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Self-assessment – why use an accountant?

Self-assessment – why use an accountant?
Thursday, December 20, 2018

The primary concern of any contractor, limited company, freelancer or consultant is to generate business and fulfill the work on the orders that you have won. Having done so the next step is to secure the payment for such work and pay off your suppliers who provided you with the materials and the services to allow you to fulfil the customer’s order.

Business is tough enough and the last thing on your mind may be your tax return but never forget that HMRC expects to receive a tax submission from you once a year and payments up to twice a year on the income you’ve generated personally. And they expect the submissions and payments to be correct, in full, and on time. If they’re not, you’ll pay the price.

Accounting and bookkeeping often seem just like more business expenses you can save money on by doing itself. However, and we realise that it’s in our self-interest to say this, you should always use an accountant.

Filing your self assessment is time consuming and difficult

If you have ever attempted to navigate your way around HMRC’s website in an effort to complete your self-assessment tax return and felt that that is not an efficient use of your time, then your accountant can do all of this for you.

Not only is completing your self-assessment tax return time-consuming but you also require knowledge of the latest tax laws, rules, regulations and deadlines. It is important that you provide information in the correct format as required by HMRC.

Questions an accountant can answer

Entrusting this task to an accountant for whom this is their day-to-day business will free you up to run a more efficient and profitable business. Not only will they ensure that the correct information is filed with HMRC at the end of every tax year but they will also advise on the ongoing tax efficiency of your financial affairs and the savings to be gained whilst running your business.

For example, do you fully understand the best way to operate? Should you be self-employed, or a limited company? What is the best way to take money out of your company whilst paying as little tax as possible? An accountant will be able to guide you on such matters based upon your individual circumstances and situation.

When is an expense not an expense? You and HMRC might have very different views on this issue. Help is at hand with HMRC’s guide to expenses if you are prepared to wade through the document which is over 100 pages long. Or you can leave it to your accountant who is the expert on such matters and can give you sound advice about what you can and can’t claim through company expenses.

An accountant knows your payment and reporting deadlines

Are you aware that if you file your tax return late the penalties can be hefty ranging from £100 for a day late submission of annual accounts to a massive £1,500 fine for a six-month delay? It is part of your accountant’s job to make sure that your tax returns are filed on time ensuring that you do not incur this unnecessary expense.

Further fines and penalties can be levied if you submit your forms incorrectly for your self-assessment tax return, your VAT return, and corporation tax. Altogether, this is a financial minefield and very time-consuming.

Appointing an accountant to manage your affairs will not only save you time but it will ensure that the correct information is submitted to HMRC thereby minimizing the risk of an enquiry into your tax affairs. In the unfortunate event that you experience cash flow problems your accountant can liaise with HMRC and explore the possibility of deferring tax payments or negotiating a payment plan on your behalf.

These are just some of the benefits of using an accountant to deal with your self-assessment tax return and business affairs. For further information contact us on 01235 768 561 or email enquiries@pantheraaccounting.com.


What our clients say

For us, there is nothing better than a happy customer. Here are just a few that let us know how much we mean to them.

Pete Dungey

Simple, efficient and most importantly, hassle-free.

We found Panthera via our search for a Xero expert. We knew the software we wanted to use, and needed a forward-thinking accountancy partner who could get us up and running, and teach us the ropes moving forward. Tory and her team have always been on hand to answer our questions, and help us to grow as a business, particularly during periods of big change, such as becoming VAT registered. They are always on hand to alleviate any concerns and help to keep our records in order, which makes our year-end accounts an absolute breeze! Being based in Bristol, our relationship is entirely email based, alongside one consolidation meeting at year end - this keeps things simple, efficient and most importantly, hassle-free.

Pete Dungey Kaleido Grafik Limited
Anita van Eijndhoven

Talk Our Language

The support and service we receive from Panthera Accounting is very good. Everything from regular meetings, a prompt e mail response and the transition of our Xero software (which we find very pro active indeed) has and is all remarkably efficient. We find Panthera talk our language and make any process as painless and easy as possible.

Anita van Eijndhoven Quidne-IT
Ash & Tim Lane

Panthera brush aside the stereotype of the typical accountant

We got in touch with Panthera Accounting by way of a recommendation; we haven't looked anywhere else since. They are an extremely professional yet relaxed group of people. We were slightly daunted by the idea of accountants but Panthera brushed aside y the stereotypes. They are very understanding when answering any questions we may have. They are completely efficient, offer sound business advice, and are fantastically priced. We will continue to recommend them.

Ash & Tim Lane Starveacre Fencing
Jayne Johnson

An Asset to my Business!

The whole team at Panthera are great! Working with them has been a huge support to my growing business. They help me to understand the numbers I need to know. They give me technology solutions like Xero so that I can process things quickly and have access to my own figures. They are quick to reply, highly knowledgeable, nothing is too much trouble and as well as making sure that everything is compliant and on time, they are enthusiastic, professional and fun to work with.

Jayne Johnson Better People
John Baker

Absolute joy - they provide a first class service on every level

Working with Tory and the team at Panthera is an absolute joy - they provide a first class service on every level; from simple Xero issues through to more complicated tax enquiries, they’re always on-hand to help me get it right. I’m certainly not their biggest customer, but I’m always made to feel like their most important one.

John Baker BKR Solutions
John Castle

Professional and Friendly

I would like to say that Panthera Accounting have helped me with my business accounts for more than 4 years now. They have consistently offered an excellent competitively priced service that works both professionally and in such a friendly way that I would highly recommend them to everyone considering using their services.

John Castle Ilexanna Limited & Birch Castle Homes Limited
Jonathan Morrison

They are always there to answer queries and sort out issues

I had been with Mr Dunn for 20 years when upon his death Panthera took over the business. They now play a bigger part in the running of my business, they do all the stuff that has to be done but I don't like doing ie book keeping, VAT, wages, and returns. They are always there to answer queries and sort out issues and make sure all Tax deadlines are met. Their costs are fair, service is great and I have and would highly recommend them.

Jonathan Morrison Wallingford Builders
Pippa Scott

Professional, friendly and personal service.

Panthera Accounting have gone above and beyond the call of duty to guide and support our Company. They offer a professional, friendly and personal service that can take the stressful and sometimes frightening feelings out of running a business. They have guided us through the working of Xero and have offered “teaching sessions” on the day to day running of the accountancy package. Our only regret is that we didn’t join their team earlier.

Pippa Scott Scott's Commercial Services Limited
Sara Southey

Panthera puts the personal back in to accountancy!

Tory and her team have provided a friendly, approachable and helpful service from the start. They have delivered a quality service, above and beyond anything I could have expected. Panthera, with the help of the Xero package, have taken the stress, strain and confusion out of managing my company and personal accounts. I look forward to working with them for many years to come.

Sara Southey Bluestones Garden Design
Tracey Miller

Panthera are fantastic.

Panthera are fantastic. Always professional, going the extra mile for their clients and delivering superb service. I recommend them all the time to my clients.

Tracey Miller Bigger, Brighter, Bolder BBB

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