You’ll be sure to party harder if your tax affairs are taken care of, writes Alan Patient

You might be wrapped up in the party season at the moment but the HM Revenue & Customs deadline of 31 January for self-assessment tax returns has a habit of coming around extremely quickly.

Their penalties for missing the deadline are becoming harsher. It’s bad enough having to pay the tax without having horrendous penalties added on top.

We all deserve a break over the Christmas and New Year period, and just imagine how smug and relaxed you will feel if your 2015/16 tax return is completed and out of the way.

Many people file their own returns online, which is fine if your affairs are straightforward.

But if there are complications or you have a sneaking suspicion that you may be missing out on ways to save tax, you would be far better to speak with an expert.

My tax expert used to work for HM Revenue & Customs, so he knows exactly what to do to help you stay on top of things and reduce your tax bill as much as possible.

You could have an initial free consultation with him to see if you like his approach and then take it from there.

Self-assessment aside, the new year is a good time to put financial affairs in order. For some business people out there operating as sole traders it could be much more tax effective to form a limited company.

It’s not always totally cut and dried but when your turnover moves above £50,000 per annum it would make sound financial sense to explore whether you would be better off incorporating. As well as providing the security of limited liability, a company may give the impression that you are backed by a substantial organisation working in the background and this may open more doors when approaching larger prospective customers.

Next time: How easy is it to change accountants?


Alan Patient & Co
9 The Shrubberies
George Lane, South Woodford
E18 1BD
020 8532 9843