January is the time for New Year’s resolutions and promises to be much improved all round. We’ll assume you are well established with your new exercise regime and healthy eating plan (!) and focus on how you can ensure you have a clear conscience when it comes to your tax responsibilities and opportunities.
Just reading this article will be a start…ready?
Deal with your legal obligations as a priority
January is a busy month in the world of tax – deadlines are flying around with abandon, the biggest being personal tax returns, both filing and payment of the final 11/12 instalment and the first 12/13 payment on account. Paying penalties and interest arising from non filing and/or late payments is akin to burning cash so should be avoided if at all possible.
It’s worth looking at what else you have on your plate that can be delayed a little without much harm so you can focus on tax and stop unnecessary costs arising. Perhaps you haven’t had chance to dig out all the information needed to complete the return? Now is the time to have one last look and let your advisers know if there’s a problem. Leaving it too late may be expensive.
Sense check what you want to achieve by the end of the tax year
Do you have major reorganisation plans or perhaps you want to unlock some cash? Whatever your requirements, planning now will pay virtual (and maybe real) dividends come April time. There are a number of reliefs available to businesses that are uncontroversial but rely on the collection of documentation and evidence of qualifying spend. The recently extended Annual Investment Allowance being a perfect example. Why lose out on a claim just because you haven’t had chance to get the right paperwork together? Again, missing out can cost cash if a claim is ignored and tax becomes due unnecessarily. We can help you decide what you can claim and how much effort it will take.
Think about the next year, and the next…
Tax management isn’t all about chasing the compliance dragon. It’s also about achieving your goals for you, your family and your business. By definition some of these will be long term if not life time in nature. Getting the balance between efficient financial management and meeting your personal and professional targets can be challenging but it is always easier if you have had chance to consider the possibilities open to you in good time. Once the January rush is over, a planning review might flush out new ideas to consider. Tax is a fast changing subject these days and the wise keep an eagle eye on developments.
Starter for 10….
So, what are our top to-do’s? These are by their nature fairly generic but are provided in the hope they are a good starting point for you to think about and discuss with us your particular circumstances. What would your list look like?
- Get all outstanding information to your tax adviser for 11/12 tax returns
- Sign and return completed forms ASAP
- Contact HMRC if you think there is going to be an issue with filing and/or payments
- Review tax provisions in any business accounts and confirm they are in line with the most recent picture – can any provisions be released for example?
For further discussion please get in touch with your normal Hazlewoods contact or speak to Ruth Dooley, Nick Haines or Tom Woodcock.