Member Since: 9th Aug 2001
28th Aug 2019
I guess my objection is that its the wrong response to a perceived problem. I don't have the evidence that HMRC has used to decide that this is a genuine problem, but lets assume it is.
That means they have identified suppliers that have raised artificial documents, internal use only, to pay less tax.
Someone correct me if I am wrong, but that has all the hallmarks of tax evasion. That should not result in a change to the rules, it should result in the supplier going to jail, and their accountants being hauled over the coals for not filing an MLR report.
Yes this changes the tax point rule for a credit note. I have clients that have raised credit notes to regular but infrequent customers. That credit note stays on the account for months until the next sale and then is offset. The new rules say that offset = payment, so there is no problem, but now any credit note on an account has to not be accounted for as a reduction in output tax until that next sale.
Does your software do that? Mine doesn't.
28th Aug 2019
This seems to fly in the face of the tax point rules. Tax point is the earlier of:
And I thought the invoice date was the 'issuing of the invoice' which I read somewhere was when you send the invoice to the customer.
So in the example given, the supply has taken place, the Credit note has been issued. The fact that refund (payment) has not taken place seems like the rules of the game have changed quite significantly. HMRC wants the tax when you issue an invoice (whether paid or not) but does not want to give back the tax when a credit note is issued.
Surely whether the refund has taken place is merely a civil debt as between supplier and customer.
More have your cake and eat it by HMRC...
13th Aug 2019
But there is an alternative / corollary to that headline which goes:
Is nagging clients really that unreasonable?
Dunno about you lot, but half the inefficiencies in my practice seem to come about from the delay in responses to my communications to clients. Having to repeat requests, resend queries, etc etc adds to the time and delays finalising. And then I get a raised eyebrow or terse reply as if I have no right to keep on at them.
I'm in the middle of a job that we prioritised *at the request of the client* back in early June, sent queries mid-June. Finally (after a couple of reminders) got a reply 7th August, and is now nagging for 'when will they be finished'.
Fee just went up 10%. Take it or leave it.
DJKL is bang on.
7th Mar 2017
thats just plain silly. obviously there would need to be exclusions for vat returns submitted on any day which ended with a 'y' and exceptions to those exclusions if there were jam in your biscuits, sorry cakes, which went soggy if you walked down the road in ambient temperature above that inside your plastic mac...
6th Mar 2017
"In the HMRC webinar the following new exclusion from relevant goods was also listed:
goods for disposal as promotional items, gifts or donations
It is assumed that the above changes will be given force of law in the final regulations to be passed by Parliament before 1 April 2017."
I can't see this exclusion anywhere in the VAT Notice 733, so is that more legislation on the hoof, or is there anything anywhere else which actually backs that up?
30th Mar 2016
At least try to make an informed judgement. A vast majority of contractors caught in this charade were sold on these structures as a protection against the IR35 legislation, which caused a major panic in the contractor space in the early 2000's. Many of these people were happily operating their own companies prior to the introduction of IR35 and got the "schemes" recommended to them by their own accountants, sometimes of many years. By and large it was never about "having one's cake and eating it too" for these guys, merely trying to buy some certainty into one's tax affairs.
"Tax avoiders", real or supposed, are the scapegoat of the day, and HMRC is not telling you the whole story.
Good theory but not accurate. I've got contractor clients still reeling from the aftershocks of the HMRC collection processes levied against them. But to a man, they went in for the increase in net spendable income that it was sold to them on. IE for the tax&NI savings. IR35 was brought in to try and put a stop to another avoidance method. All those contractor companies sprang up to take out the employer NI liabilities for the engaging company and by the contractors company paying dividends. And lets face it IR35 has been an unmitigated disaster that has always been easy to run rings round except in the most blatant circumstances.
And in those circumstances then the contractor could have all the certainty he wants by paying himself all his profit as salary and the deemed charges then did not apply. Oh hang on, thats more expensive than dividends, and even more expensive than EBT and offshore loans isn't it? Which brings us back to avoiding tax and NI to increase your take home pay, and I think any contractor who denies that was the case is looking back through a haze of mis-remembered self-excuses.
So your view seems to be that taking steps to avoid tax should not be viewed as harshly as tax avoidance. Isn't that somewhat contradictory?
10th Sep 2014
Real Time Information?
You will get my signature on your petition quintodc.
A couple of other observations:
1) anyone got any clients with Machine Gaming Duty return requirements? One of mine just got a letter cancelling their penalty for failing to send in their return on time, and in fact it was a mail shot letter advising that all MGD penalties had been cancelled by HMRC as a goodwill gesture. Or more accurately because so many of them were wrong, and it was easier and probably cheaper to cancel all the penalties than to get them right. Notice any similarity? Oh, and my client had only been in business a few months, and their first return period for MGD actually finished on the day they received the letter. Late? How about not even due yet?????
