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How do accountants collect money for tax return work only?

I do not bother with monthly Direct Debit payments for clients who only require tax returns (SA100 and SA800) to be completed. The fees charged for these does make it worthwhile. Thankfully I do not have many of these. 

I have some  of clients they tend to be husband and wife (landlords), I charge them £1000+VAT for tax returns. I am thinking of asking them to go on monthly Direct Debit.

I would be grateful to find out how accountants collect money on tax return work. Do you:

  1. Collect by DD?
  2. If not DD do you get the money in advance? (I don't - poor practice I think). If in advance at what stage do you ask to pay. Just after then signing the tax return?
  3. Do you put ever client on DD? I am thinking anything collecting through monthly DD any thing over £500+VAT.

How do client's view monthly DD for tax return work only?



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15th Nov 2011 07:27

We give them a choice

Regardless of the size of the fee, we allow our clients to choose the payment method.

Options as follows:

Monthly DD, with any outstanding balance being paid when tax/accounts signed off (usually only needed with new clients where DD's start late).50% deposit, the balance payable on sign off.

If the client is a known dilly-dallyer, ie. slows the process down, delays signing off, or has previously signed off without making immediate payment, then we always ask for 100% up front. We also ask for 100% advance payment for cessation accounts or overdue accounts/tax work.

Whichever method they choose, we do not give them any accounts, or submit the tax return, until full payment has been received.

Thanks (1)
15th Nov 2011 09:39

How much?

£1,000 plus VAT for tax returns, just including rental income.

How many properties do they have?


Thanks (0)
23rd Nov 2011 16:14

Lucey Technologies

I am just starting out but I am going to keep to the same policy as my soon to be ex-employer - nothing gets filed until we get paid.

At the moment, when I agree fees with a client I also agree the payment terms. I ask even the smallest clients if they want to go on standing order and some of them are paying about £50 per month.

If a client is not on standing order, I send the fee note to the client when I send the income tax return for signing. If a cheque doesn't come back with the signed return I ring after a few days and ask if they would like to pay by credit card instead!


For my new venture, I was thinking about these guys who combine a client portal with payment:

As far as I know, you can send a link to your clients which directs them to a copy of their return which they can digitally sign. They also get an electronic invoice which they can pay for online through the system.

It does require a merchant account. I would imagine, you would need a certain number of clients to make it worthwhile but this is the future (so I'm told!)


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