Rebecca Benneyworth hosts Sage SA Surgery

Every self assessment season, AccountingWEB members get an exclusive look into the online Q&A Surgery run by Rebecca Benneyworth for Sage Taxation customers.

The self assessment clinic is a free service Sage provides to supplement its normal product support, so tax advisers who bump into technical rather than technological snags have an expert they can turn for quick answers. If you have a software issue with Sage, then ring the product support line, but for anything to do with completing or filing tax returns for your clients, Rebecca will be available during office hours to provide a little extra support.

She will be on duty during between from 9am-5pm between 20 and 31 January, but won’t be glued to the screen at all times. Don’t expect instant answers, but all serious queries will be dealt with when she can get back to her computer.

One issue that has been quiet so far has been dealing with returns for people who have had to register for self assessment because they claim child benefit and fall into the new higher income child benefit charge (HICBC).

“I didn’t hear much about this before Christmas, so I’m curious to know if it’s causing problems - for example for advisers who may not be working for both partners and need to get details on the spouse’s income,” Benneworth said.

“Then most important thing for agents is to be able to advise clients if they need to stake a claim. For example if a client has opted out and their income drops below £60,000 they can opt back in retrospectively for up to two years. The timing is a bit awkward, so you may have to tell clients about that after January - and there are still some discussions about the practical implications, especially for people on incomes between £50,000-£60,000.”

Another trap for the unwary is where clients have received awards for PPI mis-selling claims, for which tax will be due on any extra interest received. Before the Finance Act 2013, there were different rules in place about whether basic tax was deducted at source, depending on whether the award came from an insurer or bank.

“It’s so easily missed because it’s non-standard, or clients may not realise that it needs to be declared. That’s one to watch for, because HMRC is likely to have the information on it,” she said.

Those wishing to enlist Rebecca’s help should register here to take part and put their questions to her.

However, even if you’re not a Sage customer, you can still log on and see how the conversation unfolds at the bottom of this page. We will endeavour to put queries posted here to Rebecca too, but they will have to wait until Rebecca has dealt with Sage user queries.

While next year could be a little more challenging with new child benefit and capital allowances regimes to cope with, AccountingWEB’s resident tax expert is expecting a quiet tax season on the technical front, but is anticipating the return of “old chestnuts” such as dealing with clients without UTRs, or people who have only just come forward with several years’ tax returns and penalties to unravel.

The chat transcript will start when the Surgery opens at 9am on Monday 20 January and will appear below. If you can't see the chat box email editor@accountingweb.co.uk and let us know.

For more self assessment support videos, technical tips and ‘how to’ guides, visit www.sage-exchange.com/taxation.

Sage surgery 2014

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 Hi Charles. Generally speaking the taxes agree on what is a car and what is a van. So if it qualifies for VAT recovery, it is then treated as a van for benefit in kind purposes.

