VAT on eBay & Amazon Fees - all Change for UK Sellers

VAT Clampdown for UK Sales on eBay & Amazon

VAT on eBay & Amazon Fees - all Change for UK Sellers

According to a website1 run by a campaigning group of UK eBay and Amazon business sellers, HMRC and UK traders lost out on £27 billion in sales revenue and taxes from such online marketplaces over the last three years alone. The group has campaigned for some time against over-leniency by HMRC towards overseas traders, particularly from China, who have not been charging VAT on products, despite those products being located (often via UK fulfilment houses) and supplied within the UK. Moreover, the overseas sellers’ volumes are also often well over the threshold for registering for VAT if selling from inside the UK, yet many have continued to flout the law and seem to have been getting away with it for a considerable time. That hurts both HMRC in terms of lost VAT and tax revenue, as well as making it difficult for compliant UK sellers to compete against competitor prices that seem ‘too good to be true’.

“This abuse has grown significantly and now accounts for £1 – 1.5bn of the total VAT gap. These overseas traders are unfairly undercutting all businesses trading in the UK, abusing the trust of UK consumers and depriving the government of significant revenue.”

(Source: David Gauke MP, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, 16th March 2016).

Levelling the Playing Field

However, following new changes that came into effect on 1st August, that is now starting to change. While it’s not yet a perfect system to fight VAT fraud in online marketplaces and level the playing field for legitimate UK businesses, it is at least a start. Genuine private sellers using the platforms will, though, see a small increase to their costs in the form of VAT now being levied on eBay and Amazon fees, but hopefully it’s a small price to pay to make for a more fair, and legal, system overall.

VAT Changes Starting This Month

As part of the March 2016 Finance Bill delivered by then Chancellor George Osborne, UK individuals selling on eBay will begin paying VAT on eBay charges, starting on the 1st of August (2017). The VAT rate will be the standard 20% rate and will be automatically charged on eBay fees to UK sellers who have not registered as business sellers with the company. It may at first seem odd to target non-businesses, but actually this is a way to force the likes of Amazon and eBay to put pressure on those who have not registered with them as businesses when, in many cases, they should have. Such online marketplaces will also potentially become liable for the outstanding VAT on products actually sold if they do not take measures to counter (or remove) non-compliant overseas sellers.

“HMRC will also be given new powers to make online marketplaces jointly and severally liable for the unpaid VAT of overseas businesses who are non-compliant with UK VAT rules and using their platforms to sell through … These measures will provide HMRC with the tools necessary to tackle the overseas businesses who do not comply with UK VAT rules and help level the playing field for all businesses.”

(Source)

Those businesses operating within the UK will need to properly register as business sellers, in which case they will generally also need to account for VAT as a business if their taxable turnover is above the VAT threshold of £85,000 (or £70,000 if ‘distance selling’ into the UK) over the course of a year.

UK eBay sellers, and overseas sellers supplying/fulfilling orders completely within the UK, will now Read more

Last few Saturday appointments for claiming CIS tax refunds!

*Last Few Saturday Appointments* for Claiming CIS Tax Refunds!

Last few Saturday appointments for claiming CIS tax refunds!

If you still haven’t claimed your CIS tax refund or submitted the tax return, Taxfile can help! However, there are only a few remaining Saturday appointments left for those wishing to see us at the weekend. So, call 0208 761 8000 or book your free appointment in Tulse Hill here without delay.

Your figures and records are required for the period 6 April 2016 to 5 April 2017, including CIS statements and receipts etc. Learn more about what documents you need to supply and how we can help you apply for your refund and submit your CIS tax return for you, here. Or, alternatively,  Read more

CIS sub-contractor refunds

CIS Sub-contractors – Claim Your Tax Refund Now!

CIS sub-contractor refunds

It’s now time to start the process of claiming your tax refund if you are a sub-contractor working within the Construction Industry Scheme (‘CIS’). The good news is that refunds usually take around only 2 weeks through Taxfile if you come in to see us before the rush.

Why you’re due a tax refund

CIS construction workers like you are usually taxed at source before being paid, and this usually results in a tax overpayment. That’s because you were taxed on the first £11,000 of your income even though that part falls within your 2016-17 ‘Personal Allowance’, i.e. the part of your income that should be tax-free. In addition, by pre-paying the tax, you will not have offset any allowable expenses such as tools etc. To rectify this, Taxfile will help you get the figures right, offset all allowable expenses and maximise your tax refund! Most sub-contractors receive their tax rebate within just 3 to 4 weeks, through Taxfile.

What you need to do

Don’t delay – book an appointment with Taxfile today at taxfile.co.uk/book-an-appointment/ and we’ll sort it all out for you. We have staff who speak English, Polish, Pashto, Dari, Russian, French, Mauritian Creole and Dutch, should you need them on the day.

