In general, not everyone needs an accountant in England. You need an accountant if you have any income other than your salary (under PAYE).
So if you are an employee and your only income is your salary, you do not need an accountant.
If however, you have other sources of income such as receiving rents in Greece, dividends, self-employment income etc, you are advised to speak to an accountant to avoid tax complication and even penalties in the future.
We use the term “you are advised” because the law does not actually require you to do so (have an accountant). You do not have to hire an accountant for your tax and accounting issues, if you have good knowledge of the tax and accounting regimes, saving that way some money.
However, despite that the above sounds encouraging, experience has shown that most of those who dealt with their accounting and taxes affairs themselves, have made important errors which have cost them penalties or had to have an accountant to amend their submissions and that actually has cost them more than the initial service would have.
Also, if we are talking about companies, it is often more wise to assign it to an accountant rather that do it by yourself, as the financial statements are required to be submitted by commercial software and therefore, the relevant software must be purchased. This usually costs at least £ 600 (for a complete package), while the accountant can charge much less, if your accounts are simple. This is because accountants purchase the relevant accounting software package as partner and thus, wins through economies of scale or more simply, have the right to use one software for multiple clients.
It is important to note that the right accountant for you is not just someone who will do the calculations and submit your forms when requested, but also someone who will guide you, evaluate and predict future pitfalls that would otherwise inevitably occur.
A typical example is company formation which although is a relevantly simple process and tempting decision (due to flexible management of funds for taxation purposes), is not always the right one, since many believe or are incorrectly informed - advised that they could pay less in Gov contributions. This is falsely believed mainly by those living outside England.
Having an accountant who is an expert in English and international tax systems as well as double taxation treaties is crucial, in order to have a clear idea of what business owners should expect.
Translated / Edited by, Apostolia Nestoratou.
© 2020 UPECO LTD
This article intends to give only a general informative picture and should not, in any case, be taken as a rule. It is strongly recommended to seek a full and professional guidance specifically for your circumstances before making any decisions.