The Early Bird Gang

HMRC expects people to do tax returns for various reasons;

  • Those that have an income outside of a PAYE scheme (i.e. self-employed)
  • High earners on PAYE schemes, earning above £100K
  • Company Directors & Shareholders
  • Landlords who have rental incomes

The tax returns calculated generally run between the dates 06/04/xx through to 05/04/xy, the calculation, submission, and payment deadline  of taxes owed to HMRC (or you), would need to be submitted at the latest 31/01/xz, before penalties & interest are imposed.

Each year, the Government announces a tax free allowance, which is the amount you can earn before your income starts to get taxed.  The tax free allowance for 2018/19 is £11,850.00.  However, this allowance decreases by £1 for every £2 earned above £100k, meaning by the time your reach £125K, the allowance is £0.

The amount of tax paid on income is also specified by the government & is subject to change with announcements made generally in the Budget statements.  For 2018-19 the rates are as follows;

Tax Rate (Band) Taxable Income Tax Rate
Personal allowance Up to £11,850 0%
Basic rate £11,851 to £46,350 20%
Higher rate £46,351 to £150,000 40%
Additional rate Over £150,000 45%

*For 2019-20 the new rates & tax free allowance can be found HERE.

Since 6th April 2019, you would have been able to calculate & submit your 2018/19 tax return to HMRC, so since then the Tax Agents at Taxfile have been busy filing away for the early birds.   We have been open on Saturdays too, to keep up with the influx of tax returns & CIS returns.

However, the last Saturday that we will be open will be 29th June.  If you would like to join our ‘gang’ of Early Bird & can only come in on Saturdays, you only have a few weekends left.

Please note, on Saturdays, all our agents see clients by appointment only, and can not generally deal with walk-in clients.  So please book in advance by either calling 020 8761 8000 or booking online HERE.

So get our professional help at Taxfile & we’ll make filling in and filing your tax return a breeze.

See our Newsletter HERE

HMRC’s Anti-Money Laundering Fees Increase

In December 2018, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an organisation founded on the initiative of the G7 to develop policies to combat money laundering, stated;

‘…the UK had a well developed & robust regime to effectively combat money laundering & terrorist financing.  However, it needed to strengthen its supervision, & increase the resources of its financial intelligence unit.’

The FATF conducted an assessment of the UK’s anti-money laundering & counter terrorist financing (AML/CFT), and as a result of this assessment HMRC has decided to inject money into the unit to increase supervision for those organisations that are not supervised by a professional accounting or tax body for AML purposes.

Such businesses are required to register for supervision with HMRC, which promises to provide in return more staff available with face-to-face and desk-based intervention with registered and un-registered businesses.  They will also aim to provide more educational products and activities, including webinars & online learning programs.  They hope the education will help businesses to approach all AML activities correctly from the outset.

The new fees for anti-money laundering supervision, which came into effect on 1st May 2019, has disgruntled many tax & accounting businesses.

  • the annual registration fee increased from £130 to £300 per premises for businesses with a turnover of £5,000 or above
  • the annual registration fee increased to £180 for businesses with a turnover below £5,000
  • the charge for fit and proper (F&P) testing increased to £150 from £100.
  • the approval check fee will remain at £40

On 15th April 2019, the Treasury issued a consultation of the introduction of EU’s Fifth Money Laundering Directive (5MLD) into UK’s national law.  The consultation closes on 19th June 2019 & the impact of this will highlight where accountants may have to further tighten their AML compliance.  The 5MLD will expand the definition of a tax adviser in terms of money laundering compliance, as well as highlight diligience around electronic money & individual identification, based on FATF recommendation to understand the ownership & control structure of customers.

Making Tax Digital (MTD) delayed due to Brexit

HMRC delays the rollout of Making Tax Digital (MTD) for businesses & individuals beyond 2021:

Even though MTD for VAT has been rolled out, the wider extension of the MTD scheme for individuals & businesses has been delayed till at least 2021.

The Chancellor’s 2019 Spring Statement mentioned;

“The focus will be on supporting businesses to transition and the government will therefore not be mandating MTD for any new taxes or businesses in 2020.”

MTD for income & corporation tax was scheduled to come into effect from 2020, but as the UK prepares itself for Brexit, HMRC has redirected its focus on the implications of UK’s exit from the EU.

HMRC has said that its digital delivery team and business analysis team are being redeployed to focus on ensuring that a customs solution will be in place should it be required when the UK leaves the EU.

With the current perplexity surrounding Brexit, HMRC has stressed that ‘this does not indicate any expected outcome but is due to the level of work required to deliver any outcome’.

Making Tax Digital for VAT

From 1st of April 2019 HMRC’s VAT Notice 700/22 will come into effect; Making Tax Digital (MTD) for Value Added Tax (VAT).  The MTD initiative is believed to benefit HMRC on two levels.

