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January self assessments as % of total

How many of your clients are January submissions

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Just over a quarter of my self assessment clients are January (or later) submissions. Historically this is pretty typical. I actively chase everyone periodically throughout the year so this statistic is almost all down to client behaviour.

I would be interested in other members comparative statistics if they are willing to share.

Replies (21)

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By lionofludesch
19th Dec 2018 15:30

Setting aside a few returns sitting on my desk ready to sign off, I'm probably nearer 10%. Maybe less.

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By Glenn Martin
19th Dec 2018 15:59

I am behind this year. Last year I was all but done by end of November and hardly had any left for January.

I have a lot more to do this year also.

This year I did not get as many done in Sept/Oct as was busy with some bigger jobs.

So I am now up against it a bit for January.

I think I will end up doing some over the holidays as hate been too busy In January and already got a few non tax jobs booked in for January.

Next year I will be looking to get back to November as cut off, or October if possible.

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By Wanderer
19th Dec 2018 16:02

2015 - 37%
2016 - 32%
2017 - 33%
2018 - 26% (as at right now, will fall)

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My photo
By Matrix
19th Dec 2018 16:03

I only have about 5 returns which have not been started.

It feels like I have been doing tax returns forever though.

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By free-rider
19th Dec 2018 18:05

I have 8 Personal TRs left to be completed in Jan 2019 which is about 5% of total number. Majority of my self-employed clients are CIS subbies so rush to file their returns in April/May time.

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By lionofludesch
19th Dec 2018 18:24

Waiting for me to tweak and get signed 3

Accounts on hold waiting for info 2

Client thinks too soon to bring in 2

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By ireallyshouldknowthisbut
19th Dec 2018 18:42

284 filed
12 out for sig
23 In progress (most with data, 5 or 6 half data)
27 not in

Of the 27 not in, 15 are directors returns, 10 of which are December year ends, and scheduled with the 2018 year end (they will come in 1st-15th Jan), and 5 I just need to do.
Out of the other 12 some probably gone elsewhere or done own but not told us, and 2 pay fines religiously every year.

So quite happy with that. I will get 4-6 out by Friday and then boots off until Jan.

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By SXGuy
20th Dec 2018 08:31

I'd say 2% of clients for me are January filers. Those who are late coming in usually. Mostly all clients are on time and SA gets filed throughout the year.

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By JCresswellTax
20th Dec 2018 09:18

You guys do well! Although I suppose the percentages depend on overall client numbers.

We have tried everything to get information in early but still we have around 150 to do in January.

How do you get your information in early?

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Replying to JCresswellTax:
By ireallyshouldknowthisbut
20th Dec 2018 10:25

On not getting Jan clients its a mixture of:
1. Not taking on anyone in Dec/Jan, as they will tend to be perpetual last minuters. That is probably the key step quite frankly.
2. Setting a deadline of end of October, and discussing it with clients very openly.
3. Ensuring clients who gives stuff to us late all the time, pay a fine now and again, albeit only if it comes in Jan onwards. We always do the December ones, but I do dangle them close to the deadline to give some sense of fear of late filing.
4. Generally moaning to clients to send it in earlier next time, and thanking those who do.
5. Nagging and reminders in phases from April. We nag the ones that came in last year around the same time + the ones from the next 6 weeks, and plug away every month from then in. then hit 'everyone else' from Sept onwards reminding them of the deadline.
6. £50-100 discounts in April/May.
7. Sacking perpetual late or disorganised people.

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Replying to ireallyshouldknowthisbut:
By lionofludesch
20th Dec 2018 11:19

ireallyshouldknowthisbut wrote:

4. Generally moaning to clients to send it in earlier next time, and thanking those who do.

Just had one of these. Bloke who bought a van last year and consequent had virtually no tax to pay and no payments on account for 2017/18. Told him his tax bill would be steep in the following year if he bought no more vans but he turned up in November, as usual.

Idiot Client - How much is the tax bill ?

Me - About £7500 in January, £2500 in July.

IC - Bless me (only he didn't say Bless), that's a lot.

