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!

Act NOW & get 5% Off 2019-20 Self-Assessment Tax Return Fees

Act NOW & get 5% Off 2019-20 Self-Assessment Tax Return Fees

Act NOW & get 5% Off 2019-20 Self-Assessment Tax Return Fees

Have you contacted us about your 2019-20 Self Assessment tax return yet?

If not, please get in touch early this month (November). You’ll save 5% or more¹ by acting right away. You’ll also avoid the coming bottleneck if you act now. So, please get in touch:

We’ll then confirm the next steps.

1. If you supply everything in time for us to submit your tax return by 30 November 2020, you’ll save 5% off our standard tax return fees. You’ll save even more compared to the higher prices that we’ll need to impose closer to the self-assessment deadline. Our prices will also increase very soon to cover weekend working and overtime to cater for those who leave it to the last minute. Please bear in mind that the pandemic lock-down will make things even harder than usual, so please act now and plan ahead.

2. Worried about COVID? There’s no need! We can do ‘virtual’ meetings instead, for example by telephone, Zoom, Teams, WhatsApp, Google Hangouts, Skype, Facetime or whatever suits you best. So, we don’t even need to meet face-to-face. Just give us a call on 020 8761 8000 to discuss your preferences. We’re here to help!

Taxfile are accountants and tax advisors in South London and the South West, with offices in Tulse Hill, Dulwich, Battersea & Devon.

How To Help Your Accountant Save You Money

How to help your accountant save you money

There are many benefits of helping your accountant by providing complete and organised records from the outset.

Here are some of them:

  • If you get your records to your accountant on time, you will give them enough time to work on your case without unnecessary pressure and file everything on time (don’t forget you are not their only client).
  • By providing organised and detailed records, you’ll understand your business performance better and it will save them time from processing and reorganising untidy paperwork.
  • By providing complete records of your business expenses, they can claim what is allowable and potentially reduce your tax bill.

When preparing your financial records you need to remember:

  • Separate your business from your personal finances.
  • Stay on top of your records and ensure they are orderly with no gaps in the dates.
  • Keep receipts and purchase invoices; you will need to provide proof of all expenditure and year-end creditors.
  • Bring bank statements for the complete period and downloads of your bank feed in .csv format if possible.
  • Sequential invoices for each sale, dated, to prove year-end debtors and accrued income.
  • Depending on your business, you may also need to keep records for things such as payroll, cash books, stock takes, travel and credit card statements.

Taxfile offer the full spectrum of accountancy services.

In an ideal world:

  • It is much better to keep on top of these things monthly than leaving it until the end of the year, where you may have lost or forgotten data around expenses, sales, or other financial details.
  • You would have a software package to help you track your bank, expenses, and sales.

At Taxfile we provide the full spectrum of accountancy-related services; integrating your business with accounting software like Xero, oversee your bookkeeping, run VAT returns and payroll, to filing your year-end accounts, corporation tax return & director(s) tax return(s).

Call  us on 0208 761 8000 if you would like to streamline your businesses finances and alleviate some pressures from your financial duties as a director. Alternatively, book an appointment with us here or drop us a message here — we’d be delighted to hear from you.

Need a Limited Company? Questions you may be asking yourself

Need a Limited Company: Questions you may be asking yourself

“What are the main differences between being self-employed and running a limited company?”

“What are the advantages and disadvantages of having a private limited company?”

The major difference between running a private limited company and being self-employed are the administrative requirements you are required to do by law & although the volume is more, the data contained within those returns are pretty similar to being a sole trader.

A limited company will:

  • need to keep company records
  • report any changes to Companies House & HMRC
  • need to file an annual company tax return along with the company’s accounts, giving an undistorted view of its finances.

So why go through the extra cost and resources of having a Limited Company?

In forming a limited company, you are limiting your personal liability.  What this means is that the Limited Company becomes a legal entity of its own.  Think of it as another being, that you work for.  However, it is important to keep in mind that you cannot abuse your power with the limited liability, to take selfish and unnecessary risks.  As a director, you are ethically and morally responsible for the business decisions and transactions the company makes.

As a director of a private limited company you will:

  • make decisions that benefit the company rather than your own
  • abide by the rules and regulations outlined by the company Articles of Association, which are written rules about running the company agreed by the shareholders or guarantors, directors and the company secretary
  • notify any shareholders if you might benefit personally from a company transaction
  • always act with the intention of making the company successful.