It will help to ensure the correct VAT is being paid to HMRC, & seeing that VAT accounts for the highest unpaid tax in the UK (35%), the government has estimated that it will generate £610M in 2020-21 from eliminating erroneous returns.

The MTD initiative will also save HMRC money as it will no longer have the cost associated with maintaining the VAT portal where submissions are currently made, estimating a saving of £10M a year of taxpayers’ money.

HMRC’s long-term vision is to have one of the most digitally advanced tax administration systems in the world & they hope that by 2020 they will have MTD applied to all of UK’s taxation processes.

For this vision to be fulfilled it is believed that they will then strive to have all taxation data recorded in the Standard Audit File for Tax (SAF-T) format.  Once this is achieved, HMRC will be able to undertake tax & VAT investigations frequently & randomly with very little cost, as it will free up resources from having to obtain & enter the data for analysis.

Being VAT registered means that your annual income equals or exceeds the current threshold value of £85,000.00.  Currently, any business or individual registered for VAT, whether on a Flat Rate Scheme or on the Standard Rate, will from April 2019 need to prepare for the changes outlined by Notice 700/22.

When will it be applicable to me?

The 1st quarter of your VAT return that starts on, or after 1st April 2019.

Am I exempt from MTD?

Groups or individuals exempt from MTD include;

  • those with religious beliefs that prevent them from using technology
  • those going into insolvency
  • those that it is reasonably impractical to do so (eg. geolocation, physical &/or mental disabilities – that prevent the use of technology)

What are my responsibilities?

You will need to ensure that all your transactions (expenses & sales) are individually recorded digitally with a MTD-compliant software.  You still need physical &/or electronic copies of these records stored for at least 6 years.  The MTD-compliant software is then used to calculate & submit your VAT returns.

What should my ‘digital’ data look like?

From April 2019 all digital record keeping will include;

  • Business Name
  • Business Address
  • VAT Registration Number
  • VAT Account Schemes
  • Information about Supplies & Sales

All Supplies & Sales invoices should include;

  • a Tax Point Date
  • Sequential (alpha-)numerical labelling format
  • Itemisation of services/goods
  • NET amount clearly shown
  • VAT rate & VAT amount clearly stated

Currently, the date, NET & VAT amount all need to be digitally stored for each-and-every-one of your transactions.  It is also recommended that a digital upload of your bank feed is included to back the entries for both expenses & sales.  VAT will then be calculated using these digital entries & submitted to HMRC via the compliant software used to record them.

View our latest MTDfVAT Newsletter HERE

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

Final day to submit your Self-Assessment tax return

Today is the Tax Return Deadline!

0 days to the Self-Assessment tax return deadline!

[As at 31 January]: TODAY IS THE FINAL DAY to file your Self Assessment tax return with HMRC. Miss the deadline (11.59pm on 31st January 2019) and you’ll straight away be in for a £100 fine from HRMC, so don’t delay — contact Taxfile AFTER 9AM 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, we’re currently open 6 DAYS A WEEK from now until the end of January (Saturday mornings by appointment only). 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 this week.

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 2017-18 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 or the Battersea office 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 and if you leave it too late you’ll be caught in the last minute bottleneck!

We’ll require your records, figures and receipts for the financial year 6 April 2016 to 5 April 2018.

* Please note: in extremely busy times such as January, a deposit may be required before commencement of appointments.

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

George Osborne

Highlights from the Chancellor’s Budget, 18 March 2015

Along with some encouraging news about the UK economy, some interesting new measures were announced in the Chancellor’s Budget yesterday and below we highlight those which we feel will directly impact the majority of UK taxpayers:

  • As widely forecast, the tax-free allowance will increase. The amount people can earn before paying tax will rise to £10,800 from 2016-17 and then to £11,000 from 2017-18. At the same points in time, higher earners will also receive a two stage increase to the threshold at which they start to pay a 40% rate of tax, with the threshold increasing to £43,300 by 2017-18.
  • The Chancellor also announced a brand new Personal Savings Allowance whereby the first £1,000 of interest (£500 for higher rate taxpayers) will be tax tree. This new allowance will kick in from April 2016 and will take 95% of taxpayers out of savings tax completely. (Fact Sheet available here).
  • Another new scheme announced was the introduction of a new ‘Help to Buy ISA’ aimed at prospective first time buyers. This fairly generous scheme means that the Government will chip in up to £50 extra per month (up to a ceiling of £3,000) when an eligible saver saves up to £200 per month towards their first home. (Fact Sheet available here).
  • In another ISA reform, savers will now be able to withdraw money from a new Flexible ISA and deposit it back later in the same financial year without losing any of their usual ISA tax benefits. £15,240 will be able to be put into this re-styled savings vehicle. 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.

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