Record Keeping Hints
Record keeping and hints for peace of mind, reducing your tax and saving you fees.
The tax return deadline is 31st January for individuals. You need all your information correct and the form submitted on-line and accepted by then. It is never too early in the year to act!
In simple terms, what we need to see is your income (wages, invoices etc), your outgoings, (bills, receipts etc) and your bank statements to tie it all together. You only need the records between April 5th just gone and April 6th of the previous year. The rest we can deal with when we see you, including any incomplete or missing records.
Penalties apply for late filing but don't worry, they are not too onerous and you're not going to prison! Also, don't worry if things are a bit disorganised at your end. We've never failed to make sense of things yet.
Obviously, doing lots of tax returns every year, we thoroughly understand what is required, even if tax returns are still outstanding from previous years we can sort things out for you.
- Keep all receipts and bank statements.
- Mark receipts you paid with cash "paid cash" by cheque "paid cheque" and write the cheque number on the invoice or "paid credit card" and the credit card number on the invoice - remember no record, no claim!
- Always put business expenses through a separate (business) bank account, include partial business items like home phone etc.
- Never (as in never) put personal expenditure through your business account, at some point somebody will have to untangle it, possibly HMRC. Expensive.
- Do your book keeping regularly, for example when your bank statement arrives. Certainly while you still remember what each crumpled receipt is for! Make your own notes on the bank statements if it helps. We can guide you through this process.
- If possible, reduce the number of accounts and credit cards you hold.