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

Taxfile Autumn Newsletter Now Available

Taxfile Newsletter Autumn 2014Download our jam-packed Autumn Newsletter right here for up-to-the-minute news, ways to save money, tips, new developments and tax information from Taxfile. Includes important news regarding tax return deadlines, refunds for C.I.S. sub-contractors working in the construction industry, key dates, ways to save money, HMRC tax news for landlords, imminent price changes plus an interesting mind map showing information about our lovely multi-lingual staff! Download the newsletter here (Acrobat PDF format – right-click to save the PDF to your hard drive then open it in Acrobat Reader or alternatively left-click the link to view the newsletter directly in most browsers).

Record haul by HMRC in tax avoidance crackdown

Record anti-avoidance tax haul by HMRCBack in January we reported that HMRC had raised an extra £20.7 billion in additional revenue for the financial year 2012-13 as a result of it’s drive on tax compliance and a massive crackdown on tax avoidance by organisations and individuals alike. Now we can confirm that the financial year 2013-14 figures are in and HMRC has increased their haul to £23.9 billion in additional tax for the year – an all time record and one which represents 5% of the total tax yield for the year. This is an increase of £3.9 billion on the year before and it’s up a whopping £9 billion compared to 3 years ago. George Osborne will be doubly pleased because this year’s figure also beats the target he set in his Autumn Statement by £1 billion clear.

Of the £23.9 billion raised in these latest figures, £8 billion is derived from large businesses, £1 billion from criminals and a further £2.7 billion is the result of successfully tackling tax avoidance schemes in the courts. That leaves £12.2 billion which we Read more

The Taxpayers Charter & how it can help you

The Taxpayers CharterMany ordinary working taxpayers do not even know it exists, but The Taxpayers Charter is there to make sure that HMRC give you a service that is even-handed, accurate and based on mutual trust and respect. HMRC also want to make it as easy as possible for you to get things right.

The Charter is there to protect you and, better still, it gives you certain rights. In return for 3 simple obligations on your part (honesty, respect for HMRC staff and diligence to get things right) HMRC promises to:

  1. Respect you.
    This includes treating you with courtesy and making you aware of your rights;
  2. Help and support you to get things right.
    This includes processing the information you supply as quickly and accurately as possible and also correcting any mistakes as quickly as they can;
  3. Treat you as honest.
    This includes only questioning what you tell them if they have good grounds to do so;
  4. Treat you even-handedly.
    This includes consideration of any financial difficulties which you may be having and explaining what you can do if you disagree with their decisions, or if you wish to make a complaint;
  5. Be professional and act with integrity.
    Critically, this includes a useful sub-clause to ‘make sure that you are dealt with by people who have the right level of expertise‘ and another to ‘let you know how appeals, investigations or complaints are progressing‘. Here at Taxfile we feel that these may be the most helpful clauses of all, judging by past history;
  6. Tackle people who deliberately break the rules and challenge those who bend the rules;
  7. Protect your information and respect your privacy.
    This includes a sub-clause to respect your legal rights when they visit premises;
  8. Accept that someone else can represent you;
    Hey – we would be happy to represent you!
  9. Do all we can to keep the cost of dealing with us as low as possible.
    For example if you, or your representative (see clause 8 above) feel that an HMRC officer is relentlessly dragging out a tax enquiry with perhaps unfair queries, creating unnecessary work, then Read more

Enquiry Meeting:One Big Interview

According to the HMRC, during a tax investigation, meetings between the taxpayer and the tax inspector play a vital role.

Why is that? Because according to HMRC, this is the easiest way to obtain information about the taxpayer’s business and settle the enquiry faster.

Also, meetings between the taxpayer and the tax inspector ”ensure that, where omissions have been found, the taxpayer is aware what offence has been committed and the likelihood of penalties and of the benefits of co-operating in bringing about an appropriate settlement at the earliest possible date, but you should make it clear that it is entirely a matter for them to decide.”(Enquiry Manual, HMRC)

When dealing with a meeting with the taxpayer, the inspectors are advised to consider a few points :
•the purpose of the meeting,
•the reason of the meeting,
•list of questions to be answered by the taxpayer
•review of all the information held,
•establish the basis of settlement.

