9 days to the tax return deadline

9 DAYS to the Self Assessment Tax Return Deadline!

9 days to the self-assessment tax return deadline!

[As at 22 January 2021]: There are only 9 days left in which to file your Self Assessment tax return with HMRC. Miss the deadline (31st January) and you’ll straight away be in for a £100 HMRC fine, so don’t delay — contact Taxfile for help with your tax return. Book a time-slot* with one of our helpful tax advisors and accountancy experts TODAY and we’ll make it easy! Read more

Last resort for tax returns this year

Every Day of January is the 31st

Every Day of January is the 31st

HMRC have announced that those members of the public not able to pay their taxes or submit tax returns on time will be able to appeal against the late filing penalties they will inevitably get this winter. From what we have been hearing HMRC are expecting everyone to have adequate proof of sickness. Does this mean that they will be expected to waste the time of the medical community who, if I am right, are rather busy these days?

What will happen if tax filers struggle with the HMRC online service and cannot get help over the phone, perhaps because HMRC are closing early, not open over the two Sundays, under-staffed on the helplines and rather strangely make you wait 40 minutes in a queue (which has been the case the past year)?

What are people to do?

Buy last minute accounting software from some of the companies climbing on the band wagon to further stress and pressure people into adopting overbearing products and systems designed for businesses not necessarily for sole traders, who probably use their personal bank accounts to get paid, so have mixed use issues? These software products are now being pedalled to the public as the fix-all solution — but who wants to have all their personal bank info imported into a tax and accounting package? Are people expected to analyse every minutiae and, in doing so, become experts on what they can claim or most likely not claim anyway! Or have to master percentages for use of things such as telephone, Internet usage and then apportion in the software (how does this work if at all)?

When I worked with the office of tax simplification we worked out what was actually happening in society and gave it credence;

  • People earn an income from dealing with their clients;
  • They may or may not provide materials or use tools;
  • They may or may not use transport;
  • They probably have some communication and technology costs;
  • Then they may have some professional costs like insurance.

It’s hardly rocket science.

When you come to use the HMRC software it leads you through the maze somewhat similar to the psychology of coping with your first orientation of a new Ikea store!

So I can tell you …

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Guy Tells No. 10 to Extend Self-Assessment Deadline

Guy Tells No. 10 to Extend Self-Assessment Deadline

Guy Tells No. 10 to Extend Self-Assessment Deadline

Guy Bridger, Taxfile’s founder, has personally delivered a post card to Boris Johnson. He recently slipped it under the door of Number 10 Downing Street (there is no letterbox!).

The Issue with the Tax Return Deadline – & Guy’s Suggested Solution

In his communication to Boris, Guy suggested that the tax return filing deadline should be permanently extended, for example to the end of February, instead of 31 January as it is currently. In his proposed scenario, people would have longer to file their tax return. As well as taking the pressure off over Christmas, New Year and during January, this later deadline would also mean less likelihood of receiving a surcharge on the possible tax debt they owed for the last tax year’s calculation. Taking this a step further and with the help of video journalist David Gyimah, Guy has also been making a documentary about the tax return filing deadline and the immense pressure it puts people under during Christmas and the New Year — and especially during the entire month of January.

In contrast, limited company businesses currently have 9 months in which to file their accounts to Companies House and at the same time pay their taxes. Interestingly, they have 12 months to file their Corporation Tax return.

Guy & Taxfile

Guy has worked in South London for 25 years, dealing with members of the public and their tax responsibilities. At Taxfile, he has long-serving, thoughtful staff on hand six, sometimes seven, days a week every January. This is a measure of just how much work the current tax return deadline causes during this key accounting month every year. Taxfile makes it their task to remind — even nag — every customer about the deadline, as most of them will have to submit a Self-Assessment tax return by 31 January.

Consulting with the Office of Tax Simplification

Guy Bridger’s last visit to the Treasury was when he worked with The Office of Tax Simplification, resulting in the recognition that people actually prepare their self-employed accounts on a cash basis.

When Guy worked with John Whiting there, the other theme he was interested in was the idea that people who were sole traders perhaps didn’t need to form a limited company. This was because, in agreement with John and many members of the consultation body, it was our view that Read more

Taxfile Partners with Local Government to Offer Self Assessment Assistance

With the self-assessment tax deadline looming in the midst of a global pandemic and no announcement of an extension from the government (28 days would do), 5.4m* taxpayers (45%) still needing to submit a tax return before the 31st January and many of those are left feeling hopeless and helpless, unsure how to complete it themselves and having difficulty finding or affording an accountant who can do it on their behalf.

Some will attempt to complete the tax return online themselves but without a Government Gateway ID that task will be impossible.  Obtaining the Government Gateway ID would require having their ID checked and confirmed online and without a valid UK passport and/or driving licence the task will lead to long phone calls on hold waiting for a HMRC advisor, who are currently running somewhat of a skeleton crew as a result of the pandemic (at least that’s the impression given due to the long waiting times even on the authorised agents helplines and the reduced opening hours).

