Tax Accountants

Do I need a tax accountant?

Discover whether you need a tax accountant and learn what they specialise in.

What do tax accountants do?

Explore what tax accountants do on a daily basis and find out more about their services.

What are the tax return types?

Looking to find out about the different types of tax return? You can learn all about them here.

Do I Need a Tax Accountant?

You don’t need a tax accountant and having one isn’t a legal requirement, but the right accountant can make a big difference to your tax bill. Lots of people take care of their own bookkeeping and business accounts, and submit tax returns without any issues.


A tax accountant will help you pay the right amount of tax – and that includes making sure you don’t pay more than you should, as well as ensuring your tax return is compliant! Accountants do the job all day long, and can see what’s going on in other businesses besides yours. This sort of insight can prove useful, especially when it comes to being more tax efficient.

Do I Need a Tax Accountant?
What does a tax accountant do?

What does a tax accountant do?

An accountant will help your business meet its tax reporting obligations accurately and on time. It’s their job to analyse your financial records and use this information to prepare your tax return. A good tax accountant will also help you operate in the most tax efficient way possible. This might involve making recommendations for changing the legal structure of your business depending on your turnover, or how you pay yourself.

A decent accountant will also make sure that your tax return makes the most of every allowance or relief that’s available to you. For instance, including any allowable expenses in the calculation gives a more accurate idea of your profits, and helps to reduce the amount of tax that you pay.

Are there different types of tax return?

Just like there are different types of business, there are different types of tax return that go with them.

The legal structure of your business determines what type of tax return you must submit.

Self Assessment Tax Returns

Self Assessment is usually a requirement for people who work for themselves in business

Company Tax Returns

If you run a limited company, then you will need to send a company tax return about the business’s finances.

VAT Returns

You’ll only need to submit a VAT return if your business is VAT registered. Get more information on VAT returns.

CIS Tax Returns

The CIS return is a pretty similar concept to the PAYE scheme which employers use.

These are used to report untaxed income so HMRC can work out how much tax you still need to pay. Sole traders, partners, and partnerships submit Self Assessment returns to declare their business profits so they can pay their income tax bill. Directors of limited companies must also complete SATRs.

Even though contractors will make deductions from their pay, it’s still a subcontractors’ responsibility to pay the right amount of tax and National Insurance. The way you do this depends on whether you operate your subcontractor business as a sole trader, or as a limited company.

Businesses only need to submit a VAT return if they’re VAT registered. The requirement for VAT registration is based on turnover, and not on legal structure. Once registered, the business must submit regular VAT returns, so HMRC knows whether the business owes tax, or can reclaim it.

Limited companies submit a Company Tax Return to report their profits, so HMRC knows how much Corporation Tax the business owes. It’s separate to the director’s personal income, which they report through a Self Assessment tax return (and in some cases, through the company payroll, too).

As well as each individual person in the partnership completing a tax return, a Self Assessment tax return must also be submitted on behalf of the partnership itself. This will show how much profit the partnership has made, which is separate from how much the partners receive from it.

CIS tax returns are used by contractors working in the construction industry to report the details of their subcontractors’ pay, as well as the details of any tax deductions they make. Contractors then pay these deductions on to HMRC on their behalf, a bit like an employer does through PAYE.

How do I choose an accountant to help me with tax?

Whether you’re considering a move from your previous provider, or you’re starting a business and want some help, choosing the right accountant depends on your needs. If your industry is subject to very particular accounting requirements, then finding someone who specialises in those will make your life much simpler!

We go into it in more detail in our guide, Finding the Right Accountant.