Getting ahead of the game this tax season

Tax season is here ... are you prepared?

With tax season now swiftly upon us, time is rapidly running out to get your affairs in order before the deadline at the end of the month.

However, while some business owners will be entering the new year feeling very smug with themselves, others will inevitably not be experiencing similar emotions – with cashflow, accounts and the associated documentation all potentially causing last-minute problems.

When it comes to tackling your tax, the simplest solution is to get ahead – planning is key. While this advice may be scant consolation for those hurrying to get their affairs in order before the end of the month, there are plenty of things that can be done for the 2014/15 tax year to ensure that the stress and worry you may be going through now doesn’t happen again.

Funding your tax payments

When it comes to paying your bill, it’s well worth working out how much you are liable for as early as possible. This will allow you to apply for tax funding with plenty of time to spare if you choose to go down the alternative finance route.

There are several benefits to choosing this method of payment. For a start, it allows you to spread the cost of your liability across a period of up to 12 months as opposed to stumping up the amount all in one go. This not only eases your cashflow, but also hopefully leaves you with capital that will allow you to invest elsewhere in the business.

Secondly, the option is incredibly cost-effective and can also be rolled over – meaning that you will theoretically never have to worry about coming up with a large amount of cash to pay the taxman ever again.

Forward planning

When it comes to making mistakes in your tax returns, it’s likely that the usual last-minute rush to get all of your information together will undoubtedly have played its part. However, for the next tax deadline, there is no reason why this should be the case.

Keeping a checklist, diary or planner is a simple solution to this problem. If you give tax a little bit of your time throughout the entire year, instead of all of your time just before a deadline, you’ll find that your stress levels relating to the matter are greatly reduced – while another by-product is that you’re much less likely to make mistakes if you’re taking your time instead.

Pull together

Of course, if you’re not the only person in your business responsible for keeping a record of how much you owe, then it makes sense to ensure that everyone is on the same page.

With this is mind, take the start of the new tax year as an opportunity to review all of your processes with the rest of your team, ensuring that it will be much simpler to collate all of your information under one standard format.

This approach shouldn’t just be limited to the way data is presented and you should also consider whether there are any slight differences in how your employees file the accounts you need as well to make sure everything is easy to locate.

Follow these steps and you should be well on the way to ensuring that tax deadline month is no longer the monster that it used to be.