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

Over 400 tax returns submitted

We Submitted Over 400 Tax Returns in January!

Over 400 tax returns submitted

Taxfile prepared and submitted more than 400 Self-Assessment tax returns for clients during January. That’s about a hundred a week and goes to show just how busy it gets for us during January, the busiest month in our accounting calendar.

Did you submit your tax return on time?

The deadline for submission of your tax return (and payment of any tax due) was 31st January at midnight. Did you manage to submit yours in time? If not, you’re already into the ‘penalty’ period where HMRC basically fine you for being late. The penalty comes in the form of an initial £100 fine but that increases, potentially very significantly, as you get later and later with your tax return submission. If you look at the table below, it’s safe to say that you can end up owing a thousand pounds or more if you bury your head in the sand and are 3 months late, or more.  If you continue to leave your tax payment and tax return submission outstanding for six months or more, the penalty is £1300 as a minimum – perhaps more (it depends upon how much tax you owe).

Late return penalties by HMRC

Is your tax return & tax payment late? Taxfile can help!

If you are late submitting your tax return or paying tax and don’t know how to straighten things out, don’t Read more

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

TODAY is the deadline for submission of your tax return. Contact Taxfile for help filing & avoid a minimum £100 fine!

31 JANUARY was the Tax Return Deadline!

TODAY is the Self-Assessment tax return deadline!

[As at 31 January 2020]: 31st January was the last day to file your Self Assessment tax return on time with HMRC. Did you miss the deadline? If so, you’ll straight away be in for a £100 fine from HRMC, and if you continue not to submit your return, other penalties will soon also be added to your debt (click here for more details). So don’t delay — contact Taxfile 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 2018-19 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 Read more

Your Tax Return - All Wrapped Up for Christmas!

Your Tax Return – All Wrapped Up for Christmas!

Your Tax Return - All Wrapped Up for Christmas!

Urgent: rather than waiting until January, start sorting out your Self-Assessment Tax Return out right now.

Why now? Well, because every tax expert and accountant in the land is about to hit their busiest month in the accounting year — January. For tax professionals, January is a frantic time because everyone wants their tax matters sorted out at the same time due to HMRC’s deadlines. So, we have to take on extra staff, extend our opening hours and open at weekends — just to keep up with the demand. All of this costs extra money, so we have to increase charges a little during January to cater for the enormous increase in workload. January also becomes quite a bottleneck. In January alone, we are likely to have to prepare and submit around 500 Self-Assessment tax returns for our customers and that’s a very tall order.

So — act now & save money on your tax return

You can avoid extra charges by coming in to see us for your tax return now — well before January. It makes sense to come in early in November or December if you can. That way, we can have your tax affairs sorted in time for Christmas, avoiding the bottleneck. You can then relax in the knowledge that your tax matters have been sorted, ahead of the rush, at the best possible price.

Saturday opening

We’re open Saturday mornings at Tulse Hill from 9am until 1pm for a limited time. So, make the most of this opportunity and book a weekend appointment now, while it costs nothing extra.

Get a tax refund for Christmas!

We can help prepare and submit your Self-Assessment tax return and let you know the all-important amount of tax you need to pay or, indeed, may even be owed by HMRC. If you’ve overpaid tax, we could even get your refund for you in time for Christmas — what a Read more

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.

Holiday lettings: tax guide for landlords with furnished lets in the UK/EU

A Tax Guide for Landlords with Holiday Lets

Holiday lettings: tax guide for landlords with furnished lets in the UK/EU

Do you have a holiday cottage, flat or apartment that you rent out to holidaymakers? If so, our handy ‘Holiday lettings’ guide for landlords could be very useful to you — and it could save you money. It’s packed full of useful information and tax tips that will help you to make the most of your holiday property, at the same time as keeping on the right side of the tax man.

The Pros

We’ve written a section all about the tax breaks that apply to qualifying holiday lets. These include capital allowances for things you pay for when fitting out your holiday property, the tax treatment of expenses, the ability to pay pension contributions on your profits, several types of relief (some of which may affect your exposure to Capital Gains Tax) and small business rate relief.

The Cons

There’s also a section in the guide that covers some of the downsides to tax on holiday lettings. These include the need to get your VAT Registration status and charges right (where applicable) and also the tax treatment of any trading losses.

Qualifying Conditions

Lastly, there’s a section that outlines the qualifying conditions that apply if you want to treat your property as a holiday let rather than as an ordinary rental property. That’s important because different tax rules apply to each category and you could miss out on some excellent tax breaks if you don’t get it right. For example, the holiday rental property must be fully furnished and allow for self-catering holidays. Also, the property must be available for a particular number of days per year and be rented out in a particular way. It should not be occupied by the same tenant(s) for more than Read more

Letting a room through Airbnb? HMRC tracks your income & data!

Letting a Room through Airbnb? HMRC Tracks your Income!

Letting a room through Airbnb? HMRC tracks your income & data!

