By Shoaib Aslam
What is that one thing that makes your head spin round and round? For me, it is that time of the year when I must file my annual tax returns. I consider it to be a dull, monotonous, and an extremely tedious task. It sucks, doesn’t it?
I am sure most of the people are in a similar boat. Data collected at the beginning of 2019 revealed that almost half of the taxpayers had not submitted their Self-Assessment. Most of them did not file on them and are likely to be fined. This confirms that filing annual tax returns is considered such a mundane task that most people delay doing it to the point when it becomes absolutely necessary to do so.
Fortunately, there is a way out of this misery. That is, looking after your taxes throughout the year. I have penned down several ways to do so below.
DOCUMENT THE INFORMATION AS SOON AS YOU RECEIVE IT
It can basically be considered the first step in the right direction. One of the possible ways in which you can stop lazing around is by noting down the tax information as soon as you receive it. It is absolutely essential to do so because once a lot of information has been gathered, it becomes a tedious task to organize and enter it. Also, people like me who have poor memory tend to forget undocumented things easily.
You should know well enough what information needs to be documented. This can easily be found out by doing a bit of research. There is some crucial information that each and every taxpayer needs to enter. However, some taxpayers might be asked to provide some additional information depending on their circumstances.
INPUT THE INFORMATION ON-THE-GO
Most people wait to get back home to enter any information they have received for the Self-Assessment on-the-go. It is wrong to wait to enter information until you are in front of a computer screen. Instead, you should enter information from wherever you are.
Fantastic tax software allows you to do so. Using this software, you can enter the data no matter where you are and what you are doing. This makes you more efficient, and you do not get the chance to laze around.
KEEP YOUR NECESSARY DOCUMENTS AND FILES SAFE
No matter what way you adopt of submitting data, do keep the relevant records. People are often confused regarding how long they should retain their tax record. You can refer to HMRC to find guidance regarding this.
It is advised that you keep your accounts for at least 22 months for the relevant tax year. This requirement only holds true for those who are not self-employed and file their taxes on time. However, those who do not file their taxes on time need to keep hold of their necessary documents for a little longer.
Those who are self-employed should retain their accounts for at least five years after the specified tax return deadline.
ARE YOU LOOKING FOR AN EVEN EASIER WAY OUT?
Even though I can personally vouch that if you follow all the guidelines mentioned above you can make this tedious process of tax filing at least a bit easier, there is an even easier and efficient way out.
That is to seek tax advice from a consultancy that specializes in providing business and tax advice services. These entities know the tax system inside out and way better than any of us do.
Hence, if you wish to get rid of your tax filing woes forever, contact any reliable tax advisory consultancy now!
Shoaib Aslam is the co-founder of Pearl Chartered Accountants, a UK-based chartered accountancy firm that has multiple locations across London.