Coping with the high demand of self-assessment tax returns in January


Head of Marketing & Communications

The self-assessment tax return system has now been in place for 17 years. Yet, many accountants still describe January as ‘horrible’, ‘rushed’ or simply ‘manic’. It is the same every year – during the months of December and January there is a mad rush of tax preparation work and excessive stress to meet the 31st January deadline. But why is January ‘rushed’?  There are several reasons:

  1. Clients have not responded to reminders and prompts to submit the paperwork
  2. You have taken lots of new clients in the preceding months but are now finding it difficult to get the right caliber of staff to undertake the preparation work.

What can accountancy practices consider to gear up for January?

  1. Create an explicit list of clients for whom you need to file a return
  2. Remind clients about the information you need from them
  3. Ensure that your tax return software is completely up-to-date with the latest statutory changes
  4. Make sure you know exactly what stages the returns you are working on have reached
  5. Figure out your team’s range of skills and their ability to do the work efficiently.

Other strategy

As technology makes it easy to collaborate with people across the globe, accountants can look at another innovation: tax preparation outsourcing. The process is simple. You scan your client’s documents and send them along with the previous year’s tax file to the outsourcing provider. Or you can upload the documents to your server and the outsourcing company can access the data remotely on your system.

What are the good points?

  • It’s efficient, particularly for firms dealing with staff shortages
  • It reduces long work hours and weekend staffing requirements
  • Faster turnaround time due to time-zone differences
  • It lets your practice handle more work
  • It offers low labour costs due to wage differentials
  • Converts variable cost of tax preparation to a fixed cost
  • It removes the concern about the skills of your own team

About QXAS outsourcing

Established for 8 years and with a track record of supporting accountancy practices when they need us in January, QXAS can assure you of a faster turnaround time.

Here’s a brief summary of the main features

  • Lead by a passionate ACCA accountant and Xero certified advisor, Dishant Desai
  • Trained staff with expertise in Sage, Tax Calc, IRIS, PT Pro, CCh, Capium, Digita
  • Get report formatted to your practice style, ready to present to your clients
  • Primary documents never leave the UK
  • Dedicated account manager
  • Our services meet ISO 9001:2008 quality standards
  • We hold ISO 27001:2013 for data security standards
  • Compliant with the UK Data Protection Act
  • Increase your net profits by up to 50%

Our established team has practical UK tax and accounitng experience, so you know that whatever your problem, we can find a solution. To discuss call 0870 803 1033 or email [email protected]


My name is Vishal Kurani, the author of the QXAS blog and I appreciate you stopping by! I help accountants gain Accounts Outsourcing knowledge through my easy to follow blogs and guides. Download my free guide "The Accountants Guide to Making Payroll Profitable" to learn how to make payroll profitable for your accountancy practice. More Posts(105)  

Originally published Jan 11, 2016 03:01:35, updated January 11 2016

Topics: Tax outsourcing

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