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Contractor accountants: draw up a plan for filing your clients’ tax returns

Contractor accountants: draw up a plan for filing your clients’ tax returns

Contractor accountants will have a busy month in January filing online self assessment returns for their clients.

As the January 31st deadline looms, it savvy accountants will already have drawn up a plan for dealing with the additional workload. However, if you have not already done so, the festive break would be a good time to start planning.

The first thing to do is ensure you know exactly what you’re up against. How many clients require you to complete their tax returns for them? Do you have all the details you need to proceed?

Are your clients fully up to date with any legislative changes and if not, should you provide them with training? On a similar subject, you must ensure your accounting software is updated to reflect statutory requirements, and if it isn’t install and test any updates sooner rather than later.

Effective communication with clients is vital at this time of year. Think about the problems you encountered during last year’s filing season and work together with your clients to find solutions. Also make sure your clients fully understand what information they need to provide you with, and when you need to receive it.

No matter how meticulous you are with your planning, problems will occur, but the trick is to spot them before they turn into a crisis. Make sure you review your progress on a regular basis and deal with any issues as soon as they arise.

Of course, once you’ve done all the hard work, you’ll be looking forward to receiving payment. Make sure all your clients know your payment terms before you start working on their return and send out your invoice as soon as possible after the work is completed. That way you should minimise the danger of late payment.

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Image: Black and white by koalazymonkey

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