All posts by Helen

Tax Return – Have you done yours yet?

With the impending Tax Return deadline of 31st January getting closer by the day, have you done yours yet? If not, Dovetails can help. 

We understand doing a Tax Return can feel daunting, and it’s easier to put it off after a busy day in the office. In our office, we love nothing more than helping people just like you. Busy business owners and entrepreneurs, or with their side hustle making them a bit of extra money for Christmas or for summer holidays with the kids, people who don’t have much time available. Let our trained eye and talent for detail take that pressure away, Dovetails will do the legwork for you, leaving you free for the important things in life like the school nativity or late night Christmas shopping trips to get everything perfect for the big day. Or simply freeing you to spend time with family.

Accounts are our passion and we want to help you get it right.

What do we do?

At Dovetails, using our specialist HM Customs & Revenue approved software we can:

  • Check you’re paying the right amount of tax
  • Complete your tax return and
  • Calculate the amount of tax you owe
  • File the return online for you

To help us, you’ll need to give us things like business bank statements, receipt for purchases, sales records, payroll details for how much you’ve paid your staff, expenses information, and we’ll collate it all together for you so we can let you know when you need to pay the amount you owe.

As we race headlong towards December, don’t forget you won’t want to use any of your precious January income on an instant £100 fine if you miss the 31st January deadline.  Plus if you leave it until the last minute, you run the risk of rushing and making a mistake or being late and incurring a further £10 per day fine if you haven’t filed by 30th April.

An accountant is for life, not just for Christmas!

Whilst we’re always here to help you with your January tax return, don’t forget Dovetails can help you year-round with monthly tax preparation, bookkeeping and payroll services and much more besides. The core of our business is providing tax services, bookkeeping and accountancy services to sole traders, partnerships and limited companies. We aim to make your finances as straight-forward and easy to understand as possible, while also being able to free up your time to spend on other areas of your business and ensuring that all compliance requirements are met.

Run your business on YOUR terms, get in touch today to start the conversation on 01925 909160 or by emailing

#dbas #accountants #bookkeeping #warrington #cheshire #Januarytaxreturn #taxreturn #taxspecialists #localbusiness #businessowners #sme #smallbusiness #entrepreneurs 

Autumn 2023

We just wanted to let you know some of the updates and improvements that we have been making at Dovetails over the last few months.

Ring the changes

Our first big investment in the business was a new state-of-the-art phone system. Infinitely portable, we’re now contactable both in the office and when we’re away from our desks making it easier for you to get in touch. We feel this switch from the old call answering service to the new voicemail system allows us to get closer to our clients, making access to our services more accessible. And if for any reason we can’t answer your call, leave us a message and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

Practice Management

In an ever-changing business world, we continually monitor the best way to liaise and work with you and we’ve enhanced our offering through our new practice management software. This will become a vital part of how we run our business and in turn, how we communicate and work with you. For Dovetails, this gives us greater ability to manage workflows and track deadlines, but this new system has many benefits to you too:

  • A new client portal which can be used to securely upload documents and information to without the need for emails or third party software such as WeTransfer or Dropbox.
  • The facility for our clients to get copies of historic documents from the client portal, such as accounts or Tax Returns from earlier years.
  • Facility to log on and update details or fill in any gaps in the information that we hold or to change addresses etc.
  • A new signing portal to complete the electronic approval and signature of documents.
  • A new email address,, which will automatically go to all team members so that it can be picked up and dealt with by the most appropriate area of our expertise.

What’s in the pipeline?
The system that we are using is rapidly developing with more and more features being added all the time, such as a mobile app in the pipeline, and we will update you of these as and when appropriate. As mentioned, the change has been a significant one which is quite complex in nature, so please bear with us while we complete the set up with some items that may need a bit of a polish or fine tuning to be set up to the standard that we constantly strive for. As part of the switch, we’ll also be re-running the AML checks that we are required to carry out for every client, and issuing new and updated letters of engagement that we are also required to hold, so please keep your eye out for a notification that this has been added to the signing area of your client portal.

We have also been trying to be more active and visible on social media, so please give us a follow…

Dovetail Bookkeeping and Accountancy Warrington LinkedIn Dovetail Bookkeeping and Accountancy Warrington Facebook

Part Timers

With the late summer Bank Holiday almost upon us, we thought we’d share something we are often asked at Dovetail – how do you calculate holiday pay for staff who work variable or part-time hours?

Dovetail can calculate your part time employee wages

Statutory Rights for bank holiday leave

Did you know there is no statutory right in the UK for your employees to have or take bank holidays off work, including those which are for religious reasons? The first thing we’d recommend is making sure you take the appropriate steps to get your bank holiday intentions set out in your contract of employment, there is a wealth of information on for this or a reputable HR company can help refresh your contracts.

