Member Since: 11th Oct 2000
21st Dec 2017
Registering as the trustee of a family trust I encountered the same problems as TessaW. HMRC should test its systems more thoroughly before inflicting them on us. HMRC could benefit from a reminder about just who is serving who here.
24th Aug 2017
Enjoy your retirement Simon.
You cite tax law as one of the reasons for your decision. I understand and sympathise. Westminster is like a tax sausage machine. As a sole practitoner it is simply not possible to digest all the sausages (and then to have to contend with accounting standards, IT and practice regulation as well).
You cite the lack of progress on tax simplification. Agreed again. Unfortunately, politicians feel the need to be seen to be doing something. It gives the air of being in control. So long as that is the case we shall have complication, not simplification.
I shall be following you to the door marked 'Retirement' next year. It can't come soon enough. For myself I would add to your list of reasons - HMRC. I am in no doubt that the individuals who work there try their best to do a good job. But there seems to be a lack of able management, a lack of overview, an inability to see things from the point of view of the poor customer. If HMRC were not a monopoly supplier we would all have taken our business elsewhere years ago. As an agent I am heartily sick of HMRC telling me how to do my job when HMRC is demonstrably unable to do its own.
Anyway, enjoy a well deserved beer in the pavillion.
3rd Aug 2017
The lights are on but there is nobody in.
19th Jun 2017
How can these problems be avoided in future?
Isn't there a saying that training is expensive but not training is more so? My guess is that insufficient resources have been made available to HMRC to enable it to prepare properly for the 2016/17 filing season. The way to avoid these problems happening in future is for HMRC to be properly resourced.
The sad consequence of the lack of investment for 2016/17 is that we are all now paying the price. It costs clients, ourselves and HMRC far more to produce and process a paper return (wet signature, postage, stationery, re-keying...).
False economy Mr Osborne.
20th Jan 2017
Over the many years I have been in practice I have found SA to be pretty robust and reliable.
In the 2015/16 filing year I have experienced problems with the marriage allowance transfer, class II NI discrepancies and now failure by HMRC to act on claims to reduce payments on account.
I believe these are all symptoms of austerity cuts inflicted on HMRC by politicians of all colours over the last 10 years or so. All the good HMRC people have gone. The ones left behind don't have a proper grasp of what they are doing.
A tipping point has been reached. I no longer feel SA is robust and reliable.
What is the destiny for a country which cannot manage its own cash book? We should all be concerned.
19th Feb 2016
We are all working in the dark here. We don't know how much dividend income we shall have in 2016/17. HMRC certainly doesn't know how much dividend income we shall have.
When I spoke to HMRC about this earlier this week they confirmed the point made here by Rebecca i.e. they will, on request, remove the dividend tax adjustment from the code for taxpayers who are in self-assessment.
So we all need to have a discussion with our self-assessment clients about this.
But what about indiviiduals who are not in self-assessment? I foresee scope for underpayments and (if HMRC makes dividend tax adjustments through PAYE codes) overpayments too.
12th Feb 2016
Both programmes demonstrated that the general public are able to understand tax avoidance issues if they are explained clearly and that, once they understand them, they are by and large furious.
Well said cheekychappy.
Wendy Bradley, yes, but the general public has to be given the full facts.
I saw the programme about the business folk of Crickhowell. I have not yet watched the programme mentioned above.
We all learn at our tutor's knee that the type of scheme outlined in the Crickhowell programme is caught by the long standing 'transfer of assets abroad' legislation. Why was this not mentioned? Because it would have killed the programme.
Never let the facts get in the way of a good story!
19th Mar 2014
Class II NI to be collected through self assessment
Although none of us knows how to calculate it we all know there is something called an annual maximum for NI purposes.
If class II NI is to be collected through self assessment isn't this going to involve our tax software writers coming up with some rather wonderful enhancements to their products?
6th Feb 2013
What do clients want?
Don't accountants excel at agonising over matters such as this? Has anybody stopped to ask themselves what clients want? And do they even care?
For the last two years I have asked every client of mine whether they want me to password protect the tax returns I email out to them. In year 1 only two clients out of 200 responded in the affirmative. In year 2 no clients responded in the affirmative and the two who had previously asked for password protection rang me to ask me to remind them what the agreed password was!
I conclude this isn't something which keeps clients awake at night. So let's not get hung up about it.
29th Oct 2012
At the end of the day it's all about votes.
Yes, doing it this way is a complete dog's breakfast and a few hundred thousand voters get angry.
Withdrawing child benefit and beefing up child tax credits would have been the sensible thing to do but can you imagine the consequences at the ballot box?
It's all about votes.