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HOW LONG? 26 Million Hours…That is How Long

With the tax return deadline just around the corner there is one thing we know for sure…contractors are going to be spending time “self assessing.”

How long exactly? According to a recent survey it is going to be a collective 26 million hours that contractors and the self employed in general are going to put in over the tax return season. No matter if they are filling in those returns online or offline, it definitely is a lot of time that is being spent.

The survey went on to find that 47% of contractors who have previously filled in a tax return, well, they take, on average, between 1 and 3 hours to get the form filled in and then sent off to HMRC.

A simple click of the button if they are doing it online, or, placing the form carefully into an envelope and then slapping a stamp on before putting going to the postbox if doing it the traditional way. A postie in shorts will pick it up shortly.

How about this…the survey went on to find that 29% of self employed people (which includes contractors and freelancers) have got the process of tax form “filling in” down to a smooth 1 hour or less. They don’t mess about, and are usually done in time for lunch.

However, when you consider that mistakes are becoming more common on tax returns, to the point where HMRC are regularly handing out fines and other punishments, then maybe some of these people should spend a bit longer than 1 hour making sure they do it right.

Not everyone finds filling in tax forms a piece of cake though, with 20% mentioning it takes them more than 3 hours to get it all done and a staggering 4% who say it takes them more than 15 hours.

Yes you read that right…15 hours! Some people could really do with a contractor accountant if you ask me.

Of course, keeping your books in order and storing away all of the receipts and invoices will go a long way to making sure the season of tax returns is a happy time, but, and this is a big but…if you have a professional such as a contractor accountant in your corner then they can save you a whole lot of hassle.

Not only that, but many contractors mention how their accountants also save them money…often paying for themselves, no doubt.

Back to the survey and 34% said they have trouble understanding the complicated forms provided by HMRC, while 10% complained they have to spend too much time looking up definitions of words in the paperwork.

Perhaps a new and improved form could be a good idea, one that is written in plain English and easy to understand? Maybe.

What I do know is that you will find it very simple to hire a contractor accountant right here at this site. Take a look around and see who we recommend. Only the best, that is for sure.

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