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

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

HMRC’s ‘Direct Recovery’ of owed tax – straight from your bank account!

Direct Recovery of tax from your bank accountPart of the Chancellor’s recent Budget included plans to recover tax owed to the Treasury direct from the debtor’s bank account — all done directly and without a Court Order being necessary. This has been criticised widely but HMRC says that only 17,000 people in the UK per year would fall into this potential scenario and that it would only occur for those owing more than £1,000 in unpaid tax or tax credits owed. Moreover they say that they would only target long-standing tax debts from those who had received a minimum of 4 payment demands and whose bank and savings accounts combined had a minimum total balance of £5,000 or more remaining after any tax bad been directly seized. Also the debtor involved will have been issued with a final warning period of 14 days, during which the funds concerned would be frozen, before any tax was directly withdrawn.

Meanwhile many, including the Treasury Committee, have raised concerns by stating that it is well-known that HMRC make mistakes including, for example, sometimes asking for the wrong amount of tax from people, issuing incorrect tax cards, or worse. Similar mistakes applied through the new ‘Direct Recovery’ of tax from bank and savings accounts could be seriously detrimental to people and Read more

So are you one of the 6.6% who missed the tax return deadline?

Despite it being an all time record year for receipt, on-line, of ‘on time’ tax returns this year, of the 10.74 million tax returns which were due by 31 January 2013, about 708,740 were – or still are – late. That represents a shortfall of 6.6% and, at a starting penalty of £100 per late return, that’s quite a hefty total penalty. However, one could argue that an additional £71 million in the HMRC coffers in these troubled economic times is very welcome for the exchequer, even if it’s small change in the big scheme of things.

So did you miss the deadline? Here’s what you can expect in terms of additional penalties:

Late return penalties by HMRC

Remember: you still have to submit a tax return even if you do not owe any tax. Taxfile are Read more

It’s official: thousands are on the wrong tax code!

With the tax return deadline being only hours away (midnight 31 January 2014) there is still time to get professional help if you need it – particularly because HMRC  often get it wrong according to new research by UHY Hacker Young.

In just one example, HMRC sent a tax bill to a pensioner which demanded over £576k in tax! With an income of only £11k per annum this was clearly incorrect but what if it had been only hundreds of pounds wrong – would the pensioner have noticed and, if so, would he have been confident enough to question it with the might of HMRC?

According to the research, HMRC employees have been making ‘basic’ errors which have led to problems such as people being on the wrong tax code and consequently underpaying or overpaying tax. While underpaying it may sound attractive on the face of it, chances are the system will catch up and then a correction will need to be made later on, leaving the taxpayer with an unforeseen bill to pay – a real blow for cashflow.

While the UHY Hacker Young research cites an error rate in 2013 of 37% in the sample tested, HMRC are arguing that the research is wrong and that their PAYE coding notices are 99% accurate. Either way, when you consider that Read more

Confused about your tax code?

A tax code is usually made up of one letter and several numbers, for instance 161L or K567 . A tax code is used by your employer or pension provider to calculate the amount of tax to deduct from your pay or pension. If you have the wrong tax code you could end up paying too much or too little tax.
The letters in your tax code have different meanings:
• L- for those tax payers that are eligible for the basic personal allowance or those that are on the emergency code.
• T-if there are any other items HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) needs to review in your tax code.
• P- for persons aged 65 to 74 and eligible for the full personal allowance.
• V-for persons aged 65 to 74, eligible for the full personal allowance and the full married couple’s allowance (for those born before 6 April 1935 and aged under 75) and estimated to be liable at the basic rate of tax.
• Y-for persons aged 75 or over and eligible for the full personal allowance.

If your tax code has two letters but no number, it normally indicates that you have two or more sources of income and that all of your allowances have been applied to the tax code and income from your main job:
•BR-Is used when all your income is taxed at the basic rate – currently 22 per cent (most commonly used for a second job)
•D0-Is used when all your income is taxed at the higher rate of tax – currently 40 per cent (most commonly used for a second job)
•NT-Is used when no tax is to be taken from your income or pension.

Your employer will use an emergency tax code when you start a new job and your pay is above the PAYE threshold or when you declare on your P46 that this is your only job. Also your employer will use the emergency tax code if you don’t give him/her a P45 when starting a new job.
Taxfile in South London can help you sort out your tax code and make sure you pay the right amount of tax.
If you have paid too much tax under the PAYE code , Taxfile‘s tax accountants in Tulse Hill you will get in touch with the Inland Revenue and request a refund on your behalf.

