New MIP - Is Tax Software necessary?

I am about to be made redundant and have decided to see this as a positive opportunity to become self-employed, rather than dwell on the negatives of losing my job!

I have been using this forum loads, it is so helpful. I have contacted a local MIP regarding becoming my mentor and providing continuality cover, I am meeting her next week.

I am currently completing a business plan and I am registering as a MIP whilst I work towards experience to become licensed.

I have looked into software requirements, and think I will go for VT+ and Final Acounts, and MoneySoft to start with.

I have a question though, I have seen some threads regarding Ftax and Taxcalc. Is this software required to adequately run my business? I have completed self assessment tax returns online for family, using the online submission. What do these Tax software packages offer?

Thank you for your help.


  • Gem7321
    Gem7321 MAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 1,438
    I used to do my tax comps manually and then file them online using HMRC website but now I have more self assessments it's much too time-consuming. It's much easier to have the software do the calculations for you and then click a button to file.

    But no, it's not absolutely necessary to have.
  • burg
    burg Moderator, FMAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 1,441
    It's not a necessity but can save a great amount of time and hassle.

    I've never used the HMRC system but have down paper returns back in the day and using software is so much simpler.

  • T.C.
    T.C. Registered, Tutor Posts: 1,448
    If you are only doing individual tax returns, then the HMRC is sufficient.
  • Laura8192
    Laura8192 Registered Posts: 95 ? ? ?
    thanks everyone, think I'll start without and see how I go, can always buy some software at a later date.
  • JodieR
    JodieR Registered Posts: 1,002
    The first year I was self employed I used HMRC's software for tax returns but the following year I couldn't find a way of printing out a tax return which looked like a tax return, it only printed out a list of box numbers and the amounts alongside which didn't look at all professional so I switched to FTax. Hopefully this has been rectified by now though!
  • Monsoon
    Monsoon FMAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 4,071 ? ? ?
    I used HMRC free software until I got to about 10 clients, by which time it was a pain in the butt (I understand their software is better now). I switched to FTax and haven't looked back. That was about 2005 or 2006.
  • Hollysan
    Hollysan Registered Posts: 68 ? ? ?
    I use proprietory software for limited companies, but I still use the HMRC software for individual tax returns because I know it really well and it doesn't take very long at all - it's pretty good.

    I tried the HMRC CT tax return software a couple of years ago and it was a nightmare - never again. You can buy lots of good stand-alone software for tax only and I agree with the others - you will reach a critical point where you feel you need it....

    Good luck with your practice.

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