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ADVICE ON FINDING RIGHT ACCOUNTANT

RAPIDLY EXPANDING SOLE TRADER - VAT REG BUSINESS - NEEDS WIDE RANGING TAX ADVICE

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Hi

Thanks for taking time to read this. Ive run my own events company as a sole trader for last 10 years. As a former stockbroker and financial adviser Ive always done my SA and VAT bookingkeeping and returns myself. 

This is, of course turned out to be stupid as Ive made some glaring and expensive errors over the years.

Im now expanding rapidly and ready to appoint an accountant for the matters below. 

My question is do I:

A. Pay crazy high fees to likes of KPMG for example who be able to handle a potnetial relocation to Italy

B. Go with an events industry specialst

C. Find a 'generalist' accountant?

D. Some combination of above

E. Something else altogther?

HELPED NEEDED WITH:

  • VAT TAX RECLAIM (c.£14k more than 1% of T/O around 12% of that year 4 years ago)
  • FUTURE VAT (MTD etc and possibly leaving FRS if new venture is not made into a seperate and limited company)
  • HELP FINDING BOOKEEPER FOR VAT AND SA
  • NEW PROJECT - CREATION OF LIMITED COMPANY (FOR GRANTS/ LOAN RAISING/ EQUITY FINANCE)
  • BUSINESS PLANNING - GENERAL & FOR GRANTS/ LOAN RAISING/ EQUITY FINANCE
  • ACCOUNTS LAST YEARS 3 YEARS - CERTIFY
  • ONGOING ADVICE ON BUSINESS SRATEGY AND TAX EFFICIENT EXPANSION
  • POTENTIALLY RELOCATING TO ITALY FOR BENEFICAL TAX REGIME

Thanks for your help

Apologies in advance if I seem like a clueless fool

Best wishes

 

Replies (18)

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By ireallyshouldknowthisbut
16th Nov 2020 11:24

No, you probably dont want an audit and i don't think KPMG will be very interested in you other than mugging you for £5k-10k

Your area of work is not that specialised, you probably just want someone decent to sort your past position which might well be quite expensive and require a high skill level. Sorting out a muddle is much harder than getting you to do it well first time.

The main issue you have this time of year and really into Feb is anyone decent is probably up to their eyeballs. Just wear the £100 fine and have it done well, rather than quickly.

O, and if anyone actually says they will 'certify' your own accounts, then run a mile. They are cowboys. Anyone who is a "proper" accountant will tell you to whistle unless they have prepared them.

NB I had a very good laugh about the Italy thing. If you want to pay some tax, go to Italy or France.

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Replying to ireallyshouldknowthisbut:
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By bigdaddy
16th Nov 2020 12:51

ireallyshouldknowthisbut wrote:

No, you probably dont want an audit and i don't think KPMG will be very interested in you other than mugging you for £5k-10k

Your area of work is not that specialised, you probably just want someone decent to sort your past position which might well be quite expensive and require a high skill level. Sorting out a muddle is much harder than getting you to do it well first time.

The main issue you have this time of year and really into Feb is anyone decent is probably up to their eyeballs. Just wear the £100 fine and have it done well, rather than quickly.

O, and if anyone actually says they will 'certify' your own accounts, then run a mile. They are cowboys. Anyone who is a "proper" accountant will tell you to whistle unless they have prepared them.

NB I had a very good laugh about the Italy thing. If you want to pay some tax, go to Italy or France.

Thanks for your help

Ok maybe certify was the wrong word. I could, of course, provide all the original information for the accountant to do from scratch. Is this what I would need to do to provide slender with 3 year "audited" account?

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Oaklea
By Chris.Mann
16th Nov 2020 11:42

Tax avoidance used to be a national sport, in Italy, at one time!

It still could be, who knows?

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Replying to Chris.Mann:
paddle steamer
By DJKL
16th Nov 2020 12:11

Yes, Italian Double Entry had a slightly different meaning to here. There were the "official" books, where employees got paid their "official" wages etc, and the "other" set of books which processed the "other wages" etc. Of course this was retail in the 1990s when retail was still significantly a cash business so life may have moved on a bit.

