Member Since: 4th Aug 2009
12th Mar 2021
I too experienced fever and flu like symptoms after the AstraZeneca jab but it hit me almost immediately and wiped me out for a good 2 days so I would suggest planning to retire to bed on getting home from the jabbing centre. Certainly don't assume you can fill the rest of that day with work or zoom meetings. If you actually feel fine that will be a bonus.
21st Jan 2021
I suspect HMRC are reluctant to bring in any relaxation which would mean amending their computer software and given that it is only the automatic stuff at HMRC which seems to be operating effectively I would second that view.
Multiple appeals for clients against late filing penalties could be dealt with via a standard letter (covid, covid, blah blah blah) and mailmerge from a spreadsheet list of penalty notices. They could then all be mailed together.
A pain certainly but probably not as bad as many agents are predicting.
Much worse for the poor eejits at the other end having to consider and process them.
11th Jan 2021
The reasoning behind this may be that clients will be prompted into correcting other mistakes that HMRC would never have found out about.
I agree with earlier posters that it is best to call HMRC first thing when their lines open and that when faced with one of these letters about unspecified errors a call to HMRC will generally result in them providing more clarity on what they are looking for - always assuming that the HMRC letter had some sort of contact details on it.
11th Jan 2021
Rather than just universally blaming HMRC incompetence can I suggest that we also impress upon clients that when they receive a letter like this from HMRC they:
1. Open it.
2. Read it, all of it. Then read it all again carefully.
3. Copy it to their accountant/tax agent even if the HMRC letter says we have been sent a copy. An emailed photo from their smart phone is fine, no need to have a scanner, fax or other office equipment.
4. Follow up a couple of days later with a call or email to accountant/tax agent to ask what needs to be done.
8th Oct 2020
There will be an element within the Airbnb letting community who find tenants that way precisely because the rentals were not being reported through to HMRC. We all know that letting agencies have been obliged to file returns with HMRC for years now and presumably the holiday let agencies do too, some landlords will have been deliberately sidestepping that .
I am sure that a sizeable proportion of landlords on Airbnb think that is a tax free way to get money just as a sizeable proportion of people with small businesses on ebay and similar marketplaces think the same.
8th Oct 2020
I had a discussion along these lines with a tax man last week who insisted that a full time student whose only income is about £4k rental profits had to register for self assessment. I said quote me the statute and he basically said 'we make the rules'. Digging into it deeper the logic was to build up the record of losses, unrelieved finance costs etc whereas the student's sister in a similar position but with a few weeks PAYE work didn't need to file returns on the basis that they could code out her rental income - she is still under the personal allowance so that is nonsense too. Unfortunately as many HMRC staff are working from home they are less able to take advice from older and wiser colleagues who would have told them not to be so damn stupid.
I'm not too bothered because there is residential mortgage interest and filing returns will get the unrelieved amounts on record and carried forward but it makes a nonsense of whichever Chancellor claimed we would soon not need to file returns.
22nd Jun 2020
And how precisely do you plan to enforce that when they are invariably based in different jurisdictions to the one where tax is being avoided?
HMRC are not entirely stupid, and this problem is not entirely straightforward.
15th Jun 2020
One clear signal that this sort of arrangement contravenes UK tax law is when the organisers are in an offshore tax haven. I have seen a fair number of clients who have worked through disguised remuneration schemes and all but one of these schemes was based in the Isle of Man.
23rd Mar 2020
Incorporated businesses will go bust owing vast sums to the Exchequer.
Self employed will go bust and lose their homes.
9th Mar 2020
I took over a client from one of the repayment agents and was very unimpressed by the service they had provided:
They did not make it clear to the client that they were actually filing self assessment tax returns on his behalf (without getting his formal approval of the return).
As a consequence he did not appreciate that some non job related income should have been included on those returns.
The claims company appear to have put in claims for inflated travel expenses which had actually been partially refunded by the employer.
The claims company staff did not, in the main, appear to have external training or qualifications and relied on 'in-house' training, presumably geared towards inflating the claims and therefore their share.
I wonder whether, rather than focusing on types of claim the OTS would do better to focus on the types of taxpayer using these services to see how better their needs could be served. Members of the armed forces would be a good place to start.