10 Reasons to Get Your Tax Return Information to Your Accountant Early This Year

For many people, getting the information together to send to your accountant to complete the Self Assessment Return causes a sign of dismay. You know you need to do it, but the deadline is 31 January, so you put it off again and again. Before you know it, it is Christmas and the reminders received from your accountant are still sitting in your inbox waiting to be actioned. There is no avoiding it anymore as the deadline is only weeks away. At 31 December 2018, 5,541,784 taxpayers still had to file their Returns in the month of January (this represents 48% of the Returns issued by HMRC). More than 700,000 of these were filed on the last day of January! Below are some very good reasons to get the information together early this year:

Reason 1 Sometimes the tax liability due by 31 January is higher than expected. It can come as quite a shock and you could have done with knowing the amount sooner so you could save for it. Allow yourself time so you can organise your cashflow and allocate funds to cover the bill.

Reason 2 There could be information missing and you need to contact a third party to obtain it. You will not always be able to obtain this information straight away so allow time for this problem.

Reason 3 There are penalties for late filing so dealing with matters earlier reduces the risk of this happening.

Reason 4 It could be that you are due a refund of tax. The sooner the Return is submitted the sooner you will get your tax refund.

Reason 5 Sometimes you send your information to the accountant and they have queries that need to be resolved or additional information may be required and there needs to be enough time to deal with this if the Return is to be submitted by the deadline.

Reason 6 You may have to make payments on account for the following tax year. In some cases, it can be possible to reduce these. Allow time for your advisor to review this.

Reason 7 It can play on your mind that you still need to deal with the Return. Reduce this stress factor by getting it out of the way.

Reason 8 Unfortunately, there are occasions when the internet/technology lets us down. Typically, at the worst possible moment. Leave yourself plenty of time to resolve these issues.

Reason 9 If you don’t have an accountant and at the last minute find you need one, it can be difficult to find one that can take your work on and meet the January deadline. The above HMRC statistics give some idea about how busy they are in January.

Reason 10 If you want your tax liability to be coded, the return must be submitted to HMRC by 30th December.

Why not make it a goal this year to send the information to your accountant before the Summer.

Capital gains tax and UK residential property

The Government’s intention is to accelerate the payment of capital gains tax on residential property.

At present if you are resident in the UK and you sell a residential property you should consider whether there is a capital gain to report to HMRC. If the gain exceeds the tax-free amount (currently £11,700) or total proceeds are more than four times the tax-free amount you should report it. An exception to this is where the property is your main home for tax purposes and the total gain qualifies for ‘private residence relief’. (more…)

Do you import? You need to be prepared for a no deal Brexit

If you import from the EU, you should start preparing now in case the UK leaves the EU without a deal on the 29th March 2019. You may have received a letter from HMRC about this.
HMRC has put in place transitional simplified procedures to make it easier for you to import goods. The TSP registration opens on 7th February 2019.

These transitional simplified procedures reduce the amount of information you need to give in an import declaration when the goods are crossing the border. (more…)

Be Prepared – In case of death checklist

When someone dies it will be necessary for another person to obtain a grant of representation to access most of the deceased’s assets and administer their Estate. It is often an emotional time for the person dealing with the Estate and it can be both demanding and time consuming. Sometimes knowing where to start is one of the hardest things, particularly if you have no idea what the deceased’s person’s Estate includes. Anything you can do during life to make this process run smoothly for the administrator will take away a lot of stress for your loved ones.

Some of the things you could do to make the administration of your Estate run as easily as possible are:

1) Make a Will to ensure your wishes can be adhered to and the Estate administration is a simpler process. Although not part of dealing with the Estate, whilst completing your Will also ensure you have Powers of Attorney in place.

2) Keep a list (electronic or paper) of your assets and debts. List the name of all banks, shareholdings, valuable chattels, addresses of properties/land you own, insurances you hold, pension and life assurance providers, utility providers you use, phone providers, loan providers, credit and store cards etc. If you have valuations of valuable assets include details. Consider everything inside and outside of your home. It is likely that you will keep adding to this list as you think of more things you missed the first time you put it together.

3) Keep a list of all gifts you have made in the past 7 years

4) If your spouse predeceased you, keep a copy of their Probate, Inheritance Tax Return and Will with your Will. This could help to reduce Inheritance Tax on your Estate.

5) Keep a contact list. List all organisations/clubs and charitable institutions/friends/professionals who should be notified of your death. You may also want to list social media sites you use.

6) Consider whether or not you will be liable to Inheritance Tax and take action to mitigate this liability if appropriate.

7) Ensure your Executors know where your Will, other official papers (driver license, passport, title documents, Tax Returns etc) and where your lists referred to above are kept. Consider letting your Executor have copies.

8) Access to online accounts, email etc. This is a difficult one! Not having a username and password for a deceased can make it difficult for an Executor to be sure they have all the necessary information to administer an Estate. However this is information you should not make available to others during your life. Some possible options to consider are having a list of more commonly used password information in a sealed envelope left with the Solicitor who keeps your Will. This isn’t really practical if you change this information regularly. Another option is a password manager software application. At the very least ensure the lists created above are annotated to show those accounts/organisations etc that are online only access. The Executors will then at least know of their existence and can liaise with the providers direct to get access to your information.

Having carried out the above you need to review your Will and the lists regularly and update as necessary.

Taking the above action will take a great burden away from your loved ones so start the process now.

The A-Z of Charnwood Accountants

Accountants – seems silly not to start here as that’s the day to day job and fundamentally what we are!

Business Advisors – We’re not just about the numbers though – a big part of the services we provide focus around general business advisory services. We see the detail behind the scenes of your business and will always look at ways to help you improve.

Communication – this is key for a successful relationship. If you only hear from your accountant once a year then that’s not enough. We speak to all our clients before their year end, following the year end to agree the accounts and after key events such as recent budgets. All clients will receive personal e-mails on any changes that will impact their business. We also encourage our clients to call us with queries with no fear that the clock will start running as soon as we answer! (more…)

5 Ways to tell if your accountant cares about you

For many people an accountant is an expensive and necessary evil much like the taxes they pay them to calculate. But this does not have to be the case. The relationship between a business owner and their accountant should be just that – a relationship. There should be understanding, compassion and assistance available when required. Above all your accountant should care about you and your business. (more…)



There appears to be a flourishing industry of ever more complex and sophisticated scams that are designed to divert our hard earned money from our bank account into the wrong hands.

Even within our own client base we have seen a frightening increase in the number of clients that have fallen foul of these scammers. Often, because of the complex nature of the scams, and due to the clients’ own inadvertent involvement, the clients have had no way of recouping their funds.


A new style of exit for the owner manager business

Dave McKeon from Charnwood Accountants LLP sets out a new style of exit to add new and exciting business opportunities to owner managed business. This “John Lewis” style of exit offers a wealth of opportunity to businesses to move forward in a new and exciting style of ownership that suits modern business. Utilising an Employee Ownership Trust can add real value to the business and it’s potential for growth. (more…)