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Melchett
By thestudyman
16th Nov 2020 11:44

You certainly do not need Big 4 for your accounting needs.

As above im surprised you would be looking at Italy - tax wise the UK is definitely up there with being the more business friendly regimes in Europe. A competent accountant should give some good advice on business strategy

Sorry to bring up but according to your previous post 3 years ago you were going to appoint an accountant. Did this not happen?

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Replying to thestudyman:
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By bigdaddy
16th Nov 2020 12:49

thestudyman wrote:

You certainly do not need Big 4 for your accounting needs.

As above im surprised you would be looking at Italy - tax wise the UK is definitely up there with being the more business friendly regimes in Europe. A competent accountant should give some good advice on business strategy

Sorry to bring up but according to your previous post 3 years ago you were going to appoint an accountant. Did this not happen?

Ok thanks for his and to the other posters for your help

Italy - situation in recent years has changed and they have very attractive schemes to attract inward business & investment - this is how KPMG has come on my radar as they have Italian tax expertise. For example, in Sicily (and some of the more rural areas in mainland Italy) only 90% of you income is taxable but advice so far is that you need to be making taxable income of £350k to make it worthwhile.

Big Four - thank you, all of you, as I can feel you're right and this won't be necessary

3 years ago - I think this is long overdue and in all honesty should have done this earlier. My bad. That said when first Vat reg the accountant recommends to me screwed it pretty badly and for eg did not tell me about FRS which I discovered myself.

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Replying to bigdaddy:
paddle steamer
By DJKL
16th Nov 2020 12:55

If you are to have a business that is located in Italy where will it be running the events it runs, will these be in Italy or will the events be in the UK?

How would you propose said business and/or you would be resident in Italy, are you individually intending to move to Italy? (Will you even qualify to run a business or be resident in Italy after 1/1/21?)

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Replying to DJKL:
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By bigdaddy
16th Nov 2020 13:47

Short answer: its complicated and wiht COVId much up in the air

Longer answer:
1. if I can get a lot more financial support and guidance here in UK it may not be in my interest to move (grants/ loans/ equity finance/ regional support etc)
2. if net profits are looking 350k or more financially much better to be in Italy
3. it appears that as long as the work itself (ie on my laptop and phone) takes place in Italy the favourable treatment applies not just to events in Italy but events anywhere in the world as long as you change tax residency.
4. Brexit - 2021 onwards same rules apply as for non-EU countries so its more paperwork but essentially possible as they want to attract inward businesses

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Replying to bigdaddy:
paddle steamer
By DJKL
16th Nov 2020 14:03

So you are happy that if management of an event is based in Italy then notwithstanding the event itself is in the UK that activity, that is certainly within the UK, does not create a tax presence in the UK liable to UK tax?

Residence to work/trade in various EU countries post 1.1.21 is far more than mere paperwork, some countries say require proof of a minimum existing income (as the UK itself does) - I have for a time been researching Sweden's as I already own a house there, there is nothing straightforward, if we decide to move there we will need to demonstrate an existing minimum income (pensions/investment income) to qualify to move and be resident in Sweden.

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Replying to DJKL:
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By bigdaddy
16th Nov 2020 17:35

So you are happy that if management of an event is based in Italy then notwithstanding the event itself is in the UK that activity, that is certainly within the UK, does not create a tax presence in the UK liable to UK tax?

**Yes, in so far as the research (and initial advice from Italian accountants) states as much for income taxes (VAT would still be in UK I think but im not sure on that as yet)**

Residence to work/trade in various EU countries post 1.1.21 is far more than mere paperwork
**Yes, I meant merely that it is still possible in the same (or similar) way that someone from the USA (for example) could move to Italy.**

some countries say require proof of a minimum existing income (as the UK itself does) - I have for a time been researching Sweden's as I already own a house there, there is nothing straightforward, if we decide to move there we will need to demonstrate an existing minimum income (pensions/investment income) to qualify to move and be resident in Sweden.

