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Accountant's certificate of confirmation

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Hello! Everyone, i need your expert opinions on the following matter please.

I am self-employed and i submitted my ILR application to Home Office in November 2020 which has tax returns for the year 2019-2020 with it and i do my self-assessment myself.

I have received an email from Home Office few days ago with the following demand. 

"unaudited accounts for the last full financial year and an accountant’s certificate of confirmation, from an accountant who is a member of a UK Recognised Supervisory Body (as defined in the Companies Act 2006) or who is a member of the Institute of Financial Accountants, The Association of Authorised Public Accountants, The Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy, The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, the Association of International Accountants and The Association of Accounting Technicians."

I haven't done my self-assessment for 2020-2021 (which Home Office is referring to i guess "Last Full Financial Year"). If i do my Profit Loss accounts myself, will any accountant be ok to provide me a certificate of confirmation? OR do i have to get the services of an accountant to do it from scratch? Problem is i have only 5 days left roughly to get it done and provide the copies to Home Office. Any help, suggestion and opinion is highly appreciated. Many thanks, Nav

 

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By Paul Crowley
03rd May 2021 20:09

No idea what a certificate of confirmation is. Never been asked
Qualified accountants write a report with accounts, not a certificate, stating basis on which accounts are prepared.
Best to look up the notes attached to the form you are completing.

https://www.migrate.org.uk/accountants-certificate-of-confirmation/#what...

So looks like a specific report required from a proper accountant
Make that appointment soonest. He has work to do very quickly. ICAEW and ACCA have find member searches available
Daft that you did not research this a bit sooner if the visa is important to you.
The accountant must do some work, otherwise the certificate would be fraudulent.
If it was me I would state the date that I was appointed as the accountant. Given that accountant has to drop his other work, comply with money laundering and ID all for just one solitary fee expect the fee to be higher than for his regular clients.

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By GR
03rd May 2021 21:43

I am surprised that you need to provide unaudited accounts and an accountants report if you are self-employed. I thought this was only a requirement for limited company directors.

Presumably you would need to provide the accountant with your bank statements, invoices, and tax return, together with a spreadsheet showing how you calculated your tax return figures. The accountant will then presumably check everything, draw up accounts and the accountants report for you.

Given the last minute rush expect to pay around £500+VAT for this.

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Replying to GR:
A Putey FACA
By Arthur Putey
04th May 2021 11:27

The guidance in the link above states:

"Who needs to include an accountant’s certificate of confirmation?

For applications that are including income from being self-employed as a sole trader, a partner or as a franchise, an accountant’s certificate of confirmation will not be required if:

the business is required to produce ‘annual audited accounts‘; or
You are able to provide a certificate of VAT registration and the VAT return for the last full financial year (a copy or print-out) confirming the VAT registration number, if the turnover is in excess of £85,000 or was in excess of the threshold which applied during the last full financial year; OR
You are able to provide evidence that appropriate planning permission or local planning authority consent is held to operate the type/class of business at the trading address (where this is a local authority requirement); OR
You are able to provide a franchise agreement signed by both parties."

Unusual given that there is no HMRC requirement to prepare formal accounts. And many of the exceptions will not apply to the average self employed person.

I doubt that the Home Office would insist on a 2020/21 tax return given that its only just May.

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By sarahg
04th May 2021 06:02

We have done a few of these for clients, but would never use clients workings.

You would need to provide all source documents, so that the return could be completed.

You are cutting it fine though, why on earth have you left it this late?

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By Duggimon
04th May 2021 08:29

We've completed these before for clients but only ever when we've done the work ourselves, I would be surprised if you found someone reputable who was willing to sign off without preparing or at least investigating in detail the accounts.

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By I'msorryIhaven'taclue
04th May 2021 11:26

NavRaja wrote:

"... or who is a member of the Institute of Financial Accountants, The Association of Authorised Public Accountants, The Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy, The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, the Association of International Accountants and The Association of Accounting Technicians."

To buy time, write back and tell them you've been unable to find anyone who is a member of all of those bodies; and would a member of one of them do instead?

Thanks (3)
Replying to I'msorryIhaven'taclue:
A Putey FACA
By Arthur Putey
04th May 2021 11:28

There'll be some saddo on here who is!

Thanks (2)
A Putey FACA
By Arthur Putey
04th May 2021 11:31

Spare a thought for those with LTD companies who are going through this process:

"Specific financial evidence to be provided

Company Tax Return CT600 (a copy or print-out) for the last financial year and evidence this has been filed with HMRC, such as electronic or written acknowledgment from HMRC.

Evidence of registration with the Registrar of Companies at Companies House.

EITHER: If the company is required to produce annual audited accounts, such accounts for the last full financial year. The company's account can assist with obtaining this information

OR

Where the company is not required to produce annual audited accounts, unaudited accounts from last full financial year . and an accountant’s certificate of confirmation, from an accountant*

*(The accountant must be a member of a UK Recognized Supervisory Body (as defined in the Companies Act 2006) or who is a member of the Institute of Financial Accountants, The Association of Authorised Public Accountants, The Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy, The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, the Association of International Accountants and The Association of Accounting Technicians.)

Corporate/business bank statements for the same period as the CT600.

A current Appointment Report from Companies House

One of the following documents:

certificate of VAT registration and the VAT return for the last full financial year confirming the VAT registration number, if turnover is in excess of £79,000 or was in excess of the threshold which applied during the last full financial year.
or
Proof of ownership or lease of business premises
or
Proof of registration with HMRC as an employer for the purposes of PAYE and National Insurance, proof of PAYE reference number and Accounts Office reference number. This evidence may be in the form of a certified copy of the documentation issued by HMRC

Documents related to your finances

Payslips and P60 (if issued) for the same period as the CT600.

Personal bank statements covering for the same period as the CT600 showing that the salary as a director or employee of the company (or both) was paid into an account in the name of the person or in the name of the person and their partner jointly."

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