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March 26th 2024

Tax year-end is coming: Don’t get stressed out!

The new tax year kicks off just as National Stress Awareness Month begins in April – which can feel like a bit of irony for many people who often find the tax season particularly tense.

Instead of rushing through relief applications, making hasty decisions, or worrying about your exemptions, we're advising our clients to embrace the spirit of Stress Awareness Month.

This year, we’re trying to smooth out the tax year-end process for our clients, ensuring it's as straightforward and stress-free as possible.

Whilst the tax year-end does not primarily apply to businesses, business owners should now be looking at their personal allowances, reliefs, and exemption applications.

The tax year-end doesn't have to be a source of stress – we're committed to transforming perceptions around it and minimising its emotional toll.

Why is the end of the tax year so taxing?

Many individuals feel the squeeze around the end of the tax year, and it's easy to see why.

It's a time when you've got to get all your ducks in a row – making sure you’ve correctly applied your allowances to avoid any trouble with the taxman.

And let's not forget, it's also the period to make some smart moves with your finances, planning how to best use your exemptions and reliefs, and managing your records so you can account for any tax you owe before the next Self-Assessment deadline (31 January 2025).

There's usually a scramble around this time of year as individuals attempt to make the most of their tax allowances before they reset, and for many, a rush to get advice from accountants or tax advisers who are usually quite busy around this time (I speak from experience here).

Keeping up with the latest twists and turns in tax laws doesn't help the stress levels, either – especially with the Spring Budget still lingering in the air.

It's a busy time, filled with strategic decisions and meeting crucial deadlines, all aimed at setting yourself up for a successful year ahead while making sure you stay on the right side of your personal tax obligations.

How to make it less stressful

My best piece of advice is to maintain orderly financial records throughout the year.

It's like keeping a well-organised workspace – when everything is in order, locating what you need becomes straightforward.

Our clients who keep up to date with their financial information always have an easier time when it comes to the tax year-end.

Similarly, understanding your tax obligations is another crucial step towards a smoother tax year-end.

Knowing what to expect from your Income Tax and Capital Gains Tax requirements makes the process much less stressful.

We always recommend setting aside money for your tax bill throughout the year to prevent the panic of finding funds at the last minute.

Regularly reviewing your finances, not just at tax time, allows for adjustments in response to any changes, ensuring you’re always in the best possible position to meet your obligations.

Utilising all your applicable tax allowances and reliefs can also lead to significant savings, much like using vouchers to economise on everyday expenses.

The importance of engaging with your accountant early also cannot be overstated.

Doing so gives you ample time to adjust your financial strategy, taking advantage of our insights to navigate the tax year with confidence and clarity.

Early consultation ensures that you’re prepared for the year ahead, minimising stress, optimising your financial health and reducing your stress levels.

I often find that clients who discuss the tax year-end with us well in advance are less stressed and in a much better financial position a few months later when 6 April comes around.

To help reduce your stress this tax year, please get in touch with our expert tax advisers.
Or email: enquiries@scholesca.co.uk

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