TAX HELP! Your 1-stop tax shop

Taxfile: Your One-Stop Tax & Accountancy Shop

TAX HELP! Your 1-stop tax shop

Taxfile has over 100 years of combined tax and accounting experience. It’s incredible to think that the key personnel have administered over 30,000 tax submissions in the past 20 years! Beginning way back in 1994 (and continuing as Guy Bridger Limited from 1997), we originally started business offering only CIS sub-contractor returns but quickly developed the service to help the self-employed, local businesses and higher rate taxpayers with their tax computations. Along the way we added tax and accounting services for taxi drivers, cab drivers, landlords and more. We also offer Capital Gains tax expertise and tax investigation help and, more recently, professional help with disclosures, written tax advice and tax planning for things like inheritance.

We have exceptional accounting experience in all key tax and accounting areas including:

Taxfile helps individuals as well as businesses. Our customers are very varied, turning over anything from £10,000 to over £1 million a year. A few are high wealth individuals who no longer need to work but still need to account for their taxes etc. Some customers have retired, others operate small businesses and some don’t even live in the UK but may have assets here. So, whatever your income, assets or situation, the message is that if you need ANY tax-related help, you’ve found the right place in Taxfile.

Taxfile also has the back-up and expertise of professional bodies on tap (so nothing is too complicated for us) and also has excellent relations with the tax authorities — we’re very well trusted by HMRC. Guy even helps in the local employment zone, which aims to improve business in the Tulse Hill and West Norwood area. So, Taxfile is very much part of the local community, particularly in South London (but expanding to other areas too — keep an eye on this blog for forthcoming information about that in the very near future).

Whatever help you need with tax and accountancy-related matters, call Taxfile on 0208 761 8000 and we’ll be delighted to help you. Alternatively, Read more

New tax planning & tax advice service from Taxfile

New: Tax Advice & Planning Service

New tax planning & tax advice service from Taxfile

You can now get tax planning and tax advice from Taxfile. We have highly experienced senior accounting staff who can give you the right tax advice when you need it most — for example, when your circumstances are changing, if you’ve had trouble keeping on top of your tax commitments and need to bring things up to date, or perhaps a friend or relative simply needs a bit of reassurance with regard to their tax situation. Perhaps you have assets or income abroad as well as income in the UK and want to make sense of your tax position. Or, perhaps you have recently made a tidy profit trading crypto coins like Bitcoin and want to know where you are from the standpoint of Capital Gains or Income Tax. Maybe you need to disclose income from property rental that you have previously not told HMRC about (more about that in a later post). Those are all examples of typical situations where our new Professional Tax Advice and Tax Planning services can help you to see the wood from the trees.

A Free Telephone Consultation

In the first instance, we are inviting clients to speak for just 15 minutes with one of our resident tax planning experts. This will be in the form of a free, introductory telephone call, perhaps in February or March if it suits you. We can then see what’s needed and take it from there. We can, of course, discuss any costs with you before you commit to anything further, and there is no obligation.

Whether it’s about labour taxes, investment taxes, business taxes, disclosures to HMRC or even professional help to support you during an HMRC tax investigation, we can make sense of all the options for you and — in a fair and ethical way — help to make sure you are paying no more tax than you should do. With decades of experience in accountancy and tax planning, we know exactly what’s what when it comes to tax, so can definitely help you. Call 0208 761 8000 to arrange your free 15 minute telephone appointment with a tax expert, at a mutually convenient time. Alternatively, Read more

Autumn Newsletter 2016

Taxfile’s Autumn Newsletter 2016

Taxfile's Autumn Newsletter 2016

Taxfile's Autumn Newsletter 2016Hot off the press is our brand new Autumn newsletter for 2016. If you haven’t yet seen it, take a look because it’s jam-packed full of useful information that’ll help you keep your tax affairs and accounts in order, save you money and keep you up to speed on tax matters. Here’s a quick flavour of what’s included (or click the thumbnail image to view or download the newsletter):

