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Poll: I usually need help in filing my taxes for my business.
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
SITE STAFF
May 7

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "I usually need help in filing my taxes for my business.".

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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 15:18
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Other (I have all the help I need) May 7

I do my own invoicing but I have an accountant for the quarterly VAT returns, the yearly listing and all the other financial statements. Paying someone else to take care of the taxes has been great because it saves me time and she is worth every euro I pay her!

Alexandra Speirs
Paul van Zijll
Philippe Etienne
ipv
Muriel Vasconcellos
 

Philippe Etienne  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 16:18
Member
English to French
Yes May 7

If I can avoid tax-related matters, I will. I have an accountant to do that for me, and I only make sure clients receive invoices and I receive payments.

I assume all translators agree that hiring a professional to do a specialised task is often quicker, better and cheaper in the long run than doing it oneself or asking the brother-in-law's cousin who's watched a few videos on YouTube about the matter.

For non-critical or more "strategic" activities, I use the DYI appro
... See more
If I can avoid tax-related matters, I will. I have an accountant to do that for me, and I only make sure clients receive invoices and I receive payments.

I assume all translators agree that hiring a professional to do a specialised task is often quicker, better and cheaper in the long run than doing it oneself or asking the brother-in-law's cousin who's watched a few videos on YouTube about the matter.

For non-critical or more "strategic" activities, I use the DYI approach, at my own risk: web presence, IT/network troubleshooting, marketing, purchase specification, training...

Philippe
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Liena Vijupe
Kaisa I
Philip Lees
 

Angus Stewart  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 15:18
Member (2011)
French to English
+ ...
No May 7

In the UK, the self assessment process for filing taxes is straight forward enough that I can do it all myself without any external help.

Sabine Braun
Tom in London
Mario Freitas
Nikolay Novitskiy
 

Michael Harris  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 16:18
Member (2006)
German to English
Yes May 7

I have an accountant that does all fininacial stuff for me (except write my invoices). He is worth his money in gold and has saved me a lot in the past and his hints have been a benefit to me in all cases.
He does cost me about €3.000 / year, but this can be deducted as "normal" expenses.
The tax system here in Germany is not very transparent and official accountants have to do mandatory courses here.


 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 16:18
Spanish to English
+ ...
Yes May 7

I take responsibility for the things that I can handle myself. However, I don't do my own vehicle repairs, plumbing, electrical installation or dental work, and, likewise, I'd rather have someone doing my tax returns who knows all the ins and outs, the appropriate forms to use and which boxes to tick and which ones to avoid.

Teresa Borges
Philip Lees
Philippe Etienne
 

Yolande Hivart
Austria
Local time: 16:18
Member (2016)
German to French
No May 7

I have learned to do it myself

I like to keep things affecting my business under my control and understanding. Sometimes it seems that the inland revenues gets suspicious of people doing their own paperwork but so far there is no question that I could not answer to their satisfaction.

I will not get an accountant before the business is big enough that i can officially employ myself and distinguish my income from the company's income.


Mario Freitas
 

Kay Denney  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 16:18
Member (2018)
French to English
. May 7

I do it myself and it's straightforward. I clicked on "I would like to have help" because I really hate that part of being a freelancer. I do realise that the time I would take to explain to someone how to help, I could have done it myself, so I just knuckle down when I have to.

 

Michael Wetzel  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 16:18
German to English
No May 7

In Germany, the self assessment process for filing taxes is straight forward enough that I can do it all myself without any external help.

 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 15:18
Member (2008)
Italian to English
No accountant necessary as long as you know what you're doing May 7

I used to have an accountant in Italy. He used to pester me at least 2 or 3 times a month about documents that needed to be gone over, signed, etc.

This meant I had to get dressed, get into my car, and drive across the city to spend an hour with him, and then drive back again.

He took up a lot of my time and - worst of all - he based his fees on my income: the more I earned, the more he charged me. His reasoning was that since he was helping me to make more money and
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I used to have an accountant in Italy. He used to pester me at least 2 or 3 times a month about documents that needed to be gone over, signed, etc.