2) Why does instant reporting only work in one direction? Take a look at the time scales for HMRC to register submissions at www.hmrc.gov.uk/payerti/paying/paye-tax-dashboard.html#2 and you will find that the most common submissions don't show up until 12th of the following month. So our pub client mentioned in an earlier comment has paid his staff on 7th of the month, stayed up late to send in his RTI submission, and cannot see that submission on his business tax dashboard for 1 month and 5 days.
Clearly the sauce for the HMRC goose is way too good for us the mere ganders. They said that RTI would be simple once it was in place, but I am in the process of increasing all my bureau payroll prices to cover the additional time. They lied. They out and out lied. They sold us a pup. And they will never ever use the info in real time, it simply wont happen. So if they are not going to/can't use it in real time, what on earth is wrong with tax month reporting? I don't even see the need to work to 19th, I would be more than happy with a 'within 5 working days' of tax month end. Time to manage the process properly improve the quality of reporting, and get it right.
I could rant on for hours, but I have to get some stuff filed before the end of the day...
Roll on the petition, I'll sign it and get all my clients to sign it as well.
31st Oct 2012
My two pennorth
I did it - was FD in a computer games manufacturing company, and decided for my sanity to move to practice. Did it in early 2001 - within 2 weeks foot & mouth had arrived and gloom dominated the local economy big time (I am in the middle of Devon). Not the best time to start my own business, but I managed.
Like you was nervous about the change, lack of practice based experience, so I joined one of the accountancy franchises (AIMS) to get some back up and initial training. Worked for me, there's always a price (franchise fees) but the comfort blanket was a good option for someone out of practice for such a long time.
But the grass is always greener. First year work-life balance was good (not many clients, not much to do, plenty of time for family), but after that, the busier I got the worse it got. You won't have an employer any more but you will have loads of bosses, every client basically since they pay your wages. The more successful I became the more I returned to the same pressures and stresses that I originally sought to move away from. Christmas and New Year were particularly unhappy times as I got more clients with the build up of work and pressure in the dreaded tax return season. The bank holidays just became a damn nuisance in the way of getting the work finished in time which, as you can imagine, was not conducive to playing happy families.
So swapping for work-life balance did not work for me until this year, now big enough to have a couple of good employees, well ahead on work planning for January and this is the first year since starting on my own that I will actually be able to rest and relax over Xmas & New Year. There have been plenty of other compensations, running my own business I get to do things my way, quite important for me, but income dropped and it took a long time before it came back up to what you would expect a professional to earn.
With the benefit of hindsight, I think the decision should not be made on the basis of work-life balance. Thats a decision you should make irrespective of "practice" v "Industry". The answer to that question lies in 2 parts - do you want to run your own business, and do you want to do and advise on other people's accounts and tax (as opposed to working on the inside of a business where, effecively, you do 'your own' financials). I made the decision on work-life balance and was not correct to do so, I still work very hard and still feel stressed and pressured. Most people who care about their work probably feel the same.
If you decide you do want to change, the route will partly be dependant on the type of practice you want to run. A fairly typical GP firm needs a bit of back-up from somewhere if you dont have the experience. One of the franchises or accountancy groups, perhaps, or someone you know in practice that you could perhaps pay as a consultant. But not knowing now is not really a barrier to immediate entry. Unless you stumble upon a cluster of clients in deep trouble needing urgent help and advice, you will have time, when you start, to learn the bits you dont know. But if you target higher size/fee/value clients you will probably need to impress them with your experience when you pitch to them for their business, so you may well need a job in practice for a while to get the experience relevant to the size of businesses you want to target.
And never lose the comedian - remember the only difference between a badger and an accountant in a pinstripe suit is that you dont get skid marks on the road in front of the accountant...
23rd Nov 2011
... I read the heading (fat useless and full of jargon) and thought for a moment someone had published a report on me!
11th May 2011
Its never black or white
Interesting discussion. I have a sole trade 10 years old built from quite literally nothing a couple of people working for me full time, enough clients to be called a success albeit not massive. I have used telemarketing on several occasions. It has invariably given me a good return on investment, payback usually measured in just a few months. Advertising has also worked - and failed - as has everything else.
Referrals and calls from unsolicited prospects are always the easiest to convert to clients. As Wayne says, if they come to you they are, without fail, more likely to be a success.
I'm not a marketing guru, but it seems to me that everyone is right so far in this discussion because there is never a single solution which answers all our marketing needs, but where I fundamentally agree with Wayne is that the point that always scores a direct hit when I talk to prospects is the benefits that I can give them in terms of experience and service levels, not the fact that I am an accountant or the range of services that I can supply, since they're all available from at least 4 competitors within about 300 yards of my offices. No one has ever asked me if I am chartered or certified, (or even if I am qualified, come to think of it) but they all want to know how I can relieve them of some burden or other.
So the thing I take from Wayne's article is that when I next decide to do marketing, be it telesales or direct advertising, mail-shots or leaflet drops, I will be subtly changing the emphasis of what I offer from services to ... not sure yet, but somehow implying that I am giving them succour and relief. Might even re-name my firm to Dr Digital and get the health analogy.
Cheers Wayne, definite food for thought.