Member Since: 3rd Nov 2006
Worked for Inland Revenue for 11 years in the 70s and 80s before I saw the light!
Progressed from working for medium sized firms of accountants to starting my own practice in 1996 and havent looked back since, with hubby joining me in partnership 7 years later.
10th May 2021
Having taken my state pension, including lump sum, under the old rules last September I know all about this. I was in the fortunate position that my main source of income was salary and dividends from our own company, so I made a point of not taking either last year until March, when I could work out exactly what my total income would be. I did exactly the same calculations and realised that although interest and dividends would be covered by the savings and dividend allowances they are still income. Although "taxable" at 0%, if they took my total income over the personal allowance, the whole of the lump sum became taxable.
The only thing that did not do this were the small amounts paid to charity under Gift Aid, where the 20% tax due is actually a recovery of tax relief already given through paying net of tax.
I managed to save around £8k on this exercise, so thanks HMRC!
28th Apr 2021
I will certainly be waiting until the position is clearer (although I had hoped to retire this summer!).
28th Apr 2021
Having a client with a 30th April year end, I would love to think that HMRC could look at the true turnover for the year to 5th April 2021, as her income has plummeted in the last year. However, the year to 30 April 2020 will form the basis of her tax return and her turnover for that year is too high for her to claim the 5th grant.
I have advised her to change her year end to 31 March and to include 23 months in the 2020/2021 tax return (a 12 plus an 11 month period), as the overlap relief will reduce her taxable income, but presumably the SEISS claim will then be based on the turnover for the whole 23 month, as I cannot see how they can separate the two periods?
28th Apr 2021
It seems unlikely the fifth grant will be based on the 2020/21 tax return when the deadline for filing that return us January 2022.
Or has my brain disengaged?
All I can think of, and have suggested to my client, is that they will accept a declaration that the income was lower when the claim is made but will check the position when the tax returns have gone in. I cannot see any way that they can check, other than against a tax return, which means she is not going to qualify.
26th Apr 2021
I regularly find little things that someone I'm supervising hasn't done right or doesn't understand. I tell her about them and she improves. But I try very hard not to sound bossy or like a bully. And I want to have a friendly relationship where there is mutual respect.
Sometimes easier said than done. Over the years I have had to supervise staff several times and hoped I was being reasonable and fair but have still had problems - the first time when in the Revenue as a Group Leader I asked junior staff (tax officers) to help with a job that strictly belonged to clerical assistants (the issue of coding notices), as they were under pressure and I thought it reasonable to help them. It practically provoked a walk out and ended up with the Tax Officers (Higher Grade), including myself, helping out instead! I never understood then and still don't now why they objected so strongly to helping others.
The second time it was just myself and a tax assistant in an accounting practice, where I asked her to do some work I would not have hesitated to do myself. She also took umbrage, so clearly I was not cut out to be a supervisor and I ultimately left the firm and started my own business. Much easier to have no-one (except my husband) to worry about..
19th Apr 2021
I'm not sure whether Moneysoft would allow a zero benefit P11D to be submitted.
If not, I'd submit one on paper - just to be safe.
Yes, it does, and you still need to enter details of the car concerned. I couldn't work out how to do this at first and had to contact Moneysoft. The g/km and cc have to be entered as nil, not ignored, otherwise it won't work.
19th Apr 2021
I think you're on the hook for it I'm afraid.
An expensive lesson on the need for a proper management system beyond a procedure and you're own memory, we run daily exports of the tax return master list all through January precisely to avoid this happening.
I do sympathise with Humble as I made a big mistake a few years ago (not a late return) resulting in a large penalty, which I paid through my insurer. However, be warned, the insurance premiums were substantially increased the next and subsequent years, so it may be worth paying it yourself if you can.
I no longer trust my memory but prefer to keep a spreadsheet to track the returns, rather than having to download reports from my software each time. Each client is colour coded as they move through the system, so clear initially, orange once sent to client and yellow when sent to HMRC. By using a spreadsheet I can easily use filters to see not only where each client has got to but also when the return information came in, so that I can prioritise the oldest ones first. This system has worked well for me for years, so no-one gets missed.
8th Apr 2021
I seem to wait around 40 minutes every time I call them now, so try and make sure I have more than one query, to make the wait more worthwhile! The agent dedicated line is not manned and calls are simply diverted to the general line now. Surely after a year of this HMRC should be getting staff back into the office, or at least have improved the setup? It feels wrong to charge the clients for the time wasted waiting!
29th Mar 2021
bernard michael wrote:
The problem is going to be moving non Digital clients onto Digital methods involving suggesting systems,training hand holding and probably end up doing the extra work anyway. BUT there aren't enough of us to cover the extra time thereby hangs the difficulty, which is why I think a flat % rate scheme will ensue
I don't go with the flat % rate but it IS possible with some clients at least to get them on to suitable software. We managed several years ago to get a salon-owing hairdresser who had never owned a business before and had nil computer experience to keep simple bookkeeping records on computer. It helps that the income is all cash basis and nearly all expenses are too, so very few adjustments needed. BUT it took us hours to train her and we still have to deal with regular queries and check everything each quarter (she is within MTD) before we file the returns. She is happy to pay but we are a small family business and I do not charge her what a bigger practice would need to charge.
I am far more concerned about the landlords, especially the older ones, very few of whom keep proper records but just tell us once a year what they have received and paid and expect us to pull it all together. Yes, letting agents are starting to produce annual statements (for a large fee) but they are not reliable and often do not include insurance or other expenses paid personally and certainly not mortgage interest, though as that will no longer be an expense as such I suppose that is irrelevant.
There is no way that we, as a small practice, can cope with quarterly returns for everyone, especially in the year of changeover, when we will also have the previous year's accounts and returns to deal with, so I am passing most of our clients on to someone else and just keeping the pensioners!
24th Mar 2021
Be fair but don't undersell yourself. I did when I first set up my practice, as I was working from home and had few overheads, and have paid the price for years, as it is very difficult to put prices up after you have taken someone on. Fortunately/unfortunately most clients stayed with me, so I was stuck with many low fees but loyal clients!