**interesting, thank you and hope it works out for you - sounds great!**

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By Cheshire
16th Nov 2020 12:24

bigdaddy wrote:

Hi

Thanks for taking time to read this. Ive run my own events company as a sole trader for last 10 years. As a former stockbroker and financial adviser Ive always done my SA and VAT bookingkeeping and returns myself. 

This is, of course turned out to be stupid as Ive made some glaring and expensive errors over the years.

Im now expanding rapidly and ready to appoint an accountant for the matters below. 

My question is do I:

A. Pay crazy high fees to likes of KPMG for example who be able to handle a potnetial relocation to Italy

B. Go with an events industry specialst

C. Find a 'generalist' accountant?

D. Some combination of above

E. Something else altogther?

HELPED NEEDED WITH:

VAT TAX RECLAIM (c.£14k more than 1% of T/O around 12% of that year 4 years ago)FUTURE VAT (MTD etc and possibly leaving FRS if new venture is not made into a seperate and limited company)HELP FINDING BOOKEEPER FOR VAT AND SANEW PROJECT - CREATION OF LIMITED COMPANY (FOR GRANTS/ LOAN RAISING/ EQUITY FINANCE)BUSINESS PLANNING - GENERAL & FOR GRANTS/ LOAN RAISING/ EQUITY FINANCEACCOUNTS LAST YEARS 3 YEARS - CERTIFYONGOING ADVICE ON BUSINESS SRATEGY AND TAX EFFICIENT EXPANSIONPOTENTIALLY RELOCATING TO ITALY FOR BENEFICAL TAX REGIME

Thanks for your help

Apologies in advance if I seem like a clueless fool

Best wishes

 

+ what the others say. Also, do not use your bookkeeper to do the SA. That should sit with your Accountant.

Please do not shout! Caps lock not good/no need for.

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Replying to Cheshire:
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By bigdaddy
16th Nov 2020 13:58

thanks for your help

Are you saying a bookkeeper shouldn't do books for SA? Accountant will do the actual SA and returns etc.

Sorry did not mean to shout and the layout hasn't come out as planned anyway!

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Replying to bigdaddy:
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By Cheshire
16th Nov 2020 14:27

You stated 'HELP FINDING BOOKEEPER FOR VAT AND SA' so I read it as bookkeeper to do the Vat and SA. The bookkeeper will go so far, with the Accountant then completing any adjustments for the SA.

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Replying to Cheshire:
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By bigdaddy
16th Nov 2020 17:37

Fair enough - perhaps I phrased ambiguously - my bad, apologies and thanks again

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By Paul Crowley
16th Nov 2020 14:16

Is this all driven by the need for a loan?

If your prior 'accountant' had not heard of FRS then probably not an accountant

If you do not know anyone who can recommend an accountant that has served them well, consider looking at the proper qualifications

chucking Italy into the equation is daft.
that is a specific area. Lots of research needed.

Just being self employed without considering company suggests a blatant disregard for tax efficiency.

If you threw all that at me in one go and expected instant answers I as ICAEW would pass
You expect me to find you a bookkeeper and and leave the bookkeeper to sort out the self assessment?

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Replying to Paul Crowley:
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By bigdaddy
16th Nov 2020 17:24

APOLOGIES FOR CAPS LOCK - HOPEFULLY, ITS HELPFUL, IN THIS INSTANCE TO ANSWER THE VARIOUS POINTS RAISED.

Is this all driven by the need for a loan? NO

If your prior 'accountant' had not heard of FRS then probably not an accountant
IM SURE SHE'D HEARD OF IT SHE JUST DIDNT TELL ME ABOUT IT

If you do not know anyone who can recommend an accountant that has served them well, consider looking at the proper qualifications THANK YOU

chucking Italy into the equation is daft. that is a specific area. Lots of research needed. LOTS OF RESEARCH HAS BEEN DONE. ITS AN IMPORTANT CONSIDERATION NOT A WHIM OR SOMETHING THAT BEING CHUCKED IN THE SCALE OF THIS PROJECT IS SUCH THAT IT COULD LOSE £1M, MAKE £1M OR ANYTHING IN BETWEEN. AS SUCH, IF THERE IS A MORE FAVOURABLE PLACE TO LOCATE THE BUSINESS I WOULD BE DAFT NOT TO CONSIDER IT.