Back in late 2015, we forewarned that HMRC was planning to force on-line companies like Airbnb to share customer income data with them. That plan has come to fruition and HMRC is now receiving detailed information from Airbnb and other online providers. The data will tell HMRC about lettings income that may have been previously falling under their radar.

Airbnb is an on-line marketplace where people can rent out rooms, cottages, apartments and suchlike to those looking for short-term accommodation, city breaks, holidays or lower cost alternatives to hotels and overnight business stays.

We understand that various on-line providers, including Airbnb, are now exchanging information with HMRC. HMRC then uses their analytical tool “Connect” to track and monitor income from such sources. This powerful application was developed by BAE Systems and is the most advanced data gathering tool HMRC has at its disposal.

So, if you let property or a room on Airbnb, you can expect detailed information to be passed to the Revenue about your letting activities and the income it generates. While you may currently be able to earn up to £7,500* per year tax-free for furnished accommodation under the Government’s ‘Rent a Room Scheme‘, care needs to be taken to submit a tax return and pay tax on any income received once you have gone over that limit. Higher rate taxpayers also need to take care if their rental income pushes them into a higher tax bracket.

In order to qualify under the Rent a Room Scheme:

  • The room must be furnished;
  • The relief cannot be used if you let your home whilst living abroad;
  • The accommodation provided cannot be office space or business space.

Changes arriving in 2019:

HMRC recently held a consultation with relevant professionals and the public about whether the scheme should continue in its present form. Following this, they have announced that the scheme will be more restricted; landlords who do not live in their “main residence” at the same time as their tenants will probably no longer be able to claim “rent a room relief” from 6 April 2019.

Tax Help & Advice for Lettings Income

If you need our help handling your lettings tax needs, Taxfile is here to assist you. We’re tax experts and can guide you through the maze of rules and regulations concerning lettings, renting out accommodation, tax thresholds, knowing when it’s appropriate to work under the Rent a Room Scheme, whether you can claim expenses and so on. Book an appointment at your nearest Taxfile office: for Tulse Hill in London SE21 book an appointment on-line here; book here for Dulwich in SE21; for Battersea in SW8 book your appointment here or for Exeter and the South West, book your appointment here. We also have tax advisers who are available in other UK locations including Poole in Dorset, Carlisle, Yorkshire and Plymouth. Alternatively, simply call 0208 761 8000 or send us an email here and we’ll be happy to help to get you on the right track.

Learn more about our services to landlords and those earning an income from property lettings here.

* Correct for tax years 2016-17 and 2017-18. For tax year 2015-16 the threshold was only £4,250. Also note that the current year’s threshold reduces to £3,750 if someone else, for example a joint owner, receives lettings income in the same property.

Capital Gains Tax Rule Changes for 2nd properties and property rentals

Second Property & Rented Property ‘Tax Trap’ for the Unwary

New Capital Gains Tax rules for 2nd properties and property rentals

Owners of second properties and let properties need to be aware that HMRC is planning to introduce new rules from 6 April 2020 to require payment of Capital Gains Tax much, much earlier! The window of payment will be reduced from 31 January following the year of the gain to a mere 30 days from the date of the sale.

Effectively, ‘in year’ reporting of the estimated gains – and payment of the tax – is mandatory under the new rules. Failure to report the gains and pay the tax will lead to penalties for landlords and second home owners.

You will only be able to offset losses accrued at the time of the disposal, so losses later in the year will not be available against the payment on account.

Summing Up:

  • If you make a capital gain in 2018/19 (before the new rules kick in) you will pay the capital gains tax on or by 31 January 2020.
  • For the sale of a house that is let, or a second property, with exchange of contracts occurring on, say, 15 April 2020 with completion happening on 15 May 2020, the Capital Gains Tax (CGT) has to be paid by 14 June 2020. This accelerates the payment of the tax to the Exchequer by 7 months.
  • So, perversely, the later year requires the Capital Gains Tax payment before the earlier year, as you can see above!

The other difficulty is knowing what rate to apply because a higher rate taxpayer has to pay 28% on a gain but a basic rate taxpayer has to pay tax at 18% up to the limit of the basic rate band that is unused. This is, of course, one situation where Taxfile can help to work out the tax implications for its customers. Tax calculations are what we do best and we’re here to help you!

Note that Scottish tax rates may vary.

HMRC is currently assessing feedback on their consultation, which closed on 6 June 2018.

If you believe this change of rules is wrong, one option is to write to your MP to complain.

Professional Help with Tax & Accountancy – for Landlords & More

For help with accountancy and tax for any property, lettings or any capital gains situation you may find yourself in, contact your nearest branch of Taxfile. We have London offices in Tulse Hill (SE21), Dulwich, Battersea (SW8) and another in the Exeter in the South West along with additional tax consultants in Carlisle in the North of England, Yorkshire in the North East, Poole/Dorset and Plymouth in the West Country. Call 0208 761 8000 for an introductory chat or appointment, contact us here or click the bold links for more information. We’ll be happy to help and to get your tax affairs in order.