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How many tax returns have you got left to do?

I usually have a contest with a couple of other accountants I know to see how many tax returns we have left to do.

I spoke to one yesterday and he still has 94 to do!

I am now down to 20 and, for the first time in a few years, don't feel too stressed about them!

How many have you got left to do?

By the way, a very Merry Christmas to everyone on the forum!


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36 ...

but probably half of those are individuals / directors for whom I am just waiting the stray bits of interest. Looking forward to a busy January but nothing too scary.

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Stacks,many still to come in

some have some quite distressing reasons, for being late; close family members passing away, terminal illnesses etc etc.

I've always said, this is the job I chose and I will always go the extra mile, if I have to, to make sure client's returns are dealt with, if I can. I'm not one of those who tries to instill into client's what their responsibilities are and, have little truck, with those who take that view. I'm sorry I'm the old school, who's just delighted to; wake up each morning, smell the coffee and thank goodness I have work to look forward to.

All of you have a wonderful and peaceful Christmas and a very Happy New Year.

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21st Dec 2012 12:39

better than last year but

64 still not filed;

of those 15 are final and awaiting back from client, and a furher 15 or so are draft awaiting one minor query/to be issued to the client - so I am fairly happy with that!

One client did email me two weeks ago to say she was "busy" and would get it to me in the last week in January - I emailed back to say "I am away that week" - haven't heard back from her yet!

oh, and I still have three sets of March company year ends to file by 31st Dec with companies House - one only arrived yesterday morning!

But finish work today for a few days and will pick up again between xmas and New Year

Happy Christmas

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By refs8
21st Dec 2012 12:53

More than I would want !

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at last count.

May get a few more to do too:)

Vast majority very straight forward - P60 plus dividends.

I've planned it so that I'm busy with tax returns in December/January. 

Clients informed that final deadline for information is 11 January

5 Ltd co accounts needing to be done between now and the end of January as well- no issues here. very manageable - no stress here!

Merry Christmas - it will be for me!

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21st Dec 2012 13:17

61 personal tax returns; but 27 company accounts by 31/12/12!

but the majority I have not had the data or only had it this month.

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Bloody hell

petersaxton wrote:

but the majority I have not had the data or only had it this month.

No wonder you've been quiet(er) on here!

Hope it all gets sorted.

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21st Dec 2012 13:19

Going forward

My plan for next year is to send one email in April and then chase by phone with a reminder email - I'm considering what to say in the reminder email! I will also try to turn round work by the next day - I said that last year but I am more determined now!

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21st Dec 2012 17:09

no chance!

petersaxton wrote:

 I will also try to turn round work by the next day - I said that last year but I am more determined now!

I' 've been threatening that for years!

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6 left to do .... 1 of which is waiting for the client to approve and the other 5 are new clients, 3 of which are P60, interest and own company dividends.  So rather happy about it at the moment!

I am sure some new clients will appear in January and they will pay a premium for leaving it late!

If all goes to plan, today is the last day of work until school reopens on 7 Jan - accountant hat will be set to one side & Mum hat put on instead :)

Happy Christmas!!

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21st Dec 2012 14:33

All the usual suspects are late. Same ones every year.

I tell them that I will do my best to do it by 31st January but I don't guarantee it.

Then when it is done in time, I get my fee paid promptly and they are happy little bunnies!

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21st Dec 2012 14:52

Computer problems

The reason why I've been quiet is also because I had computer problems. I couldn't access my data files and Outlook was downloading emails incredibly slow. Technical support for my switch box, modem, ISP and external hard drives were helpful but none of them came up with the correct solution. It's difficult with interworking products. I finally realised it was my old computer. I'd had it 4 years and kept putting off changing it due to the worry of the down time. Now I have a 16Gb i7 HP and it flies! My old computer took 90 minutes to scan my hard disks with a malware check but my new computer does it in around 90 seconds!

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26th Dec 2012 11:49

You have my sympathy

PeterSaxton / Computer problems

It was exactly this sort of thing - in January too - that made me finally switch to an iMac. We can do without it, can't we?

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By zebaa
21st Dec 2012 15:10

Wow Peter

Next day turn round for company accounts...? Wow. Or have I misunderstood?

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21st Dec 2012 15:27


I have my clients trained with the information they provide. Why is it difficult? I started one company late afternoon and I sent over draft accounts and draft personal tax at 2 am. I love Digita. I'd only struggle if two or three clients provided data in one day.

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21st Dec 2012 16:30


petersaxton wrote:

I have my clients trained with the information they provide. Why is it difficult? I started one company late afternoon and I sent over draft accounts and draft personal tax at 2 am. I love Digita. I'd only struggle if two or three clients provided data in one day.

