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Firstly, as a company that has your best financial interests at heart, if you can do the return yourself, then we suggest you do it yourself and save an accountant’s fee!

In all honesty it isn’t that complicated once you have created a government gateway account, set up a personal tax account, registered for self-assessment, wrote down numerous user i.d's and passwords, waited to get an activation code, got your total income before tax from employers and contractors and know where to put it on the return!

However, what you’re paying for peace of mind is, saving time, saving stress, having somebody to ask questions, having somebody that can contact HMRC on your behalf, someone that can recover lost information, somebody that can advise you on ways to improve, somebody that you can contact anytime.

We think its best summed with the tale of the broken engine and the old man and it goes like this:

A giant engine in a factory failed. The factory owners had spoken to several ‘experts’, but none of them could show the owners how they could solve the problem.

Eventually, the owners brought in an old man who had been fixing engines for many years. After inspecting the huge engine for a minute or two, the old man pulled a hammer out of his tool bag and gently tapped on the engine.

Immediately the engine sprung back into life.

A week later the owners of the business received an invoice from the old man for £10,000. Flabbergasted, they wrote to the old man asking him to send through an itemised bill. The man replied with a bill that said:

Tapping with a hammer: £2.00
Knowing where to tap: £9,998.00

The moral of the story is that, while effort is important, having the experience to know where to put that effort makes all the difference.

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