Even if you do have Government Gateway ID (and password), you will need to work through HMRC’s Self-Assessment form, deciding which of the sections are relevant to you & compiling the information required for each part. Take a look at these help sheets especially useful for people with self-employed earnings (some of the business income references use the word business which can confuse as the rules and guidelines are equally applicable to sole traders working for themselves).

Also check out the HMRC’s toolkit: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/hmrc-business-profits-toolkit.

 You will need to accurately assess all your business income and more so, expenses, ensuring the correct figures are entered and submitted.  Knowing what expenses you can and can’t claim can really have a negative or positive effect on the tax bill you will be presented with at the end but how do you ensure you are paying the correct amount of tax?

 Looking for assistance from HMRC’s website can provide some valuable information if you know what you are looking for (see the help sheets mentioned above) but from the distance, for the everyday taxpayer, this task can be rather daunting.  Finding personal help, assistance, and guidance can be difficult, especially when the people that can help those most are currently experiencing their busiest period in the industry whilst coping with the effects of COVID on their workforce.

Many may opt for the avoidance strategy until the £100 late filing penalty lands on their door and further threats of daily fines & interest kicks them into action.  You will have a ground to appeal any fines or penalties if you have been affected by COVID.  This will involve writing a formal letter to HMRC and providing any evidence they may request to overturn the fine.

We do recommend that however hard it maybe, it’s a good idea to put some money on your HMRC self-assessment account to settle last year’s tax if you can at least estimate it because at the end of February any tax still outstanding from the previous year which ended 05/04/20 will attract a surcharge which is almost impossible to appeal against so give it a go and work out your taxable profit and then put it in this calculator so you can guesstimate how much you need to rustle up.

If you need an injection to your cash flow even if you were eligible and claimed for the SEISS grants, we would strongly recommend you apply for the Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS) if you have not done so already.  This can be done via your bank provider online & in many cases they may require you to open a business bank account.  You are then eligible for a maximum of 25% of your 2018/19 business turnover (a minimum of £2k and maximum amount of £50k being leant).  The interest rate for this loan is 2.5% for 6-years and the government will pay the interest for the first 12-months of the loan.

Taxfile is currently working closely with local government and our director is on the board of the local business improvement district, we like to think of ourselves as the local tax office for the people of south London, we may be able to give you a little help along the way so why not give us a call for a free 20 minute confidential chat on 020 8761 8000

 

*figure correct on 01/01/21

Self Assessment Income Tax Returns 2019/20 – COVID Edition

 

To date there has been no change on the deadline to submit and pay your 2019/20 Self Assessment Income Tax return by 31st January 2021.

In preparation for our busiest period in the year we have been doing everything to ensure both our offices and business practices are ready to cope with the changes imposed on us by the Coronavirus pandemic.

At Taxfile we have been doing everything we can to make sure our offices comply by current pandemic safety practices.   We have fitted perspex screens between staff and clients, only allowing 2 clients in at a time, minimising each visit to a maximum of 15-minutes & socially distancing our staff members on site with a maximum of 3 in the main office at one time.

We would like to stress to all our existing & potential customers, we ARE OPEN if you need help in submitting your 2019/20 tax returns.  We currently offer a variety of ways to help you:

  1. Booking an appointment to see a tax agent face-to-face for 15 minutes – call us on 020 8761 8000 so we can arrange a time and date with you
  2. Offices are open for you to drop off paperwork to be processed and then sent through to a tax agent who can then discuss your return over the phone with you or face-to-face
  3. Email service where all electronic data can be sent directly through to the tax agents via emails, this is probably the easiest, quickest, and safest way to proceed.  You can directly send the agents your financial data through on email or using services such as dropbox or google sheets.  They can then calculate your return and liaise with you via phone & email.
  4. You can book an online ‘virtual’ meeting HERE

Regardless of which way or combination of ways suits your needs, know that we are here for you till the deadline date of 31/01/2021 but urge you to contact us sooner than later as we are restricted by the number of people we can physically see & data we can work through during these uncertain times.

We are also urging our clients to pay via online banking for their Taxfile invoices, details found on the bottom of our invoice, reducing the need to come in or phone in to pay a bill as we need to reduce the number of people in the office for health and safety & therefore reducing our resources available.  We are still accepting all payment forms but if clients CAN pay via online banking, then we are encouraging them to do so.

If you have not submitted your 2019/20 tax return (that in most cases will run from 6th April 2019 through to 5th April 2020), then now is the time to get all your financial data together, and decide which of the four methods outlined above will be most convenient for you.  Get in touch now & don’t leave it till the last minute.  This year is like no other!

Bounce Back Loan Scheme Deadline Extended

The Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS) was an initiative struck up between the Government and banks to enable small businesses to access finances more quickly through the pandemic.  It allowed businesses to have access to 25% of their 2018/19 turnover, with a minimum loan of £2,000 and a maximum amount of £50,000.  The loan would need to be repaid within 6-years at a reduced interest rate of 2.5% and the Government would pay the first 12-months of the interest on your behalf.

The BBLS became a survival blood for many small businesses and initially the banks had set the cut-off date for applications to 30th November 2020 after the government had initially stated the deadline as 4th November 2020.

