Posts tagged ‘Tax Return’

HMRC reveals that 7.65 million Self Assessment Tax Returns were filed online in time this year, with an overall  total of 9.45 million returns  submitted in time.

Record Numbers

90.4% of  taxpayers met the deadline – an increase of 4% on last year – the highest on-time filing result since HMRC was created.

The busiest day for online returns was 31 January, when HMRC  received nearly 445,000. The SA rush hour occurred between  4pm and  5pm on 31st January, when 37,460 returns – more than one every 6  seconds – were received by HMRC.

Penalties delayed

Although the 31st January deadline was unchanged, HMRC announced that no penalties would be issued for online returns received by midnight on 2nd February, due to industrial action at HMRC contact  centres.

David Gauke, Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, said:

“I am pleased that the extension to the filing deadline prevented people from being unfairly penalised if they were unable to speak to HMRC on the 31st.”   This statement is inaccurate as the deadline was not extended, simply HMRC promised not to fine anyone on 1st and 2nd February.  By filing late, the period known as the “enquiry window” is affected in favour of HMRC.

He also said “I’m delighted so many people filed their tax returns online this year. The record number proves that it’s quick, easy and secure to do.”  I wonder if he has ever used the HMRC portal?

Baubles *Merry Christmas*Festive filing

Many took advantage of the Christmas holidays to wrap up their  returns this year, with 1,100 people filing online on Christmas Day;  3,512 on Boxing Day; 11,648 on New Year’s Eve; and 8,935 on New  Year’s Day.

Perhaps this is an indication of multi-cultural Briton?

 

Missed the fun?

The filing deadline has now passed and  anyone who hasn’t yet  filed their 2010/11 tax return must send it to HMRC as soon as  possible, as well as pay any outstanding tax due for the 2010/11 tax  year.

professional, approachable, timely advice

A new penalty regime is in force, so if you need help getting your tax affairs up to date call our Tax Managers, Heather Irvine or Jenna Gaylor as soon as possible to set up a free, no obligation meeting to discuss how we can assist you.

 

data source : HMRC press release

The information provided in this blog illustrates my opinions and experiences, it does not constitute advice and I do not accept responsibility for any actions taken or refrained from as a result of reading this post.

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In the past few days, with the complete mayhem caused by HMRC’s PAYE coding fiasco , clients of ours have received some very strange calls apparently from HMRC asking for payroll references and other data that we know they already have on their records, so please be wary of all unsolicited emails and phonecalls purporting to be from the Tax Office.

Too good to be true

Of course, no one wants to pay more tax than they should, so being told you are due a refund will come as good news.

In some cases, it may seem too good to be true – and that’s because it is.

If you receive a telephone call or an email from someone at HM Revenue & Customs  (HMRC) informing you of a tax refund then the person on the other end of the line is not the taxman but a criminal “phishing” for your bank account details.

HMRC has reported an alarming increase in the number of people being targeted in this way, with a record 83,000 phishing attempts reported in one month alone.

Written Correspondence

In some cases, letters are sent out purporting to be from external companies acting on behalf of HMRC and beginning with a sentence such as “we have reviewed your tax return and our calculations of your last year’s accounts show a tax refund of XXXX is due”. The letter will give a specific figure which the victim is supposedly due.

Phishing  and identity fraud

The thieves ask for bank details in order to pay in the non-existent refund. However, they then use this information to try to take money from the victim’s account.

Victims not only risk having their accounts emptied, but their details could also be sold on to other criminal gangs who may target them further.

Tax office communication policy

HMRC does not contact customers who are due a tax refund by telephone or email. It always writes to them directly, without using any external companies.

Advice

Anyone who receives a telephone call from someone offering them a tax refund should not give out any information to the caller but report it to the police immediately. Likewise, they should not reply to emails but forward them on to HMRC at phishing@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk.

If you have already responded to a telephone call, email or letter and think you may have been the victim of a scam then you should contact your bank or card issuer as soon as possible.

HMRC Update – September 2010

An email from “HMRC Online Services – test@test.com’ is being issued, stating the recipient has one new alert message and should log in to their Online Account to read it.  The link in the email directs you to a fraudulent website where personal data is requested.  If you receive this notification, please forward it to phishing@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk.

Friendly, approachable, reliable professionals

At George Hay, we are experienced in all areas of taxation and can advise you on whether a genuine tax refund is due. If you are in any doubt about any communications you have received regarding a refund, please speak to us.

