everyone’s cup of tea – tax returns. Now, we know it’s not the most thrilling topic out there, but it’s as essential as a sturdy umbrella in Manchester. Meeting that tax return deadline isn’t just about avoiding penalties; it’s about peace of mind. So, let’s get cracking with some top tips to make sure you’re not caught on the hop.

Know Your Dates

First off, let’s mark those calendars. The tax year ends on April 5th, and you have until January 31st the following year to file your return. Miss that, and you’re looking at a fine, even if you don’t owe any tax. Keep these dates in mind, and you’re already on the right track.

Get Organised

Organisation is the name of the game. Keep all your financial records in order – invoices, receipts, bank statements, the lot. Today’s digital tools can be a real lifesaver here. Apps that track expenses or cloud-based accounting can turn a mountain of paperwork into a walk in the park.

Estimate Early

Don’t wait for the last minute. Estimate your tax as early as possible. This gives you a clear idea of what you owe and helps avoid that last-minute scramble. If you owe less than you thought, that’s a bit of extra cash for a rainy day. If it’s more, you’ve got time to sort it.

Use Digital Submission

Gone are the days of paper forms. Filing online is not just easier; it’s faster. You’ll get immediate confirmation once you’ve submitted, and if you’re due a refund, you’ll get it quicker. Plus, online systems often catch simple errors, saving you from unnecessary headaches.

Consider Payments on Account

If you’re self-employed or have a significant non-PAYE income, you might need to make ‘Payments on Account’. This means paying half your tax bill in advance. It can be a bit of a shock the first time around, but it helps spread the cost over the year.

Don’t Forget Deductions and Allowances

Make sure you’re clued up on what deductions and allowances you can claim. Expenses like business travel, certain utilities if you’re working from home, and professional fees can all reduce your tax bill. Every little helps, as they say.

Ask for Help if Needed

If tax returns have you feeling like you’re trying to do a jigsaw without the picture, it might be time to get some help. A good accountant can take the weight off your shoulders and might even save you some money with their savvy advice.

Check, Double-Check, and Triple-Check

Before you hit that submit button, check everything again. A small mistake can lead to big headaches down the line. Make sure your figures are right, and you’ve included all the necessary information.

Plan for Next Year

Once this year’s done and dusted, start planning for the next. Keep up with your record-keeping, stay informed about any changes in tax laws, and consider setting aside money for your tax bill regularly.

The Bottom Line

Filing your tax return on time is all about planning, organisation, and a bit of forward-thinking. It doesn’t have to be a mad dash to the finish line. With the right approach, you can beat the deadline comfortably and maybe even save a few quid in the process.

Need a Hand with Your Tax Return?

At Accounts Direct, we’re all about making things simpler for you. Whether it’s handling your tax return or just offering some friendly advice, our team is here to help.

So, don’t hesitate to give us a shout.

We’ll make sure you’re sorted well before the deadline and with less fuss. Let’s get that tax return out of the way, so you can focus on what you do best – running your business.

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