The rule for "double cab pick ups" both parts of HMRC use the payload of the vehicle to determine whether it is a car or a van. If the payload is 1 metric tonne (1,000 kg) then it is classed as a van. This test is only used on double cab pickups. There is a bit more at http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/manuals/eimanual/EIM23150.htm
Hi Rebecca. My client is a farmer. He has bought a Toyota HiLux Invincible, a "combi van". It has a cabin to carry four passengers, two in the front and two in the back. It has a flat area to the rear outside the passenger cabin to carry goods. The co2 emissions are 203g/km. Is such a vehicle a "car" or "plant" for capital allowances purposes. I believe it does qualify for Vat purposes so input Vat can be reclaimed. I have tried unsuccessfully to find a list of such qualifying vehicles on the HMRC website
 Hi Kan, The tax free amount is in fact £3,090.28, which is the allowable amount less the amount that has been reimbursed. I am suspecting that the car allowance is paid as part of salary and is taxed at source, so you can claim for the net amount of £3,090 in the travel expenses box, and that is sufficient.
 HI all. I'll take the question that John has posted first. This is always a subject of a bit of debate. Generally speaking, if the house was habitable and suitable for letting when inherited I would allow the redecoration costs. I note that you have correctly excluded any capital expenditure. However, if the house was not fit to let, then the initial decoration would be viewed as effectively "capital" to put the asset in a position of being fit for use. So it really is a question of degree, which is why you have had two different answers, although the second answer you got was a bit simplistic. I hope this helps.
Hi Rebecca This is what a MARORS =Mileage Relief Optional Reporting Scheme states Number of business miles claimed: £11,557. Value reimbursed by RUK: £1,798.97. Allowable (AMAP) value: £4,889.25. Difference (relief due): £3,090.28. Total car allowance payments: £4,560.00. Total tax paid on car allowance: £1,469.72. Car allowance paid tax fee: £3,090.28. The client was not provided with car benefit apart from the reimbursement of expenses for use of his own car for employment purposes. He is not high rate tax payer I entered the £4560 in the employment pages under employment expenses--> Travel and subsistence expenses and the made good value of £1798.97it gives an allowable amount of £2761.03. Is this correct it looks too simple compared to the way the company which is a multinational worked out a tax free amount of £3090.28
 Good morning, Rebecca - I hope your cold is on the mend and that both you and the people visiting the Surgery are feeling fit and ready for the final run-in to Friday. Over on AccountingWEB we've had a few queries that might be of interest to you, including another property-related issue. "Siany" posted last week: "I have a new client with property income. She acquired the house via a will in 2008 and has spent a considerable amount of money refurbishing and decorating. I contacted HMRC concerning expenditure before the property was occupied and was informed that as long as it was purely decorative costs, they could be claimed. All capital expenditure has been ignored, however, there is still a considerable claim there. Before I submit the Self Assessment, I contacted them again to confirm as there is a lot of conflicting advice on HMRC Website regarding expenditure before occupation. I spoke to another representative that on no account can ANY expenditure be claimed before occupation. I wonder if you could clarify this for me as both myself and my client are frustrated at HMRC website and the two conflicting responses!" Can you help?
 Morning all. hope the weather where you are is not too bad. We're having a quiet spell here, although the tops of the hills had a dusting of snow yesterday. Last week and big push for the end of the month! Ready for your questions.
 OK packing up for the weekend everyone. Have a good one - nice and peaceful to crack on without phones ringing! See you on Monday.
 Hi there. I guess your client has remained UK resident for the year as he was not away long enough to establish non residence. Yes, this is foreign income, and I am not 100% sure whether you should declare it on the foreign pages or the UK employment pages. I would be tempted to put it on the Employment pages, as there isn't an employment box on the Foreign pages. Then claim the foreign tax relief on the Foreign pages at the top of page 6 - the income doesn't go there, just the tax you want to claim. As far as the social security tax is concerned, I am afraid I don't know. Cross border NIC is not my strongest suit!
Hi Rebecca, a quick query re completing a tax return for a client. Between November 2012 and march 2013 he did some work under employment for a swiss company. He was paid in swiss francs and suffered swiss taxes and social contributions. How should this now be declared on his tax return? Is it foreign income and is there a claim for DTR ? Or does it count as employment earnings? His usual income is from earnings within his own company.

Pages

Comments

One question ...

JC | | Permalink

Why are Sage getting all this free publicity from Aweb?

Will the same amount of Aweb on-line space being provided to Sage products be available to all the other SA providers? If not then why not?

John Stokdyk's picture

Yes it is available - for a price    2 thanks

John Stokdyk | | Permalink

Sage is not getting "free" publicity JC. They are paying for the promotion, which is what keeps the servers, developers and community team behind AccountingWEB in business.

You'll also find that TaxCalc, Digita, IRIS, CCH, BTCSoftware and many other tax software/service providers do so at this time of year via our Self Assessment Zone.

It's part of the communal effort that we and our advertisers try to support at this time of year, and is easily accessed by contacting our sales team - sales@accountingweb.co.uk

How do members know ...

JC | | Permalink

it is an advertisment?

After all it appears under the 'Home' menu banner along with other information/articles (i.e. Eight reasons to love tax season & HMRC relaxes stance on informal representatives)

Furthermore, it presented in the form of an Aweb 'editorial' and there is a world of difference in independance terms between Aweb credibility given to articles & an advertisment.

Of course Aweb must accept advertising, however, most hard-copy publications place an 'Advertorial' banner at the top of this sort of article when they publish, so that the reader knows the score. So far as I can see this is warning is not present on this post - although I may have missed it

alan.rolfe's picture

Another trap...

alan.rolfe | | Permalink

Loving this part....

