Member Since: 31st Jan 2011
5th Aug 2019
If its any help to anyone, I was getting a fatal error when trying to authorise my clients with HMRC using my default browser, Firefox. It just hung there waiting for something that never happened, frustratingly not until after I had completed all the boxes and reached the final step in the process.
In desperation I turned to doing the same rigmarole using the default Microsoft browser that came with Windows, Edge, it worked straight off and let me repeat the process for my other clients.
All my registration emails have now been received, though I haven't tried to use my new bridging software yet.
It looks to me that HMRC have simply assumed that everyone uses Microsoft Edge and not bothered to test anything else.
After a lot of time ignoring us with their 'what coul;d possibly go wrong?' approach, HMRC's chickens will shortly be flocking home to roost en masse. I predict repeated amnesties as chaos ensues, as happened with RTI. I still don't see what it achieves other than the security of knowing that the client's garbage out corresponds exactly to HMRC's garbage in.
23rd Mar 2015
It's like deja vu all over again...
I seem to recall that, not long ago, we were told that all wages were going to be paid into a central HMRC account, so their all knowing and infallible IT could distribute it on via BACS to all the employees under PAYE, less the correct tax and NIC, of course.
Who's bright idea was that, and why do we never hear about it any more?
14th Oct 2014
Our survey says...
Years ago, I had a part time job where I was in house accountant for a PR firm. It wasn't what I wanted to do, but they did insist on paying me boatloads of money.
Every Monday morning they met for a 'brainstorming' session, which I wasn't part of but overheard as I got on with my job. On behalf of a client who made ironing board covers, they made up, there and then, a 'survey' which found that men who helped with the ironing made better lovers. Press releases were drafted and sent out, all mentioning the name of the client, of course.
Later that week, at another job, I nearly spat my coffee out when I heard this 'survey' being discussed on BBC radio, it also made the Sun and Mail as I remember. I had to resist the urge to ring in and say it was all rubbish, and that I was a witness to it being made up!
I now always take any surveys reported in the press with a very large pinch of salt, and end up re-reading articles to work out who the client was.
14th Aug 2014
Any old iPhones?
I bought an old iPhone 3GS on the Bay for £71.01, and got a tenner a month SIM only contract from Vodafone. 2 years down the line its still going strong, is full of photos, and also plays my music when I'm on holiday.
A client showed me Turboscan, which photos documents 3 times and makes a best picture, then emails it to you. I bought it the next day.
18th Nov 2013
Threatening anyone with violence is a criminal offence, end of story. I caution clients never to say anything remotely threatening to HMRC in an interview, as well as not invoking Godwin's Law. I am sure they expect me to behave similarly.
Running up £38K costs and getting your fine reduced by £2.5K reminds me of the libel plaintiffs who get awarded 1p damages and an order for costs against them.
16th Sep 2013
It's not just limited companies...
I have an SA client who is owed a 5 figure sum every year that is inevitably swallowed up in 'Security checks' for months. In the meantime he struggles to pay PAYE and VAT, and is aggressively pursued.
Phone calls get nowhere, and no one can tell me why he is selected or when the matter will be resolved. I can sometimes get a promise to pay soon by asking to speak to superiors and escalating the case, but in reality it makes damn all difference.
3rd May 2013
Caps lock stuck?
@ David5541 - Caps lock stuck?
Actually the Universal Benefit trial is in Ashton Under Lyne, just up the road from me, not Ashton In Makerfield - the market square and the road outside the Jobcentre were full of TV crews on Monday.
I found HMRC's RTI tools surprisingly easy to use, but its not obvious how to get to the figure your client has to pay in Tax and NI.
1st Feb 2013
Tired but happy it's over
The queue in my hall has gone, there's just a couple of VAT jobs that can wait until next week. I'm just a one man band, but filed all my 2012 returns, the last one at 20.00 last night after the client turned up to sign the accounts. As the acknowledgement printed out the cork on the now customary annual bottle of bubbly was popped.
The guy who turned up mid January with literally a large black bin bag full of crumpled receipts was suitably appalled at the bill he got, and deserved. He says he won't be back next year, but knowing him he'll be left touting his bin bag around next January - the competition will either show him the door, or quote him at least a similar price. If I have to be stressed out by the prospect of sorting out a mess like that as the days tick away, I either want paying well, or never to see him again, I'm easy either way.
One thing it proves is that I'm not the only one with the attitude that there's no time like the last minute...
19th Oct 2012
There was a case a few years ago where an electrical retailer in the North East, one Mr Dixon, branded his shop as 'Dixons' right down to using the same font and colours as the retail chain of Dixons.
Despite it being his name, Dixons brought an action against him, and he was told to stop pronto.
Round here we have branches of Krunchy Fried Chicken, with strangely familiar initials, and white on red branding, but I noticed last week that there boxes have been radically changed, with different initials and colour scheme, so I wonder if the Colonel's lawyers have turned up out of the blue. Most audacious fast food lookalike I have seen was a place selling burgers and fried chicken called ... McTucky's! How to upset 2 lots of lawyers at once.
11th Oct 2012
How to save £7 million
If any of the parties want to rebid, I'll do it for a mere £7 Million.
For that money, I'll even check the cells in the spreadsheet.