... that is very impressive Peter, so is Digita similar to IRIS then?

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21st Dec 2012 17:37

Very similar

jaybee661 wrote:

petersaxton wrote:

I have my clients trained with the information they provide. Why is it difficult? I started one company late afternoon and I sent over draft accounts and draft personal tax at 2 am. I love Digita. I'd only struggle if two or three clients provided data in one day.

... that is very impressive Peter, so is Digita similar to IRIS then?

I would say that Digita is on a par with Iris. Digita may be a bit cheaper than Iris. Iris may do things straight out of the box but I understand that this can have it's disadvantages. Digita's practice management is very flexible but that means you really have to think about how best to use it. Technical support is good and they can advise on ways to use the software and consultancy may be cost effective for a bigger practice. I've still got work to do to convert some of my practice management spreadsheets into Digita practice management and at the same time take advantage of the extra features. The main software of Accounts Production, Company Tax, Personal Tax and Company Secretarial enables jobs to be done very quickly.
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21st Dec 2012 17:14


petersaxton wrote:

I have my clients trained with the information they provide. Why is it difficult? I started one company late afternoon and I sent over draft accounts and draft personal tax at 2 am. I love Digita. I'd only struggle if two or three clients provided data in one day.

I can get some small company in and then out the door in 3 hours - VT and taxcalc in my case


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21st Dec 2012 16:24

It's refreshing to hear so many admit that they have quite a bit left to do, I have approx 25, even though I've been chasing and cajoling for months!

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By blok
21st Dec 2012 16:27



but with a brilliant tax team of 5 it should be fine.


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By Monsoon
21st Dec 2012 16:35

I'm not counting

I have no idea, but I would guess 20-30, many of these simple individual returns. A few of the usual stragglers, but they are expected.

Awaiting consent for 2 Ltd Co's with 31/12 deadlines - will file these from home when consent comes in.

Time to shut up shop now until next year!

Have a super Xmas break everyone, and don't work too hard :)

Monsoon xx

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By pawncob
21st Dec 2012 17:34










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22nd Dec 2012 09:39

Peter Saxton ouch

27 company returns!  Poor fella!

We're down to 73 personal tax returns.  This time last year it was 98 so good progress!

That's 9 done and with clients for signature

12 started, not complete

18 paperwork here not started

34 no paperwork yet and I'm not chasing any more.

We've 4 in the office comfortable with handling these, and 2 others that can complete the simpler returns so I'm in that deluded 'feeling in control' place at the moment.

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26th Dec 2012 02:25

17 outstanding, of which:

9 - not yet started (majority of which need accounts preparing in January)

5 - in progress (waiting for answers from clients, e.g. bank interest)

3 - sent to client for approval


Only got 1 Limited Company and 1 LLP filing deadline of 31 December and both are with the clients for approval.


Sole practitioner and not currently stressing, although subject to change dependant upon clients responses!

PS. 2 of those personal tax returns are mine and the wife,not yet started but already calculated in my head!

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27th Dec 2012 13:39

Sad ....
While millions of people were unwrapping presents or tucking into their turkey, others decided it was the ideal time to do their tax return.HMRC says more than 15-hundred people completed their return online on Christmas Day - a 40 per cent increase on last year. 14-thousand people also filed their tax return in on Christmas Eve - treble last year's amount.

 .... the above statement has just been issued to the media by HMRC.

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28th Dec 2012 01:17

I wonder how many of those 1,500 returns which were filed on Christmas Day were infact filed by agents.

I must confess that at 1.30am on Boxing Day morning, with the wife and child sound asleep, I felt it an opportune moment to reduce my to-do list by filing 2 sets of company accounts, 2 CT600's and 1 personal tax return! Before someone asks the question.....yes I was sober and yes I do work from home ;-)

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By dreamcatcher
27th Dec 2012 15:51

94 between

3 of us which is pretty much where we are each year so should be a steady run to 31 January.

I spoke to a former colleague of mine before Christmas and they had very close to 800 this left to do within a tax team of 6....................ouch! I'm guessing there will be some overtime required and some very stressed people there come 31 January.

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31st Dec 2012 12:10

Final Letters

I wrote to two late and always late clients saying if not in by the 6th January, please find another accountant, as i will not do them!

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31st Dec 2012 12:33

Too much work, so little time
We have around 850 returns left to do by the end of Jan, which unfortunately is about 100 more than we did last year.

With overtime and working everyday I'm sure we'll get through it. Luckily enough we have a really good office that is geared up to a busy January.

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By appacc
31st Dec 2012 12:36


I don't do tax returns in January. Too busy doing December 2012 year ends. I might make appointments to see latecomers in February though.

