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!

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.

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.

Small Trader? Make the Most of These 2 Allowances!

Small Trader? Make the Most of These 2 Allowances!

Small trader? Make the most of these 2 allowances!

Small traders with very modest incomes are currently eligible for a couple of very useful allowances. Both of these could save them money — and some paperwork:

1. Tax-Free Allowance for small traders

If you receive income of no more than £1000 per annum (before expenses) from property or trading income, you don’t need to tell HMRC, you don’t need to pay tax and usually you don’t need to do a self-assessment tax return. If you have both types of income and each earns you no more than £1000 gross per annum, you are usually eligible for the tax-free allowance in BOTH cases! There are exceptions, of course, but these are the general guidelines. Income from property or land speaks for itself, while ‘trading‘ would include things like self-employment, hiring out personal equipment or services like gardening, window cleaning or babysitting. Partnerships are not eligible.

2. Trading Income Allowance

If you are paying tax but have expenses below £1000 per annum, you could reduce the tax by claiming for ‘Trading Income Allowance’ instead of claiming for the actual expenses themselves. In effect, it’s like claiming for £1000 worth of expenses rather than the lower amount of expenses that you’ve incurred in reality. This aspect is all explained in greater detail, with a simple example, in our previous Trading Income Allowance article here.

It’s important to know, though, that you cannot claim both the Read more

Making Tax Digital for Income Tax Self Assessment (MTDfITSA). Are you ready?

Making tax digital for Income Tax Self Assessment

The Government has now pencilled in what they regard as a firm date to implement MTD for ITSA, for all landlords and business owners that have an income above £10,000.

The next accounting period starting on or after 06/04/2023 that meet the above mentioned criteria will need to be compiled & submitted via MTD-compatible software.

If you are self-employed or a landlord with a turnover greater than £10k, how will MTD affect you?

1.  You will need to submit a quarterly summary of your businesses income & expenses to HMRC using MTD-compliant software.  Yes, you read that correctly.  No longer can you do your tax return in one go, with a lot of our customers leaving it to December or even January before they come to see us.  As your tax agents, we would need your business transactions every 3 months, to compile, compute, and submit through to HMRC.

The timing of the quarterly updates is determined by the accounting period of the business but typically the 4 quarters will be:

  • 6 April to 5 July
  • 6 July to 5 October
  • 6 October to 5 January
  • 6 January to 5 April

2.  All your income and expenses will need to be individually logged electronically.  The technical term used is that every business transaction will have an ‘electronic signature’.  These signatures will then be submitted to HMRC every 3 months and you will receive an estimated tax projection for the year based on the information provided.

3.  At the end of the year, any non-business information, foreign income, other income, etc is added to finalise your tax affairs and submitted using the MTD-compatible software.  This replaces the need for a Self Assessment tax return.  You will then have Read more

Making Tax Digital – A New Time Line

Making Tax Digital (‘MTD’) was announced as the new initiative by HMRC to revolutionise and modernise the tax system in the UK.

MTD centres around keeping digital financial records that can then be accessed by software to calculate and submit taxes through to HMRC. The goal is that there will be direct ‘digital link’ between the financial record and the software used to calculate and submit the records and therefore ensuring an accuracy in the figures being generated.

With initial teething problems, MTD for VAT started back in April 2019, and as a result of various delays around Brexit & COVID-19, it still has not sailed out of its ‘soft-landing’ period.

On 21st July 2020 the Treasury published a 10-year plan to modernize the UK’s tax system which outlines a blueprint for the transition of the UK’s tax system into the digital age.

MTD for VAT

Introduced in April 2019, MTD for VAT had a soft-landing period where the rules for this ‘digital-link’ were relaxed.  Prior to COVID-19, April 2020 was the date stipulated where all digital links were to be in place for submissions.

As a direct consequence of COVID-19, it has been now been stated that as of 1st April 2021, the ‘soft-landing’ period comes to an end and all VAT registered businesses submitting VAT returns will need to ensure they have these digital links in place for their submissions.

Furthermore, from April 2022, MTD for VAT will apply to all VAT registered businesses and not just those that have a turnover greater than the VAT threshold.

