Running your own business is no mean feat especially if you are a micro business entrepreneur in charge of all aspects of running your trade. In the UK, once you have started to trade you are responsible to inform the tax authorities by 5th October following the end of the tax year in which your trade commences. This can get quite complicated given that the tax year in the UK runs from 6 April to 5 April. To keep it simple it is best to register as soon as possible. Registering with the Revenue is easy enough using HMRC’s website. However, in addition to your annual tax return, you may be required to register for other taxes when these become applicable for e.g. VAT and payroll.
If you run your business as a limited company, you are required to report both to Companies House and HMRC for annual returns, accounts and corporate tax returns. For even the smallest companies, these returns can be missed if you are not keeping up with the various deadline dates. Knowing what is required and when to provide the information is one area many micro business owners find most frustrating in running their business.
Working with deadlines and managing these deadlines is necessary to help with you with meeting these accounting and tax responsibilities. Both HMRC and Companies House send out reminders, which are very helpful, but owner-managed business may be forgiven for leaving these for the last minute. Deadlines are useful both from the perspective of the accountant and the business owner as they help to plan workload and provide a cut off time period for which trading results can be reviewed and analysed.
Using a diary or year planner is one way of helping you to meet your accounting and tax returns deadlines. A year planner is a useful tool that you could adapt to suit your specific business needs. Another planning tool is the use of the electronic calendar attached to your email account. With many systems offering merged view of all business files and available to view on related devices, an electronic planner is definitely the way forward particularly with the ability of electronic reminders/prompts.
Visual aids are still useful to support electronic system such as my Business Tax Time shown below. If you think you could benefit from such a visual tax planning aid, get in touch to access this free business planner – tailored to your business.