Taxes are said to be one of only two certainties in life, in addition to death, so if you have to pay your dues, it's worth getting a software program, especially with Brexit looming in 2019.
Fortunately, there are now a number of top quality packages ready to take away the stress and confusion of managing, calculating and filing your taxes – so you can continue with the most important task of maximizing your profits (or enjoying your expenses) hard-earned cash instead of filing tax returns).
These are the six programs that we think make the most impact on UK compatible tax management, but which suits you best depends on the size of your business, the desired automation and other software that you have set up.
Because this is such a wide area, you may want an app that takes care of your entire accounting process, in collaboration with an accountant, or you may just want a program that simply organizes and archives the records you already have – we & apos; I tried to choose a number of different options.
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Unlike some of the other products mentioned here that are tax-only, Sage offers a complete accounting package for small businesses. This cloud-based platform can naturally perform a range of financial tasks, including tax returns.
Sage Business Cloud Accounting fully integrates with a number of Sage tax solutions, depending on your exact needs, but whichever route you choose, the idea is to provide a seamless all-round solution that means much less monotonous and repetitive data entry for you .
You may want Sage Personal Tax, which allows you to prepare compliant SA100 tax returns and save them online at HMRC. Or you would need Sage Business Tax, which can be used to work out the taxable profit of sole traders and partnerships, or Sage Corporation Tax for compiling CT600 tax returns.
Whatever specific tax solution you need, they are all fully integrated with Business Cloud Accounting and can enable you to quickly submit accurate and compliant bills and tax returns to HMRC and Companies House.
And of course the cloud-based platform takes care of all your accounting and accounting needs, including the calculation and submission of digital VAT returns to HMRC – so there is a lot of power for small businesses, especially on the retail side.
Sage ' s entry-level accounting plan starts at £ 10 (plus tax) per month – with a 40% discount for the first three months at the time of writing – but you must contact the company for prices of the different tax solutions listed . Although Business Cloud Accounting does not have a free layer, as we noted in our full review, it does offer a 30-day trial to give it a spin.
- Sign up for tax solutions from Sage Business Cloud Accounting and Sage
Freeagent is a complete accounting package that also covers tax information, and is a powerful, comprehensive option that is suitable for small to medium-sized businesses or individuals with many records to keep. You can also choose to manage everything yourself or give your accountant access to Freeagent, where the software can make life easier for both of you.
It is certainly one of the most modern tools here, with a slick and stylish interface on the internet and mobile, and a pile of useful functions: automatic bank feeds, project time registration, support for invoices and payrolls, and so on.
Especially for tax management, Freeagent keeps track of everything while you are on the move, so that you know exactly what you owe and why at the end of the year. You can send your returns directly to HMRC via Freeagent with just a few clicks of the mouse, including tax forecast and real-time updates.
- Sign up for Freeagent from $ 9.50 a month, with a free 30-day trial available
Unlike Sage or Freeagent, GoSimpleTax is not a complete accounting solution for freelancers and companies – it is specifically aimed at getting your taxes in order, and it does this excellently. However, depending on your configuration, you need to do more work or get extra software to process all other components, such as billing and payroll.
The software takes you step-by-step through the process of filing your taxes, making sure you use the right conditions and prepare the right forms, and watch for any errors that might occur (which could really cost you). You will also receive suggestions on where you can save what, which is always welcome.
Everything fits seamlessly into the online HMRC interface, so you don't have to waste time jumping from one app to another. In addition to the web interface, you also have mobile apps that you can use to enter numbers and what your tax burden looks like (the mobile apps can even scan receipts).
What we like most about the software is that you really do not need expertise to complete a self-assessment of your tax obligations. As much as possible, the interface is written in a jargon-free language, with clear indicators of where to enter numbers and how they are processed.
- Sign up for GoSimpleTax from £ 15 per year, with a free 14-day trial available
TaxCalc has the mission to make your taxes as simple as possible, and we say it's a pretty impressive job: the software is packed with useful functions to get your documentation in order and the system is officially recognized by HMRC, so all submissions must run smoothly.
Whether you are a person, a public limited company or an accounting firm, TaxCalc has a software solution specially tailored for you and can even switch directly to larger accounting packages such as Xero. In some cases, you can get your documentation in order in just 30 minutes, TaxCalc claims.
The intuitive, step-by-step web interface guides you through the process of filing your taxes from start to finish – from choosing the right form, entering all the details about how much you have earned, submitting the form and making sure worry there are no errors. The tax that you owe is calculated in the background as you leave.
This is not the most comprehensive or best-designed tax software we have ever encountered, but it is friendly, functional and accessible, and comes with all the tools you need to meet that tax period.
- Sign up for TaxCalc from £ 30 a year
Nobody wants to spend an age to get their tax affairs in order, and few products take you through the process of filing returns as quickly and easily as Nomisma. It also gives you a number of standard accounting tools, so if you're looking for something that does more than just taxes, it might be Nomisma.
With regard to business operations, the software allows you to track invoices and orders, keep track of invoices and contracts and produce a variety of reports on the status of your financial affairs (including VAT comparisons where necessary). Not only can it save you time, it can save you money by letting you know where everything is at a certain time.
In the tax return and self-assessment components you will find that the software is fully HMRC compatible and is registered with the government, so you can submit your documents without leaving Nomisma. Much of the data you need can be entered automatically from the accounting module, but you can purchase the tax module separately if needed.
Nomisma offers you a clean and modern-looking interface for working anywhere on the internet, and if you have a mobile phone, an app is also available to keep track of expenses while on the move. It can also help your accountant to calculate the figures at the end of the year, if you have one.
- Sign up for Nomisma from £ 17.50 a month, with a free trial version available
As we said at the beginning, software packages for all types and sizes are available, from very simple tools to persuade you at the end of the process to fully developed accounting packages that contain everything you need to complete a Run a small business. . If you just want some simple help approaching the deadline for the tax deadline, try ABC Self-Assessment.
Whether you submit your self-assessment as a person or a partnership, or you have another complication to contend with – you may be non-resident in the UK, perhaps – ABC Self Assessment will point you in the right form.
While ABC Self-Assessment presents an interface that doesn't differ much from the one you get when you log in to the HMRC website and do your self-evaluation there, it streamlines the process so that you only see the questions and fields that are relevant to your circumstances . It's perfect if you don't want to spend a lot of money, but find the HMRC site a bit overwhelming.
What you don't get is accounting or accounting functions, so it's up to you to keep decent records up to now. You may find that ABC Self-Assessment works well with your existing financial software (or only your existing Excel spreadsheet).
- Sign up for ABC Self-Assessment of £ 15 + VAT per year, with a free demo available