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31st Dec 2012 12:36

Accounting Dates?

All very well if you don't file to 31 March. How many of you smug people who have done them all have your Self Employed clients on dodgy dates like 31 May 2011 that mean you had extra time to do the job, to the detriment of your clients' interests?

I have 80 left to file (23.3% of total), 2 of which are simple companies that look set to miss tonight's deadline through no data supplied. I have data for 34 of these, of which about 10 are really easy/all done bar the shouting.

So that leaves 46 recalcitrants (13.4%) but as all the other partnerships and companies have been filed, this is quite a simple rump and presents no great challenge.

I will be hoping to finish a day or so before 31 January.

How many of you give your clients a graph of the filing progress? I find this an excellent way to keep me honest. Here is mine from last year

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Usual suspects......

25 of the usual suspects to go,problem here this here is awaiting UTRs on non-trading new cases.Any recent experiences,tips on this one?

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31st Dec 2012 12:50

40 left to do as of this morning plus 3 which are out for signature.

Of the 40:

8 are directors of Ltd Co's where I do the Ltd Co accounts.

15 are individuals which are fairly straight forward.

12 are really simple sole traders.

3 are complicated sole traders and the last two are mine and my husbands.

All my Ltd Co's that are due before the end of Jan are already done so I'm not panicing too much.


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31st Dec 2012 13:28


including 20 for which nothing has yet arrived - par for the course for me really...


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31st Dec 2012 16:39

I am also waiting for UTRs where you cannot apply online

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31st Dec 2012 17:47


And why am I still reading all this on NYE??????????

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02nd Jan 2013 10:51

tax return o/s

17. always the same people!

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02nd Jan 2013 12:00


82 still waiting to hear from, despite 3 generic letters over the year plus a more tailored letter/email/call.

42 done but the client is obviously fond of them as they seem reluctant to return them.

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By jonsa
02nd Jan 2013 14:59

80 = 20%, which is a little up same time last year.  They all know if info. not in by early December, no guarantee for 31 January and we never work overtime in January.

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02nd Jan 2013 16:05

Directors tax returns?

Do ALL directors have to submit a tax return ( basic rate tax payers - income taxed at source etc).  - as per HMRC website? - I ask because not all of our director clients get self assessment returns to complete or reminders from HMRC for one - and in fact, one director client (basic rate tax payer, no untaxed income) recently got a letter from HMRC saying that he does not need to complete a TR next year.

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02nd Jan 2013 16:18

More usual suspects...

Quite a few, there are 6 jobs in my hallway, which I'll start once I finish the 12/12 VAT Returns.There are always the ones who crawl out of the woodwork at the last minute, they're not the cheapest jobs I do, but they never have the brass neck to complain about it. Oh, and me of course, I do that last as it doesn't pay anything! :)

The smug person with zero, nada, nothing needs to advertise more, there is work out there, honest!


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03rd Jan 2013 13:12


Jonsa reports a similar statistic to mine - entering January with 10% of the time available but 25% un-filed.

I guess this may be a new 'universal law of accounting practices' not unlike the 80:20 rule. It does not concern me because the difficult stuff is out of the way and a lot of these late submitters don't pay me monthly, so I get to send them nice invoices!

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03rd Jan 2013 14:18

only my own ...

I still have my own to finish and warned some people (who are last minute Larrys) that I am unavailable for the last two weeks of January!


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By jonsa
03rd Jan 2013 17:00

Own tax return

I find it strange that a couple have admitted their own tax return still needs completing.  Surely we should lead by example - mine was submitted first week in May.

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03rd Jan 2013 17:19


I always used to leave mine until last which wasn't very impressive but for 2011-2012 I submitted first week in August but there's no reason I can't do it second week in April.

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03rd Jan 2013 20:40

mea culpa

I feel suitably rebuked, and will try to be a better example for 2012-2013. 

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04th Jan 2013 11:10


I suspect the people with really big numbers are too busy to be reading this thread! :)

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Going up not down!!

I'll have to revise my numbers, have had requests to do another 6 since Saturday!

I'm not saying no, quite happy to be very busy for the month :)

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Go for it ....

when I started out 12 years ago the January slackers were a quick way to build a bit of bulk in to my scant client base. OK, some were not good but others are still with me and have more than repaid my faith in education and coersion!

I confess I enjoy the buzz of a busy January and it seems a good way to start the year with good billing figures and get over the New Year blues that wage slaves always have i.e. too busy to worry about the meaning of life!

29 to go but importantly they are now all in touch and records either with me or scheduled for collection meetings this and next Thursday.

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08th Jan 2013 11:38

... only...

... 16 left now!

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