This meant I had to get dressed, get into my car, and drive across the city to spend an hour with him, and then drive back again.

He took up a lot of my time and - worst of all - he based his fees on my income: the more I earned, the more he charged me. His reasoning was that since he was helping me to make more money and pay less tax, he was entitled to a cut.

His wife kept my books. During these visits I carefully watched what she was doing.

When I finally got away from all this and left behind the incomprehensible nightmare that is the Italian fiscal system (especially for non-Italians, who can't get away with cheating) I moved to the UK and hired an accountant just to get myself set up.

A couple of years later I knew enough to start doing it all myself. My visits to the accountant became very rare. I only needed him for occasional one-off clarifications, most of which could be done by email.

Having moved back to the UK I was delighted to find that so long as you're careful, the UK tax system is quite straightforward, and everything is clearly explained (unlike Italy).

So now I'm completely autonomous with regards to monthly book-keeping (which I actually enjoy) and doing my annual tax returns. This saves me a lot of time and money, and I can understand my own finances without needing an accountant.

But for this to work, you need to devise a system for yourself - a series of procedures and cross-checks of invoices, expenses, etc., all based on spreadsheets that you create yourself, and which you refine over time.

This all makes the monthly book-keeping process fairly routine and simplifies everything when the end of year comes and you have to do your tax return.

Needless to say, you have to systematically file all the relevant documentation, and keep it for 5 years.

[Edited at 2020-05-07 11:03 GMT]

Note added later: the fundamental difference between the Italian and the UK tax systems is that the Italian system assumes you're going to cheat any way you can, whereas the UK system assumes you're honest.


[Edited at 2020-05-07 11:54 GMT]
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Nina Khmielnitzky  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 11:18
Member (2004)
English to French
I couldn't do it alone May 7

I prepare my invoices, but I definitely need my accountant to file my tax return. I've never done it myself in all the years I've been working.

Kaisa I
 

Marjolein Snippe  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 16:18
Member (2012)
English to Dutch
+ ...
I replied yes... May 7

... because I am pretty sure my accountant saves me lots of time, money and frustration.
I think I may be able to do this myself (perhaps after a crash course) but I am very happy to leave this to my accountant.

I filed my own taxes when I had just moved back to the Netherlands, had set up my business but had not had time to find an accountant yet. It was not nice. Taxes here are easy to file for private citizens, who get everything explained to them in relatively easy languag
... See more
... because I am pretty sure my accountant saves me lots of time, money and frustration.
I think I may be able to do this myself (perhaps after a crash course) but I am very happy to leave this to my accountant.

I filed my own taxes when I had just moved back to the Netherlands, had set up my business but had not had time to find an accountant yet. It was not nice. Taxes here are easy to file for private citizens, who get everything explained to them in relatively easy language. However, no such treatment is available for businesses. I kept flipping back and forth, ticking whichever box that seemed plausible-ish got me to the next step. ("So, if I tick "yes", then what is the next question? That can't be right. "No" it is then. OK. OK. Huh? No, wait. Maybe that should have been "yes" after all, then. Go back. Go back. "Yes". And so on...)

Long live my accountant!
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Liena Vijupe
Paul van Zijll
Nadja Balogh
P.L.F.Persio
 

Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Swedish to English
+ ...
Yes and no May 7

A limited company’s accounts have to be signed off by an accountant by law.

But I do my own bookkeeping. It isn’t hard. Money in less money out.


 

Jessica Noyes  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 11:18
Member
Spanish to English
+ ...
Turbotax May 7

I used to work with an accountant until his assistant got sick and he filed my taxes late. Then he stuck me with the late fee!
Now I use an on-line program called Turbotax, and I not only does it cost less to use than the accountant fee, but I am paying lower taxes than before. This is probably because now that I know exactly what's going on, I can find every little deduction.


 

Tina Vonhof
Canada
Local time: 09:18
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Required May 7

In my country an accountant is required if you have a registered or incorporated business and I'm happy to comply because my accountant has often made valuable suggestions that have saved me money.

 
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