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Directors' Tax Returns - Should I Keep Stum?

Perennial question of whether a company director needs to submit a SA return

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I've just discovered that according to the Revenue's latest tool at https://www.gov.uk/check-if-you-need-tax-return there's no need for a company director to submit a return solely by virtue of his being a director. Something of an old chestnut of a question on Aweb, so three cheers that we at last have clear guidance from HMRC.  

Should I offer a refund to those director clients who have nonetheless erred on the side of caution by submitting a SA return? Or do I keep stum?

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25th Jan 2019 13:56

There's a time and a place.
I'd venture to suggest, it's neither; the time, nor the place.

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25th Jan 2019 14:06

What is it makes you think you ought to issue refunds?

If the directors have chosen to be registered, were forcibly registered by HMRC or required to be registered because of their income, then you've earned those fees. If however you told them they needed to be registered when they didn't, I suppose I can see why you might be concerned.

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25th Jan 2019 14:23

Surely it's "schtum" - from the Yiddish.

Setting that debate aside, no, I wouldn't feel obliged to offer refunds. It's a lot cheaper to complete the return than try to have it cancelled. The only time I'd push the withdrawal point is if penalties were involved.

What's on a return that could've been cancelled ? Salary - from the company. You should know that. Benefits - you should know that. Dividends - you should know that. Bit of bank interest, perhaps. Anything more than that and you should probably genuinely need a Self Assessment return.

I would DEFINITELY rather submit a SA return as opposed to let HMRC dream up figures informally.

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to lionofludesch
25th Jan 2019 14:45

lionofludesch wrote:

Surely it's "schtum" - from the Yiddish.


Or stumm from the German? Anyways, I got "stum" from the unreliable companion that is the Streetspeak dictionary.

lionofludesch wrote:

I would DEFINITELY rather submit a SA return as opposed to let HMRC dream up figures informally.


Trouble is, the client who found HMRC's helpful tool disagrees with that sentiment.
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to I'msorryIhaven'taclue
25th Jan 2019 15:09

Point out the recent change of HMRC opinion.

And what I said about cost of getting HMRC to withdraw the return.

And the advantages of self assessment. Who would he rather have calculating your tax ? You or HMRC ?

Not difficult to put a decent case together. But if he insists, don't do one in future. Just point out it was his choice if it all goes wrong. And, of course, you're on premium rates to sort out errors.

Out of interest, does he get dividends ? More than £2000 ? Did he owe anything on his last SA ? Is he a nuisance client ? Would you like to get shut ?

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25th Jan 2019 14:36

They wanted you to do a job, you did it, they authorised it, they're happy, they paid you.

Offering a refund would do nothing for your integrity. It would just make you look a bit weird.

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to andy.partridge
25th Jan 2019 14:47

I'm used to looking weird :)

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to I'msorryIhaven'taclue
25th Jan 2019 14:51

Apologies. Strike out 'look' and insert 'be'.

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25th Jan 2019 15:28

You've done nothing wrong up to a couple of weeks ago HMRC were insisting that Directors complete returns regardless what accountants said. The fact they've had a change of heart and are now following the legislation isn't your fault. Presumably the Director in question didn't receive over £10k in Divs which is notifiable. Perhaps he could claim your fee back from HMRC if they got it wrong.

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to lesley.barnes
26th Jan 2019 09:43

lesley.barnes wrote:

Presumably the Director in question didn't receive over £10k in Divs which is notifiable.

Where's that in the legislation??? Or are we going down the same route again?
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