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Do I need an accountant?

(10 Posts)
Chocwocdoodah Mon 06-Mar-17 23:36:34

I've been a consultant for a few years and have always done my own tax returns. My job usually involves working from the offices of the business I'm working for.

I've always done my own tax returns. I never claim any expenses. I just declare what I've earned. Should I be claiming any expenses and would it be beneficial to hire an accountant? Would I just provide them with my invoices and receipts once a year and pay them to do my return?

Also in terms of record keeping, all I do is keep a file on my computer with all my invoices. The invoices themselves each list the days I've worked. Is this enough?

Rather embarrassed about my lack of knowledge in this area.....!

caroldecker Tue 07-Mar-17 00:00:37

You would almost certainly benefit from talking to an accountant about your business, expenses etc.
Assuming your business does not change much, then the cheapest answer is probably a few hours once to review the business, expenses etc to understand what you can claim or not, then a hour or so a year to understand any changes to regulations.
It also depends what you earn per hour and how much time you spend on your accounts/tax return. Is an accountant cheaper than DIY if you can use those hours to earn?

LonnyVonnyWilsonFrickett Tue 07-Mar-17 21:24:08

You will definitely be able to claim some expenses. I saw an accountant a couple of times when I first started out - nothing has changed so I now do it all myself, but it's definitely worth getting advice. Every £ claimed as expenses is a £ you don't pay tax on!

Chocwocdoodah Tue 07-Mar-17 22:11:34

Thank you both. Good advice. I think it'll be cheaper to do it myself in the long run but will definitely see an accountant for some initial advice.

caroldecker Tue 07-Mar-17 23:43:58

It si much cheaper to do it yourself if you value your time as £0/hour. Otherwise work out your time vs paying an expert - tat is what your clients do when they employ you.

Hoppinggreen Wed 08-Mar-17 09:47:28

I am also a consultant. My hourly rate is less than my accountants so by paying him it frees me up to make money.
I sometimes think about doing it myself but he knows lots of tricks that are absolutely legal but reduce my tax bill considerably. I only pay what I need to and no more.
Let me know if you want a recommendation, location doesn't matter as it all done online and I know lots of people in the south who use accountants in The North as they tend to be cheaper

Chocwocdoodah Thu 09-Mar-17 13:44:57

Thanks both.

Hopping, yes please I would love a recommendation. How much of your accountant's time do you use - is it monthly or just yearly when your tax return needs doing?

Hoppinggreen Thu 09-Mar-17 14:00:56

I pay yearly but you can pay monthly and I can email them at any time with questions etc.
I am VAT registered so they do that for me too as well as all the PAYE and companies house stuff but I'm sure that they would be happy to just do your return
Also it's all changing with the new Making Tax Digital stuff soon so it's good to have someone knowledgeable to deal with it.
I will PM you if that's ok with you

Chocwocdoodah Thu 09-Mar-17 19:39:06

Yes please, a PM would be great - thanks so much!

Hoppinggreen Fri 10-Mar-17 14:35:32


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