The Inspectors Enquiry Manual (EM1822) tells the Inspector that the meetings enable them to:
”•obtain facts from the taxpayer about the business, how it is run and the records that are kept;
obtain the facts in non-business enquiries;
•explain the purpose of your enquiry. Taxpayers may not always be fully aware of the extent of HMRC enquiries;
•establish whether the taxpayer wishes to disclose omissions;
•agree what action is required and by whom to move the enquiry towards conclusion;
•ensure that, where omissions have been found, the taxpayer is aware what offence has been committed and the likelihood of penalties and of the benefits of co-operating in bringing about an appropriate settlement at the earliest possible date, but you should make it clear that it is entirely a matter for them to decide.
•quantify and agree omissions;
•settle the enquiry.”(Enquiry Manual, HMRC)

What you need to realise when dealing with a tax investigation is that there is no legal obligation for you to attend a meeting/interview with the Inspector.
Also it is important to go through the structure of the meeting in advance with your tax agent.
It is vital while attending such a meeting to have appropriate representation.
Tax Investigations and conflicts with the HMRC can create difficult and stressful times for anyone involved as well as a big accountancy bill.
Here at Taxfile we have free-of-charge enquiry protection cover. The insurance will cover the whole costs involved in dealing with your tax investigation. For more details about our insurance policy come and see us in our office in Tulse Hill or Exeter.

Tax Enquiries: Guilty Until Proven Innocent!

An enquiry is defined as seeking information, asking, questioning. Self Assessment is a process now/check later regime. According to HMRC,enquiries encompass all work carried out to check returns after processing – from a single enquiry about one entry in a return to a detailed examination of all the taxpayer’s affairs.
Under Self Assessment, taxpayers have clearly defined obligations while HMRC has defined powers in order to make sure that all taxpayers meet such obligations.
There are two types of tax enquiries:
•full enquiries (covering every single aspect of the return) and
•aspect enquiries(dealing with only one or more aspects of the return).
According to HMRC, a full enquiry is one which seeks to address all the significant risks of error in the return, including the risk of the return being fundamentally incorrect whereas aspect enquiries are those which fall short of a full, in-depth examination of the whole return but instead concentrate on one or more aspects of it.
Aspect enquiries, although more limited in scope than full enquiries, should not be seen as any less thorough or investigative.
If no enquiry is made within the allowed period (one year from the day the tax return is received by HMRC, for specific examples follow this link), the return becomes final unless the tax office makes a discovery assessment as a result of the return being incorrect or there was fraudulent or negligent conduct in making the return.
A very small proportion of returns will be taken up for enquiry on an entirely random basis. Most of the enquiries may start because either the return was sent in late, or some figures in the tax return did not match their records or just HMRC received a tip off.
All taxpayers should be aware that there is a chance of their returns being subject to enquiry.
Where a tax return has been selected for full enquiry, the enquiry officer aims to identify and examine all the significant risks of error in the return, including the risk that it is fundamentally incorrect. Also, where the business records do not prove to be as accurate as they should be, the officer in charge will need to look at the private side.
In order to make sure that there is no undisclosed source of income or additional cash coming from somewhere which was not taxed, the enquiry officer uses three main techniques:
Cash Flow Tests involved with an analysis of drawings;
means tests which determines the amount of money that is available to a taxpayer for living expenses.
capital statements dealing with a detailed accumulation of information about capital worth, income of all sorts and expenditure.
Individuals with complex tax affairs investigated by HMRC should seek early help from a professional advisor to guide them through every step of the enquiry from responding to the officer, arranging a meeting to negotiating a settlement.
Taxfile‘s tax agents in South London and Exeter will guide you through this process and try to save you tax, interest and penalties.
Taxfile is happy to announce that we have recently renewed our free-of-charge enquiry protection cover. The insurance will cover the whole costs involved in dealing with your tax investigation so you can give you piece of mind and save you hundreds of pounds at the same time.
So pop in to see us and make the best of it!

Tax at Christmas time!

A very Merry Christmas to one and all from Taxfile‘ s Tax Accountants.

Our gift to you all this year is a brand new, free of charge insurance cover.
This cover will provide you with protection against any possible Tax enquiry: In the unlikely event of a random investigation by the revenue, Taxfile have insured its customers against the associated costs incurred in defending such cases thus saving its clients hundreds of pounds. So avoid the stress and have piece of mind this Christmas and call into Taxfile this December.
By way of an extra incentive to think Tax returns before the end of December! Taxfile have also put together some great Christmas prizes.
Bring your details into us before the 31 December and you’ll have a free entry into our Christmas draw.

Prizes available are:

  • 1st Prize: A weekend for two at one of the Meridian Hotels
  • 2nd Prize: Half a case of champagne
  • 3rd Prize: A Marks and Spencer voucher worth £25.00

So let Taxfile take the pressure off, come in and see us before the 31st of December and ensure you have your return filed before the January 31st deadline.

Furthermore Taxfile have now established links with companies offering financial, legal and mortgage advice, further details on these services are outlined in our newsletter which will be arriving on your door step very shortly.

