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Self Assessment Clients with no records

What do you say to clients who want you to calculate their tax liability for self assessment and submit their SA return, if they cannot provide receipts or invoices and instead just come to you with final income and expenditure figures (expenditure broken down)?

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07th Mar 2012 12:16

Haven't had one of these clients as organised enough to provide a fully broken down income and expenditure account without ANY records but.........I would say (not necessarily in this order):

1. Follow your usual money laundering procedures for identification etc

2. Get signed engagement letter

3. Issue letter of rep or suitable disclaimer that you're relying solely on their information

4. Get payment upfront if you have any concerns

5. Enquire as to why they cannot provide receipts or invoices

6. If you don't know any information to the contrary and don't have any suspicion that the figures are incorrect then prepare the SA tax return using their figures, get signature/approval, submit them online

 

I can imagine there's many clients who want to minise their accountancy fees so may want to prepare an income and expenditure themselves, I can virtually guarantee that they would fail to claim all the expenses available to them though (mileage, use of home etc etc as a minimum) and thats where I would make adjustments to their figures, prepare a simple set of accounts and file their tax return, having billed them for the tax return plus a small amount for the accounts. I guess it's the "added value" that an accountant should provide.

 

Once the above has been done for year 1 and they are a "client" and up to date, look into other options and tax planning such as incorporation, proper book-keeping and record keeping etc etc.

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07th Mar 2012 13:43

How?

How did you prepare the income and expenditure account if you have no records?

Thats the first thing I would ask the client.

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By ACDWebb
07th Mar 2012 13:07

'

paulgrca.net wrote:

How did you prepare the income and expenditure account if you have no records?

Presumably they didn't. The client prepares their accounts and just needs someone to deal with the final submission / calculation. You would merely be acting as a submitting agent using information provided and with no review or opinion on the information provided. So you would want any engagement letter to be abundantly clear as to the scope of your work and that it is execution only without review / advice
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07th Mar 2012 12:58

The OP says that the client prepares the income and expenditure account and provides it to him, that was the main point of the question I believe. 

I'm surprised that there's no records but it is possible that the client has lost or temporarily can't locate them, they may have maintained an excel record of them however during the year or has been able to reconstruct them by way of bank and credit card statements etc.

Or alternatively, the client may indeed have the receipts and invoices but doesn't want the time and expense of delivering them to their accountant, some accountants are happy to prepare accounts on this basis and if there's any dubious expenses then a few questions asked will resolve it. In these circumstances it's probably best if you don't have a regulatory body breathing down your neck for an inspection!

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07th Mar 2012 13:29

Thank you everyone.

Yes, the client prepares their own income and expenditure accounts and simply presents final figures.

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By neileg
08th Mar 2012 09:49

What service are you providing?

Just because most clients would need their accountant to prepare their accounts doesn't mean that this is a requirement. Providing your letter of engagement spells out just what you are and aren't doing, that's fine. Essentially you are acting as a tax agent without any accountancy services.

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