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Self assessments: when do you get paid

When do you get paid from your client?

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Our standard process is to draft the SA, send it to the client for approval, when they approve we request payment. 

When the bill is paid we will submit to HMRC. 

Now... it seens one client has taken the draft self assessment and filed it themselves and of course hasn’t paid.

We will of course chase the amount owed. However it got me thinking about our processes, is requesting payment up front before any work is completed is a step too far?  

Would be great to hear what others do. 

Replies (13)

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By Matrix
09th Apr 2019 19:02

I have the same process.

How do you know the client has filed themselves - from HMRC online or from the client?

I would proceed as normal and send the bill and chase etc.

I would like to think this is unusual and doesn’t call for you to change your process. Very cheeky.

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By Lisa02
09th Apr 2019 19:12

I take it they did not approve the draft or reply. However, you have the evidence of prior communication, completing the draft and sending for approval. Your working practice appears standard and chase for the money.

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By Wanderer
09th Apr 2019 19:18

I had one once, decided to submit their own & their spouses.

Trouble was they submitted on paper, well past the paper filing deadline! Can't remember the detail but think they were into significant daily penalties whereas there wouldn't have been any if only they'd followed our instructions.

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By marks
09th Apr 2019 23:16

Most of ours pay monthly in advance so by the end of the tax year they have paid their fee for that year.

Only ones that we dont operate like that are those contractors who get a refund each year. The refund is paid to our client account and we deduct our fee before paying on the balance to them.

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Replying to marks:
By CatsandDogs
16th Apr 2019 16:26

Hi Marks,

Interested in this system - do you account for the income in advance at all with these monthly payments or just manage the risk?


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By Gone Sailing
10th Apr 2019 09:33

90% Monthly.

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By ireallyshouldknowthisbut
10th Apr 2019 09:51

That's unlucky, I have filed several thousand tax returns and its never happened to me yet, but I guess it will some day.

We bill when its issued,and its not filed until its paid.

I don't see why you wouldn't bill until its approved, that just means the client cant sign and pay in one go which is more hassle for both of you.

NB Id rather have one client a year do that than muck about with monthly payments for SA clients. I cant imagine the hassle of collecting £20 a month off people and having to do reconciliations when they come and go.

Thanks (3)
Replying to ireallyshouldknowthisbut:
By Gone Sailing
11th Apr 2019 09:59

There are other commercial dynamics to monthly payments, including, rolling arrangements that don't have the more obvious renewal decision points, the fact that there is communication throughout the year leading up to the SA, and the cash flow reason why DD's and SO's exist.

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By andy.partridge
10th Apr 2019 10:10

It makes sense from your perspective, but maybe not from the client's. I think it's best to look at things on a case by case basis. If you have a wholly trustworthy long-standing client there is no need to treat them the same as someone you have only just met.

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Replying to andy.partridge:
Red Leader
By Red Leader
10th Apr 2019 11:06

Agreed. Most of my clients get the invoice with the completed return. Some pay the minute (!) they get my invoice, others take longer. Exceptionally I get payment in advance, on a case-by-case basis.

Thanks (1)
By pauljohnston
16th Apr 2019 11:02

"I take it they did not approve the draft or reply. However, you have the evidence of prior communication, completing the draft and sending for approval. Your working practice appears standard and chase for the money."

I feel that they did approve since this is what was submitted. Send you bill and thank them for their business

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By Tom 7000
16th Apr 2019 18:44

I hate it when they do that.
chase them down use

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By anniem
17th Apr 2019 14:10

I send the invoice with the tax return and advise tax return will be submitted on receipt of payment and signature page. Haven't ever had anyone then go and file their own! I don't think they'll get the opportunity to do this to you again :-)

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