Disclaimer: This article is for general guidance only.  All taxation planning should only be undertaken after appropriate professional advice.  George Hay Chartered Accountants are registered to carry on audit work and regulated for a range of investment business activities by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.


The information provided in this blog illustrates my opinions and experiences, it does not constitute advice and I do not accept responsibility for any actions taken or refrained from as a result of reading this post.

PAYE notices of coding are notorious for being erroneous, but HMRC have surpassed themselves with this computer generated nightmare that not only leads to extra work and a lot of confusion but may even leave you paying too much tax.

Multiple Notices

In the last few months you may have received several Notices of Coding all showing different codes for the tax year 2010/11. There have been a number of instances where taxpayers have been receiving one tax code one day followed by a different one the next or even more than one code in one day. This has left many people bewildered and uncertain about exactly what tax code will be operated against their income and many of the codes issued are wrong anyway.

New HMRC  system

The problems have occurred as a result of HM Revenue & Customs recently introducing a new system for issuing coding notices called the National Insurance and PAYE Service (NPS). The new service has brought to light various discrepancies in their records and so they have been trying to rectify the errors, hence so many codes being issued all at once. They expect to complete their review by mid April 2010 which will hopefully bring an end to all the confusion.

Resolution?

Any problems occurring as a result of an incorrect code will ultimately be resolved at the end of the tax year once a taxpayer submits their 2010/11 Tax Return to HMRC. However if serious problems are not dealt with near the beginning of the tax year it could result in a large underpayment arising for some people which it may not be possible to collect via a later year’s tax code.  If you are not required to file a Tax Return, over or underpayments may go undetected for quite some time.

A careful review is necessary

In view of the problems which have occurred it is important that any codes received for 2010/11 are reviewed fully. If you believe that your code is incorrect you should either contact your advisor if you have one or HMRC as soon as possible.

Need help?

As agents we receive a copy of the majority of PAYE Coding Notices issued to our clients and therefore we are able solve many of the matters arising before problems begin to appear. We have discovered various reasons for an incorrect code but the problems particularly appear to have affected those with multiple employments. Close scrutiny of your code is therefore important.


Disclaimer: This article is for general guidance only.  All taxation planning should only be undertaken after appropriate professional advice.  George Hay Chartered Accountants are registered to carry on audit work and regulated for a range of investment business activities by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.

The information provided in this blog illustrates my opinions and experiences, it does not constitute advice and I do not accept responsibility for any actions taken or refrained from as a result of reading this post.

Self-assessment deadlines have changed – don’t be late!

H M Revenue & Customs (HMRC) are working hard to encourage businesses and individual taxpayers to file online to help them become more efficient and effective.  As part of this strategy they have changed the deadline if you wish to continue submitting a paper Return.

j0434804Generally, if you are sent a notice to complete a Tax Return you must return it completed before the later of 31 October following the end of the tax year and three months following the date of issue of the notice. Failure to do so will result in a £100 penalty regardless of the tax due. This is a significant change, so beware. (£100 per partner if the Return relates to a partnership)

For paper returns submitted by this date, HMRC will:

  • calculate your tax for you (though you or your accountant can calculate it for yourself if you want)
  • tell you what to pay by the following 31 January
  • collect tax through your tax code (if possible) where you owe less than £2,000.

Returns sent via HMRC’s website or an electronic service provided by your accountant may be submitted up to 31 January.  There are many advantages of electronic submission which all our clients benefit from, the main ones being:

  • Tax Returns are processed almost immediately and an acknowledgement of successful submission is provided.
  • Your liability is calculated automatically and any refund due is issued by the system direct to your bank account.  Typically this occurs within 10 working days and saves banking and postage costs/time.  Manual processing can take weeks, sometimes months.
  • PAYE coding notices are updated and re-issued without delay (if appropriate)
  • The lack of ‘human’ intervention prevents processing errors and re-enforces the process now, check later strategy intended for Self-Assessment

There are a few situations where online tax returns can’t be made. In these cases the submission deadline is 31 January.Its about Time Series II

Companies House deadlines and penalties have changed too…..

If you operate your business through a Limited Company please be aware that the accounts filing deadline has been reduced by one month for accounting periods beginning on or after 6th April 2008.

