Life is tough on the front line of accountancy. For more than five years, our intrepid correspondent has been bringing us news and views from a typical West Country practice.
The CIS refunds that never arrive
My client always happy to be erring on the side of caution. His company wasn't strictly in the construction industry, although a lot of his consulting work involved building design and installations in factories, and probably involved working with other contractors within CIS. However, to keep his main customer - a foreign corporation - happy he registered as a CIS subcontractor many years ago and has allowed his customer to deduct CIS tax from all his invoices. At least the company tax bill was more than covered.
The snag is that what is actually paid is Income Tax, not Corporation Tax, and getting it back from HMRC each year has become more and more difficult. Unfortunately in a one-man company there just isn't enough PAYE to offset the CIS deductions so we have to claim a refund.
Couldn't they just offset the CIS overpayment against the Corporation Tax due? Apparently not as nine months is NOWHERE near long enough for them to make the offset!
So here we are trying to get the 2009/10 CIS refund out of HMRC. At the same time we are fending off the Collector who would really like the 2010 Corporation Tax but has been persuaded to await the CIS refund first. The repayment which we were told had been issued back in June hasn't appeared, so it would seem that HMRC have not been entirely truthful with us.
And when at last we get the refund there's going to be further ongoing trouble to get them to cancel the interest on the CT paid late!
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Is it just me, or do my staff just do it to wind me up? What is it with people who don't peel off the whole of the foil seal on a jar of coffee? Why would you just make a spoon-size hole in the foil and leave a ragged edge to send coffee all over the place every time I use it? I think the summer heat is getting to me.