MTD for Income Tax

The 10-year plan targets 6th April 2023 for self-employed businesses and unincorporated landlords to begin reporting Read more

Income Tax – Second Payment on Account Deferral

The self-assessment tax line usually follows the process outlined in the image below, with 31st July signalling the last day you can make your second payment on account before interest would be charged.

However, due to COVID-19, the 2nd payment on account can now be deferred till 31/01/2021.  This means that the amount needs to be paid sometime between now and the end of January, when you will be making the outstanding payment for your 19/20 tax return (if applicable), along with the first payment on account towards your 20/21 tax return.

You can choose to make the payment as normal if you want to but if you choose to to make the payment(s) over time, there is nothing you need to do.  HMRC has just extended the deadline and there is no need to call them or tell us.  If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact our expert tax agents on 020 8761 8000.

2nd SEISS grant now open for applications (started 17 August 2020)

2nd SEISS Grant Applications – NOW OPEN!

2nd SEISS grant now open for applications (started 17 August 2020)

The Government previously announced that, much like the furlough scheme, the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (‘SEISS’) is to be extended for a second period and in fact it’s now open for applications.

If your business has been adversely affected as a result of COVID-19 on or after 14th July 2020 you can make a claim from 17th August 2020 for the second and final grant.

You can make a claim for the second grant, if you’re eligible, even if you did not make a claim for the first grant. 

Your eligibility for the 2nd SEISS grant must meet the same criteria as those outlined for the 1st grant:

  • you must have traded in the tax year 2018/19 and submitted your Self Assessment tax return on or before 23 April 2020;
  • you must have traded as self-employed in the tax year 2019/20;
  • you must have all intentions to trade as self-employed in the tax year 2020/21;
  • your average trading profits must be less than £50,0000;
  • your trade must have been adversely affected by coronavirus.

Like the first SEISS grant, the second SEISS grant is a taxable one. However, this time, it is based on 70% of your average monthly trading profits. It will be paid out in a single instalment, based on a 3-month period of average profits, and is capped at a maximum of £6,570.

Taxfile will be in touch with clients to remind them. Now that the 2nd grant is available, do feel free to call us if you’d like our assistance in helping you to make your claim.

Please remember the deadline for claiming the first SEISS grant was 13 July 2020. You can start claiming the second SEISS grant now, as it opened to applications on 17 August 2020.

Please call Taxfile on 020 8761 8000 if you need help to make a claim for either of these SEISS grants and we’ll be happy to help. Alternatively, fill in and submit the form below and we’ll be in touch to help you.

First Name (required):

Surname (required):

Email Address (required):

Telephone Number (required):

Your Message (please edit as you see fit):

How did you discover this website today e.g. via a Search engine? (Required)

Please click the button below to submit the form.

[Article updated 17 August 2020].

Wandsworth Council chooses Taxfile for its Tax Return Support Scheme

In an extraordinary measure to help its community, Wandsworth council has set up a Tax Return Support Scheme for those needing to do a 2018/19 tax return in order to qualify for the Self-employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS).

In response to COVID-19, SEISS will provide direct cash grants worth 80% of trading profits up to a maximum of £2,500 per month for self-employed individuals with profits of less than £50,000 per annum.  To be eligible for this scheme, you will need to have submitted your tax returns for 2018-19 by the extended deadline of Thursday 23 April.

To assist the community captured by Wandsworth council, the scheme is to help members submit tax returns when they otherwise might not have been in a position to do so.

At Taxfile we are delighted to be considered as one of their ‘local accountants’ who will advise and assist residents to complete their 2018/19 tax returns.   This service is provided by Wandsworth council for FREE, as the council covers the cost.

The submissions need to be sent to HMRC by no later than 23/04/20, so the council has placed a cut-off date 17/04/2020 to take advantage of their free support.

To be eligible for Wandsworth council’s Tax return Support Scheme you must;

 

  • Be a Wandsworth resident
  • Be self-employed (sole trader, freelancer or CIS contractor)
  • Have a Unique Tax Reference number (UTR)
  • Have made a profit of less than £50,000 or less in the 2018/19 tax year
  • Not yet have submitted your 2018/19 tax return
  • Not be a director of your own limited company

[UPDATE: Please note that the Wandsworth council’s scheme has now ended].

If you would like any advice, we offer a free 20-minute consultation, please call us on 020 8761 8000.