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Starting my own practice and I would like help

Starting my own practice and like to know what is necessary. Would appreciate the guidance.

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I am a tax advisor who is currently studying for CTA (9 years experience). I have been working for a small tax firm, filing accounts, tax returns (SA, CT600). I would like to start my own company to give tax advice and file accounts and tax returns. My understanding is I need to have AML supervision (I have submitted an application to HMRC), agent account by writing to HMRC so I have access to corporation tax and self-assessment tax, PI, and GDPR.

Please can someone help confirm I am on the right track?

Also, a few questions which I am not 100% certain about: 

1. Do I need to carry out AML check on each client using a website like veriphy or will passport and other I suffice? 

2. Do I need to register for corporation tax/self-assessment tax for agents to be able to file self-assessment tax returns, companies accounts, and tax returns? 

3. I believe if I am giving purely tax advice I will not need this and only the AML supervision will suffice. please can someone confirm that. 

I would appreciate the responses. 

Replies (18)

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By James Green
07th Jul 2021 20:21

The bigger question you need to address is where are your clients going to come from - especially if you’re only offering tax advice.

Unless you are very connected with an established reputation, I strongly suspect (like the rest of us) you’ll end up “working the high street” dealing with OMB general practice.

Which means your first and foremost job as a practice owner is to get clients. If you don’t get clients all the technical stuff is completely pointless.

However, in answer to your questions:

1) No, original documents are fine
2) Yes
3) You are correct

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Replying to James Green:
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By Eternal Tax
08th Jul 2021 09:26

You are correct in your assumption. I will be working with OMB's filing accounts and tax returns. I would like to be legally allowed to file the accounts and tax returns (AML, be registered agent) before I go look for clients as I don't want to make them wait before I can practice. I appreciate your response.

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By Mr_awol
07th Jul 2021 22:55

You’re still studying - what are the rules on practising as a student, licensing/certification, etc?

Do you need your current employer to sign off your experience once qualified in order to obtain membership?

Your experience sounds very tax based and you want to do CT600s - have you actually got the acce prep experience re disclosures etc?

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Replying to Mr_awol:
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By Eternal Tax
08th Jul 2021 09:29

CTA doesn't have the same regulations as ACCA or other bodies. Practice is allowed.

Anyone can file accounts and tax returns without any qualifications.

Which disclosures? a partner in the business will be an ACCA qualified accountant. I'm hoping he would know. Any hints to the disclosures so I can ask him?

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Replying to Eternal Tax:
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By Wanderer
08th Jul 2021 13:36

Then your partner will need an ACCA practising certificate and comply with all the other ACCA obligations.
https://www.accaglobal.com/an/en/member/sectors/smp/practising-certifica...

You and he will need to check the requirements for a non ACCA partner to be in partnership with a practising ACCA member.

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Replying to Eternal Tax:
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By Mr_awol
08th Jul 2021 14:24

I have no idea on CTA requirements hence the question - although you confirm practice is allowed but don't say whether you will need prior work experience signing off in order to gain 'full' membership. As long as you dont, then there's no risk (to your qualifications etc) from ditching your employer - but if you did, youd want to get 'signed off' first.

Yes anyone can (legally) file accounts - but that doesnt necessarily mean that they should. I wasn't sparking a qual/non-qual debate, more pointing out that IF you have indeed been totally tax focussed (as i would expect if you were studying CTA at a small firm) then you might have done loads of SAs and CT600s as part of a tax department but not actually prepared any accounts. If that is the case, then your average non-corporate set of accounts is easy enough generally but you may be ill-equipped to consider limited company accounting disclosures and treatments such as:
- Related parties
- Revaluation of investment properties/financial instruments
- Even stuff like E'ee numbers.
Now much of this the software nudges you to do. Other things it doesn't. You now add that you have a partner involved in the start-up so it may be that you have all the skills between you (including presumably payroll processing - it isn't that complicated but you do get some odd questions about starters, leavers, pensions, auto enrolment, etc.) and VAT. It is rare that the average client 'just' wants tax advice, unless you are very good or very specialist in which case you can pick up consultancy from forms who don't have someone like you in-house, perhaps.

You say you might not need agent accounts to file TRs (true, technically) but you might need them to extract data from HMRC - P60 info, State Pension, or view the client's payments/accounts/etc. Without such access you probably cant offer a the same level of service as you can with them.

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Replying to Mr_awol:
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By Eternal Tax
08th Jul 2021 14:38

Firstly, I'd like to appreciate your response. Thank you very much.

I may not have been clear in my post, but this new venture will be a side project and both partners will continue with our respective full-time jobs.

I'm hoping to build a client base of a mixture of tax advisory and compliance.

I would say I am a specialist when it comes to advisory for individuals and OMB.

Ideally, that would be something I'd like to build a client base for.

I have surprisingly received my agent account code for corporation tax and SA tax this morning. Suprised it came so early.

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By I'msorryIhaven'taclue
08th Jul 2021 09:54

Rishi's certainly caused some ripples with his announcements this morning. You're the second one here wanting to know how to set up in business for yourself, and it's not even ten o'clock yet.

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Replying to I'msorryIhaven'taclue:
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By Eternal Tax
08th Jul 2021 13:24

Sorry, I am confused what you mean by this. Care to elaborate?

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By Michael Davies
09th Jul 2021 10:54

Good for you.As of yesterday I finally managed to close .AML and PI costs,plus oncoming MTD were just becoming too onerous a burden.How severe will the shortage of Tax Pros be in the near future ? Wait and see.

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Replying to Michael Davies:
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By Software Seeker
09th Jul 2021 11:34

Michael Davies wrote:

Good for you.As of yesterday I finally managed to close .AML and PI costs,plus oncoming MTD were just becoming too onerous a burden.How severe will the shortage of Tax Pros be in the near future ? Wait and see.

Good for you. Don't think you're the only one. It all drives me nuts.

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Replying to Michael Davies:
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By Eternal Tax
09th Jul 2021 17:46

Any clients you can pass on XD

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Replying to Michael Davies:
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By Eternal Tax
09th Jul 2021 17:46

Any clients you can pass on XD

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By Guilford Accounting
09th Jul 2021 11:31

Take a look at https://mybookkeepingbusiness.co.uk. Contains all you need to start an accountancy and tax practice including all the AML stuff.

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By Software Seeker
09th Jul 2021 11:32

I hope you like reams and reams of red tape and admin. This will take at least 50% (probably more) of your time running your own practice, which hitherto will presumably have been dealt with by other members of your employer's firm.

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Replying to Software Seeker:
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By Eternal Tax
09th Jul 2021 17:45

What kind of admin?

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By Husbandofstinky
09th Jul 2021 14:49

Just a small nugget, I use Veriphy for AMLR purposes.

For the price of it per unit it is worth it. Sanctions/PEP considerations etc. Yes you can DIY (used to) but for the cost, well worth it imho

It also verifies the the ID documents too. As some have pointed out on here before, would you know the difference between a genuine or fake passport or driving licence?

All for the price of a Costa coffee

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By Matrix
09th Jul 2021 18:38

I am sure you have done your own market research but, in my experience, prospects just need an accountant. Most of what we do may be tax compliance and tax planning but clients don’t want to engage you or pay for stand alone tax advice.

You need to prepare accounts too since these are required for tax returns anyway. Maybe your business partner will do this. I had to learn but it was ok, I think the hardest part of running your own practice is the commercial side.

If all you were really asking was about the set up then do a search on here for similar questions.

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