Member Since: 7th May 2014
1st Apr 2021
Thank you for your response.
Clearly I do not question the issue of late presentation of information. Nor do I deny that early filing is preferred. However, I have never bought into the idea of penalising (or refusing) clients on the grounds late submission of information. If there is any way I can possibly (even move mountains) file on time, I will.
HOWEVER.. the issue here is a different one. If HMRC/ CH are going to penalise (financially, or by marking a late return, or by logging accounts as being filed a day late on the public register), they MUST do so from a reasonably justified position. Both HMRC and CH have a 23:59 cutoff. So submissions made - say by 23:30 - should almost certainly be accepted or rejected by 23:59 (generally MUCH quicker).
Today however, they have effectively shut up shop early because their systems are simply unable to cope. They haven't issued a notification to say that the deadline has been change to 2pm. As a result, many accounts and returns, submitted on time, are deemed late - whether or not a financial penalty is raised.
By contrast, if the terms of a contractual agreement require signed acceptance, to be delivered to a company's office by 5pm, and were that acceptance to be delivered at 4:59pm, the said acceptance could not be rejected on the grounds that it was not received before the office had to close unexpectedly at 2pm! Any attempts to suggest otherwise would be laughed out of court!
Simply put... any penalties should be levied for failure to comply with regulation NOT where attempts to comply with thise regulations are thwarted by system glitches/ pressures - no matter how close to the deadline those attempts are. After all, the penalty for breaking the speed limit isn't handed down to someone travelling at 29mph... "because it's close enough to 30"!
1st Apr 2021
What a farce!
One set of accounts and one CT return not accepted by 23:59pm (despite waiting most of the day for the acciunts). I did manage to rush a set through - which has been polling since lunchtime - using the CH Online filing system (which I hate using as the filed accounts always look so amateur). I just didn't have time to do the same with the other (and couldn't have done anything about the CT anyway).
I suspect late filing penalties will be raised. HMRC/ CH will blame software providers. They will in turn blame HMRC/ CH. Then both will blame us. The screenshots I've taken won't be worth a fig. The penalties will stand and I will have no choice other than to reimburse clients for them. All in all a very profitable penalty day for UKPLC! Is this how they're going to pay for SEISS/ CJRS etc.?
Roll on MTD ITSA/ MTD CTSA. It's not as if we've got nothing better to worry about than inadequate systems! Every quarter, less than a month to turn round figures for every client, additional software costs, additional time, and will it be UKPLC, clients or ourselves who are left to foot the bill? I can almost guarantee it being the latter much of the time. And then we're having to try and compete with the multitude of companies out there offering a "full and unlimited accountancy service with dedicated unlimited support from a CA" for £20 a month. Talk about a race to the bottom!!!
Anyway, whinge over. Fingers crossed CH and HMRC will accept that they're inadequate systems are our reasonable excuse!!!
13th Jan 2021
This forum is primarily for accountants to discuss situations they are faced with - BEFORE (and this is the most important point) taking that information, reviewing/ researching further, and then applying it to the particular scenario they are facing.
It IS NOT a forum designed to provide free, specific, tailored, expert advice to consumers. I feel you may have misunderstood the purpose of AW.
As you state, you work in finance so, you must understand that every taxpayer has different circumstances. Therefore, you should also realise that, without a full understanding of your own circumstances, objectives and intentions, the "collective we" are unlikely to provide a full and comprehensive answer to your questions.
I seriously recommend you approach an accountant who will review your situation and advise accordingly. Whilst I appreciate you have "asked" two accountants and received two different answers, it may be that the questions posed were interpreted differently. I also wonder whether this was fully engaged advice or whether, like here, you sent speculative emails, expecting free advice.
Finally, please be aware, most accountants on this forum will move heaven and earth to give justifiable responses to questions and to help in any way they can. However, you are unlikely to receive a favourable response if you criticise the profession, or make comments downcrying other accountants for taking differing viewpoints. Afterall, you have provided a relatively poorly worded question!
Note for future... don't criticise accountants on AccountingWeb. For some unfathomable reasin this forum us full of 'em!!!
10th Jan 2021
Knowing the deadline was approaching.
The deadline has been extended to 31 March 2021 which will give ample time to approach the person who advised you to take the actions described later in your post.
We were advised to do it this way to save on accounts fees and legwork.
I am assuming this was professional advice - although no idea why this would be recommended?!? If so my advice is to refer this question to them. They have much more knowledge of your business, and will be much more able to provide relevant advice based on your actual business circumstances than a forum is able to provide (for free) based on partial information.
Failing all else approach youe bank business relationship manager. They should be able to advise.
Finally, and clutching at straws the rules for BBLS are based on the rules implemented in Spring 2020. Potentially, as we are now in 2021, they may change to reflect 2020. As I say completely clutching a straws here, but eligibility criteria has the potential to be updated.
10th Jan 2021
I am confused...