  • Act fast to save money on your 2015-16 tax return – see the newsletter’s first article.
  • Sub-contractors working in the construction industry are invited to claim their CIS tax refunds through Taxfile, so they have their refund in time for Christmas!
  • Help if you’re late with any previous years’ tax returns and tax payments — and how you already owe HMRC at least £1300 if you haven’t filed your 2014/15 tax return or paid tax for that year.
  • Try the UK’s Number 1 cloud-based accounts package FREE, for a month. No credit card required – cancel at any time – full details are included in the newsletter. [UPDATE: Please note that this offer has now expired].
  • Help if your tax affairs are in a mess — are you late filing returns or paying tax? Are you worried about HMRC penalties? Are you a foreign worker, working in the UK, and need to get your tax records up to date following the Brexit decision? We’re here to help!
  • Taxfile are Finalists in the ‘Independent Firm of the Year, Greater London’ category of the British Accountancy Awards 2016.
  • Free tax enquiry Fee Protection Insurance for Taxfile customers who file their tax returns by the statutory deadline through Taxfile.
  • How online banking may save you time and money.
  • Introduce a new client to Taxfile and save 10% on our fees!
  • Saturday opening at Taxfile (Tulse Hill office) throughout November and December.
  • Help with all your tax and accounting needs – check out our list of all the things we can help you with — now including auto enrolment!
  • And a ‘thank you’ to all Taxfile customers … Read more
Email phishing scam or genuine HMRC communication?

Received an HMRC Tax Refund Email? It’s probably a Phishing Scam!

Email phishing scam or genuine HMRC communication?Several Taxfile customers have recently told us that they’ve been receiving emails, supposedly from HMRC, inviting them to click links within the emails in order to apply for tax refunds. Regrettably, some have confirmed that they did indeed click the links then log onto fake HMRC websites, which looked every bit real to them, thereby giving away such sensitive information as their bank details and things like their mother’s maiden name. Handing over such sensitive information to fraudsters would be an expensive mistake. In view of this, we thought we’d give our readers more information on what to look out for, what to expect to receive from HMRC, and what not to.

Firstly: How to Recognise a Scam Email

Here is an example of a real phishing (scam) email recently received by one of our customers. We’ve highlighted various areas of the email to indicate some of the telltale signs that the email is, indeed, a phishing attempt by fraudsters rather than a genuine communication from HMRC.

Example of a phishing email

Some of the many telltale signs that this email is fake include:

  • The sender is from a non-official domain (hmrcupdate.com is *not* a genuine HMRC website). Be careful, though, because some of the more advanced phishing emails do include genuine HMRC domains through what’s known as domain ‘spoofing’.
  • The recipient is not identified by name in either the ‘To’ field nor in the salutation (‘Dear Sir | Madam’ is a dead giveaway, as is the fact that the email was sent to ‘undisclosed recipients‘!). Genuine HMRC emails will always address you by the name you provided them.
  • Phishing emails often include silly errors that simply would not be published by the likes of HMRC. Under the logo, the date is wrong — it does not even mention a month!
  • The email states that you ‘are due some refunds‘ (plural). If HMRC did send emails announcing that a refund was available (and it doesn’t) then it would be singular, not plural! This is one of many hints that the sender has poor English (read on).
  • Press here‘ is another example of poor English. Of course, in the UK, we’d say ‘Click here’.
  • Povide us‘ is clearly spelt wrong — there should be an ‘r’ in ‘Provide’. Spelling errors are a common indication that the email is non-genuine and has instead come from overseas where English spelling and grammar are often not as accurate as they should be.
  • Further down it says ‘for refund‘ whereas it should say ‘for the refund’. Poor English/grammar again and another hint that this is a scam.
  • When you hover over the link included in the email (*without* clicking it), if your email application’s “status bar” is showing at the bottom of the screen, you can see where the link is pointing to. In this case it’s pointing to a goo.gl domain and this simply wouldn’t be the case if this was a genuine HMRC email.
  • Lastly, the email states that you have only 5 days to action the request. That is yet another telltale sign that this is a phishing scam. Fraudsters try to panic you into acting whereas HMRC would not make such a statement in a genuine email.

So you can see, when you look very carefully, that this is clearly a scam email. However, we should warn readers that other phishing emails are not so obvious. In fact, we’ve seen some real improvements in scam emails in recent months. One recent email was so genuine-looking that we’re not even 100% sure ourselves whether it’s a scam or not.

So what do you do if you are still not sure if an email is genuine?

If, after close scrutiny, you are still not sure whether the email is genuine, there are several things you can do … Read more

Tax Return 2014

Still Haven’t Filed Your Tax Return? Expect a Nasty Bill from HMRC!

