If you use paper records, here is a breakdown of what records your accountant will need to produce your accounts and your self-assessment tax return.
Most importantly, remember that the 2020-2021 tax return covers the tax year 6th April 2020 to 5th April 2021. If your accounts have a 31st March year-end, that will be a simple 1st April 2020 to 31st March 2021 period or if you have a different year end, it will be 12 months to your accounting year end date that falls in the above tax year. For example, if your year-end is 31st December, it will be records for 1st January 2020 to 31st December 2020 that is needed.
Records for your Tax Return
Employment Income – If you have any employment income in addition to being self-employed, you need to provide your P60, or P45 if that employment income ceased during the year.
P11d – This would be for any benefits in kind you received from your employment.
Dividends received during the year.
Rental income – Your accountant will need to see details of your rental income and property management expenses. Statements will be required from the letting agent if you have one. Also, your mortgage interest allows for some additional relief. The rules are complex and your accountant will be able to determine how much tax relief is due on the interest and any mortgage arrangement fees paid.
Private pension payments – Give details of any payments made as these can give you additional tax relief if you qualify.
Bank interest received – Any interest received during the year (excluding ISAs). HMRC is tightening up its links with banks so ensure you provide the correct figures.
Any other income or gains you received during the year. This may come from another self-employment job that you may have or a chargeable gain from selling a rental property or some shares etc.
Your tax return must show all your income so check with your accountant anything you are unsure of.
Getting your financial affairs in order well ahead of the deadline also means that you are far less likely to be hit with costly penalties or interest either because the tax return was filed late, there was an error due to it being rushed, or you don’t have sufficient time to plan for payment of any tax liabilities.
Records for your accounts
Bank statements – For all your business accounts and for the period your accounts cover. You’ll probably have one main account, but if you have a deposit account or a reserve account, make sure to include these statements too. Don’t forget to include any cheque books and paying-in books if you still use these.
Loan statements – Your accountant will need to see these to make sure the closing balance is included in the accounts correctly and that the correct amount of interest has been included as a deductible expense.
Finance agreements – Copies of any new agreements taken out in the year. The interest on the repayments is a tax-deductible expense and the asset purchased could attract the annual investment or other capital allowances.
Business credit card – They’ll need these statements too. If it’s a personal card that you occasionally use to pay business expenses, spend the time highlighting these. This will save your accountant having to go through these.
All sales income. That means all your sales invoices for the year (regardless of whether they have been paid or not) or details of your daily takings if you do not issue invoices.
All purchase invoices and expenses receipts for the period. If your accountant doesn’t have these, they may need to make assumptions and/or some expenses could be missed out altogether, thereby increasing your tax bill.
Petty cash receipts – Your accountant will need the petty cash balance at the year end. They will need to reconcile your cash, so these records are vital.
Payroll records – Unless your accountant operates your payroll, you will need a print-out of each month’s pay run so they can check to ensure all wages amounts and employers national insurance are included.
Stock value – a valuation of any stock held at the end of the year is required. This should be included at what it cost you, or its value if lower.
Arguably, keeping your records in a paper format isn’t the best system to have, so it is possible that you will hear from your accountant not long after you have supplied your records. They’ll probably be chasing missing paperwork, maybe even asking for paperwork that relates to the correct tax year.
As we move closer to Making Tax Digital, you should consider moving over to online bookkeeping software. This will keep all your records in one place and automatically organise them for you so there would be no need to worry about missing anything off as you can simply give your accountant access to your online records throughout the year. Here at TaxAssist Accountants we offer clients access to QuickBooks, Xero and Dext (formerly Receipt Bank), as well as providing you with training to ensure you are happy with how it all works.
How TaxAssist Accountants can help
We can help you complete your tax return accurately so that you can meet the deadline and have already assisted many self-employed individuals and business owners to file theirs. Call us today on 0800 0523 555 or complete our easy online form to get in touch.
Date published 17 Dec 2019 | Last updated 25 Jan 2022This article is intended to inform rather than advise and is based on legislation and practice at the time. Taxpayer’s circumstances do vary and if you feel that the information provided is beneficial it is important that you contact us before implementation. If you take, or do not take action as a result of reading this article, before receiving our written endorsement, we will accept no responsibility for any financial loss incurred.