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Taxi (software) for Herbert!

Looking for help and feedback from accountants with taxi driver clients

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Hello one and all,

Following on from my call-out for tech story ideas, I’m looking to kick off an (as yet untitled) series on sectional articles such as ‘what’s the best software for landlord clients?" or "what's best for taxi drivers?’, as suggested by ireallyshouldknowthisbut.

Am starting with the taxi driver scene - can anyone with taxi clients, ahem, drive me in the right direction? Is accounting for taxi drivers any different than regular self-employed accounting? There seem to be a lot of accountancy sites specialising in services for taxi drivers but what's the difference? Is there a higher risk of enquiry from HMRC? I guess in the past it was quite cash-heavy, but with the likes of Uber and the pandemic has this changed?

And on the software front, do the big players accommodate any kinky nuances the sector has? There seem to be specific tools available like Taxi manager, The drivers tax app, TaxiMATE etc. Are there any people use or have tried, and what should accountants look out for when choosing such tools? 

If you have a minute and are feeling kind do let me know below, or if you’d prefer to chat drop me a private message on the site or email [email protected].

All the best,

Tom

Replies (9)

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By ireallyshouldknowthisbut
17th Jan 2022 11:16

Just to put my hand up as this was my idea, I don't do taxi drivers accounts but generally different types of business are better suited to different accounts software plus often there is functional software for the clients business that also does enough on the accounts side they don't then need to duplicate it with an accounts system too, but as its niche unless you work in the area a lot you wont have come across it, so its helpful to have some steers on where to look to help a client pick a system.

I find with landlords you can either bend accounting software to landlords (eg using repeating invoice when tenancy is set up, but you don't of course send the invoices out) or use functional software built for landlords which covers things like rental agreements etc, but the accounts side is usually an afterthought. Probably the best one we have found is Landlord Vision by the NRLA which is modestly priced for what it does.

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Replying to ireallyshouldknowthisbut:
paddle steamer
By DJKL
17th Jan 2022 11:41

Keyprime from Landmark works for larger property entities (and is not cash based accounting which a lot of software re property appears to be) , you keep a database of properties, tenants and leases which creates rental demands/ rental invoices within the accounts part of the software (in our case one database can feed into the three entities we own as that is our subscription. . It also assists re management flagging rent reviews/lease end dates , property repairs can be logged by property, EPC management, etc .It is also MTD for vat compatible . (they also do an agriculture version) and I suspect they will extend re MTD IT

Not the simplest software to learn/understand, it has nuances within the nominal reporting and ledger structures need careful planning.,I do keep needing to refer to the manuals (must be an age thing), but for the landlords like us with some properties opted/some not, a lot of tenancies spread across our various entities (two limiteds and a Partnership) with services needing split and billed amongst multilet commercial units, it does what is required.

I think we pay circa £1,200 plus vat for the software each year, but this is for a two user three company setup.

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By Catherine Newman
17th Jan 2022 12:16

I have a couple of taxi drivers. They write their income and expenses in a cash book and I collate a spreadsheet. We are in the Cotswold area and most of their work is school runs for the Council.

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Replying to Catherine Newman:
By tracyannw
17th Jan 2022 13:20

Same here I have 2 taxi drivers on my books and they seem to favour working from an income and expenses book which I transfer onto excel.

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By SXGuy
17th Jan 2022 12:52

I have maybe 80 taxi drivers. Id say 99% of them have a cash book to record fares and expenses.

Those that work the apps receive a statement showing all journeys and fees.

I'd say probably none of them would be interested in doing it any other way, and I think hmrc are quite used to this method since it's been the norm forever.

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Replying to SXGuy:
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By Hugo Fair
17th Jan 2022 15:43

So the records don't become 'digital' until you transpose values from paper into something at your end (a spreadsheet presumably)?
If so, what do they (or indeed you) envisage changing under MTD - not just in terms of process but of frequency?

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Replying to Hugo Fair:
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By SXGuy
17th Jan 2022 22:39

Good question. Not one I've come to a conclusion about yet.

But the simplest way for Mtd imo would be to make sure they have a dedicated bank account for income and expenses and use open banking to reconcile payments.

Frequency probably every 3 months. With auto tagging rules I may be able to do mostly everything automated except for submission.

Its not viable that I meet them face to face 4 or 5 times a year to transpose their cash book on to software, so that doesn't leave much other option.

From their point of view they won't want or care about doing anything digitally so it will most likely fall to me to do it.

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By Catherine Newman
17th Jan 2022 16:05

Thank you everybody. I am taking the ostrich approach to MTD.

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By legerman
18th Jan 2022 12:31

My first client was a taxi driver, and I used an excel based program called Taxi Driver from DIY accounting. However he outgrew the program so I switched him to VT+, which I'd started using by then.

I have a different taxi driver on my books now. He has a weekly sheet that he records sales, radio rent and fuel, and pins the receipts to the sheet. I then enter them into VT+ together with any other receipts (repairs, council costs insurance etc)

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