Tax Return 2014If you still haven’t filed your tax return for the financial year up to 5 April 2014 you can expect the penalties from HMRC to begin racking up daily — and potentially very significantly — starting from Friday 1 May.

If you missed the 31 January Tax Return deadline …

If you missed the 31 January 2015 deadline for tax returns, you already owe HMRC £100 in fines on top of any tax you owe. If you don’t owe any tax whatsoever, HMRC still require a tax return from you, plus that £100 in penalties.

If you still haven’t filed your return by 1 May …

From 1 May 2015 you can also expect a £10 daily penalty to kick in, on top of the £100 fine above, up to a maximum addition for the period of £900 (90 days) extra. But it gets even worse…

If you STILL haven’t filed your return by 30 July …

After the 90 day period beginning on May 1st, if you STILL haven’t filed your tax return you’ll receive a further £300 penalty (or 5% of the tax due; whichever is highest) plus a possible additional fine equivalent to 100% (or more) of the tax due, depending on how serious the case is.

Each of these individual penalties is in addition to the preceding ones.

So, to conclude, if by 30 July 2015 you STILL haven’t filed your latest tax return you will be in for a minimum penalty of an incredible £1300.00 and that’s in addition to the tax you owe. Also, Read more

CIS - tax refunds for construction workers

Construction Industry Scheme (CIS): How to Claim a Tax Refund

CIS - tax refunds for construction workersIt’s now time to start the process of claiming your tax refund if you are a subcontractor working within the construction industry and have been paying tax, in advance, through the Construction Industry Scheme (‘CIS’). In this article we will tell you how you qualify and how to claim your tax refund. First, though, a little bit of background to the scheme:

The CIS Scheme

The Construction Industry Scheme, or CIS, is a scheme whereby a contractor in the construction industry usually deducts a proportion of the money due to their subcontractor, at source. The deducted amount is then passed direct to HMRC and counts towards the subcontractor’s tax and National Insurance, the tax element effectively being paid in advance. The exact proportion deducted depends on whether the subcontractor concerned has registered under the CIS system. If the subcontractor has not registered, the deduction will usually be made at a rate of 30%. If they have already registered, then the deduction will usually be made at a rate of 20%. Either way, by the financial year end, the amount of tax deducted at source will usually end up being more than they really needed to have paid, simply because it won’t have factored in the personal allowance which every UK taxpayer is entitled to (most UK citizens can earn up to £10,000 before paying tax at time of writing, this figure being set to rise to £10,600 in the tax year 2015-16, 10,800 a year later then increasing to £11,000 by 2017-18 following the recent budget proposals). Hence, many subcontractors in the construction industry will be due a tax refund because of the overpayment. The good news is that the time to apply for the refund is pretty much now, so get in touch if you’d like our help claiming.

What kind of work does CIS cover?

You qualify to be in the CIS system if you are a subcontractor who supplies construction work to buildings. This includes labouring, decorating, site preparation and refurbishment but excludes things like architecture, surveying services, the hire of scaffolding without labour, the fitting of carpets, the delivery of materials, and finally non-construction type services such as site facilities (canteens etc.).

What if your business is not in the UK?

Even if your business is abroad, the same rules apply if you work as a subcontractor within the UK. However there are some slightly different rules regarding the treatment of taxation for non-resident workers from countries which have ‘Double Taxation’ treaties with the UK (we can, of course, also help with that — just get in contact).

Registering for CIS

If you haven’t already registered for CIS as a sub-contractor, Taxfile can help to do this for you. You’ll need to be registered for Self Assessment (we can also help with this) and this will give you your UTR (unique taxpayer reference) number. We’ll also need your name, National Insurance number, your legal business/trading name and contact details. Once registered with CIS one of the immediate benefits will be that you’ll then have tax deductions made at the 20% rate rather than at 30%, which would otherwise be the case. If your business is a legal partnership you will also need to register it for CIS but this would need to be done in addition to being registered as an individual or sole trader. Of course, Taxfile can help with that too. Once you have been registered with CIS and have passed certain eligibility criteria, it is also possible to apply for ‘gross payment status’ meaning that you’ll then be paid by the contractor without the usual ‘at source’ deductions. Instead you’ll need to pay any outstanding tax and National Insurance at the financial year end; however HMRC will review your business each year to check that you still qualify for this status (paying tax late and/or submitting returns late would put your gross payment status at risk).

