Member Since: 4th Sep 2017
12th Jun 2019
As one of those unregulated agents that the bodies appear to be terrified of, here is my experience. I was in HM Customs & Excise from 1975 to 1980 employed mainly on VAT compliance visits and some customs work. I left to set up as a VAT advisor but many clients asked if I could sort out their tax as well so I ended up as a GP of the tax world. I am mainly self taught. I was lucky that in Customs I had a senior officer who would say "What does the Act say?" and this is the mantra I worked to. After 20 years of practice where I had no real benchmark to compare myself to the qualified accountants, apart from being on very good terms with the tax inspectors in the local office. I sold up and took on a pub. We left the pub in 2006 and I got a job with a Chartered Accountant in Redruth. I learnt that my knowledge and standards were as good as my boss's, indeed I sorted out most of the VAT queries. I then had to relocate to North East England, where I got a job with another Chartered Accountant. I was appalled at the standard of accounts produced, as long as we could get some figures out and the bill paid that was all that mattered. I was told that HMRC wasn't interested in prepayments and accruals (the accounts fee always went in as an accrual!) or indeed debtors and creditors. 12 months later the boss told me he couldn't afford to keep me on and dismissed me. I prepared a list of errors including the omission of a £32000 dividend from a client's return (found when he moved elsewhere), VAT underdeclarations under FR scheme of £8k+ and £10k + where the colleague who did the VAT returns was told to divide the errors by 4 and add them to subsequent returns. (Obv the £10k should have been reported to HMRC) . I never used the information. He has clients who paid by standing order who had overpaid, so he was borrowing client monies. Then I heard that he was getting a visit from the ICAEW. I was amazed to hear he got a clean bill of health!!! Then we acquired a client from a large firm of accountants. My wife did the first VAT return, but when I checked it I realised that the client was partially exempt. No adjustments had been made to returns filed by the previous accountant (ICAEW) so I asked if they had done De Minimis calculations to be told that "the client hadn't requested it". So excuse me if I do not regard a qualification in a high regard. After that I worked with an excellent ACCA for 6 years. Several "qualified" staff didn't last 6 months. And clients would come having clearly been badly advised by other qualified accountants. Rant not really over but enough. cont p94..
31st May 2019
If HMRC can't get it right, how can they demand penalties when taxpayers get it wrong?
10th Apr 2019
I was registered under the old AML system which I always renewed in February when SA was out of the way. This year I got a letter in January saying my registration had lapsed and I had to reapply, which I did on 25th January. I'm still waiting to hear!!!!
Like Chariot4info I can't get my ASA and file under MTD until I get my AML sorted. I tried asking on a MTD webinar what I was supposed to do. Answer came there none.
Then to hear about this increase was adding insult to injury. As semi retired (supposedly) with a £20k turnover £300 is ludicrous.
Even worse service than normal from HMRC.
HMRC seems to think people go into business just to do their (HMRC's) admin for them.
Maybe I shouldcomplain to my MP.
29th Jun 2018
ICAEW has a Quality Assurance Department? I have worked for 3 firms, a Chartered accountant in Redruth, another on Teesside and a Certified accountant in Bishop Auckland. When I started with the one on Teesside I was horrified at the quality of the accounts. The boss was only interested in putting some figures together and a bill sent out. Debtors and creditors were often not included and as for prepayments and accruals(apart from the accounts fee) were apparently not required by HMRC. I discovered VAT underdeclarations of £8,000 and £10,000 on FRS schemes, where the client was not informed, but we were told to add a quarter of the underdeclaration to each of the following 4 returns. A £35,000 dividend was omitted from a client's return, discovered when he went to another firm. Shortly after I left he had a visit from the ICAEW who gave him a clean bill of health!
19th Jun 2018
As has already been pointed out, why don't we simply do away with the VAT "chain" of inputs? When I joined Customs I was told that what made VAT difficult to avoid was "the chain", now they're saying it's the problem!
20th Mar 2018
I agree with Mr Mischief, or are the Big 4 too big to fail?
6th Nov 2017
My wife and I ran a pub for 6 years and as we were free of tie on wines and spirits bought them from Asda, over £300 every week. The first twice I went to customer services and requested a tax invoice. Of course the girl had no idea but produced a pad of forms which I advised her how to complete, but it still wasn't correct as it was over £250. I gave up after a couple of weeks relying on the idea that most VAT officers would accept that Asda were registered and as I paid on my credit card which was then paid in cash, I had that plus the normal till receipt as evidence. When we did get a visit we had a sensible officer who accepted this. My point is that even large retailers are not set up to issue tax invoices, which is why traders go to more expensive cash and carries.