The taxman; often synonymous with the bogeyman, these two words can strike fear into the heart of even the most law-abiding business person, conjuring up images of massive piles of forms to be filled out, paperwork to be prepared and files to be sorted. All of which need doing within a certain time frame, to a certain specification and with penalties and fees to pay if they are not done correctly.
Of course there is not one scary taxman knocking on everybody’s door demanding payments, but tax and taxation is undeniably fairly complex and should be approached sensibly. Tax offices are not nearly as scary as they are often made out to be and there is a wealth of help and information out there. But managing your own affairs can be time consuming and frustrating. You will indeed be liable for penalties if you are late filing your tax returns or making payments, so you need to factor in some time to prepare your books and paperwork for every financial year.
Ask the experts
It really is worth calling in the professionals when it comes to your finances. There is a whole host of legislation surrounding taxation and this can change fairly regularly with new budget and new governments. Accountants and tax specialists will be up to speed with all of this legislation and can make sure that you are compliant in every area.
Even if you run a small business or do not think you will have to pay any tax, it is still worth hiring a professional to help with certain aspects of your paperwork. In some cases, you may even be due a rebate.
An added complication
Depending on where your business is registered you may be liable to comply with the tax laws of another country. In this instance, you would be well advised to speak to a company which offers professional advice surrounding the specific laws relating to that country.
For example, if you are an expat from the US living abroad, a US citizen setting up an offshore company or investing in a company based in the United States, then you will be liable to comply with the United States tax system, no matter where you live in the world.
The US tax system is a complex and difficult one, almost impossible to understand unless you are a qualified accountant or tax lawyer. Once you add into the equation the extra requirements surrounding your international status, then you could find yourself sinking in a sea of indecipherable paperwork. It really is not worth incurring penalties over late or misfiling of paperwork, as this is something which is easy to do given the right advice.
Whether you are an individual, partnership or corporation, or you are managing a trust or estate on behalf of someone else, you will feel much more peace of mind by turning to the experts.