Check List

  • Book an appointment at www.taxfile.co.uk/book-an-appointment/;
  • Book any available time/date from 6th April inclusive;
  • Bring in records of your invoices, whether they are self-billed or your own. If any are lost, try to bring copies.
  • Bring in all your CIS statements and receipts for the period 6th April 2016 to 5th April 2017;
  • Even if you don’t yet have your most recent CIS statement, we can still make a start;
  • Show us receipts for things you use for work including tools, equipment and plant hire – the law expects you to keep proof so don’t throw anything away;
  • Bring receipts for materials too, as some can be offset to maximise your tax refund;
  • If you had any equipment or tools stolen during the year, make sure you bring a crime reference number so we can obtain tax relief on those items;
  • Bring in bank statements — if any records for income or expenditure have been lost, bank statements can prove vital to fill in the gaps and give us a better view of your overall tax situation;
  • Lastly, if you have any payslips from any employment during the year, please do also bring in those.

Discounts*

You may qualify for one or more discounts off our standard prices:

Read more

The Spring Budget, March 2017

Spring Budget 2017: Key Changes Affecting SMEs & the Self-Employed

Philip Hammond, Chancellor of the Exchequer, delivered his Spring Budget to the House of Commons today.

If you missed it, you can watch and listen to the entire speech by clicking the video above. For those without 55 minutes to spare, we spotlight the key changes, particularly in relation to tax, National Insurance, the self-employed and small businesses.

  • For the self-employed, Class 2 National Insurance Contributions (NICs) were already set to be abolished from April 2018. Today, to the surprise of many, the Chancellor announced that Class 4 NIC rates will increase from 9% to 10% from April 2018, increasing again to 11% in April 2019. The Chancellor said that this was to more closely align self-employed NI rates with those paid by employees, particularly in view of the new State Pension to which the self-employed will now have access.
  • Tax-free dividends for those working through a limited company will also be reduced from the current £5,000 level to just £2,000 in April 2018. Corporation Tax will then be charged above that threshold. Again, the reason cited was to bring the self-employed more in line with employees in terms of tax paid overall.
  • The National Living Wage, for those over 25, will increase to £7.50 per hour from April.
  • From April this year, the personal allowance (the amount people can earn before paying income tax) will increase to £11,500 and to £12,500 by 2020. The threshold for higher rate tax will also increase from £43,000 to £45,000 this April.
  • Up to £2,000 (tax-free) will be available towards the cost of childcare for children under 12 from April this year. So for every 80 pence you pay in childcare costs up to £10,000 maximum, the government will add a further 20 pence.
  • Those lucky enough to be able to afford it will be able to save up to £20k maximum in their ISAs from this April. There will also be an NS&I bond introduced, which will pay 2.2% interest on a maximum of £3,000 per person.
  • There will be help for businesses following business rate increases, particularly pubs, which will receive a £1,000 discount if their rateable value is less than £100k (apparently that’s 90% of all English pubs). Also businesses coming out of ‘small business rate relief’ will be helped through the transition with a promise of increases no larger than £50 per month from next year.
  • There will also be an expansion of the clampdown on tax avoidance where some businesses were converting capital losses into trading losses.

Other announcements made by the Chancellor Read more

Late with your tax return and tax payment?

Missed the tax return deadline? What now?

Missed the tax return deadline? What now?If you missed the deadline to submit your self-assessment tax return, the first thing to know is that you are now into the penalty stage. HMRC applies an automatic £100 penalty to those who are even 1 day late (the deadline was 11.59pm on 31st January) and further penalties are added if you take even longer to comply. It’s worse, of course, if you also haven’t paid any tax owed as you’ll then owe interest too, so our advice is to pay as much as you can before 28th February, so you’ll reduce any element of interest. However, if there is a genuine reason why you were late with your return, and it fits certain criteria, you have the option to appeal …

Circumstances that are taken into account by HMRC when considering appeals include:

  • if a close relative or partner died shortly before the tax return or payment deadline;
  • if you had to stay in hospital unexpectedly;
  • if you had a life-threatening or serious illness;
  • if your computer or software failed at the time you were preparing your online return;
  • if HMRC’s online services were disrupted;
  • if you were prevented from filing your return or paying your tax because of a fire, flood or theft;
  • if there were unexpected postal delays;
  • and occasionally other reasons which, if genuine, HMRC may deem to be relevant.

Excuses that aren’t usually accepted by HMRC include: Read more

TODAY is the deadline for submission of your tax return. Contact Taxfile for help filing & avoid a minimum £100 fine!

TODAY is the Self Assessment Tax Return Deadline!

TODAY is the deadline for Self-Assessment tax returns to be filed with HMRC

Today is the last day left to file your Self Assessment tax return with HMRC. Miss the deadline (11.59pm on Tuesday 31st January 2017) and you’ll straight away be in for a £100 fine from HMRC, so don’t delay — contact Taxfile TODAY to book an appointment with one of our helpful tax advisors and accountancy experts.

We’ll make filling in and filing your tax return a breeze and what’s more, currently we’re open 7 DAYS A WEEK from now until the end of January. Don’t leave it to the last minute, though, as there is always a bottleneck for those who do — so come in as early as you can and, better still, book a free 20-minute appointment first.

