Member Since: 5th Feb 2004
14th May 2019
I think that it is absolutely essential to have investigations insurance. I insure with Abbey Tax, and have done so for very many years. I have a policy which provides for every client business to be fully insured, and client decide for personal clients. All clients are invited to subscribe, and it is arranged such that my practice is not providing insurance and therefore VAT has to be added to invoices to clients subscribing to the service. I aim to just cover the costs of the insurance each year.
Abbey Tax provide all promotional material free of charge to encourage clients to subscribe.
There is no better way of losing a client if an enquiry is opened, and the client is unable to pay the fees. It is a way of ensuring that full charge-out rates are recovered on every occasion.
I don't get many enquiries, but if one occurs there is a very simple on-line claim form, and Abbey Tax pay my invoices very promptly. They have an excellent back-up of ex-Revenue staff to assist in difficult cases, including reviewing and drafting replies. There is also a free advice line.
Any client in business who has not taken up the insurance can then be invited to take up the insurance with my practice if an enquiry is opened.
My longest enquiry was in respect of an Italian Restaurant where the fees topped £8K, in the process of which the Revenue were looking for a settlement in the region of £90K and we ended up agreeing around £16K. The assistance from Abbey Tax was superb.
I cannot recommend Abbey Tax highly enough.
4th Jul 2016
Graham, you need to bite the bullet and change supplier to one that gives excellent support and innovative software.
As I have stated previously, we changed to TaxCalc in April and have not looked back. In fairness, the tax return software is even better than the original Drummohr was at half the price Iris were charging, with plenty of prompts to ensure nothing is missed. We have also taken on the accounts production which fully integrates with personal, partnership and CT600 returns. Another great benefit is a detailed database from which mail-merge letters can be sent.
19th May 2016
Most definitely Tim Palmer.
21st Apr 2016
I agree with -10.
I have been a happy Drummohr user for 18 years, but I absolutely hate the new cloud software.
Despite the fact that we have fast broadband, it takes too long to log into our account and some of the procedures, particularly finalisation take an age to update. I also hate continually being logged out for inactivity. I tried to verify a tax return 6 times before it was available for submission despite not making any alterations to the return.
We have moved to TaxCalc and will have had great assistance in setting up. It is such intelligent software at half the price of Iris. We have also taken on board the Accounting module which is also great to use.
A free database comes with the software, and we have discovered that we can include all our contacts whether we act for them or not without affecting the statistics for outstanding accounts and tax returns.
I cannot recommend TaxCalc highly enough.
8th May 2015
I had a full Enquiry about 20 years ago, and the Inspector was astounded to be presented with job sheets for each customer clipped together each day, breaking down the various costs including tips. These were totalled and cash/cheques/CC banked intact. May I suggest that you instruct your client to do something similar, and over a period of a few weeks you will know what the percentage is for that particular salon in that particular area. The appropriate percentage can then be applied retrospectively in the knowledge that it is based on a sample period.
I might add that the Inspector, seeing that the records could not be broken so far as the takings were concerned, moved onto the "wholly inappropriate use of a vintage MGB" I asked why he thought that it was wholly inappropriate, when it was ideal for picking up hairdressing supplies. "Ah", he said, "we do things differently at the Hitchin Tax Office (when there was one). I stated that this was in breach of the taxpayer charter and concluded the meeting. I then complained to the District Inspector, and I know for a fact that this was discussed at a meeting of all of the local DI's. The result was that the Enquiry was dropped like hot cakes, without even a certificate of full disclosure being requested!
22nd Mar 2005
A TAX YEAR CAN END ON 5TH APRIL
It is a known fact that there is a window during which the Revenue will not issue revised codings, in order that these do not become confused with codings for the tax year commencing on 6th April which may be different.
Two years ago I had a similar problem, and asked to speak to an Inspector, who agreed to mark up the record at the Tax Office for one of our Director clients (we held a 64-8) in respect of the agreed revised coding, but the Inspector confirmed that whilst we were authorised to operate the new code, this could not be confirmed in writing. I made sure that there was a clear file note of the Inspector's name, time and date of the call and breakdown of the agreed constituents of the code in case this was subsequently challenged. Not an ideal situation but it proves it can be done.You would probably need to speak to an Inspector rather than a Revenue agent and have a good reason why the coding should be amended.
22nd Mar 2005
L200 ARE COMMERCIAL
Don't take any notice of Andy Blosse's reply, because I have just defended a challenge from Customs and won.
Clients of mine bought a Mitsubishi L200 animal and a L200 Double Cab with hard tops some time ago. Being aware of the changes to legislation on 1st December 1999 for such vehicles, before dealing with the P11D aspect, I obtained from Mitsubishi Customer Relations their opinion in writing. They stated "They will still be classed as commercial vehicles as the hard tops only weigh 45kg. Therefore if you are VAT registered you will be able to claim the VAT back". The specs were as follows:
L200 2.5 TD Double Cab: 1,100 kg.
l200 2.5 TD Double Cab 4LIFE: 1,080 kg
L200 2.5 TD Animal Cab: 1,080 kg.
Therefore, after deducting the 45kg for the hard top, all vehicles had an ex-works payload of over 1,000kg.
The taxable benefit charge up to 2006/07 is therefore £500/£350 as for any van. VAT was reclaimed on the acquisition, which was accepted. Customs stated, however, that the "simplified method" of accounting for a VATable benefit must be accounted for,(as not insubstantial private use had been admitted by my clients) broadly in line with that used for car salesman. On providing the evidence described above, Customs conceded that no benefit was due. The Inspector said that one trader had just bought 20 of these vehicles, and that she had received instructions to "turn a blind eye", but she said: "DO NOT TELL ANYONE". I am sure that all readers of this will keep it to themselves!