Turkey or tax? Four reasons to start your Self Assessment over the Christmas holidays

The festive period is a great time to take a break and recharge your batteries. You may be looking forward to some well-deserved downtime but if you’re keen to take advantage of a quiet period in your business and catch up on some admin, this could also be a great time to roll up your sleeves and get started on your 2014/15 Self Assessment.

Tackling your tax return over the festive season might sound like a step too far, but it’s becoming an increasingly popular option. Last year, almost 25,000 people filed their tax return with HMRC between December 24th and 26th, and that includes 1,773 people who filed on Christmas Day!

Although it might not be the best time of year for everyone, there are some great reasons why you might want to think about tackling your Self Assessment over the festive period if you get the chance.

You may have more time and fewer distractions

Many businesses face a slight slowdown during the festive season - especially on Christmas Day and Boxing Day when clients are usually having a break too - so this can be a good opportunity to get your ducks in a row for January. Whether it’s gathering your figures together in order to get your Self Assessment started, or making some headway with filling out the forms, you’re likely to get more done while your clients are taking some time off and the phone isn’t ringing off the hook!

You should be less likely to make mistakes

If you're rushing to pull everything together in the weeks or days leading up to the Self Assessment filing deadline of 31st January, you’re far more likely to enter incorrect information or accidentally forget to include something important. Getting started nice and early over the festive period means you’ll save yourself the stress and worry of trying to pull all your figures together in a hurry.

You could take time out from Christmas stress

Tired of turkey? Bored of board games? Sick of squabbling? Self Assessment may not be the most enjoyable task in the world, but when Christmas starts to feel a bit much, it’s a great reason to excuse yourself from the festivities and have some quiet time away from the hubbub - and the best part is you’ll make some progress on your tax return while you do it!

You’ll have a more productive (and peaceful) January

At the start of a new year, many freelancers and small business owners make resolutions and seek to implement long-lasting changes in their businesses. For you, that might mean reviewing your profit margins, taking on new clients or branching out into new markets - but it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to make that fresh start with the prospect of an outstanding tax return looming in the background. If you complete and file your tax return over Christmas, you’ll have all of January to concentrate on getting 2016 off to a great start!

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