Offsetting Expenses against your tax

Taxfile can also help you to offset certain expenses against your subcontractor income. This means that any tax refund will be larger — or any tax outstanding will be lower. We can offset Read more

Tax Deadline

You have only HOURS left to submit your Tax Return!

Tax Return DeadlineYou’re running out of time to submit your tax return and have just HOURS left! We are here to help you fill in and submit your self assessment tax returns to HMRC on Saturday 31st (by appointment only, 9-1pm) so come and see us quickly or you may miss the HMRC deadline. If you do miss it, you’ll get an automatic fine of £100 minimum – and it could get significantly worse (up to £1,600) if you continue to delay.

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 2013-14 financial year. So don’t miss your last chance to get our professional help with filing of your tax return!

ACT NOW and contact us on 020 8761 8000 or book an appointment online.

Read more

Save Money, Beat the December Price Increase!

Beat the price increaseWhere possible, Taxfile customers are urged to submit their records to Taxfile before December 1st 2014 so as to beat the price increases which will come into effect from that date. Taxfile has held its prices for several years now, and unusually long for our industry, however every so often we have to take stock and catch up with inflation and the ever-increasing costs of operating a business inside London. At time of writing, Taxfile customers still have time to submit their paperwork and records for professional tax and accountancy help – for example for tax returns – so can totally avoid the price increases this year if they act reasonably fast and get their figures and records etc. to us before December 1st. This will also avoid bottlenecks as we fast approach the busiest time in the tax year. Taxfile will also be sending out reminders to its active customer database.

** New – Early Bird Reduction **

* If you miss the December 1st deadline, don’t worry because we’re offering a 5% ‘Early Bird’ reduction on prevailing Taxfile prices if you submit all your records to us before the end of December.

Call 020 8761 8000, click here to contact us or book an appointment online.

Taxfile would like to thank its customers for their loyalty and custom throughout the years, and for their understanding when occasionally we have to make these increases so as to keep pace with the rising cost of operating in London.

(For tax returns, figures and records are required for the year ending 5 April 2014).

Email Scam Warning in run-up to HMRC Tax Credits Deadline

Phishing scamsHMRC have sent out warnings over a significant threat from new ‘phishing’ emails purporting to be from them. They are, in fact, scam emails which include links to replicas of the HMRC site and are designed to trick people into disclosing security-sensitive financial and personal information such as bank details, National Insurance numbers, credit card details, passwords, mother’s maiden names and so on. In the wrong hands these details could mean theft of your money or even your identity. Many people do not realise they have been scammed until it’s too late so taxpayers need to stay alert when checking emails and browsing online.

HMRC state that they never ask for payment and personal information by email and also warned people to be very wary of opening email attachments as many contain malicious code of one form or another. This is especially difficult because some of the fraudulent emails look very genuine, even appearing on casual inspection to come from an email address like taxreturns@hmrc.gov.uk and containing promises of tax refunds or Read more

New HMRC Service to Replace Closing Enquiry Centres

Tax adviceHer Majesty’s Revenue & Customs (‘HMRC’) have now completed a 7 month pilot scheme, held across the North East of England, whereby they closed existing HMRC Enquiry Centres and instead offered those requiring extra help with tax-related issues assistance in a different, more tailored way. With the pilot scheme now complete and deemed a success, all Enquiry Centres across the UK will be closed by 30 June 2014 (just a few days away at time of writing) in favour of the new, more tailored system.

Since the end of May, HMRC have already been rolling out the replacement service, being “a new way to support people who need extra help to get their taxes, tax credits and child benefit entitlements right”. The new service will be more tailored to individual needs and will apparently be more efficient than the Enquiry Centres, which have seen demand drastically falling over recent years. So evidently the new service is also about saving the Government money, which is good to see as it helps to reduce the UK’s overall tax burden and mitigates possible tax increases.

The Replacement Service

The replacement service will be available by telephone or face-to-face via a mobile squad of advisers, who will deal with you on the telephone, visit your home or meet you within your local community, if preferred. The HMRC specialist involved will try to resolve, as fully as possible, all tax and tax credit-related queries during the course of the initial session. This will be aided by liaison, during that session, between the adviser and other experts from different departments within HMRC; the aim being to Read more