Member Since: 31st Jan 2011
31st Dec 2020
As most Covid related decisions this year have been subject to last minute U turns, ie schools, universities, pubs, eat out / stay home, go to work / don't go to work, tiers etc, I don't see what should be different this time round. Find out what the likes of Matt Hancock and Gavin Williamson say we'll be doing at any given point, and you can bet your house it will be the 100% opposite of that.
Ask me around the end of January, we'll see what the SA position is then. I do agree though that the 'usual suspect' clients who usually don't think they have to bother to show up until around 29th January will just put their visit off to 29 March or whatever if they announce an extended deadline now.
6th May 2020
I already have three GG logins, the old agency one for Self Assessment etc, one for Agent Services and another for MTD. I put my UTR and NI number into the eligibility page, found I was OK and followed a link to input contact details.
I then got chucked out as I am down as a client of myself, and agents cannot access this service!
7th Apr 2020
I was out for my statutory one hour walk last week, when my phone started ringing. A client who was filling in the form she had received to get support from the local authority, as she gets rate relief, so should qualify for the £10,000 grant. First she was totally thrown by questions about de minimis state aid, later, as I was slogging up a steep path, I got a call asking what 'capacity' meant under the signature. I suppose as I fill in forms for a living, I take it for granted that they are straightforward for everyone.
Regarding the SEISS grant, the devil will be in the detail, I'm sure. Even if one's income remains flat or even increases, who's to say that it wouldn't have been higher were it not for the present crisis? What if you lose money now but make more post lockdown? Using that logic I don't see how they could possibly police the system or claw back overpayments. I think it may just be a tickbox, 'have you lost trading profits due to Covid19?' and that will be an end to it. That could be famous last words, though, please remind me when we are all filling in some Kafkaesque form showing profits week on week.
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.