4 top tips to get ready for the self employed income tax return deadline [Checklist]
If you’re a sole trader/self employed your income tax return will take shape in the annual self-assessment.
Being self-employed, I’m usually the last one scrambling around trying to get my stuff together. This year, I’m going to make it easy on myself and be prepared (I say with all good intentions). I’m working with startup specialist accountant Paddy Quinn to help me along and I’m going to share the top tips with you.
1. Start preparing now - Don’t leave it till the last minute
While the income tax self-assessment deadline is still a ways off (31st October or 14th November if you are paying through ROS.ie), it’s time to start getting ready now. This is the best time of year to do it. Most businesses get pretty busy in the next few weeks but importantly; you’re likely to get more attention to detail from your accountant if you stay out of the last minute rush.
Starting and running your own business can be stressful enough. By keeping on top of your accounts, while it might seem like a pain, it will give you the space to focus on getting customers, keeping customers and growing your business. Doing this from the start is imperative. It’s good practice and helps you keep a close eye on cash flow and real insight into how your business is performing. If you have let yours fall behind, consider getting someone for a few hours to help you get on top of it, like a virtual assistant who charge by the hour. I've used Gillian B in the past
2. Ensure you are registered for self-assessment.
By registering to file and pay through ROS.ie you get the additional benefit of an extended filing deadline of 14th November.
If you have any trouble or questions they are usually quite helpful on the phone; here are the revenue phone numbers.
3. Engage your accountant early.
If you don’t already have an accountant, get one now. Doing your own taxes will save you a few bob but if you need a little assistance engage an accountant now when they are not flooded with the rush of last minute tax returns. They could actually save you money despite the additional cost.
You need to trust your accountant so have a good chat, suss them out and make sure you are confident in their ability. Agree a fee in advance.
How much should I pay an accountant for yearly accounts?
This will depend on what is required for your business, and whether you’ve been keeping your paperwork up to date. As a rough guide you could pay anything between €500 to €1,200.
4. Get your paperwork for your self-employed tax return ready
What documents do you need to do your taxes in Ireland?
Your accountant will give you a full list of what they need to complete your tax return but here’s a starter list:
Self employed income details (invoices/sales)
Expenses – receipts for expenses incurred by the business
Business bank statements
Details of rental income
Details of pensions paid
P60s or P45s for 2016 for you or your spouse
If you run your business from home you can claim a portion of your light, heating, broadband bills probably something between 20 & 30% is reasonable
Mobile phone bills
Car expenses (diesel, repairs, tax, insurance)
Medical and dental expenses
If you can tick all of those you are almost done. Being ahead of your accounts at quieter times of the year mean you don’t have the last minute stress when you need to be concentrating on closing deals and building your business.
Check list for self assessment tax return
☐ Start preparing now – get your income and outgoings organised
☐ Ensure you are registered for self assessment
☐ Find and engage your accountant (before the rush!)
☐ Get your paperwork ready (here’s a starter list)
☐ Self employed income details (invoices/sales)
☐ Expenses – receipts for expenses incurred by the business
☐ Business bank statements
☐ Details of rental income
☐ Details of pensions paid
☐ P60s or P45s for 2016 for you or your spouse
☐ If you run your business from home you can claim a portion of your light, heating, broadband bills probably something between 20 & 30% is reasonable
☐ Mobile phone bills
☐ Car expenses (diesel, repairs, tax, insurance)
☐ Medical and dental expenses
Watch out for my next instalment with some top tips to cut your tax bill and some key financial analytics for your small business. Get it direct to your inbox here