How was there a fake supplier AND a fake customer?
If both were fake, that may impact my previous response as I only approached this from the perspective of the "scam" customer.
What has happened in relation to the VAT element of the purchase from the supplier? Surely, if you doubt their integrity, you should carry out further checks. I would suggest it likely that any VAT you were charged by them was "dodgy"!
10th Jan 2021
On the face of it... and not knowing the exact nature of the transaction...
I would be inclined to agree that there was no bad debt. There was no supply, no deposit payment, no transaction, and -in all reality - no tax point. I further agree that it should (probably) have been a proforma (stating "not a tax invoice" etc.) issued not a VAT invoice.
A credit note seems appropriate to cancel the previous invoice (reported in error). Make sure a copy of the credit note is issued to the "customer". Furthermore, ensure this is receipted (delivery/ read receipt if emailed, recorded (Signed For) if by post) so you are covered from a due diligence perspective in the event of a compliance check.
Whether you should consider further action/ reporting will be dependent upon the value of the transaction. You don't say whether the VAT value was £1 or £100,000. Furthermore, if the "correction of error" is more than £10K you may need to submit forn VAT652 as opposed to adjusting this on the current return (this is after all and "error" in reporting - not an uncollectable bad debt being write off).
Finally, this would be a perfect time for you and/ or your client to review the processes for invoicing prior to fulfilment. I don't know your client's business so don't know whether this is a one-off or regular occurrence. However, in this instance alone, the client is effectively creating a tax point that predates a relevant event (i.e. the supply of a service or payment of a deposit).
10th Jan 2021
Why change the company name? There's no need to remove the name "Accountants" as it is not a reserved/ protected name/ word - practicing or not. Besides, if you did change the name you'd have to change it with the insurer (etc.) as well.
As for the SIC code. Personally I wouldn't bother changing it.
As an aside, on reviewing CH information, I always get a nagging doubt in my mind when I see a change of company name on file, and want/ need to know more! If that company also shows as "non trading" on the SIC but, has been submitting trading accounts - my suspicions are aroused further. From your post, it'll be at least a year before your first non-trading accounts are filed (to end of 2021)
Others on here may disagree and you'll need to weigh up the pros and cons. Indeed, there may be a trick I'm missing in your reasons for the change of name and SIC which go further than simply "giving up your practicing certificate".
9th Jan 2021
If he does get back to you next week, make sure you charge extra for every minute he's left you waiting over the weekend! Then... submit the return fashionably late (31st March should be fine) blaming the "bleedin' traffic on the ring road" as your excuse!
Seriously though £208 + VAT of your time is not worth the hassle of trawling through 6,000 fuels receipts (all for my own cab "guv") and the 10 fares (it was a really quiet year "darlin'") - not to mention the 3 brand new Mercedes S-classes which were all written off as scrap (honest)!!!
Also, slightly off topic, but relevant for anyone dealing with "silly" mileage/ fuel claims... request the MOT certificate. Tends to stop em in their tracks when you point out the mileage they're claiming (say 40,000) is 30,000 miles more than they travelled between tests and 10,000 more than the vehicle has done since registration!
9th Jan 2021
I'm afraid this question is wrong on so many levels. I would also urge you to read the "HMRC standard for agents" to ensure you know your responsibilities!
What you are basically suggesting is that a software provider will facilitate the submission of a tax return (Personal Tax, Corporation Tax etc.), under their own credentials, without carrying out any checks on the taxpayer, without any formal engagement and will bear the brunt of inaccurate submissions (from client and taxpayer)???
Not only would this contravene the standard, it would also be subject to abuse! The less honest in society may be able to submit a false return for anybody they know the UTR and NINO for (e.g. a former employee or estranged partner), knowing the submission would not be traced back to them, and could lead to untold issues for the taxpayer (and the "so called" agent).
As for payroll software (and Co Sec software for that matter) allowing submissions through their agent (or presenter) IDs. I am aware these exist but would not expect ANY self respecting agent (or presenter) to use such a process!
Finally, if a taxpayer is unable to sign up for HMRC Online due to being unable to provide passport, driving licence, credit certification etc. (which is incidentally NOT the same as, nor anything to do with 2-factor authentication), the TAXPAYER should contact HMRC to be approved elsehow. This is only likely to affect a SMALL minority of taxpayers!!!
8th Jan 2021
Unless I'm missing a major trick, I agree with you completely. I cannot see why an apprentice is treated any differently - unless perhaps - the justification is that the appentice's course started before 30 October.
In these situations, I tend to go back to the client and ask to be referred to the source of their information. If that is a website, you can then read it and decide. If it turns out to be a friend of a friend of a neighbour's pet pooch... take it with a pinch of salt.
Throw the ball back in their court. We are required to advise on facts... not on heresay.
Notwithstanding the above, it is always possible I have missed something in the fluid CJRS legislation.