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HMRC reveals almost 300,000 tax returns submitted in the first week of the new tax year

14th May 2024
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Bright was created in 2021 when Thesaurus Software Ltd. and Relate Software Ltd. decided to join...
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It's May, the sun is (finally) out, and the last thing anyone wants to think about is filing client tax returns. After all, the deadline is over eight months away, surely nobody’s thinking about it right now? 

Well, you’d be surprised. Almost 300,000 tax returns for the 2023/24 tax year were submitted in the first week of this tax year (almost 10 months ahead of the deadline). Yeah, you read that right. Along with that, nearly 70,000 tax returns were made on the first day of the tax year. So, while the rest of us were busy eating Easter eggs, there was a good chunk of proactive people out there ticking tax returns off their to-do lists. 

Filing your Self Assessment early means people can spend more time growing their business and doing the things they love, rather than worrying about their tax return.” 

- Myrtle Lloyd, HMRC’s Director General for Customer Services 

Now, we know what you're thinking… How does someone even convince their clients to send over tax return records when the deadline is over half a year away? Well, what if we told you there's a way to change the game – rather than feeling flustered in January, set a new (and more manageable) internal deadline for August? 

The early bird catches the worm, and there’s an array perks to soak up from submitting early returns, including: 

  • Steady pace, less of a race: Early returns provide you with an opportunity to work at a more sustainable pace. 

  • Better budgets: Earlier returns let clients better plan their finances over the post-Christmas period. Also, if applicable, the earlier the tax return, the earlier a refund is received. 

  • Proof of income? Sorted: Clients need to apply to a loan or mortgage pronto? This tax return can be used as proof of income. 

  • Irons out problems early: If there are any issues or complications regarding a tax return, they can be resolved way in advance of the January deadline. 

I prepare for January in April. So, all my guys, last year, I said that October was my cut-off. So if you don’t have your stuff in to me by the end of October, I cannot guarantee January filing, because I just have that much work on.”  
- Amanda Lang, Maccass & Lang

Tips to transition towards an earlier tax return deadline 

Be clear in your communication and automate where possible 

Ensure your clients are crystal clear on the new deadline. Outline when documents are due, review dates, and response times. This level of transparency ensures everyone is accountable and on the same page. 

Also, busy season involves a lot of chasing, so be strategic about where you can automate these sorts of tasks. One way you can do this is by using a system like our cloud practice management software, BrightManager, which can automatically nudge your clients for you at a time of your choosing. 

Plus, there are over 40 pre-written email templates crafted by a qualified accountant (some of which are specifically designed for Self Assessment, including record request emails and tax payment reminders), so you won't have to start from scratch for an email ever again. 

Set your own internal deadline this tax season 

BrightManager isn’t just your average practice management solution. It offers personalised task lists for you and your team, where you can set your own internal deadlines. That way, you can work at a pace that best suits your firm. 

And that’s not all – BrightManager doubles as an internal filing system, securely storing all client documents. Clients can also access their own client portal, where they can share documents directly, e-sign on the spot, and check their tax liabilities. 

We don't have this ‘panic thing’ at all. In fact, the 31st of January means nothing to us – we set up our own deadlines in AccountancyManager.”  
- Khyam Chudhry, Fortuous Limited 

Have a smoother tax season this year with practice management software 

Remember, it's not just about meeting deadlines; it's about transforming the way you and your clients view the tax return process. So, what are you waiting for? Book a demo BrightManager today. Trust us, you’ll be thanking yourself come January. 

eleanor vaughey

 

 

Written by Eleanor Vaughey | Bright

 

 

 

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