I’m not sure when it’s appropriate to stop saying “happy new year” but, as I’m writing this in early January, I’m hoping you’ll agree that it’s still acceptable – so a happy new year to you.
Have you made (and perhaps already broken) any new year’s resolutions? A quick Google tells me that the top resolutions for 2022 include things like losing weight, getting fit, spending more time with family and friends, travelling more and taking up a new hobby. But, given that we’re close to the tax year end, might I suggest that you also consider the following tax-based resolutions too:
I will get my tax return in earlier
Lots of our clients make this resolution, and it’s a good one to have! If your return goes in early there are two main benefits. The first is that you’ll know accurately how much tax you have to pay, and when. This means you’ll get a lot more time to plan and ensure you have the funds available to pay. The second benefit is that your tax return ‘enquiry window’ (the period in which HMRC can open a normal tax enquiry into your return) closes one year after filing – the quicker it’s filed, the quicker that year is closed off. As we are currently facing the 31 January tax return filing deadline, this is perhaps less of a resolution to start now but one to resolve for this coming April.
I will make use of the available tax reliefs
This is another worthwhile resolution to make, and there’s still time to act and achieve it before 5 April 2022. It could be that you can put more into your pension, add to an ISA, make Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) investments, or simply claim for working from home. It’s always worth having a review and making sure you’re making the most of the reliefs that are available to you. Our clients benefit from receiving our tax year end checklist, which serves as a helpful aide-memoire of the things that may be worth doing, claiming, or knowing about before the tax year end. Please contact me if you’d like to understand more about it and how it might help you.
I will plan ahead
If you want to make the most of professional tax advice, this is the resolution for you. One of the things I always say when talking to new clients is that I would far rather receive a phone call from you along the lines of: “I’m thinking about doing XYZ” than one that starts with “I’ve just done XYZ”. The simple reason is that when I get the first type of call, it’s more likely that I’ll be able to suggest something that will save you tax. When I get the second type of call the options are limited.
Planning for tax makes a lot of sense, and it doesn’t necessarily have to be done too far in advance. Big decisions like “I’m thinking about selling my business” or “I may move abroad” are scenarios where planning ahead as far as possible makes absolute sense. But even things like “I may buy a new asset for my business” or “I’m changing my car for an electric one” may also warrant a chat in the interests of saving tax.
I will get my Wills in order
It’s not just older people who should make this resolution. In fact, it can be more important to make your Will when you are younger, particularly if you have a family to support. Alongside careful planning around Inheritance Tax (IHT), the non-tax aspects of Will planning are often more critical.
I will pay less tax
Paying less tax is something that many people aspire to, and we understand that tax isn’t always a palatable expense. What I can say is that it’s critical you are paying the correct amount of tax, and it’s as low as possible because you’ve planned as well as you can and done what you reasonably can to take advantage of the reliefs available.
Achieve your resolutions with our help
I accept that not everyone has tax-based resolutions but, having read these, perhaps you might want to commit to one or two. If you want to share your tax resolutions with us, we’ll be happy to hear them and do what we can to help you see them through. Just get in touch with me by calling 0113 297 6789 or email me