Going digital for filing a Self Assessment tax return

As an individual service provider or business owner, you will need to undertake filing a Self Assessment tax return. Your business must be in full compliance with the tax laws, which can apply in various ways depending on the size of the company you are running and the exemptions your industry is eligible for.

“Is it easy to do a Self Assessment tax return?” Yes! Working with an accountant certainly makes things easier, and you can absolutely do it on your own with a bit of care and preparation.

Here, we offer some handy tips to make the self-assessment tax return process as smooth as possible. The first step is to prepare all your documents for filing a Self Assessment tax return in advance

You do not need us to tell you that compiling all your income and expense statements for the year can be a lot of hard work. To avoid scrabbling through old folders at the last minute, prepare and organise all your records beforehand.

Keep scans of any hard-copy documents, and categorise everything by date so you can quickly look up anything you need. Not only does this help you stay on top of your accounts and lets you calculate and budget for your tax liability earlier in the year.

Don’t forget details of any pension contributions which can cut down your tax bill, and apply for any exemptions you might be eligible for.

Wait, hold on to your old documentation

You might be tempted to throw out everything once your Self Assessment tax return for the year is done. Don’t! HMRC requires you to retain your business records for at least 5 years after the 31 January submission deadline of the relevant tax year. 

If you are not self-employed but still required to complete a tax return, you should retain your personal records for at least 22 months after the end of the tax year the tax return is for. So, for example, if you complete your 2021 to 2022 tax return online by 31 January 2023, you should keep your records until at least the end of January 2024.  

Be sure to file your return online

It is much more convenient, and highly recommended by the HMRC to file your Self Assessment tax return online. The HMRC portal is straightforward to use and calculates your tax ability based on your inputs, so you are assured of accurate answers without a lot of calculating.

The deadline for submitting paper returns is 31st October 2022, and the deadline for submitting online returns is 31st January 20232. Be sure to stick to these deadlines – HMRC does not look kindly on late filers – but you know that!

Use a solid accounting software package

Speaking of filing a Self Assessment tax return online, there is nothing like a professional-grade accounting software to help you stay on top of your business records all year round. You can record all your transactions as and when they occur, and the software will process them and calculate your liability.

A lot of software options also connect directly to your business bank account and pull all transaction records on your behalf. Ideally, it would help if you went for a cloud-based accounting solution that updates all information in real-time and stores records securely.

If filing your Self Assessment tax return was painful and time consuming, it could be time to get set up on Dext.

Say goodbye to the shoebox receipt life with experienced Dext accountants

We value honesty at Golding. It is one of the values we share in common with our best clients, and one of our promises to new ones. No fluff, no jargon, no BS.

Take a moment to be honest with yourself – no BS-ing. Are you:

  • Still rummaging through a shoebox of receipts once a year?
  • Taking a secondary rummage through your glove compartment for the on-the-go expenses you might have forgotten to put in the box?
  • Trying to make sense of expenses you cannot remember?
  • Feeling like you cannot ever throw anything away?
  • Hoping your accountant can make sense of it?
  • A bit fed up, actually?

The first step is admitting that it is frustrating every year, and that your time could be better spent. And hey – it is okay. You are not the only business owner in the world in this position.

The good news is that you can make life easier for yourself today by enjoying the benefits of using Dext. Do not think accounting technology is exclusive to limited companies. Although you may have a simpler deal, you can still take advantage of the same technology large-scale companies use to stay on top of cash flow.

Dext helps scan and upload your receipts on your smartphone promptly. Whether you are self-employed or an SME owner, it is understandable if you have a lot on your plate. Tracking receipts is a painful task, especially when filing a Self Assessment tax return.

You must have a system for receipt management. Otherwise, you will end up creating more work for yourself and increase your labour costs. With Dext, you can digitise all your receipts and bills in one place and stay on top of your business finances and admin.

If preparation to file your Self Assessment tax return typically uses up too much of your time, feels like a mad rush at the last minute, or relies too heavily on finding paperwork, just one small adjustment in your business can make a huge difference – Dext.

Never lose a receipt or invoice again with Dext.

Connect Dext with any accounting software, such as Xero or QuickBooks, with one click. The best part is our accountants are experienced in Dext and can help maintain your books and conduct tax audits, including filing Self Assessment tax returns.

You can take a photo of your receipts on your phone and mail them directly to the app via your email. Access your scanned receipts, anywhere and anytime. Export a copy of all your receipts and their data into PDF and CSV files.

“It automates one of the most tedious parts of bookkeeping.” Our Practice Manager, Mike Myers, always recommends Dext to our clients. None of our clients have returned to the shoebox way of life. 

Once they experience how easy it is to keep a digital record of expenses throughout the year, and how seamless it makes the Self Assessment process, they are converted. If you want to talk to us about automating one of the most tedious parts of bookkeeping, give us a shout!