Most Self-Assessment Tax Returns are handled by Accountants for good reason
65% of taxpayers who have to lodge a Tax Return let their Accountant handle this task
This highlights the vital role that accountants continue to play in guiding clients through the complexities of the system.
Most taxpayers realise that filing tax returns correctly is not straightforward and can be time consuming.
Engaging an Accountant takes away the stress of filling a return and also substantially reduces the likelihood of mistakes being made; Innocent errors on a tax return can be a red flag for HMRC and may well draw unwanted attention to the taxpayer.
Accountants will also ensure that the returns are filed on time, preventing hefty fees and scrutiny from HMRC. Last year 870,000 taxpayers filed their SATRs (Self Assessment Tax Returns) late.
Online filing actually make it easier for HMRC to spot errors and inaccuracies making it doubly important for taxpayers to ensure that there are no mistakes on their return. HMRC’s Connect database helps them to cross-reference and scrutinise information andif any errors are discovered, the taxpayer could find themself under investigation.
Tax investigations are costly, disruptive and stressful as you become locked in to a process where you often have to provide a load of historical information with no immediate prospect of knowing where it will lead, how long it is going to take and how much additional tax and NIC you may have to pay at the end.
Although, HMRC’s Making Tax Digital plans have been put on hold following the recent general election, it is likely that they will come in eventually. HMRC’splans to introduce the Making Tax Digital system have caused concerns throughout the accountancy profession, worried that the move online could mean that inexperienced taxpayers may not understand what is required and make even more mistakes on their returns.
With 65% of taxpayers choosing to use an agent to handle their SATRs, the value accountants bring to the process is evident.
Interested in Fee Protection against an Investigation?
You can protect yourself against the cost of most tax investigations by subscribing to our Tax Investigation Service – please click here for further details. Or speak with any of the team at THP Chartered Accountants – we have offices in Wanstead, Cheam, Chelmsford, Saffron Walden and the City.