Individuals

• Keep copies of correspondence such as P60s, annual interest statements and dividend slips in a safe place.
It is much easier to lay your hands on them at the end of the tax year if they have been safely filed away when received!

Sole traders, partnerships and limited companies

• Keep on top of your records. It is much harder to remember what happened 12 months ago than last week so doing your book keeping on a weekly or monthly basis is generally much quicker than trying to do it all in one go at the end of the year. It also gives you a much better idea of how your business is performing during the year

• Be organised. Number your sales and purchase invoices and make a note of how and when you were paid/you made a payment (eg cheque, BACS, cash, credit card). This way you know if you have settled all your debts, and you can identify if anyone hasn't paid you.

• If you spend a lot of time out on the road or away from where you keep your records make sure you have a system to keep invoices safe. It is very easy to lose small receipts such as fuel and postage, so having a plastic wallet or envelope in your vehicle can be a useful way to keep these safe. Starting a new one each month also helps you keep your paperwork organised.

• Be careful with duplicate receipts. Fuel receipts in particular can be an issue here. Many fuel retailers provide up to 3 separate slips for one transaction (the original receipt, a VAT version and a proof of card payment for example) and it is quite easy to enter the same transaction two or three times without realising. Keep an eye on dates and entries of the same amount to make sure this doesn't happen.