From a pay point of view however, it’s common (and often expected) that bank holidays are a right or if you have employees working on bank holidays, they are paid at a higher rate than their usual wage to compensate for this although again, there is no legal requirement to do so. Your intentions for this this should be stated in your employment contract although arguably, additional time off or time at a higher rate of pay can make an employee feel valued and appreciated. But how do you actually calculate the pay and entitlement to the bank holidays to ensure part time employees are no better or worse off than full time employees? The answer is actually refreshingly simple – you convert their holidays to a number of hours.

Hourly rate

By law, full time employees are entitled to a minimum of 28 days paid leave per annum and it is at your discretion as employer whether the 8 bank holiday days of these are included within these 28 days of paid leave. Indeed if you prefer, they could be in addition to these 28 days, as mentioned above ‘free’ days create additional and valuable rest days.

So, to ensure your part-time employees are treated fairly as your full-time employees, if you convert their pro rata annual leave into hours, they apply for leave for the bank holidays meaning they are no better or no worse off than a full-time employee? This example shows:

Employee works 5 days a week

28 days annual leave = 196 hours leave annually (based on a typical 7 hour working day).

= 196 hours annual leave entitlement

Employee works 4 days a week

28 days annual leave = 196 hours divided by 5 (days of a full time employee), times by 4 (days worked

= 156.8 hours annual leave entitlement.

Therefore if a part-time employee wishes to enjoy the benefit of being paid for the business being closed on a bank holiday day, they should book 7 hours leave through your usual leave system. This ensures not only are your part-time employees on a level basis to full-timers, it also means a person whose typical work pattern is say, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday (when the majority of the bank holidays fall), is no better off than someone who works say Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

However this also may mean that employees who typically work a Monday have less choice as to when they take their leave than those who don’t. It is up to you as employer to decide if you would like to be flexible in this regard and either allow them to swap some of the days and take the bank holidays as unpaid leave, or even ‘buy-back’ holidays to cover this.

Let us do the calculations

Essentially how you manage bank holidays as business owner is very much up to you and we would recommend you take specialist HR advice to ensure your contracts are fit for purpose and up to date, setting this out clearly so your team understand. We’re not HR experts however we are payroll experts so let us take the strain of calculations over for you and get in touch today to find out how we can make your life easier.

Call us on 01925 909160 or email; Dovetail put you at the heart of everything we do.

#dbas #accountants #bookkeeping #warrington #cheshire #parttime #parttimestaff #payroll #payrollspecialists #localbusiness #sme #smallbusiness #wages

When is best to file your tax return?

Well, there’s no time like the present…. and whilst you don’t have to file your Tax Return until the end of January, as the tax year ended a few months ago, you should now have received all the information for that year and so we’d recommend you start thinking about it. In fact a reported 11,000 additional people filed their 2022/23 tax return on 6thApril compared with the same time period last year according to figures from HMRC so be a shepherd and not a sheep and think of the benefits to filing early:

  • Peace of mind – remember how it feels to have the return submitted.
  • Budgeting – you’ll know what you owe so will be able to budget for the bill.
  • What if you’re owed a refund? Whilst HMRC generally are owed money, you might be owed a refund which can help your cash-flow and if you submit early, you’ll get the refund earlier too.
  • It can take time to file a return, and if you leave it until the last minute, you run the risk of being late and incurring an instant £100 fine if you miss the 31st January deadline, plus a further £10 per day fine if you haven’t filed by 30th April.
  • You can avoid making mistakes through rushing, and you can get help if you’re struggling.
  • Think of the pressure on you, on your Tax Office, and on your humble Accountant too! Things can get pretty hectic for all of the above toward the end of January so if you have any queries, you might find you prefer dealing with them earlier in the financial year.

What if I don’t want to go early?

You don’t have to; it’s your business and you run it on your terms but don’t forget if you choose to file early, your tax bill isn’t actually due until 31st January so that gives you time to save and plan for any tax you owe. 

Christmas is a time for joy and peace on earth but you might find that peace is shattered if you’re scrabbling around to find P60s, P45s expenses and invoices and if you file early, you could actually take Christmas off.

Don’t feel outnumbered

As with every situation, when you’re in control you feel better and this is never more true of your tax return. At Dovetail Bookkeeping & Accountancy Services, our friendly and experienced team can help you with individual and company tax returns, as well as preparing budgets and cashflow forecasts to help you plan for the year ahead. If you’re not with us, we can also liaise with your Accountant to answer any questions they may have and provide them with the information that they need to prepare your tax returns. 

We’d be delighted to take over that service and for a confidential chat, get in touch with us on 01925 909160 or by emailing At DBAS, we do things differently, putting you at the heart of everything we do.

#dbas #accountants #bookkeeping #warrington #cheshire #whyfileyourtaxreturnearly #taxreturn #taxspecialists #localbusiness #sme #smallbusiness #budgeting