Posts tagged ‘Taxpayers’

May 1960 Pay SlipNew powers to tackle PAYE debtors

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) will have new powers to tackle companies which fail to pay their employees’ income tax and national insurance contributions.

Upfront demands

From April, HMRC will be able to demand an upfront security from firms it deems to pose a serious risk of not paying.  In particular, HMRC will be targeting companies which deduct money from their employees’ pay packets but have no intention of paying it to the tax office.

The new measures are an extension of existing powers which HMRC has in respect of VAT, insurance premium tax and  environmental taxes.

It is hard to believe that this a “new” power as without it compliant taxpayers are not being treated fairly.

PenaltyPossible penalties

Businesses failing to provide a security will face a fine of up to £5,000 which will be enforceable by the courts.

HMRC have said that employers facing genuine payment difficulties will not be affected by the change.

Source: Total Investor website.

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.

If you found this post interesting/useful please share it with your social network and/or bookmark it.  Also, your comments are always valued and will help me to write new posts that are relevant to readers of this blog.

 

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.

If you found this post interesting/useful please share it with your social network and/or bookmark it.  Also, your comments are always valued and will help me to write new posts that are relevant to readers of this blog.

 

Gift Aid

If you are a UK taxpayer and you make a donation to a registered charity, gift aid can be claimed by the charity.  Effectively, the Government give the basic rate tax that the donor has paid on the amount they have pledged, to the charity.

Even a smile is an act of charityFrom the year 2000 onwards there is no minimum or maximum donation value for applying gift aid.

The amount of gift aid pledged by taxpayers and not claimed by charities runs in to several million pounds.

If the donor is a 40% taxpayer, the charity will receive the basic rate tax, currently 20% and the donor can claim the remaining 20% via their Self-Assessment Tax Return.  They can therefore afford to donate more!

How

  1. The donor completes a Gift Aid declaration (see below) with their name, address and the date.
  2. The charity fills in a claim form and send it to HMRC.
  3. HMRC makes a payment direct to the charity for the amount of basic rate tax claimed.

Example Declaration

“I wish the enclosed donation for £xx and any future donations I make to this charity to be treated as a Gift Aid donation.  I am a UK taxpayer”

 

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.

If you found this post interesting/useful please share it with your social network and/or bookmark it.  Also, your comments are always valued and will help me to write new posts that are relevant to readers of this blog.

 

How good are your I.T. skills?

If you have not yet completed your Tax Return for the year ended 5 April 2010 they may need to be fairly good as HM Revenue and Customs  are encouraging taxpayers to file online.  If you continue to use paper Returns, the usual 31 January timeline is substantially reduced to 31 October 2010.

Not filed your Tax Return online before?


If you have not filed Tax Returns online in previous years, you will need to register with HM Revenue and Customs beforehand.  As this will take at least a week to process immediate action is required to meet the fast approaching deadline.

You will need to visit the website of HM Revenue and Customs on www.hmrc.gov.uk and select ‘Self assessment’ from ‘Do it online’. This will guide you through the process of creating a user name and password.

You will also need to have some personal details, including your Unique Tax Reference and National Insurance number or Post Code to hand.

Once you have done this you will be sent a personal activation Pin through the post, from the Government Gateway. With this you should be able to complete the registration process and to be able to file the Return online.

Need assistance?

Most people find the filing process relatively straightforward and there is help available on the website itself. There is also an online demonstrator showing how the service works and provides various specific examples. To see this go to www.hmrc.gov.uk/demo

Watch out: Not everyone is able to file online…

It must be pointed out that there are a few people who will not be able to use the online service due to some of the supplementary pages not being available on the internet site and, of course, if you do not have access to the internet you also have the problem of what you should do. The only answer is to contact ourselves as soon as possible and we will do our best to submit your Return in time.

Time

As emphasised above, for everyone who still has a Tax Return outstanding, the problem is time.  Can you do everything in time and stay focused on your business?

Why not contact George Hay Chartered Accountants for peace of mind?


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.

HMRC now have powers to name and shame individuals and companies who deliberately evade taxes, by publishing their names, address and details of their evasion on the HMRC website.

New Powers

The law that provides HMRC with the power to disclose is included at Section 94 of the Finance Act 2009.  This ruling can be used by HMRC for accounting periods starting 1 April 2010, it therefore may take a little time before anything ‘juicy’ is made public.

ShameDeminimus

To be named and shamed the evasion must be deemed to be deliberate and involve tax of £25,000.



Preventing the embarrassment

A full voluntary disclosure of tax wrong doings without undue delay may help avoid the detail being published.

My thoughts

Once again HMRC have been given more opportunity to burden taxpayers with the subjective views of individual inspectors.

  • deliberate
  • undue delay and
  • ‘full’ disclosure

are all terms that I consider could be misconstrued or misrepresented and this allows different cases to be dealt with in different ways dependant on the mood, attitude or experience of the inspector.

If you are exposed to this new HMRC power, defending your position by challenging the inspectors opinion of your guilt may well be expensive and stressful.


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.