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Do I need an accountant for a self-assessment Do I need an accountant for a self-assessment

Do I need an accountant for a self-assessment

30 Aug 2021

Handling the process of filing tax returns is usually stressful and time-consuming, but it is vital to run a business. It’s usually tempting to file tax returns yourself, especially when you run a small business. However, it’s best to hire an accountant who has the necessary training to handle all tax-related issues so that you can avoid certain risks.

Understanding the benefits of getting an accountant to file your tax returns and what you stand to lose is essential to guide your decision making.

What is self-assessment?

Self-assessment is a requirement by the HMRC to know vital financial information about your business. This helps in calculating your tax requirements. In the cases of employees, the tax gets deducted from their salary through PAYE (pay as you earn).

You must calculate a self-assessment tax return and submit it to HMRC under the following circumstances;

  • You were self-employed or a sole trader earning over £1,000
  • You were a partner in a business

Filing a tax return may also be dependent on other actions you carried out throughout the task year. This includes:

  • Earning money from a rented property
  • Getting commission or tips from work
  • Getting interests from investments or savings

Other actions asides from these above may also warrant filing a tax return. For a self-assessment, you need to keep receipts and statements throughout the year and complete an online return before the stipulated date.

When you submit the assessment and the HMRC confirms that it is accurate, they will work out the tax you must pay before 31st January of the following tax year.

Do you need an accountant?

You may not need an accountant to complete your self-assessment, but you should understand the process and what it involves. For most people, self-assessment is complex, and they tend to make mistakes without guidance from a professional. Errors in your self-assessment may lead to an underpayment or overpayment of your tax.

The recent changes in completing and filing tax returns have made tax returns easier as all applications are accessible online through your dedicated account. However, the changes have not made the process and requirements less complex.

If you have issues with your finances or completing the forms, the tax return filing process may be stressful and confusing, especially when it is for your personal finances.

The stress associated with filing tax returns makes it tempting to leave the process until the last minute, and for some people, they underestimate the effort needed, so they brush off filing their task.

With the right accountant, you would understand the benefits of completing your tax return on time and how you can make the most out of your work.

How can an accountant help in filing a tax return?

Hiring an accountant for your self-assessment needed to file your tax return has several benefits, including the following;

  • Correct calculations

Working with a professional for your tax return allows you to avoid mistakes during the process and ensures your figures are complete and correct. Even when you make genuine mistakes, you may have to pay fines and recalculating your tax can lead to more expenses, plus it takes more of your time.

  • Avoid problems

Asides from avoiding mistakes, allowing an accountant to carry out your self-assessment will ensure you do all you need to file your tax returns. At this, you can avoid complications that may affect your productivity later on.

  • Avoiding fines

An accountant will ensure you do all that’s required of you, such as submitting your self-assessment early and making the right calculations. These things will help you avoid fines from the HMRC. This makes hiring the right accountant essential.

  • Accurate payments

With an accountant, you are sure to pay the accurate amount for your band. You won’t have to worry about spending more than you require, and you will maximise your income without getting fined.

  • Time-efficient

A glaring benefit of hiring an accountant for your self-assessment is, you get to save the time you would have spent carrying out the self-assessment on your own. Although hiring an accountant seems like a huge expense, you get the more productive time and avoid unnecessary payments.

An experienced accountant would also spend lesser time in carrying out self-assessment than an average person.

Who can benefit from self-assessment?

Whether you are a freelancer, business owner or individual, you can benefit from an accountant’s services. Besides the practical expertise they have, their professional knowledge can help resolve your financial issues or save you from issues in the future.

An accountant reduces your workload as a freelancer, solves issues for a mid-sized business, and ensures successful business owners optimise their business. If you’re not sure about getting an accountant, weigh the time you’d spend filing tax returns against your hourly rate, and you’d see how much you would save hiring an accountant.

To get a personal accountant or an accountant who would handle your business’s accountancy service in London, contact The Accountants London today on 020 7183 2362.