HMRC has just released the statistics for people completing their own tax returns this year:

Christmas Eve – 17,000 returns

Christmas Day – 1,566 returns

Boxing Day – 4,493 returns

Unfortunately there can be considerable costs to a DIY approach:

1) Free isn’t actually free – there is the value of your own time to account for. However long it takes you is time when you could have been earning money working for your own clients, which could amount to several hundred pounds or more.

2) There is no tax relief on your own time – unfortunately you can’t charge yourself the value of your own time in the business accounts, whereas accountants fees are an allowable business expense for the self-employed and attract tax relief. The amount of the tax relief could be almost a third or more of the total fees, depending on your tax position.

As well as the actual cost, there is also the hassle and the extra time taken to keep up to date with current tax rules – which are constantly changing.

I met with someone once who had unfortunately claimed for expenses that weren’t allowable in their own tax return and as a result HMRC were pursuing them for tens of thousands of pounds in extra tax that was due (plus the fines and interest on top), so it could save considerable money to get professional help.

I offer a no-charge initial meeting to discuss your tax situation, and also have a limited number of evening and weekend appointments before the 31st January 2014 deadline.