Having a Limited company can also add professionalism to your business.  This can help your business become even more successful because customers, clients, and B2B companies will be more inclined to trust you and buy your products or services if you are a limited company rather than a sole trader. It is quite common for B2B companies only to trade with another limited company as a general rule.

A final benefit is, if you have a profitable Limited Company, how you distribute salaries and dividends can have income tax savings, especially once your Read more

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

Don't miss THIS on your self-assessment tax return!

Don’t Miss THIS on your Tax Return! (Checklist)

Don't miss THIS on your self-assessment tax return! (Checklist)

The standard Self-Assessment Tax Return includes all the usual areas that you’d expect to have to confirm to HMRC. These include the obvious things like personal details, information about income for the period in question, any assets, dividends, interest received, pensions and so on.

However, there are a number of additional areas that you need to check and confirm before the return is submitted and filed with HMRC. It’s not an exhaustive list, but things people sometimes miss and that you need to check you have allowed for (if applicable) include:

  • Employment Income — have you confirmed any employment income? Have you supplied Taxfile, if we’re your tax agent or accountant, with copies of P60’s and P11D’s. Did you have any employment expenses?
  • Self-Employment Income or Partnership Income — have you confirmed any self-employed or partnership income and relevant expenses? Have you supplied all CIS vouchers, invoices, cash income etc. if applicable?
  • UK Land & Property Income — have you confirmed any rental income and relevant expenses for each property you perhaps rent out?
  • Foreign Income — did you receive any foreign income? Have you confirmed it?
  • Trust Income — did you receive any trust income or are you treated as having received any trust income?
  • Capital Gains — have you sold any assets or investments which may be subject to capital gains tax e.g. a rental house, stocks and shares etc?
  • Residence — were you, for all or part of the year, not resident, not ‘ordinarily resident’ or not ‘domiciled’ in the UK?
  • Investment Income — have you confirmed any bank/building society interest, dividends, etc?
  • Pension Income — are you in receipt of any? It needs confirming if so.
  • Any other income received that doesn’t fit into any of the above e.g. Job Seekers Allowance, Tax Credits? Child Benefit is an important one, especially if one parent is earning £50k or more. Marriage Allowance is another.
  • Do you have a pension that you pay into? If so, how much did you pay for the period in question?
  • Have you given any money to charity? Higher rate taxpayers can usually get extra tax relief on this.
  • Do you have a student loan?
  • Are you subject to the High Income Benefit Charge?
  • Do you use a service company?
  • Have you been paying your National Insurance?
  • Have you been keeping good records?

Taxfile will always prompt you to check for things like these if you’re our customer, before we submit your tax return on your behalf. As we say above, though, the list is not an exhaustive one, so there may be other information we need, depending upon your individual situation. The list of what HMRC requires each year also Read more

Watch out for scam emails, texts & calls

Watch Out – Fraudsters Are About!

Watch out for scam emails, texts & calls

Have you noticed a significant increase in the number of scam calls, phishing emails and dodgy texts to your mobile in recent weeks? We certainly have. Some of Taxfile’s customers have been asking if any are genuine, so we thought we’d send out this warning

If you receive a call, email or text from HMRC asking for your personal or financial details, it’s simple: DO NOT to give ANY information away via text, email or to someone calling you by telephone. They could be anyone! Your information will be used against you if it gets into the wrong hands — and that could potentially cost you a LOT of money. So if they call, text or email you out of the blue:

  • don’t confirm your date of birth,
  • don’t confirm your National Insurance Number,
  • don’t tell them your your mother’s Maiden name,
  • don’t confirm your Unique Taxpayer Reference (‘UTR’) or any other piece of personal or financial information,
  • … even if they say it’s urgent (most fraudsters will say it is, so as to panic you into divulging your information).

Even one bit of data given away can be dangerous these days. ‘Social Engineering’ scams can use one bit of information as a starting point to eventually build a more complete picture of your sensitive data. Once they have enough pieces of the jigsaw, they can potentially take over your identity, empty your bank account or go on a spending spree with a credit or debit card issued in your name. People have lost thousands! So, the message is to be careful not to give anything away via email, SMS/text or to someone who has telephoned you out of the blue.

If HMRC do send you a genuine email, text your mobile or call you, they will never ask for personal information, financial information or payment details. It may help you to check here to see a list of genuine communications that HMRC has recently sent.

If you’re going to give HMRC information and want to be sure it’s genuine, you need to 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.

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.

 

Late with your tax return and tax payment?

Missed the tax return deadline? What now?

Missed the tax return deadline? What now?

[Updated August 2020] 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 as soon as possible, 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