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How many people have rung you up today asking for an instant tax return?

How many people have rung you up today asking...

So far (3pm)

We have had 2 existing clients, and 3 new enquiries.

All 5 of them sounded put out when we explained that no, we where not sitting here with am empty desk and no, there was no chance at all of filing their returns by the end of Monday.

I think we are all done now, just got 5 completed awaiting payment/signatures, 2 unfinished awaiting information and 4 not started.

Pub time! If anyone calls I was too busy to pick up the phone.


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28th Jan 2011 20:05

Missed opportunity.

Sounds like you missed a good opportunity to make a quick killing there - it's only one weekend a year you have to forego the pub and work all weekend - but then you'll be able to afford to spend longer in the pub in February....

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28th Jan 2011 23:37

Totally disagree

Sounds like you missed a good opportunity to make a quick killing there - it's only one weekend a year you have to forego the pub and work all weekend - but then you'll be able to afford to spend longer in the pub in February....


Posted by Dougscott on Fri, 28/01/2011 - 20:05


The kind of people who leave it to the last minute are likely to be a pain every year, and have probably left it to the last minute because they dont want to pay for the work to be done.

You cant get new clients authorised on line this late - so its too late for them anyway. As for the 2 existing clients, unless there is a good reason for their being so late, I would be asking myself if I wanted them as clients.

Running around like headless chickens because of feckles clients will simply drive you into an early grave and wont be appreciated.

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29th Jan 2011 09:58

Agree with C_D

Nearly all say they will be early next year, but like 'tomorrow' it never comes.

You could put them to the test by billing high so that it is worth your while and encourages them to be early next year (or alternatively it might help ensure they become someone else's problem next year).

-- Kind regards Andy

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31st Jan 2011 09:36

Just had a call

From someone needing the last FIVE years worth of accounts and returns doing by 9 Feb.  Of course it is a nice easy job and he even asked if he could do it himself as it is so simple!  I replied that this depends on how much he knows about tax and what is allowable etc.  

Actually, I probably could "fit him in" but I really don't need another week of running around.

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31st Jan 2011 10:27

And another one....

I got one on Friday afternoon - just a sole trader.  Told him it would be cheaper to pay the £100 fine as I'd charge more than £100 extra to do it over the weekend and suggested he come in for an appointment sometime around mid February!  I don't think he appreciated my advice and don't expect to hear from him.

And another email this morning wanting someone to do a tax return by lunchtime as they were busy this afternoon!   Needless to say they got a very short email reply saying no.

I can't really see why some accountants regard the last minute panic as an opportunity to make a killing.  After all, for a sole trader, it's only a £100 fine so your accountancy fee top-up won't be more than that or it's not worth it for the client.   Of course, if it's a partnership then the fines will be higher so you can say charge a couple of hundred extra to save the client £400, and same with a ltd co., when you may be able to save the CT fine and the Co House fine, but for just £100 it's just not worth it.

I also think it devalues yourself and the profession as a whole.  Late clients rarely change - if they're late this year,they'll be late again next year and the rest.  

I dont listen to sob stories either.  If the client feels that they have a "reasonable excuse" for being late, then let them argue with HMRC when the penalty letter arrives.  


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31st Jan 2011 17:21


I quite agree Ken.

Its just not worth the bother so many idiots, so little time.

So glad that today is the last day of it. Just emailed a client who we did the return for on wednesday who has STILL not faxed or emailed back his authorisation. 

I hope he gets fined quite frankly.

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31st Jan 2011 17:55

Can anyone beat six years ?

I had a new enquiry wanting six years' returns done about 30 minutes after we'd finished the lot.

Fortunately, after I'd talked to the chap for a few minutes, it was clear that he was a repayment case, didn't need to do a tax return and that the repayments were too small to justify doing the returns.


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01st Feb 2011 09:00

I had been sitting there smugly ...

as in truth I finished last Wednesday .. when I got a call from Australia at midday yesterday! Ex client (or so I thought) who left the UK 18 months ago 'suddenly' realised she had been given a 2010 return. Normally I would agree with you guys and given short shrift ... except ... can you imgaine that Kylie Minogue has a much better looking younger sister ... yeh, I filed it for her!!! It was only a P.45 with one month of income and she did ask nicely.

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