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I'm a Self Employed Tradesperson, Do I Need an Accountant?

The idea of crunching numbers, dealing with HMRC and handling your taxes can feel daunting to individuals thinking about becoming self employed tradespeople. From plumbers and sparks, to plasterers and gas engineers, many of us harbour concerns about looking after our own finances once we become self employed.

Whether you’re keeping records of every invoice, receipt and expense, or doing battle with HMRC’s self-assessment, it’s certainly true that taking on your tax single-handed can be a battle. For many self employed tradespeople the stress and the tedium simply aren’t worth it, sending them running to a qualified accountant.

But do you really need an accountant to handle tax as a self employed tradesperson? Surely it’s an unnecessary expense? Well – not necessarily. In this blog we’ll be taking a closer look at whether hiring an accountant is a shrewd move or a waste of your hard-earned cash. Which path is right for you?

CONS of hiring an accountant

  • The expense – Accountancy services don’t often come cheap. While there are lower cost options out there compared to traditional accountancy (like Tax Doctor), you’ll still need to effectively spend money in order to pay the Government more money.
  • You can do it yourself – Self-assessment was designed to be exactly that – a way for self employed individuals to account for their own earnings. Every year hundreds and thousands of self employed individuals complete their tax return alone. You can too.
  • Less awareness – Working through your self-assessment can be a great way to get an overview of your business and how well you’re doing. When you hire an accountant you’ll miss out on this, and may be unaware of decisions your accountant has taken on your behalf.

PROS of hiring an accountant

  • Stick to what you’re good at – In some cases, you’ll make more money simply getting on with what you do best compared to the money you’ll save by agonising through your tax return.
  • Never miss an expense – Accountants are very helpful when it comes to identifying ways you can save on your tax bill, helping to identify expenses you can claim which you may never have thought of, thus minimising your bill.
  • Peace of mind – Done, dusted, taken care of with minimal muss and fuss – and you know you won’t have HMRC hammering on your door next year. Priceless.

Are you a self employed tradesperson? Do you use an accountant or go it alone? Share your wisdom, tips below.