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Do I need an accountant?

Do I need an accountant?
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If you are self employed or run your own business, then you know that getting your books balanced and your figures correct is imperative, both to the success of your business and to avoid getting an unexpected tax bill or fine when you least expect.  Tax doesn’t have to be taxing, or so they say! So before you start shelling out money for an accountant, there is advice and information on hand to help you work your way through your finances and get you on the right track.

Inform HMRC you are Self Employed

Firstly, let HMRC (Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs) know that you are self employed straight away, by registering online for business taxes. You will provide basic information about you or your business and they will set up tax records for you, along with an online Self Assessment account. Failure to inform HMRC can result in penalties so make this a priority! Once you are registered, you will receive a Self Assessment tax return to complete every year, detailing your earnings for that tax period (usually April to April).

You can sign up for to register for free emails with advice and information to support businesses. There are also live online presentations to help you and your business; they are free, you only need to provide your name and email address and you don’t even have to move from your desk to attend! The webinars are about 30 minutes long and take place at various times and dates. You will also find an online Q&A session at the end to help you with any additional queries. Webinars are also recorded to enable you to watch at any time of day to fit into your schedule, but do note, you won’t have the option to ask questions at the end if you choose to attend a pre-recorded one!

Do I need an accountant?

If you have just set up in business, HMRC have an e-learning product now available to tell you how and when you should tell HMRC your are self-employed, advice on taking on staff, how and when you pay Income Tax,  National Insurance contributions and how to keep accurate business records, helping you claim back expenses and tax allowances.  You can work through the content at your own pace and it also includes case studies to help your business flourish.

Check out HMRC on YouTube

Not only can you watch endless clips of cute animals or hilarious pranks, but YouTube also has a page dedicated to HMRCs videos which give bite size information on tax, statutory payments, expenses etc. This is great if you are looking for quick and easy to understand information at the touch of a button. If you would rather skip the virtual learning and meet with a real person face to face, then events are run across the country for you to do just that. They are designed to help employers get ready for reporting PAYE (Pay As You Earn) in real time and are delivered in a relaxed, informal and friendly atmosphere.

It’s up to you to decide if an accountant could help you

With the advice and information now readily available for all, sorting all of your business and financial arrangements shouldn’t leave you a whimpering mess surrounded by paperwork and reaching for the wine. However, getting all your ducks in a row correctly IS essential and can be time consuming and this will depend on the scale and size of your business. While an accountant can be an added expense where every penny counts, their knowledge of the industry means they may also be able to save you time and money in the long term which may work out more profitable for you and your business. Ultimately, you decide!

 

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About Rebecca Robinson

About Rebecca Robinson

After spending the last 8 years juggling life as a mum of two, wife and working full time as a Project Manager for a global telecommunications company, Rebecca Robinson made the decision to follow her love of writing and took the plunge; turning her passion into a full time career. Since becoming a full time writer, Rebecca has worked with various media and copy-writing companies and with the ability to make any topic relevant and interesting to the reader, now contributes to The Working Parent on articles ranging from credit cards to teenage relationships. Ever the optimist, Rebecca's dreams for the future include a house in the country filled with children, dogs and horses in the field!

Website: Rebecca Robinson

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