The Shocking Truth about Tax on the Poor

How much is taken in taxHave you ever wondered how much of one’s total income is taken up in tax? And I don’t mean just Income Tax. I mean in ALL taxes paid by ordinary taxpayers throughout the course of a year. Such a figure would need to take into account National Insurance (income tax in all but name, some might say), the insidious Value Added Tax or ‘VAT’ – which on its own is a hefty 20% tax on what is often already taxed money for most ordinary taxpayers, and don’t forget to include Council Tax and finally, of course, Income Tax itself.

Well, the answer may surprise you. Before seeing the answer, though, try The Guardian’s little quiz about this and see how you get on. There are only 8 questions, and for each you simply choose from 4 possible answers – so it’s quick to complete and, once submitted, you are immediately taken to a feedback page where you will be told how your answers compared to the average respondent and, more interestingly, what the correct answers were. It’s interesting to note that, in a joint poll by The Equality Trust and Ipsos MORI, nearly 70% of people drastically underestimated how much the poorest pay in tax, as a percentage of their total income. They also over estimated how much the richest pay as a proportion of total income. This wide misconception is due to most people incorrectly focusing only on Income Tax alone which, in reality, only makes up a small proportion of total taxes paid throughout the course of a typical year.

Spoiler alert: be warned that I’m shortly going to divulge the answers 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

No April Showers for Landlords!

Landlords may benefit by having a Taxfile safety net.
Landlords and taxpayers with small amounts of freelance earnings could well expect to find a Tax inspector appearing unannounced at their Buy to Let property or small home business enterprise! Proposals included in last weeks finance bill and coming into force on April 1st 2009, will herald even more investigative powers for the Tax man. HMRC inspectors will have additional powers to investigate landlords and challenge them over perceived income errors on their tax returns, which could result in fines between 30%-100% of any extra tax due.

In a recent report, HMRC have identified 20% of Landlords (nearly 80,000), as having made errors on their Tax returns. But what is meant by an error? Taxpayers could be heavily penalised for just failing to understand the tax rules applied to rental income. For example, being late with the lettings business registration, or using inappropriate expenses and so on.

Any concerns or worries in this area can be directed to Taxfile who will be happy to offer help and advice. We strongly recommend landlords take advantage of our insurance cover against any tax investigation, this offers Landlords peace of mind and financial protection.

Taxfile welcome your call on 0208 7618000 to discuss your situation.

Good luck.

Land and Property Team at Taxfile