Taking Action on your Finances

Most of us work incredibly hard to earn an income and although Britain is seeing a stronger economic recovery than many other European countries, finances still feel a bit tight. For the majority of people, there are opportunities to make improvements to their financial situation, by taking greater control over their money management.

Getting Organised

If you are self-employed, you should be used to filing your financial paperwork and keeping things in order. You should also be well aware of the dates when the self-assessment documentation has to be submitted. These factors make it far less daunting to complete the necessary paperwork each year. In turn, this reduces the chances that you will miss the deadline and therefore have to pay an additional fine.

This same philosophy applies to all of us. If we can organise our finances, file them in a logical way and keep a dairy of essential payment dates, we can help ourselves to keep on top of our income and expenditure. With a simple filing system in place, we should be easily able to look up the latest statement regarding our mortgage, utility bills, insurance cover and pension payments. This can help to reduce the risk of overspending, fines and missed payments.

Getting the Best Deal

From switching energy providers, to checking the interest rate on bank accounts and the returns on investments, it takes a little work to get the best deals. If you leave your money sitting in the same pot for years, it is unlikely to be reaping you the best rewards. An annual check is advised so you can see if you have your money in the best place, and search for the best alternative if not, can help reduce costs and increase income.

Tackling Financial Issues

Finances are seldom straight forward, so nearly all of us have some financial issues, which it could be highly beneficial for us to seek professional support to resolve. Pensions and investments and wills are some common examples where professional assistance can be sought to ensure everything is working to your advantage and legally binding.

Other issues include the settlement and solution for Employee Benefit Trusts (EBT), also known as Business Trust Funds. Once used as a form of reward for employees, the use of EBTs for tax avoidance has resulted in them no longer being seen as acceptable and action needs to be taken if you have received income via an EBT.

The deadline is approaching, but until 31 March 2015, HMRC are offering a settlement opportunity, so if you declare your EBT income, no further action such as litigation to be taken. For independent advice on the best ways to resolve your EBT issues, you can also seek support from financial specialists such as Pareto Lawrence http://www.paretolawrence.co.uk/employee-benefit-trusts/. Failing to take action is likely to lead to an unwanted brown envelope.

No matter what steps you need to take to gain greater financial control, make 2015 the year when you see more of your well-earned money.

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