How to stay on top of your taxes

Staying on top of your tax obligations can be a challenge, particularly when you’re trying to run a busy business. Doing so really does make life much easier when it comes to submitting your self-assessment however, and it also helps you maintain control of your accounts. And in the rare event that you do get investigated, it means you know exactly where everything is…

If you’re finding it difficult to organise your tax matters, here are some great tips to help you stay on top of things:

Be organised… The key to not getting your accounts into a mess is to be organised. HMRC requires you to keep all documents including invoices and receipts for at least six years. This is a big mountain of paperwork and if you don’t have a logical system for storing it, you will be faced with a complete nightmare when you need to access it.

Keep a record of everything… For the sake of your sanity and for your own protection, it’s highly advisable that you keep a record of absolutely everything that comes into and leaves your company accounts. Make sure it’s clearly marked where the income came from or what the expense was for so you can identify this easily if necessary.

Don’t fall into the trap of thinking you will remember things, because chances are that six months down the line, you won’t. Then when it comes to submitting your tax return you’ll waste a lot of time trying to track down what’s what.

Know where you can save yourself money… There are so many things you can do to save money and pay less tax. If your VAT turnover is less than £150,000 for example, and you don’t have many expenses, you can register for the Flat Rate VAT Scheme. This allows businesses to charge the standard 20% VAT rate when invoicing but they pay HMRC back at a lower rate.

If you are self-employed then you can reduce your tax bill and help pay your childcare at the same time. Paying a percentage of your childcare through your registered limited company (through childcare vouchers) means that you can claim tax relief on the amount invoiced and reduce the total amount of corporation tax you pay. Not all parents qualify for this scheme so make sure you look into this properly!

Hire an accountant… Using an accountant really is the quickest and easiest way to offload your accountancy matters to someone you know you can rely on. From submitting your tax return and managing payroll to remembering those all-important deadline dates and saving your business money, all the hard work is done for you.

If you would like more information about how you can stay on top of your accounts or reduce your tax bill, please feel free to contact us on 0132 430 9018 and one of our qualified tax advisors will be more than happy to help.