I attend many networking meetings, and occasionally meet people who complete their own tax returns – thinking that they are saving themselves money.

Unfortunately there are a couple of points that people miss when it comes to trying the 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. Indeed, 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.)

I offer a no-charge initial meeting to discuss your tax situation, and also have a limited number of evening and weekend appointments available every month so you don’t have to take time away from your business.