Hello - My client has not submitted any tax returns for at least 13 years. In that whole time he was only worked on building sites and has been taxed at source under the CIS. I'm no expert but I think that drug taking, losing his home, prolonged period of homelessness, sofa- hoppimng etc, a fear of creditors and being mentaly unwell have all played a part in him choosing to go off radar. Obviously this has cost him money as he has made no use of personal allowances.
After years of persuasion on my part, he agreed to let me try to sort out his affairs - helped by the fact that he now has an address and a relationship. We have completed the forn "Authorising your agent". This has boxes to be ticked for e.g. TRust, Corp Tax, Tax Credits etc but nothing for CIS and so the HMRC helpline advised me to ink it in (!). This was submitted (twice) and eventually processed for self-assessment purposes. Howeverl 4 months and many phone calls later the CIS office still tell me that I am not authorised to deal with his CIS affairs.
Unless I can deal with the CIS office I don't see how I can get any record of what his earnings were or what tax he has paid, and without that, I can't start on his self-assessment forms. My client has not kept payslips and he estiamtes that he's worked for dozens of contractors in that period. What CIS have told me is that "If you're telling us that he hasn't done his tax returns as he's required to then he will face a penalty". I'm worried that if I pass that message on my client will again disappear.
My client already had penalties totally about £20k at the highest point, about 2 years ago. They are now down to about £6k. HMRC debt management tell me this is because returns have been submitted. However, they most definitely have not been but as it's a movement in my client's favour perhaps I won't try to unpick it. Let me repeat, he has NOT done any tax returns for 13 or more years. He does not have a bank account. His pay has gone into the accounts of family members who then find ways to get it to him.
The end result is that my client has been off-radar for many years but now want to legitimise has position. His income has always been modest - perhaps £20k pa - and he has no assets apart from a bag of tools. In terms of family committments he now has three children and so repayment of any tax penalties is going to have to be at extremely modest rates per week
Perhaps even worse is that his accountant - me - has no expertise in this area. I'd be grateful for any advice on how to get his affairs sorted out and especially how to get the CIS section to provide me with any details they hold of his earnings and tax deducted at source
Thanks in advance