Member Since: 15th Mar 2000
21st Sep 2018
Lets get down to practical examples. In May and June this year I bought Asparagus in Tesco's, sourced from a farm two miles down the road; two weeks later from a farm in Poland; three weeks after that from a farm in Peru.
In each case I paid £2 for the asparagus.
Its seems the disparity in transport logistics, customs procedures, packaging and pricing are well understood by the whole supply chain to the point where the mug consumer just pays up and accepts it all.
Why should we worry about Brexit? The retailers have got every scenario templated and are rubbing their hands in glee at the "Cost of Brexit, guv" excuses to make more profit.
Surely it could be simple competition that keeps the cost of asparagus stable? My recollection of studying economics a lifetime ago tells me that in conditions of perfect competition prices of identical goods from different suppliers will be the same. If you can't supply it at (or below) the prevailing price you shouldn't be in the market. Someone else will undercut you.
26th Feb 2018
There is no ethical dilemma here. If HMRC have issued a notice to complete a tax return then a return is required by law. It's difficult to see that the cost of complying with the law in a simple case will be any more than the cost of a futile argument with HMRC about whether they were right to issue the notice, to my mind.
Many tax returns have to be completed and submitted but don't raise any tax for the government if the person concerned has no liability under SA for a particular year, but that doesn't mean that the taxpayer can choose not to submit.
HMRC need to ask people to submit returns who are likely to have a liability and company directors will generally be in that category, just as self-employed people are.
Surely it must be up to HMRC to decide who should submit a return, as long as their decisions have some logic?
23rd Feb 2018
I tried using this early on (perhaps too early) for one client only. HMRC provided no data for the client in question but the standing data (names of pension providers etc.) was completely deleted from the tax return and therefore had to be typed again when completing the return. This put me right off using the pre-pop facility which I have more or less ignored since then. I told staff not to use it. Easier and quicker to simply get the details from the client, surely?
What I think would be very useful would be a facility to download all relevant information which HMRC can supply as a document (with no entries being made directly on the new tax return). The document could then be compared with the information received from the client, and it would also be helpful in completing the picture where for example the client has mislaid a P60 or other document - P11Ds are often not available in my experience for example.
I use PTP software if that makes any difference? No idea how other software companies deal with this.
26th Jan 2018
In reply to those asking what amount they should pay, surely the answer is that you should pay the amount you believe is correct. If you're right then HMRC will eventually have to agree with you. If you're wrong you may need to pay the balance later when they catch up with you.
I have to say however that (almost from the time when I first used tax software, but not quite) I haven't bothered to check the calculations because I'm paying a firm to get that right. With all the different allowances for this and that kind of income I haven't got a clue how to check the calculations now, unless they're very straightforward.
It does now worry me that I could be submitting clients' returns and advising them to pay incorrect amounts because of this farce.
Although HMRC are clearly at fault, I feel that the politicians have made things much worse by introducing these ridiculous exemptions and complications. We should get back to a situation where an intelligent taxpayer (and his accountant) can work out how much tax he has to pay without resorting to a computer.
Also, I feel that the software companies could be doing more to help us. Once they're aware of these cases where the officially-approved calculation produces the wrong answer, they should (at the point where we use their software to do the sums) tell us that the correct amounts of tax due are XYZ and not the amounts they are required to put on the tax returns, not just leave us and our clients to find out later.
In addition, surely HMRC should be required, once they've got all their calculations correct (which should be very soon after the end of this month), to recalculate the tax for everybody who's submitted a 2016/17 tax return, and advise them and their accountants of their findings.
18th Apr 2017
11th Apr 2017
To be honest, given what's happening in the accountancy world, I'm almost prepared to pay someone to take it off my hands!
10th Apr 2017
I'll be 65 this summer but was thinking of carrying on for a year or three. Now, in view of MTDfb and other issues, I think I'll definitely get rid of my practice this year and watch from the (AWEB) sidelines.
Although I might be available for a bit of part-time data processing from time to time to help you youngsters out of a jam!
10th Apr 2017
Whilst I agree with what you say generally, my comment was based on the assumption that when HMRC conduct an enquiry in future they will expect to look at the end-of-period-statement to make sure that it doesn't include a large wodge of transactions (expenses) which hadn't been posted at the correct time (i.e. when they were incurred) or which aren't backed up by vouchers. HMRC have understandably been trying for years to eliminate estimates from accounts, and it seems to me that quarterly "updates" based on the actual transactions for a period are their latest weapon in that fight. I certainly didn't mean to imply that they would be going through all these updates etc as they come in, but if you're picked out for an enquiry then they will surely have a look to see whether you've made an effort to comply with the new system, otherwise why bother with it all?
10th Apr 2017
Presumably HMRC will be scrutinising end-of-period-statements and disallowing lots of adjustments which they will say should have been posted at the time of the transaction, so (as they weren't posted at the time for whatever reason - e.g. bills mislaid down the back of the office sofa and recovered 6 months later) are therefore not allowable.
14th Nov 2016
Will it hell! It brings in enormous amounts of money for HMG.