Another trap for the unwary is where clients have received awards for PPI misspelling claims

I never knew there were awards for misspelling!  

AWeb may get an award!

.

ireallyshouldkn... | | Permalink

cheeky comment removed to avoid tiring John.

 

John Stokdyk's picture

Sage sponsorship    6 thanks

John Stokdyk | | Permalink

@JC - I was looking at the mobile version of the site, which did not have it (so you may not see it either), but if you visit the normal browser version of AccountingWEB.co.uk, there's a stonking great "Sage Taxation SA Clinic with Rebecca Benneyworth" banner at the top of the page.

We have worked on the assumption for the past few years that if people see a display ad like that next to an article, they will be able to deduce that the vendor wants to be associated with that content. Until now no one has complained. I'm sorry if the potential ambiguity has upset you in this instance.

Meanwhile, the bash-Sage tendency is actually getting a little tiresome. Very rarely are these comments relevant to the question or thread on which they're posted. I can see the relevance here, but say what you like about Sage's taxation products (and, yes, a lot of you do), the Software Satisfaction survey results indicate that Sage does a professional job at supporting all of its products, inlcuding Sage Taxation. The SA clinic is one aspect of that product support, and we're happy to play our role in it - and generate some revenue to help keep AccountingWEB running.

For obvious reasons, we wish a lot of other suppliers undertook similar innovative initiatives.

ShirleyM's picture

Sage has done one good thing ....    2 thanks

ShirleyM | | Permalink

They had the good sense to get Rebecca on board. Other than that ....... I'm struggling to find something good to say! Oh ... they contributed to keeping AWeb funded.  Now I am completely out of good things to say.

Why do Sage users need this kind of help?

Ken Howard | | Permalink

The question must be why Sage taxation users need a separate help/support area to deal with "niggles".  Does this not suggest that Sage has more "niggles" than other tax software?  Presumably there's a need for further help, that isn't needed by those using other tax software.  So, perhaps this is negative publicity for Sage in giving the impression that it's harder to use and has more "niggles" than it's competitors.  Perhaps an own goal on their part?

I think you'll also find that dealing with Sage is "tiresome"

Ken Howard | | Permalink

John Stokdyk wrote:
Meanwhile, the bash-Sage tendency is actually getting a little tiresome.

That's because you look at them from a money making point of view (for Aweb) and don't have to use their software or deal with their support department.  Their users look at them from a completely different perspective which, unless, you were likewise a user, you wouldn't appreciate.

Kent accountant's picture

Don't like Sage?    6 thanks

Kent accountant | | Permalink

Then don't read the article - easy.

Pretty obvious that AWeb needs advertising revenue to fund it and I have no issue with this type of article. It's not of any real interest to me but others, by some of the businesses John mentions, are.

Perhaps some of the poo poo'ers would prefer to pay for their AWeb membership instead?

Own goal? I don't think so.    2 thanks

Mekabear | | Permalink

Ken Howard wrote:

The question must be why Sage taxation users need a separate help/support area to deal with "niggles".  Does this not suggest that Sage has more "niggles" than other tax software?  Presumably there's a need for further help, that isn't needed by those using other tax software.  So, perhaps this is negative publicity for Sage in giving the impression that it's harder to use and has more "niggles" than it's competitors.  Perhaps an own goal on their part?

Not really, it is for legislation query assistance as opposed to actual software usage support.  Which i'm sure is viewed as a good thing for those who wish to use it.

Agree with kent accountant    1 thanks

Ayesha Bham | | Permalink

I think it's wonderful how Accounting Web GIVES us these resources. I also think it's astounding how some members choose to moan about who advertises on here and complain about their products. Who cares whether it's Sage, Quickbooks or ANOther as long as their sponsorship/advertising keeps this site available to us.
As Kent says if you don't like the advertisers don't read it!thank you Accounting Web.

carnmores's picture

for gods sake everybody    3 thanks

carnmores | | Permalink

give Sage a break , in the early years they made our life so much easier and even tho i dont use them much now  they're not all bad by any means so vent your frustrations elsewhere, back to SA

tax return for the deceased

clarance.netto | | Permalink

dear Rebecca 

i have a client who passed away in May 2013 and she received rental income from residential properties.. can i complete her tax return for 2013 and bring in the rental income/expenses for april/ may into her 2013 return to close it off

what happens to the income and expenses of the deceased until probate is given? will i have to prepare the same like income tax return until the date of probate? will she be given personal allowances??