IHT: Transfer of unused nil-rate band

The Pre-Budget 2007 Report published on Tuesday 9th October announced various changes, one of them referring to the inheritance tax (IHT).
Previously, married couples could transfer an unlimited sum to each other when one died without paying inheritance tax. But when the survivor died, their estate was then taxed at 40% on anything exceeding £300,000.
Couples can now transfer their allowances to each other. When the first person dies, they can transfer their allowance to the second person. When the survivor dies, their beneficiaries can add the two allowances together.
In other words, the change in IHT is concerned with ”the transfer of any unused nil rate band allowance on a person’s death to the estate of their surviving spouse or civil partner.”
It is important to remember that there is a ”permitted period”which is the time limit within which a claim must be made by the personal representative. This is two years from the death of the survivor spouse. If the claim is not be made within the time limit, than a claim may be made by any other person who could be liable to the inheritance tax.
By 2010, the combined tax-free allowance for couples will rise to £700,000.Experts emphasise the need to keep good records, especially where the spouse who dies first does not use the whole of their IHT allowance.
Although this is a great news for married couples or those in civil-partnerships these changes will not help unmarried or non-civil partnership couples, or siblings who share homes.
If you would like to know more details about the way IHT works, you can visit Taxfile’s accountants in South London.

Introduction to Stamp Duty & Stamp Duty Land Tax

Stamp Duty is a type of tax you pay when you buy land or shares. You pay a Stamp Duty Land Tax when you buy property and Stamp Duty Reserve Tax when you buy shares.
You pay Stamp Duty Land Tax on such properties like houses, flats , other buildings and land. There is a threshold of 125,000 which is tax free. If the land or property is up to 250,000 than you pay a rate of 1% Stamp Duty Land Tax. From 250,001 to 500,000 there is a 2% tax rate and a rate of 4% for am amount exceeding 500,001.
If you want to buy a property which is designated by the government as a disadvantaged property than you do not have to pay any Duty Land Tax for an amount of 150,000 or less.
You pay Stamp Reserve tax when you buy shares. There is a tax rate of 0.5% of the value of the shares.
Stamp duty is payable when the shares are transferred to you using a stock transfer form and Stamp Duty Reserve Tax (SDRT) when the shares re transferred to you electronically,also known as paperless transactions, without using a stock transfer form.
When you buy shares from a stockbroker the transaction is usually completed electronically through the electronic settlement and registration system known as CREST. CREST automatically deducts the Stamp Duty Reserve Tax and sends it to the HMRC. If you do not pay for shares using CREST than you have to pay the stamp duty tax to Inland Revenue yourself.
You do not have to pay UK Duty Stamp or SDRT if you buy foreign shares. There will probably be foreign taxes involved that you need to carefully consider.
When buying either properties or shares, carefully tax planning must be considered. Taxfile’s tax accountants in South London always make sure you never pay more than your minimum tax liability.

Is Your Estate Excepted From IHT?

(for UK domiciliaries only)

From 6 April 2004, there are two types of estates are qualified to be excepted from IHT for UK domiciliaries.

1. Low valued estates
When the total value of estates does not exceed the inheritance tax threshold, then those estates do not suffer IHT.

Which threshold should be applied is determined by the date of deceased’s death. If the death was between 6 August and 5 April in any one tax year, or between 6 April and 5 August with the grant of representation taken after 5 August, you should use the threshold of that tax year in which the death happened. If death was between 6 April and 5 August, but the grant of representation was taken before 5 August, the threshold should be used is the one from the tax year of one year earlier.

2. Exempt estates
No IHT is payable when either Spouse/Civil Partners Exemption or Charity Exemption applies and the gross value of the estates is less then £1 million.

Spouse/Civil Partner Exemption can only be deducted if both spouses or civil partners have always been domiciled in the United Kingdom, if one of the spouse/ partners is domiciled outside of UK at the time of transfer of estates, the exemption is limited to £55000. And charity exemption can only be deducted if the gift is an absolute gift to the organisation concerned.

Both types of estates must be subject to the following conditions in order to be exempted from IHT:

• the deceased died domiciled in the United Kingdom,
• if the estate includes any assets in trust, they are held in a single trust and the gross value does not exceed £150,000 (unless the settled property passes to a spouse or civil partner or to a charity when the limit is waived),
• if the estate includes foreign assets, their gross value does not exceed £100,000,
• if there are any specified transfers(transfer the estate to somebody as a gift, the value does not exceed £100,000 if the transfer is within 7 years of death, and this transferred estate does not get involved into any trust), their chargeable value does not exceed £150,000, and
• the deceased had not made a gift with conditions attached
• the deceased did not have an alternatively secured pension fund, either as the original scheme member or as the dependant or relevant dependant of the original scheme member

Well financial planning with the help of Taxfile will significantly save your IHT, just feel free to visit our offices in
South London to get professional advice from our
tax experts.