Me - Would it've helped if you'd known earlier ?

IC - Oh aye. I could've save up. I didn't think it'd be this high.

Me - If only you'd brought your books in six months earlier ......

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Replying to JCresswellTax:
By Jane Evans
22nd Dec 2018 13:52

I tell clients that I expect all tax returns to be done by Christmas and they need to help me to achieve this by bringing in their papers in plenty of time.

I explain that I aim for
1/3 filed by mid July so the 31 July payment on account can be the correct figure.
1/3 by September when I tend to go on holiday.
The final 1/3 by Christmas and this date is reserved for clients with more complicated tax affairs.

Last year I sacked a friend from being a client as they did not honour their promise to be better following the previous year's 29 January effort. We got to early December and I told them that they needed to find a new accountant.

I find that January is still busy with providing assistance on how to pay eg HMRC not sending out statements, HMRC statements showing the wrong tax liability etc.

It doesn't go perfectly but I now have only 2 tax returns where I have no information at all, and 6 where we are waiting for one piece of information that is not in the client's control

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By bernard michael
20th Dec 2018 09:59

10% for existing clients but the new walk- in ones have stared increasing. Had 4 last week

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By adam.arca
20th Dec 2018 13:43

The only stat we track is tax returns out of the door for approval. We're looking like 30% still to do in Jan which is pretty much in line with every year.

That's not great, obviously, but it's also a bit pessimistically false as our policy is not to issue tax returns until we have approved accounts back, and a lot of those tax returns will be very, very easy to prepare / finalise. Plus we've got returns on the go or awaiting answers to queries.

All in all, am currently expecting everything to fall into place as usual.

Thanks (1)
By bettybobbymeggie
20th Dec 2018 14:49

So the winner is SXGuy with 2%. I have a bit of work to do to get there.

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Replying to bettybobbymeggie:
By SXGuy
24th Dec 2018 20:37

I'm probably not the norm but most clients come in 1 to 2 months after their accounting period, very rare to have any last minute type clients.

So I manage to get most SA's done way before January

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By SteLacca
20th Dec 2018 20:51

I don't think I'm too bad this year - one TR per working day will get me through, and many of those are whilst we prepare accounts, for clients who have January - March Y/E.

There will, of course, be the four or five usual suspects who are late year on year, and possibly one new one this year who isn't getting filed until he pays 50% of his invoice upfront. Personally, for the latter I've suggested we sack him as a client, but it's not my decision (he has literally paid off last year's this week whilst dropping his 12 months to 31 March info).

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By marks
20th Dec 2018 21:36

We have

52 (27%) not in
29 (15%) in progress
13 (7%) at review stage
101 (51%) either out for signing or filed

195 total

Probably have another 10 new clients to onboard onto our system that need a tax return done.

Much the same as each year as we usually have 50% still to go out in January. Hopefully move on some before the end of the month so can get down to 40% to get out in January.

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By Ken Howard
21st Dec 2018 18:05

Just did the numbers this morning with it being by last working day until new year. I've filed 92% and 3% are out for signature, so only 5% left and only half of those are unstarted. All those figures are as target and as previous years. January is usually very quiet!

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By Manchester_man
26th Dec 2018 01:46

I always go away on or around 1st February, after the rush, except this year I'm going at the beginning of January.

This is not because I'm organised; I've still got some March 31 ltd company year ends waiting to be done. It is just, for me, that January is not as big a deal as it was previously, partly thanks to technology and partly because most clients are limited company directors who have a small salary and dividends, so the majority of my tax returns are pretty simple.

I don't have any reasonable sized businesses that are not limited companies these days, so it makes January a lot easier.

My biggest stress in January is new client enquiries, all for piddling property rental tax returns or tiny self-employments, the type that are too small to put on monthly fees. The type who won't be in touch until mid January next year! I'll be slightly more selective this year.

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By petersaxton
04th Jan 2019 09:36

63% not done
and 44% not even received
Most are quite straightforward and I've done most of my limited company accounts (mainly 31/03/18 year end) and only had to extend a few deadlines with the "one day trick"
My new tracking system is going well

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