 

Thanks

Clarance

Partnership Tax Return

Barry57 | | Permalink

I have now applied for an activation code for a clients partnership online Self Assessment return. But the client has not received it, what could you please advice?

client deceased

clarance.netto | | Permalink

Hello rebecca

 

did you receive my email i sent you this morning please??

Sole Trader Expenses

Lotti | | Permalink

Hi Rebecca

Please could you clarify the following:

As a sole trader do you need the expense receipt to be able to deduct it as a cost from your income?

Would it be acceptable to have say BP (for petrol) on your bank statement and use that as evidence?

Regards

Charlottte

 

Property Income

Siany | | Permalink

Good Afternoon.

I have a new client with property income.  She acquired the house via a will in 2008 and has spent a considerable amount of money refurbishing and decorating.  I contacted HMRC concerning expenditure before the property was occupied and was informed that as long as it was purely decorative costs, they could be claimed.  All capital expenditure has been ignored, however, there is still a considerable claim there.  Before I submit the Self Assessment, I contacted them again to confirm as there is a lot of conflicting advice on HMRC Website regarding expendture before occupation.  I spoke to another representative that on no account can ANY expenditure be claimed before occupation.  I wonder if you could clarify this for me as both myself and my client are frustrated at HMRC website and the two conflicting responses!  Thank you in advance for your help.  Sian

Partnership Tax Return

Barry57 | | Permalink

My client has twice applied to an activation code for their partnership HMRC Self Assessment, but still hasnt received it. The postal address is correct. 

The deadline is fast approaching, would you please have a suggestion how to receive the activation?

Many thanks

 

Barry

Sole Trader Expenses

Lotti | | Permalink

Hi Rebecca

Just wondering if you managed to read my question?

Regards

Charlotte

Property Income

Siany | | Permalink

Hi Rebecca

 

I don't seem to have received a response to this?  Many thanks

Mileage Allowance

DTF | | Permalink

A Client is a self employed courier. He is provided with a van and fuel by his customer for which he is charged . As it is not his own vehicle can he still claim mileage allowance rather than the costs of running the vehicle?

Regards,

Derek

Property income

Siany | | Permalink

Hi Rebecca

 

Sorry, but I still don't seem to have received a response to this?

carnmores's picture

barry

carnmores | | Permalink

the partnership activation key is useless for partnerships , if you have the UTR for the pship you will need to file by 3rd party sofware you cant use HMRC

John Stokdyk's picture

Rebecca's available in the online Surgery - not here    1 thanks

John Stokdyk | | Permalink

@siany and other questioners - Sorry if we've created any confusion by promoting the Sage SA Surgery here, but it's an interactive service for their customers, so questions posted here do not automatically appear in her consulting sequence.

If there are some quiet moments I can see if she'll pick up queries here, and you if you don't want to register with Sage you can hold on here and hope she answers. Alternatively, try our Any Answers page, where other AccountingWEB members may come forward to help - as carnmores has done in the comment above.

 

Mikeparr's picture

     

Mikeparr | | Permalink

 

 

 

Adjusted Loss against Capital Gains ??

tish501 | | Permalink

Have just submitted my husbands self assessment form (Early for a change ) He has a £2360 loss from self employment which it says we can adjust against some Capital gains we had in 2010-11...could you tell me how that works...does it in effect reduce his Capital Gain of £24,080.00 liability  for that year and refund the applicable tax...2360 @18%....£424.80 ??   Confused...hop u can help Thank you PAT X

 

As quite rightly stated ...

JC | | Permalink

Seems this thread may have gone wrong and rather than simply being informative, has instead turned Aweb into a supplier specific adjunct help forum. 

Maybe harsh but - bit of an Oooops .... moment - but possibly forseeable and avoidable !

Property income

Siany | | Permalink

Many thanks for letting me know and for forwarding Rebecca's answer.