It’s July, we’ve had an election, Wimbledon is on the tele, tales of Clacton being hotter than Marbella abound, trains are cancelled because the heat is effecting the points or the cables so now is the time to start thinking about January 2018.
Why? Well of course I’m referring to the annual filing deadline and if you want it to be as smooth as possible and you don’t want to be working endless hours throughout the month trying to resolve negligent clients problems just to save them a fine then now is when you have to start planning.
Already in the first week of July 2017 you have a very good idea who will be bringing in their records (hopefully they have some records) in December and January because they always bring them in in December and January.
If you don’t want the situation to continue and remember we don’t yet know that Making Tax Digital will come to your rescue for the future but for this upcoming January it’s an irrelevance anyway, you have to do something positive because doing nothing will guarantee the same results as every year.
So in the cold light or should I say hot light of July start by listing up the usual suspects that always leave it to the last minute and devise a plan of campaign to get their records in.
You could start by pointing out how many times they have brought in their records in the month of January and the stresses this places on your staff and yourself and also point out how little time this gives you to best advise them going forward. You could inform them that this year you will as a result be increasing your fee if this happens again.
You may want to go on charm offensive and say that you have numerous ways of keeping their tax liability to a minimum but to do that you need to know their profits sooner rather than later which means getting the records in earlier.
You could decide that now is the time to get angry and write to them stating that you will not guarantee to file their Tax Return by the filing deadline if they bring in their records in January which will result in a minimum £100 fine and if you want to be angrier still you could say that you will not accept any records in the month of January.
You may opt for an approach that imposes a % increase in the fee for records brought to you in January which could even be increased weekly in the month.
Whatever you decide now in the heat of July, just remember that hothouse feeling of pressure you and your staff and most likely your family feel every January and do something because if you don’t you will be feeling the heat in January.