I'm trying to battle through my first ever self assessment tax return. It's for a partnership, so initially I need to compete the business return, then figure out my own (I think!)
My question is about the 'business accounting start date' - I've put it as 1st Nov 2017 (that's when the business first stated officially trading) - so my accounting year now runs from 1st Nov 2017 - 31st October 2018.
When filling in the form do I need to put turnover etc from 1st Nov 2017 - 31st March 2018 (I.e. from when we started trading until the end of that financial year) or from 1st Nov - 31st Oct 2018?
I assumed the latter but then wondered what happens if say your accounting start date was say 1st Jan 2018 - 1st Jan 2019 - as you wouldn't know your income for those last few months yet!
Please get an accountant to help you. You will need partnership accounts, a partnership tax return and self assessment returns for each partner. It sounds like you are trying to complete a tax return for the wrong tax year with the dates you mention above.
An accountant wont charge the earth particularly if you have organised accounting records.
Your accounting period doesn't have to be for a year. If you're doing it yourself rather than using an accountant, it'll be a whole lot easier to align it with the tax year, i..e make your first period 1/11/17 to 5/4/18 and then the next is the full year 6/4/18 to 5/4/19. You really, really, don't want to be messing around with a different year end to the tax year if you're a DIYer without an accountant.
If you have a different year end that isn't 5/4 then you have to enter the wonderful world of overlap relief etc and you really don't want to go there unless there's good reason.
That's where an accountant would be worth their money as sometimes it can really make a difference and really reduce your tax bill by selecting a different year end - all depends on current and future profits, timing of equipment purchases, your other incomes for each tax year, etc. A decent accountant can usually see pretty quickly if there are benefits of a different year end. It doesn't have to be a year from start nor 5/4 - you can have your period end to any date you like and your first period any length from a month to 18 months. But you're not going to be able to know without professional help. So if you're determined not to use an accountant, then I'd say go for 5/4/18 for an easy life.