Have I left it too late to get an accountant for January 18 tax return? Do you even get accountants that want '£15 per hour gardeners and handyman' type work?I completed January 17 as a sole trader working out of a car claiming a mileage allowance as simplified expenses. I paid about £1500 in tax and survived the experience.I've now got a van to include in Jan 18. I had optimistically thought I could claim everything (the van cost, the repair, fuel and insurance bills) as an expense.However, the HMRC help pages on simplified expenses vs actual costs and allowable expenses and writing down allowances is going round and round and getting more baffling with each read. As far as I can see from the HMRC checker I'm better off claiming actual costs on the van. So I create a main pool and write down 18% of the van cost per year. Bills like insurance and repairs still go into business expenses?Sorry to be a numpty but it's a bit stressful when confronted with a spreadsheet and officialdom. What with the weather you may have time to compose a gentle response and maybe spread a little good will and Christmas cheer...

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  • PRO

    I don't think you'll have a problem finding an accountant Tim. Have a look around your local area and make some calls.

    I think your dealings will be easy for an accountant to deal with and it's best to get yourself sorted sooner rather than later.

  • PRO Supplier

    You can get experienced bookkeeper types who can fill in the tax form and know how to submit everything properly, but if you want tax 'advice' and options for claiming then a fully qualified accountant would be better.....there's a difference in price however...

    Perhaps as its early days an accountant would be better - set up a 'template' and plan for claiming expenses & filing returns then hand over in future years to a (cheaper) good bookkeeper?

  • PRO

    You may find many local accountant firms to you will gove a free consultation so you can ask loads of questions. I would recommend you do get professional advice as the tax man will not be sympathetic if you get it wrong. Book Keeping rates are less than an Accountant so may be an option is you are on tight budget.

    Personally I suggest spending a small sum to get an Accountant to sort it as if they do their job well they can save their fees in less tax due plus give you assurance you are in safe hands. Once you get more in tune with the ins and outs of it all you could dial it back to getting a qualified book keep to help in the future. However, a proper Accountant will always be the best option. 

    • as Russell says, the down side if you take it back on is if there is a change in the tax system it can take you a long time to find out the details a accountant will be up to speed quickly with the help of his professional body 

  • PRO
    A good, small business experienced Accountant is the best person you’ll ‘never’ employ.
  • Try local small accountants.

    I have a lady who works from home, has 3 kids and a few pets. She is the perfect person for one man/woman bands like us. Or try retired accountants who are very knowledgeable and do not charge the world either. Some wont have shiny websites either. Use the power of Google maps to find them. Merry Christmas

    • Thanks everyone. Much appreciated.
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