This is a common question when thinking about completing your Tax Return. Can I do it myself or do I really need an Accountant to file a Tax Return. Well, the simple answer is it depends.
It depends whether you have the time, whether your time would be better spent elsewhere, and how complex your affairs are.
It’s like lots of other services, say like painting the living room for example. If it comes to it most of us could have a go but the question is whether that is the best use of my time and what will be the result? Well, that depends on your skill set. It also depends on if you enjoy decorating and if you have the time to devote to the task.
Do I have the knowledge to complete my own Tax Return?
Whether you need a professional to help you with your tax affairs really depends on how confident you feel.
How confident are you that you know the tax laws and are keeping up to date as it changes. HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) do not insist that you employ a tax adviser. However, neither do they give you advice to optimise your tax position.
If you complete your tax return yourself, you are on your own. You need to find out everything there is about your case by yourself. Most people would refer to the various blogs, articles and HMRC publications.
However, if you completed your tax return online recently you will have noticed whilst completing the form there are drop downs to more technical questions. Well, you have to be comfortable that you understand the question and you are happy answering it.
Should I use an Accountant when I start in business or when I am ready to grow?
Many people when they start self-employment are not sure of what expenses they can claim. One good example is the opportunity to claim some of your utility bills if you work from home.
Of course, these days you may find answers to everything on Google and YouTube but that does not beat personalised one to one advice. Human interaction where you can talk to someone about your own case just works so much better.
There are so many other ways your accountant can help you with. There are multiple other questions from business strategy to finance, borrowings, cash-flow, VAT, payroll and the list goes on.
Your Accountant does not just get your accounts and tax return done but can be a business partner you didn’t know you could have. A good accountant will make sure you concentrate on what you are good at and they will help you with finance and be your sounding board too.
Doesn’t the modern Cloud Software do the accounting and tax return for me?
If you have ever watched any of the television adverts from the Cloud Accounting vendors, they all seem to give the same message! Something like put the information in, press the button and hey presto your tax return is done.
That may be the case if you have simplest of tax affairs. A few invoices and expenses.
But what about if you have put the wrong information in or even worse you don’t know what information to put in. What about tax reliefs you are entitled to, but you have no idea you are entitled to it. What do you do then?
Using technology especially cloud accounting is always a good idea. Not because they can do your tax returns automatically but because they save you time on the mundane tasks. It enables you to keep your finance function efficient and accurate.
However, if you have the time, we will always say do the basics yourself and work with your accountant to seek advice and plan for the future. That way you don’t have to keep up to date with changes in legislation or practices. Someone else is doing this for you.
Use a combination of a good software and an approachable Accountant
You have the option of using both a good quality cloud software and an accountant. The accountant will have the knowledge to work with you and recommend the best software to suit you whether you are an individual, a landlord or in business.
Why struggle with tax issues alone when you can reach out to experts in the field. Tax can be confusing, but you don’t need to have sleepless nights because of it. Trust the experts.
If you are working with us but not yet using our personal tax services or if you are not yet working with us you can find out more about our services here