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Topics: accounting, Outsourcing, Tax, Tax outsourcing, Tax preparation, tax season

An Accountant’s Guide to Preparing Clients for the Self Assessment Tax Season

4 MIN READ | Posted on August 04, 2022
Written By Pooja Kshirsagar

preparing-clients-for-self-assessment-tax-season

The Self Assessment tax season is here once again. Some may argue that we are still in August and quite far from the Self Assessment tax return deadline for clients to even think about it. But as an accountant, it may just be the perfect time to begin preparing for the busiest season of the year.

We all know the benefits of planning ahead for the Self Assessment tax season. Not only does it save accountants from undue burden during the peak season but also facilitates productivity and creates the capacity to take up new work in the last quarter.

An essential part of preparing early for the tax season is powering up your clients. Sounds easy, right? Well, it’s not! In fact, preparing your clients for the Self Assessment season and getting them to submit their information on time is one of the toughest things to do.

Let’s admit it – all clients are not good clients. While some are mindful and way ahead of the Self Assessment tax return dates, several others don’t bother until the last minute. Dealing with the latter can be challenging, and the only solution is to begin powering them up as early as now.

Let’s look at some tips to help accountants prepare clients for the busy tax season.

Start with friendly reminders

As we said, it may be too early for clients to think about their Self Assessment tax return yet. But a friendly reminder can work like a soft nudge, making them aware of the tax season and their responsibility.

Send a simple email notifying your clients that you are geared up for the tax season and how they must follow suit. The reminder need not sound like a notice or ultimatum. Keep it short, simple, and friendly. You may also consider giving away an early bird offer to motivate clients to act promptly.

Set up a meeting

We get it – your clients are not ready for the tax season and may not want to get on a call to discuss it yet. But it’s your job to remind them how planning early can benefit you both.

Whether you and your clients prefer a face-to-face or a virtual meeting, block a convenient time and set up that meeting. Explain to your clients why you need to plan ahead for the tax season. Make them aware of the vital information you need from them to prepare and submit Self Assessment tax return.

Be a friend

We currently live in a world that is battling several issues at a time. The global pandemic, impending recession, growing unrest around the world, and the ever-increasing competition have been affecting individuals and businesses in numerous ways.

During these tough times, your clients don’t just need a consulting expert, they need a friend. Try and be that friend to them.

Instead of simply talking about the Self Assessment tax return dates, engage in a conversation that goes above and beyond. Ask your clients about their challenges and plan of action. Enquire about their business and personal goals. Assure them that you understand their issues and are always available to help.

Conduct follow-ups

Several times, a couple of friendly reminders and a personal meeting aren’t enough to get your clients to compile and send their data. You may need to do more than that – like conduct regular follow-ups.

To begin with, compile the points you discussed in the meeting and send them an email reminder. Follow up by sending a curated checklist of the list of documents and information they must share with you.

Gradually, begin sending reminders about the approaching Self Assessment tax return deadline and requesting them to get back to you before the busy season sets in.

Set deadlines

Even after multiple emails, calls, and meetings, some clients are just hard to break. To avoid the last-minute hassle and confusion, you must take the hard route with them.

If you are already on the brink of the busy season and your clients haven’t sent you their information yet, consider giving them a deadline and sending out an ultimatum. Inform them about the extra spending they will have to do in terms of penalty if they miss the deadline.

Let us warn you – this will not be easy. Giving an ultimatum and levying penalties may not be the best behaviour towards clients, but it is crucial. If you don’t want to miss the Self Assessment tax return dates with your clients and have them pay even higher penalties, you must adopt a stern approach.

Once the tax season is over, you can make it up to them with an exclusive offer on additional services or provide specialised guidance on intricate accounting matters.

Plan Early to Escape the Busy Season Chaos

The busy season isn’t a pleasant time for accountants. While the world revels in holiday cheer, accountants struggle with insufficient staff, deteriorating mental health, terrible work-life balance, and the seemingly never-ending tax returns.

While the last-minute workload cannot be averted entirely, it can certainly be managed better by planning early. Start communicating with your clients right away and remind them about the benefits of filing their Self Assessment tax return early.

Lastly, if you feel overwhelmed and would like professional guidance on dealing with your clients or sailing through the tax season, do not hesitate to reach out to us. Click here for more valuable tips and resources on navigating the Self Assessment tax season. To explore the scope and benefits of Self Assessment tax return outsourcing for your firm, dial +44-208-146-0808 or drop an email at [email protected].

 

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We hope you enjoyed reading this blog. If you want our team to help you resolve talent gaps, reduce costs and transform your business operations, just book a call. 

 

Pooja Kshirsagar

With a rich experience of curating content for various industries, Pooja believes in the power of words in marketing and building brands. She enjoys experimenting with different forms of content and is currently on a mission to add value to the accounting industry through her detailed and researched write-ups.

Originally published Aug 04, 2022 09:08:24, updated Aug 04 2022

Topics: accounting, Outsourcing, Tax, Tax outsourcing, Tax preparation, tax season


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