Tax returns – what you need to know about filling them in

The deadline for 2015/2016 tax returns is January 31, 2017. Mike Parkes, technical director at cloud tax and accounting solution software Go Simple Tax, reveals how you can complete your tax return without an accountant. 

From paying fees to monthly training courses, as a salon owner it can sometimes seem like the list of bills are never-ending, but if there’s one thing you don’t have to fret over it’s filing out your tax returns – and it doesn’t even require an accountant.

The deadline for 2015/2016 tax returns is January 31, 2017. In case you’re worried about going it alone and doing your own tax return, here are four reasons why you can do it without an accountant:

1. The tax system isn’t too complicated
We’re told endlessly that tax is knotty, complex and unnavigable. While the rules for self assessment are of course more complicated than those for someone taking a wage from their company payroll, the system isn’t as dense as accountants would have you believe.

HMRC has plenty of resources available to guide you through the right protocols. What’s more, jargon-free software like Go Simple Tax demystifies the whole process, with support at every step to make completing your tax return easy.

2. It's all about language
Accountants aim to help their clients, but occasionally this mission is lost in the avalanche of industry terminology they’ll throw at you. It takes years of experience to understand finance; the specialist you’ve hired may forget that you might have no prior knowledge about the subject they’re explaining to you.

You need an assistant that can speak on your level, presenting information in a way you can understand, and that’s where selecting online software that uses simple language can help bridge the gap that accountants often fail to overcome.

3. What’s the hold up?
Checking and verifying tax returns is a time-consuming process, especially when your account is merely one in dozens or hundreds that have landed on the accountant’s desk. Thus, you might have to wait a while before you hear the verdict of your self assessment.

By completing your tax return online, you can have your form sent off in as little as 30 minutes. So rather than hounding your accountant, you’ll save time, frustration and money.

4. Online software is far superior
All of this leads us to our main point – there have been huge advances in technology, and the established financial institutions aren’t too happy about it. That’s because the hole an accountant might fill has been plugged with real-time, automated software.

SimpleTax is officially recognised by HMRC, allowing direct submission of your tax return to their system. Its developers, GoSimple, are also working closely with HMRC on the implementation of Making Tax Digital (MTD).

Clever algorithms move with the speed of your cash flow, and you can scan relevant receipts and documents to make cross-checking your return simple. It’s the fastest and most convenient method of getting your self assessment tax return on track and can help you make savings you didn’t even know were possible. 

About Go Simple Tax
In line with HMRC’s Making Tax Digital (MTD) reforms, GoSimple, a market leader in cloud tax and accounting solutions, aims to transform the tax return market with the first HMRC recognised app that is available across all devices. The app is designed to save time, energy and money, and offers a tailored experience to each user, making personalised recommendations on tax savings users qualify for. It also takes away the need for an accountant, removing an extra expense, with users able to complete tax returns themselves for a set fee.