Getting all the documentation together to enable the completion of your personal tax return can be a daunting prospect each year. However, following these simple steps should hopefully make it all seem more achievable for all self-employed individuals:

Tax preparation checklist

1.   Ensure your records are fully written up on your accounting software for the year (i.e. your business bank accounts reconcile and all your purchase and sales invoices are on the system even if they are not paid at the year end).

2.   Collate all business bank statements at the year end.

3.   Document your year-end stock value (if applicable).

4.   Ensure your business mileage records are up to date.

5.   Ensure any business expenses paid privately throughout the year are recorded in your accounting software correctly.

6.   Pull together any loan statements for the year.

7.   Record details of any assets sold in the year i.e. initial costs, improvement costs, legal/agents fees etc.

8.   Collate P60s from any employment or pension income.

9.   Collate interest certificates from all your banks for interest received in the year.

10.   Document any rental income you may have had in the year, together with expenditure.

11.   Source share portfolio Consolidated Tax Vouchers for the year.

12.   Send all of the above to your accountant.

Further tips on preparing your tax return

The above checklist is for preparing your personal tax return where you have self-employed income. If you were looking to get your Company Accounts records together instead you would just miss out steps 8-11.

You can, of course, submit your own tax return and the above list would be sufficient for that also, your final step would be to log in to your Government Gateway account to begin the preparation of your tax return.

Using an accountant will often result in less tax due as we know exactly what can and cannot be claimed for specific businesses. We also really get to know our clients so that we are aware of your situation and how that might affect any tax due.

We also do far more than simple tax return preparation – we are your sounding board for ideas and issues throughout the year, we are your calm and reliable support with any business query, and we are part of your team.

If you would like to chat anything through, please do get in touch.