It doesn’t matter if you have zero tax to pay – you still need to submit your tax return on time! You also need to have paid HMRC any tax due for the 2015-16 financial year by the same 31 January deadline.

So get our professional help with filing of your tax return — you can book an appointment online, drop by the Tulse Hill shop to book one, send us an email message via our contact form or, better still, simply call us on 0208 761 8000 and we’ll book you in and help sort out your tax return accurately and on time. Don’t delay — time is quickly slipping by!

Beat the Tax Return Price Increase

This Week Only – Beat the Tax Return Price Increase!

Beat the Tax Return Price Increase

Beat our 2017 price increase and get your tax affairs in order before the January rush by coming in to see Taxfile for your Self Assessment tax return before December is over.

It might be Christmas week for many but our staff are ready and waiting to help you get your figures correct and to fill out your tax return for you before the January rush. When complete, we’ll submit it to HMRC for you so you can relax for the start of the New Year, avoid any bottlenecks AND save money.

During January some of our prices will increase just a little, as forewarned in our previous post. This is simply to cover some of the overtime and extra hours that Taxfile staff will need to work during January, our busiest time of year, covering all the last minute tax returns. But don’t leave it until January — book an appointment with us during the remainder of December and you’ll save! Call 0208 761 8000 or book an appointment online here.

Act now & save on your tax return

It’s Time to File Your Self-Assessment Tax Return!

Time to file your self-assessment tax return

If you haven’t already done so, you need to file your Self-Assessment Tax Return* very soon. However, don’t leave it until January or it’ll cost you more! Think more in terms of sorting it out right now — as time is of the essence! And don’t forget, you need to submit your tax return irrespective of whether you owe any tax.

Beat the January 1st price increase!

If you need professional help filling in and submitting your tax return, contact us here at Taxfile during November or December — ideally well before Christmas — and you’ll beat our price increase that kicks in on January 1st. Why the increase? Because we have to open for extended hours and pay overtime during January to cope with all the tax returns that have been left to the last minute. So the message is avoid bottlenecks, save money, and reduce stress by contacting us now.

We also do tax refunds (including CIS), bookkeeping & accountancy work

We can also help you with your CIS tax refund application if you’re a sub-contractor working in the construction industry — if you act fast you might even Read more

Tax reforms coming in 2018

Big Changes Coming to the Tax System

Tax reforms coming in 2018

Starting on 1 April 2018, a brand new tax system, one that will affect most business owners in the UK, will begin to roll out. Whether you’re a landlord, are working for yourself as a sole trader or have a limited company, the changes will affect you.

So what’s happening?

Instead of a once-a-year tax return, HMRC will require quarterly profit and loss information. So, that’s four times a year. For Taxfile clients, that means we’ll need to know all your income and expenses during every quarter so that we can make the necessary financial data available, on your behalf, to HMRC. As well as your bank statements, we’ll need to see receipts for the expenses, whether they’re provided physically or via a suitable electronic medium (there are plenty of apps and software packages for this purpose). Once we have everything for the quarter in question, we will be able to make sure that you’re claiming for all the allowable expenses that you are eligible for and aren’t claiming for things that you shouldn’t, so that your figures are absolutely correct.

If you don’t file in time there could be an HMRC penalty, so letting Taxfile handle your quarterly reporting will help to keep you on track seamlessly when the new changes come into force. We’ll be able to confirm our own pricing nearer the time but it’s likely to be circa just £75 per quarter, excluding VAT.

A ‘cash basis’ system

The new tax system will be known as a ‘Cash Basis’ system and will also allow tax to be paid to HMRC on a pay-as-you-go (PAYG) basis. Essentially, it means that businesses need only calculate their profits based on receipts and payments, which is far more straight forward than the more complex system that currently exists. When integrated into the Government’s new ‘digital tax accounts’, the system will really help to simplify tax, make budgeting and cash-flow easier through near real-time reporting and eventually remove the need for the traditional tax return at the end of the year — that’ll eventually be the case for virtually everyone. As an added bonus it’ll also mean that business owners keep more on top of their bookkeeping and thereby avoid a last minute scramble to update records. Taxpayers will also be able to see a complete financial picture of their tax affairs in the one place — their digital account — and all their liabilities and entitlements will be clear to see and manage more effectively than ever.

Taxfile

Nearer the time the changes come into place, Taxfile will be there to help its customers adapt to the new system and between us we’ll make sure that it’s easy and hassle-free. We’ll be able to Read more

Taxfile multi-lingual staff at a glance

Taxfile’s multi-lingual, multi-talented staff, at a glance

multi-lingual accountants and tax advisers[Updated]: It’s common knowledge that most of Taxfile’s South London staff are multi-lingual but can you guess which staff member speaks no less than four languages fluently (Russian, Pashto, Dari and English) and which staff member is into both metal music and Irish dancing? And who should you ask for if you need payroll services? And who specialises in bookkeeping … who in limited company accounts and so on? Our staff ‘mind map’ tells you a bit more about each member of the team, what their specialities are, key interests and, of course, their contact details in case you ever need their help. Take a look … Read more