Now the government have asked the banks to extend the date even further, so now small businesses have till 31st January 2021 to apply for the BBLS.

To apply you can have  a look HERE for all available providers of the scheme.  All you need to do, is to go online and apply from your bank provider (if they are listed).  If you do not have a business bank account you will more than likely need a copy of your 2018/19 tax return to upload for them.

As our customer, if you require any assistance applying for the BBLS then please call us on 020 8761 8000.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme Extended

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is being extended until 31st March 2021.

As a result of the ongoing pandemic, the governments response has been to extend the furlough scheme at the original 80% level.  For now we know this will extend through to then end of March 2021.

From 1st November 2020 you can claim 80% of an employee’s usual salary for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500 per month. You can claim for employees who were employed on 30th October 2020, as long as you have made a PAYE RTI submission to HMRC between the 20th March 2020 and 30th October 2020, notifying a payment of earnings for that employee. You do not need to have previously claimed for an employee before the 30 October 2020 to claim for periods from 1 November 2020.

There is no maximum number of employees you can claim for from 1st November 2020.

All claims for periods from 1st July 2020 through to 31st October 2020 must be submitted by no later than 30th November 2020.

Claims from 1st November 2020 must be submitted by 11.59pm 14-calendar days after the month you’re claiming for. If this time falls on the weekend or a bank holiday then claims should be submitted on the next working day.

Claim for furlough days in Claim must be submitted by
November 2020 14 December 2020
December 2020 14 January 2021
January 2021 15 February 2021
February 2021 15 March 2021
March 2021 14 April 2021

At Taxfile, we can calculate furlough payments for your staff and ensure that all your submissions are done on time.  If you need to outsource the payroll for your business, then you can call us on 020 8761 8000.

Taxfile Partners with Vantage Tax Fee Protection

Great news for ALL Taxfile clients!

We are proud to announce that we have partnered with Vantage Tax Fee Protection, a market leading insurance company that will protect all of our clients from any HMRC investigations for tax returns submitted by us.

You are protected as a result of:

  • Corporation Tax and Income Tax full or aspect enquiries
  • PAYE/NIC compliance checks from the outset and disputes with HMRC following such checks
  • CIS enquiries and disputes
  • VAT compliance checks from the outset and disputes with HMRC following such checks
  • Enquiries under Section 60 or 61 of the VAT Act 1994 (provided there is no dishonesty or fraud)
  • Business record checks, inspections and interventions under HMRC’s Information & Inspection Powers at Schedule 36 FA 2008… & more.

Most accountants would charge you a considerable sum for such a leading standard of protection but at Taxfile we will spread the cost through the business on each tax return submitted and as a result the additional cost is a fraction of what would be paid individually by you or your business.

The protection will only add (exclusive of VAT):

  • £5 on a self assessment income tax return
  • £10 on a VAT return
  • £25 on a corporation tax return
  • £4 on a payroll submission

I think you will agree with us, a very small price to pay for peace of mind.

SEISS Grant – Round 3

Instead of constantly updating our original SEISS grant post we decided to create a new one as over the last month the government has chopped and changed the requirements, the dates, & the amount available due to the everchanging situation around the COVID-19 pandemic.

The points that need to be highlighted for the third extension of the SEISS grant are:

  • The prerequisite is the same as the previous two SEISS grants (changing from a prerequisite to be working if applying).
  • The amount is 80% for 3-months determined from your average trading profits like in the 1st SEISS grant application (changing from 20%, then 40%, then 80% for November & 40% for December and January)
  • Applications will open from 30/11 and will most probably follow suit of the two other applications, in that using your UTR & NI number you will then be given a date/time you can apply (changing from applications opening on 14/12/20).

If you need any help determining your application date or with the application then please call us on or after 30/11 on 020 8761 8000.

As a Director do I need to file a Self Assessment Income Tax Return?

HMRC now states that where all of a director’s income is taxed at source and there is no other sources of income, then there is no need for them to register for self-assessment and to file a return.

If as a director you have been requested to submit a self assessment tax return, but have no other taxable income to report, then you can request for that notice to file to be withdrawn.

However if you meet any one of these following conditions then you must submit a tax return to HMRC:

  • You are repaying a Student Loan (unless already accounted for in your PAYE)
  • You receive Child or Bereavement Benefit (unless already accounted for in your PAYE)
  • Receiving Interest from Shares, Funds, & other investments
  • Receiving Foreign Income
  • Receiving Rental/Lettings Income
  • Receiving Dividends

The dates are independent of your companies accounting period and run from; 06/04/XX through to 05/04/XY, with the submission and monies that are owed sent through to HMRC by no later than 31/01/XZ.

It is wise not to leave filing your self assessment tax return till the last minute & at Taxfile we can help you get your figures correct so you only pay the correct amount of tax that you have to.  If we do your company accounts, then make sure we get any information about other sources of income in ample time.

Time is now running low, so call us on 020 8761 8000 if you need to get your Self Assessment Income Tax return compiled, computed, and submitted before the 31/01/2021 deadline.