Auld habits should be forgot - Your list for 2018

Santa’s work is done but the accountancy elves have another month to go.

So during the Christmas break i'll explain why accountants sound a little frayed in January. Also whilst thinking about all the well-intended home chore promises, it’s time to make a list and not just for those who’ve been naughty, but also the nice.

First on the domestic list (but last to do) is filing the bank and credit card statements.

Am I keeping too many or not enough?

Tax law requires that you retain business records for five years after the submission deadline for that period, personal tax records for 12 months after the following 31st January.

1st February is the new Bonfire Night.

Really? In this modern age do we need those quoted dividend vouchers or the Amex statement that managed to get home from holiday before we did? In most cases probably not. If you are confident that you can produce it to HMRC when requested you don’t need a paper copy adding to the thermal insulation in the loft. Take a look at and have a word with your contact at Scodie Deyong to see what can go on the February pyre, although the new air particulant safety guidelines may indicate shredding.

Remember that VAT and other rules may require that certain records are held longer – call if you are not sure what to do.

New Year’s resolution - go paperless on more things, glance at them on screen for screamers as they come in and file the email. Beats looking baffled at a piece of paper that has lived rent free in your house for a year and it seems you didn’t need in the first place. Then there’s tidying up the kit shelves, putting the books from the last birthdays and two Christmases on shelves unread, restocking Oxfam and Camden recycling etc. 

And when all that is done, the New Year list of things to do kicks in:

  • Shave
  • Check that directors of companies with 31st March year end paid their corporation tax on the way out to the NYE party 
  • Chase tax return boys and girls on the naughty list Finish up returns drafted before the break not yet approved
  • Remind folk that the late Christmas present for HMRC that is personal tax, neatly coinciding with December’s credit card bills, is to be paid by 31st January
  • Prepare a few more tax returns than a better behaved client base would have left Santaccountant with
  • Check that anyone with declining income has their tax instalments reduced
  • Communicate tax liabilities to the naughty list who didn’t get that pressie before Christmas 
  • Look at significant changes to all clients’ assets or lifestyle seen in preparing returns and consider Inheritance Tax or Will/Estate Planning implications 
  • Do my return (what did you expect?)
  • Hope our online filing ability doesn’t go down on 31st January (for the sake of those on the positively evil end of the naughty list) 
  • Go skiing











 Think any of this might apply to you and you haven’t spoken to your accountant yet? Keep yourself off the list of things to be done in February.