We seem to have received an unusually large number of late tax return penalty notices this year. Luckily, most are because clients we no longer act for are still on the HMRC agents list.
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 current tax-driven move towards incorporating so many small businesses seems to be carrying on, but as I have found over the last week, there are even more pitfalls than we might have thought.
February started out so well, the calm after the storm of tax returns in January, time to catch up on CPD, start setting the next year's targets and motivate the team for things to come.
And then we billed all the January tax work!
We have a very mixed practice, including a wide range of business sizes. Like many small practices we have always worked on the basis of safety in numbers - if you have plenty of clients you do not become dependent on individual clients, or at risk if one of them leave you for any reason.
We still have an unfiled 2009-10 P35 - is this a record?
... but it is appreciated by my team.
It's the calm after the (tax return) storm. Amazing how it all just stops at midnight on 31st January!
The tax team are very quiet - in fact half of them are either taking time off or the 'flu has caught up with them and they're off sick! Those that ARE in have very tidy desks!!
Maybe it's because 31 January is a Monday this year, but it seems to have been a lot calmer here today. Of course, we had the usual late arrivals but we were up together enough that they didn't phase us this year.
I suppose it's a bit late in the day to be questioning how we submit Tax Returns, but one of our new tax team members has mentioned that in his previous practice (a large firm) they always filed full tax computations with their Returns.
We seem to be eating up piles of late tax returns at the moment, so with a bit of co-operation from clients we should be on track to get everything filed by this time next week.