Just being self employed without considering company suggests a blatant disregard for tax efficiency.
CONSIDERATION HAS BEEN GIVEN TO THIS ON ONGOING BASIS FOR SOME YEARS. NO-ONE SOLUTION FITS ALL AND BEING A SOLE TRADER HAS SUITED ME VERY UP TO NOW. ALSO A SIMILAR BUSINESS TO MINE (WHO IM CLOSE TO PERSONALLY) WENT LIMITED A COUPLE OF YEARS AGO AND NOW HAVE EXPRESSED REGRET AS THE TAX EFFICIENCY, FOR THEM, DOES NOT OUTWEIGH WITH HINDSIGHT SOME OF THE FLEXIBILITY OF SOLE TRADER STATUS.

If you threw all that at me in one go and expected instant answers I as ICAEW would pass OK

You expect me to find you a bookkeeper and and leave the bookkeeper to sort out the self assessment?
NO.

TBH I CAN FIND A BOOKKEEPER MYSELF TO DO THE BOOKS. ONLY THE BOOKS. NOT THE RETURNS ETC.

I WAS ASSUMING (PERHAPS INCORRECTLY) THAT IN CASES WHERE A CLIENT WANTS BOOKINGKEEPING DONE SEPRTELY MOST ACCOUNTANTS ARE AWARE OF 1 OR 2 PEOPLE THEY REFER CLIENTS TO FOR BOOKKEEPING PURPOSES ONLY.

THUS THERE BE NO FINDING TO DO. IF THERE WAS ANY FINDING TO DO OF COURSE, I WOULD EITHER DO IT MYSELF OR INSIST ON PAYING THE ACCOUNTANT FOR THE TIME INVOLVED AS I WOULD FOR ALL OF THEIR EXCELLENT WORK.

THANKS FOR YOUR HELP

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By Montrose
16th Nov 2020 18:42

How did youi complete your SA returns if you did not have accounts for three years?
If your business has been unincorportaedyou did not need "certified" accounts, but would be exposed if HMRC open enquiries into your returns, which presumably included figures for your business activities.
The long list of requirements should be put to one side whilst you think about what you want to do for the future. Others have warned about the problems of operating a business in two places. If you do incorporate you will need specialist tax advice on the consequences.
Where you will be tax resident is a question which will require separate consideration.
You do not need a KPMG, but should budget a significant sum [perhaps £ 3-5000] for the non accounting advice from a medium sized firm with international expereince to cover your plans for the future.

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Replying to Montrose:
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By bigdaddy
16th Nov 2020 22:10

How did you complete your SA returns if you did not have accounts for three years?**I DID HAVE ACCOUNTS I JUST DID THEM MSYELF**

If your business has been unincorportaed you did not need "certified" accounts, but would be exposed if HMRC open enquiries into your returns, which presumably included figures for your business activities.
**IM A SOLE TRADER AND HAVE BEEN REGISTERED WITH HMRC SINCE I STARTED BUT FOR LOAN PURPOSE/ SOME GRANTS ACCOUNTS OFTEN NEED TO BE AUDITED FOR THE LAST 3 YEARS**

The long list of requirements should be put to one side whilst you think about what you want to do for the future. Others have warned about the problems of operating a business in two places. If you do incorporate you will need specialist tax advice on the consequences.**THAT WHAT I THOUGHT PART OF WHAT IVE ASKED - SO THANK YOU**
Where you will be tax resident is a question which will require separate consideration.
**THANK YOU**

You do not need a KPMG, but should budget a significant sum [perhaps £ 3-5000] for the non accounting advice from a medium sized firm with international experience to cover your plans for the future. **EXCELLENT ADVICE, THANK YOU**

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