Who needs to submit self-assessment tax returns in the UK?

We’re fast approaching the deadline for UK taxpayers to submit their tax returns to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) for the 2015/16 financial year. Failure to do so by 31st January will result in an immediate £100 late filing penalty from the tax authority.

For some people doing business in the UK, self-assessment tax returns may be a completely new concept; particularly those new to commerce on these shores. But HMRC is clamping down hard on tax evaders i.e. those who fail to pay the tax they owe to the UK’s Treasury for generating significant revenue in the UK.

Aside from the instant £100 late filing penalty, tax returns filed more than three months late will incur additional fines, leaving many disorganised entrepreneurs significantly out of pocket. In terms of business accountancy, a self-assessment tax return needn’t cause such problems. Providing you can list every single penny of income earnt in the UK during the 2015/16 financial year, it should only take a matter of minutes to file with the guidance of a qualified accountant.

So who is eligible to submit a self-assessment tax return?

You’ll be legally required to file a tax return with HMRC for the 2015/16 financial year if any of the following is applicable to you:

– You regarded yourself as self-employed at any point
– You earned £2,500+ in untaxed income (such as property rental income)
– Your revenue (or your partner’s) exceeded £50,000 and one of you claimed child benefit
– Your investment or savings income amounted to £10,000+ before tax
– You made money from selling shares or a second property and subsequently need to pay Capital Gains Tax
– You benefitted from shares dividends and you’re a higher or additional rate taxpayer
– Your income totalled more than £100,000
– You were a trustee of a trust or registered pension scheme.

If you ticked one or more of the above scenarios, you’ll need to submit a self-assessment tax return for the first time. Those submitting for the first time must enrol for HMRC’s Self Assessment Online Services as soon as possible to give yourself the chance to submit your return ahead of the deadline.

Be aware that it can take up to 10 working days for HMRC to process and activate your account – providing you with a 10-digit Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR).

If you’ve only been working in the UK a short time and you’re concerned you may not be paying the tax you owe, Goodwille can work with you all the way to ensure you’re up-to-date with your tax liabilities every financial year. We understand the UK business climate better than most and you can put your trust in us to tailor our services to meet your business’ accountancy and financial needs. Contact us today for more information.

3 essential business elements you should consider outsourcing

When you’re running your own business the learning curve is astonishingly steep, the outlays immense, and your To-Do list endless. It can be overwhelming, intimidating, and incredibly stressful. It can also be extremely rewarding, fulfilling, and lucrative. The trick to getting it right is knowing how best to spend your time and resources. You must balance the requirements of your budget against the practical and logistical needs of your business. It’s tough making those calls, and a rookie mistake that almost all business owners make is believing they can save money by doing as much as possible themselves.

The reality, however, is that there is a finite amount of time you can spend working. Even if you work every waking hour of the day, you will hit a point where you just can’t do any more. Outsourcing is the solution to this, but it’s often a tough bullet to bite.

Many entrepreneurs cringe at the idea of paying someone to do things they could do themselves, but here’s the truth: a professional can do it far better than you can, in far less time, and the amount you will pay them to do a brilliant job is less than the amount you will earn by dedicating that time to what you really do best.

Here are three essential business elements that you should consider outsourcing.

#1 Bookkeeping

Getting your accounts and bookkeeping right is absolutely vital. It’s also very tricky, time-consuming, and stressful. Why not hand it all over to an expert who will ensure your books are in perfect order, and you always know exactly where you stand financially?

#2 Virtual Office

When there are so many things on your To-Do list and you are juggling a multitude of tasks and responsibilities, the telephone can easily become the bane of your existence. It’s constantly ringing, interrupting your train of thought, distracting you from vital tasks, and tying you up in lengthy conversations that you really needed to put off for a few days. You dream of a receptionist, but it’s not in your budget, and you don’t have space for another desk, anyway.

A virtual office is a solution. Not only will all your phone calls be taken care of by a professional, freeing you up to do more important things than answering the phone, but you will be armed with the knowledge of exactly who called, when, and why. This eliminates the possibility of missing phone calls and forgetting to call people back. It also enables you to dodge calls you’re not ready for, and deal with all those conversations in your own time. A virtual office also has the major benefit of providing you with a trading address, which is particularly handy if you work from home and don’t want to give your home address out to everyone and his wife!

#3 Tax Returns

Self-assessment is one of the most stressful elements of running any business. It’s a migraine-inducing nightmare, and if you get it wrong, or don’t get it done on time, it can also be very costly financially. Outsourcing your VAT work guarantees everything is handled in a professional, timely fashion, and there are no expensive mistakes!

If you’re considering outsourcing for your business, contact Goodwille today. We can provide more information about our essential business services and discuss how outsourcing will benefit you directly.

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