We look forward to seeing you soon.

Taxfile knows everything about taxi drivers’ tax!

There are a few things that need to be considered when it comes to taxi drivers’ tax. Among them we can mention the following:

•Mileage Allowances
Taxi drivers can claim as an alternative to vehicle running costs mileage allowances of 40p for the first 10,000 miles and 25p per mile thereafter. You may not claim mileage allowance and vehicle running costs. Should you choose to claim the mileage allowance then keep good records of mileage covered, purpose of journey.

•Taxi Capital Allowances
If you bought a vehicle in 2005-06 and used it as a taxi you can claim a first year tax allowance of 40% of the cost of the taxi, restricted to £3,000 for vehicles costing over £12,000. On vehicles purchased in previous tax years you can claim 25% writing down allowance on the balance not yet claimed. If you have bought and sold a vehicle used as a taxi during the financial year the tax allowance is restricted to any loss made on resale and any profit made over the written down value is taxable as a balancing charge. First year allowance in the current tax year 2006-07 is 50%.

• Taxis bought on Hire Purchase
Claim capital allowances on the original cost of the vehicle, interest and other charges count as business expenses and go in the self assessment tax return.

•Taxi Running Costs
When completing the self assessment tax return taxi drivers should enter fuel costs as cost of sales not motoring expenses. Do not claim fuel expenses when you are on holiday, the revenue will check should they inquire into your self assessment tax return.Taxi running costs also include repairs, servicing and parts including tyres, road tax, taxi insurance and AA/RAC membership. Include radio hire and taxi office costs in general administrative expenses.

• Household expenses
If you run your taxi business from home you can claim a proportion of household expenses as business expenses. Household expenses are likely to be disallowed unless they are either specific to the business or a specific area of your home is devoted entirely to your business.

• Spouse Costs
You can claim expenses for partners who work for your taxi business and payments up to £94 would not attract income tax or national insurance however any payments claimed must be real payments for real work done. The Revenue naturally adopt a strict view on expenses claimed for partner work as it is an area some people might use to reduce the tax liability.

•Other Expenses
The best method of ensuring the taxi drivers tax bill is as low as possible in the future is undoubtedly to meticulously maintain good records of all taxi receipts and expenses and mileage covered which offers the opportunity for taxi drivers to compare vehicle running costs against mileage allowances and choose the most tax efficient option. General if the taxi cab capital allowances are high vehicle running costs will be the best option and if taxi cab capital allowances are low then mileage allowances may well legally increase the costs you can claim and save you money.

Taxfile in South London taxi and cab drivers choose the best accounting option in order to reduce their tax liability.
Taxfile can also provide you with a record-keeper to fill in with all your takings and your expenses for the year. For more information, you can visit us on https://www.taxfile.co.uk/.

Welcome to the Inheritance Tax Blog

Inheritance Tax (IHT) is a tax on the value of a person’s estate on death and on certain gifts made by an individual during their lifetime.

There is a certain threshold when it comes to inheritance tax. This is defined as the amount above which inheritance tax becomes payable. If the estate, including any assets held in trust and gifts made within seven years of death, is less than the threshold, no inheritance tax will be due on it. Starting from April 2007 the threshold, also known as the nil-rate band is £300 000. For transfers on death, the value of an estate above the mentioned band is taxed at a rate of 40%. For lifetime transfers the tax rate is 20%.

There are a few things to consider when dealing with IHT:

• Gifts between husband and wife are generally exempt for IHT. It may be desirable to use the spouse exemption to transfer assets to ensure that both spouses can make full use of lifetime exemptions, the nil rate band and the potentially exempt transfers (PETs). With a PET the gift will be exempt from IHT if the donor survives for seven years.
• Gifts to individuals not exceeding £250 in total per tax year per recipient are exempt. The exemption cannot be used to cover part of a larger gift.
• £3,000 per annum may be given by an individual without an IHT charge. An annual exemption may be carried forward to the next year but not thereafter.
• Gifts in consideration of marriage are exempt up to £5,000 if made by a parent with lower limits for other donors.
• Gifts to registered charities are exempt provided that the gift becomes the property of the charity or is held for charitable purposes.
• Trusts can provide an effective means of transferring assets out of an estate whilst still allowing the donor to retain some control over the assets. Provided that the donor does not obtain any benefit or enjoyment from the trust, the property is removed from the estate.

A good planning is essential when dealing with Inheritance Tax. Any plan must take into account your personal circumstances and aspirations. Taxfile in South London can help you find the best solution to minimize your tax liability.