It’s that time of year again. Filing an annual tax return is a necessary task for every self-employed person, including property investors, with the 31 January deadline for the 2015/16 self assessment tax return looming.
Whether you have just started out as a buy-to-let landlord or you are an established property mogul, there is much to consider on a monthly basis from a financial point of view. From repairing roof slates and rot, to mortgage interest, sometimes it can seem like the list of bills are never-ending. But if there is one thing you do not have to fret over and it is filing your tax returns, and it does not even require an accountant.
In case you’re worried about going it alone and doing your own tax return, here are four reasons why you can:
1. The tax ‘system’ is not too complicated
We are 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 is not 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 SimpleTax demystifies the whole process, with support at every step to make completing your tax return easy.
2. Their language is confusing
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
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, for instance, is officially recognised by HMRC, allowing direct submission of your tax return to their system.
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.
Mike Parkes is technical director at Go Simple, a cloud tax and accounting solution software.