Member Since: 1st Feb 1998
AccountingWEB’s interim Editor in Chief has been with the site since 1999 and returned to the editorial hot seat in March 2020 to support the team through the pandemic. When not tending to the needs of AccountingWEB members and geeking out on their technology habits, he devotes much of his time to an oddball collection of stringed instruments and seeking out obscure indie music in Brighton UK and beyond.
Editor in Chief AccountingWEB
22nd Oct 2021
If anyone wants further background on the Coca-Cola/Tramino van Supreme Court decision, Helen Thornley looked at the VAT, capital allowance and professional indeminty implications in a pair of articles for us back in August 2020.
Start here for more on double-cab vans:
19th Oct 2021
Thanks for the diary check! The summary line has been updated.
13th Oct 2021
Oh Gawd, I hear you... but with a sense of shame and foreboding because with all the tax & tech content I delve into, I know I'm as guilty of anyone here of dishing out the TLAs (three-letter acronyms).
We can thank the fluffy cloud generation for consigning some of the old PC acronyms to the memory bank (RAM, ROM, CPU, VDU etc), but others refuse to go away, like ERP, CRM and FP&A. Sometimes, ADS (acronym deployment syndrome) has to happen - especially if you're trying to squeeze a complicated subject into a 50-character headline.
While I admit to committing many of these sins, however, can I deflect attention to another well known set of intials that acts as something of an acronym generator within the profession... HMRC - by far the biggest per-capita producer of TLAs within the UK from my experience.
Everybody has learned to live with the basic taxes like VAT and CGT. But it's when they think up something new like CJRS that the fun really begins. And then they start changing their minds... I remember especially when the thing we might know today as MTD started life as "Filing By Internet" (FBI). It was fun while it lasted, but we've been playing catch up ever since.
Even in the past month or two, we have probably devoted 5 person hours on the Aweb team to debating whether we should type MTD for ITSA (like MTD for VAT) or MTD ITSA. I wonder how long our colleagues at HMRC and the professional bodies spent on that conversation too.
Sorry... did someone press a big red Pavlovian button there? I seem to have fallen down a deep well surrounded by big, shiny letters.
13th Oct 2021
This might be a red flag for Hugo, but it's got to be said - there are some interesting apps for that!
I fully appreciate the primacy of the personal relationship in persuading the client to comply with your requests for information or approvals, but the emerging generation of workflow-based practice management applications are supplementing these approaches (and how the jobs are processed through the firm) with a host of helpful tools. The number of firms installing AccountancyManager, Senta, Pixie and other practice workflow tools over the past couple of years confirms that they can really help tackle the eternal client data challenge.
As far back as 2013, Accounting Excellence Award winner Linda Frier told us how she took this approach at her firm: "Coalesco is a truly client-focused firm, but we make extensive use of technology to maintain that human touch. That’s how we are able to run a cost-effective small practice with lots of clients.”
Linda exploits all the tools at her disposal not just to streamline the firm's processes and cut costs, but to improve client service quality. If you want to find out more, you can dig out our old practice efficiency whitepaper here:
5th Oct 2021
As a critical friend of the various bodies, I'm well aware of the complaints that they are too cosy with HMRC. But they did kick off over the basis period reform proposals.
I certainly think it gave HMRC pause for thought when five professional tax bodies came together to call for a more realistic timetable.
I also know that for all their enthusiasm for MTD, many software developers shared the view that the timetable was unrealistic and that essential guidance was still missing.
For the sake of balance, it's always worth giving credit where it's due.
And to toot our own horn a little bit, I bet the thought that they might get some respite from all the questions our tax editor Rebecca Cave was raising on the community's behalf encouraged the HMRC policy wonks to accept the inevitable.. https://www.accountingweb.co.uk/tax/hmrc-policy/delay-mtd-itsa-to-preser...
17th Sep 2021
It may not replicate the situation exactly, but your situation rang a bell with incorrect tax calculations sent to PAYE taxpayers on P800 forms.
I'm not one to offer tax advice, but it appears that the SA route may be the best way to expunge the errors.
17th Sep 2021
If you haven't seen it before, Helen Thornley did a three-part article series on the tax treatment of the garden office:
Benefits in kind and business ownership are covered in part 3, in which she says the cash equivalent usually assessed by HMRC as a benefit each year will be 20% of the market value of the asset when first made available.
While she doesn't cover your specific question about avoiding BIKs, her concluding advice in that section is: "If the pod is to be kept long term, it might be better for the director who wants personal use to pay to install it privately. "
I'll alert her to your question and see if she can offer any further insights.
13th Sep 2021
Neil Warren has been prolific on this topic since the reduced rates were first introduced last year. His example was based around a pub meal of a sandwich, some chips and a beer.
His latest article goes into a bit more detail about how to get ready for the 12.5% rate: https://www.accountingweb.co.uk/tax/business-tax/get-ready-for-125-vat
Good luck everyone with implementing the latest changes. We really are getting to the far reaches of over-complication here (and don't mention all the post-Brexit EU trading VAT issues... thank your lucky stars the client won't be exporting the burger & twiglets!)
10th Sep 2021
Comments to this thread have now been closed.
10th Sep 2021
OK, back to your rooms - all of you. Nobody has come out well out of these exchanges, so we have had to close the comments and all of you taking part please think twice before engaging in playground style spats.
This is a professional forum that is intended to provide a platform for the friendly exchange of ideas and information about accountancy.
Please moderate your behaviour and if we see any repeats in the next few days we will escalate our response against members who break our community rules.