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

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

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’.

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.

Taxfile's Autumn Newsletter 2018

Autumn Newsletter 2018

Taxfile's Autumn Newsletter 2018

Those of you who are not on our mailing list may be unaware of our latest newsletter. So, we thought we’d post a little about it here, along with a link where you can download an Acrobat PDF version to read at your leisure.

Keep on Top of your Taxes

The Autumn 2018 Newsletter is packed full of articles and advice to help you get on top of your taxes, make sure you are aware of the services we offer and, above all else, ensure that you file your tax return in good time.

It’s Tax Return Time! Act Now!

When it comes to Self-Assessment tax returns, the main message is to act now. That way you will avoid the January stampede and any unnecessary, additional expenses.

Key Contacts at Taxfile

Along with other tax news and advice, we also include a very useful table of your key contacts at Taxfile. Simply choose the service you require and the key people responsible for helping you can be found alongside, including their email addresses for direct contact.

Download Taxfile's Autumn Newsletter 2018Download the eNewsletter

To find out much more, download the Taxfile Autumn 2018 Newsletter here.

Professional Help to Get Your Tax Affairs in Order

Taxfile are super-keen to help you through the maze of HMRC rules and tax regulations. We’ll get your paperwork, accounts, bookkeeping and tax returns all in order. Simple!

Open for Saturday Appointments

Taxfile’s Tulse Hill (SE21) office is now open on Saturday mornings, from 10am until 1pm, for pre-booked appointments. So, if you’d like to discuss any aspect of your tax and a weekend appointment is more convenient than a weekday, call 0208 761 8000 to book one or book an appointment online here.

Using 'Trading Income Allowance' to save tax

Making the Most of your Tax Allowances for Small Trading?

Using 'Trading Income Allowance' to save tax

Are you making the most of your tax allowances for small trading? If you have small earnings from self employment, then it may be advantageous to make a claim for Trading Income Allowance i.e. to claim a flat rate deduction of £1,000 for expenses instead of claiming the actual expenses incurred.

Example:

Christina has income of £2,360 and expenses for web hosting of £204, software of £103 and publishing costs of £430
(total expenses £737).

As her expenses are less than £1,000 she can claim £1,000 Trading Income Allowance in preference to claiming the actual expenses.

Her taxable profit therefore becomes £1,360 instead of £1,623. So, she pays less tax!

This is just one simple way in which Taxfile’s knowledge of the tax system can help its customers pay less tax in a totally acceptable way from HMRC’s perspective.

Contact your nearest Taxfile branch

Please do contact us for any accountancy work that you or your business(es) require. We’re tax experts and are also very well trusted by HMRC because we deal with them on a daily basis on behalf hundreds of clients. We have several UK branches including in Tulse Hill, Dulwich and Battersea in London, Exeter and Plymouth in the South West along with our tax specialists in Poole (Dorset), Carlisle in the North of England and Yorkshire in the North East. Call 0208 761 8000 or contact us here for more information — we’ll be happy to help you to get your tax affairs in order in the most tax-efficient way.