The self-assessment tax deadline often strikes fear into UK's 4.8m self-employed, and as it looms ever closer 3 million tax returns are not yet submitted.

The worlds of banking and tax continue to collide to create new alternatives for small businesses.

Business banking and accounting app Countingup, has today launches its tax estimate tool, bringing the worlds of banking, accounting and tax one step closer.

Recent figures from HMRC last Friday show that three million tax returns still needed to be filed. That’s a considerable amount of returns for accountants to wade through in the remaining days of January. HMRC revealed that five million tax returns were outstanding at the beginning of the month, highlighting what a busy month January is.

“January is a painful time of year for small businesses and accountants. Not only is there pressure to get last minute tax returns submitted but there’s the cashflow hit to pay the tax. For small businesses with the shoebox of receipts and spreadsheets, the pressure is only going to get worse when Making Tax Digital will require four quarterly tax returns every year.”

Countingup CEO Tim Fouracre

Tax estimates are already available in accounting software such as FreeAgent and Xero. In fact FreeAgent goes one step further by allowing users to submit returns directly. Where Countingup differs is that its tax estimate tool is built directly into its business current account and joins a suite of accounting features including invoicing, expense capture and profit and loss reporting.

For self-employed sole traders, the tool provides a real-time estimate of how much Income Tax and National Insurance is owed under Self-Assessment. For limited companies, the tool provides a real-time estimate of how much Corporation Tax is owed.

Fouracre added, “Our tax tool means no more tax surprises for small businesses. Inside their Countingup business current account, our customers have insight into how much their tax bill is likely to be at any point in the year. It’s a UK first from a business current account provider. The high street banks see tax season as an opportunity to sell expensive loans to small business owners who have had a nasty surprise when they find out their tax bill. We want to prevent that from happening.”

The Countingup app is primarily targeted at micro businesses: from freelancers to plumbers to gig economy workers. There are 4.3 million businesses in the UK that are just one person, which is nearly 90% of all businesses.

In addition to its business current account, Countingup offers accounting software too. As well as tax estimates, invoicing and automated bookkeeping, SMEs get a sort code, account number and Mastercard, all from Countingup, in a single app.

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