What does your accountant require to file your tax return
If you use paper records, here is a breakdown of what records your accountant will need to produce your tax return.
In the U.K., the tax year runs from the 6th April to the following 5th April, and you then have just under 10 months to file your tax return and ensure any tax liabilities are settled by the deadlines on 31st January.
Whether you operate as a sole trader or a limited company, many records required will be fairly similar. You need to provide full details of your business income and expenses so that business profit can be calculated. Below we have made a checklist with the documents normally required.
- Your bank statements for ALL of your business accounts and for the WHOLE period. You’ll probably have one main account, but if you have a deposit account or a reserve account, they’ll still need to see the statements to track any movement during the year. Even if it’s just 6p interest, and also include cheque books and paying in books if you still use these.
- For your loan statements, we know the bank is sometimes unhelpful and only sends out calendar year statements, but if your accountant will need to know the closing balance as of your year-end date. The interest stuffed is a tax-deductible expense, so if getting the balance is fiddly, it’s worth doing.
- If you have a business credit card. Then they’ll need these statements too. If it’s a personal card that you occasionally pay for business expenses on, spend the time highlighting these.
- Details of any finance agreements taken out during the year. If you’ve got a new hire purchase, you must let your accountant know. The interest on the repayments is a tax-deductible expense and the asset could fall under the annual investment allowance. Failure to disclose a new piece of equipment could add hundreds of pounds to your tax bill. Find that agreement!
- All your payroll records for the year (unless your accountant runs your payroll of course). You’ll need a printout of each month pay run so they can reconcile the net payments made to employees. Make sure your reports show employees national insurance: so payslips are not enough.
- All of your sales income. So all of your sales invoices for the year (regardless of whether they have been paid or not) if you run an online shop then your accountant will need your total sales before any fees are deducted.
- All of your purchase invoices and expenses receipts for the period. If your accountant doesn’t have these then they may need to make assumptions and/or some expenses could be missed out altogether.
- Petty cash receipts and also a note saying the petty cash balance at the year-end. Your accountant will need to reconcile your cash so this is vital.
- An estimate of your stock value as of 31 march. I know it was a long time ago. But even if you can say that you can that you only keep a weeks’ worth of purchases is a good starting point.
- If you trade through a Limited Company. Then keep a log of any business mileage that you do. Keep in mind that business mileage is not driving to work every day: instead, it’s travelling to courses and your accountants.
TAX RETURN RECORDS
- If you have any employment income (aside from your limited company), you need to provide your P60, or P45 if that employment income ceased during the year.
- If you had a P11D then also include that otherwise your tax calculation will be wrong and you could end up getting a tax refund and then into a whole host of problems with HMRC.
- Details of any private pension payments.
- Details of all bank interest received during the year (excluding ISA’s). This is one item on your tax return that HMRC already knows, so don’t “forget” your savings account. HMRC will find out and as the saying goes, you can’t outfox a fox.
- Details of any dividends received during the year. Yes, even the 25p one from Tesco. Everything needs to be included.
- Rental income. Your accountant will need to see your property management expenses if you receive your rental net via an estate agent. Also your mortgage interest. If you have a repayment mortgage then the repayment element is not tax-deductible so cannot go on your Tax Return.
- Any other income received during the year. This could range from another self-employment that you may have or a chargeable gain. Maybe you sold a rental property or some shares.
You should notify your accountant of any other sources of income received in the year to ensure they are properly declared. Whilst you may think a source of income is not taxable, your accountant will be able to apply the relevant rules and criteria necessary to make that determination.