A private company now only has 21 months from incorporation or in subsequent years nine months from its’ accounting period end to submit financial statements to Companies House.

From 1st February 2009 the late filing penalties imposed by Companies House have also become a lot more onerous.

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If your accounts or Tax Returns are not up to date,

call us for a free no obligation consultation. 01480 426500

The information provided in this blog illustrates my opinions and experiences, it does not constitute advice and I do not accept responsibility for any actions taken or refrained from as a result of reading this post.

Forms and more forms, rules and regulations, sign here, don’t forget this, do that…

Entrepreneurs are often discouraged by the bewildering amount of bureaucracy and problems which they come up against.  But with a simple checklist of tasks and a little support, your small business could be up and running in no time.

Do I need an accountant?

It is not essential, but advisable.  An accountant will have the specialist knowledge and experience to assist your business, help you make decisions about the future and relieve you of most of the administrative burden associated with being self-employed; enabling you to devote more time to developing your business and earn that all important cash.

If you are going to engage an accountant it is essential that you involve them from the outset.  Decisions taken at the early stages can affect your business for many years to come.  For example, they can advise you on the best structure for your business and how to deal with other people that have a stake in your business.  (I will deal with some of these points in a future ‘accountancy’ post)

How do I find an accountant?

There are many ways to source professional services, but the key is to find someone you can trust and can work with.  You may be discussing sensitive issues so you need to be comfortable communicating with them.  Ask other business people for recommendations and introductions or attend networking events where you have the opportunity to speak to a potential adviser and find out whether they suit you and your business. Check that they are qualified, as this will ensure the quality of their services is regularly monitored.     Look no further! www.georgehay.co.uk

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Assuming you plan to operate a sole trader, here are a few pointers for you to consider.


  • Inform H M Revenue and Customs

You must inform the Tax Office that you are operating a business as a self-employed person so that  a ‘self-assessment record’ can be created. This will ensure you are issued with a Tax Return

You will also pay Class 2 National Insurance.  This ensures you are paying enough NIC to keep a continuous record should you need to claim benefits or a state pension in the future.  

If your household income is low, also ask them for tax credits application pack.


  • Open a business bank account

It is important to open a business bank account, not only will your bank be disgruntled if you continue to use your personal banking facilities for business, it will be difficult to segregate business transactions from personal, which may lead to complications later.  Shop around for the best deals, most high street banks offer free business banking for the first year for start-ups and don’t forget to build a relationship with your business bank manager, they have a lot of business experience to share with you.


  • Keep adequate records

You do not have to be a trained bookkeeper to maintain adequate business records; however failure to do so could make life very difficult if H M Revenue and Customs randomly pick your business for an enquiry as you will be unable to substantiate the amounts you have declared. In fact, you may find that you are not claiming relief for all that you are entitled if you do not have a clear record of your transactions.

Maintaining records is also a key part of managing an effective business as they will allow you to review your performance, check your customers are settling their accounts and assist you in managing cash flow.
  • VAT Registration

If your turnover exceeds the registration limit in any rolling twelve month period, registration is compulsory.  Until then, the decision whether to voluntarily register is dependant on your customers.  Generally, if they are registered, you may as well be.


  • Taxation

The tax year runs to 5th April.  Soon after this date you will receive a Tax Return.  You may need professional assistance with completing this, but if the business is very small and you have kept adequate records, it is fairly straight forward so should not cost you an arm and a leg!  This form must be completed and submitted to H M Revenue and Customs by the following 31st January.  If you are not completing the form online, it must be submitted 31st October. The Tax Office will calculate your liabilities for you, before they fall due on 31st January.


  • Business Support

There are many sources of business support for small businesses.  Search on the internet for local networking organisations, where you will find like minded individuals who are experiencing similar anxieties as you.  You may also find these networks are a valuable source of contacts for developing your business.

Find out if you have an Enterprise Agency or Business Link in your area.  These supply consultancy and workshops at heavily subsidised rates.

Ask your professional advisers, such as your accountant or bank manager, if they don’t know the answer, they should know some one who does.


  •  Business insurance

Can be an expensive overhead for a new business, but needs to be considered carefully.


  • Think positively

You are only as good as you believe you are….


The information provided in this blog illustrates my opinions and experiences, it does not constitute advice and I do not accept responsibility for any actions taken or refrained from as a result of reading this post.