Making Tax Digital for VAT

From 1st of April 2019 HMRC’s VAT Notice 700/22 will come into effect; Making Tax Digital (MTD) for Value Added Tax (VAT).  The MTD initiative is believed to benefit HMRC on two levels.

It will help to ensure the correct VAT is being paid to HMRC, & seeing that VAT accounts for the highest unpaid tax in the UK (35%), the government has estimated that it will generate £610M in 2020-21 from eliminating erroneous returns.

The MTD initiative will also save HMRC money as it will no longer have the cost associated with maintaining the VAT portal where submissions are currently made, estimating a saving of £10M a year of taxpayers’ money.

HMRC’s long-term vision is to have one of the most digitally advanced tax administration systems in the world & they hope that by 2020 they will have MTD applied to all of UK’s taxation processes.

For this vision to be fulfilled it is believed that they will then strive to have all taxation data recorded in the Standard Audit File for Tax (SAF-T) format.  Once this is achieved, HMRC will be able to undertake tax & VAT investigations frequently & randomly with very little cost, as it will free up resources from having to obtain & enter the data for analysis.

Being VAT registered means that your annual income equals or exceeds the current threshold value of £85,000.00.  Currently, any business or individual registered for VAT, whether on a Flat Rate Scheme or on the Standard Rate, will from April 2019 need to prepare for the changes outlined by Notice 700/22.

When will it be applicable to me?

The 1st quarter of your VAT return that starts on, or after 1st April 2019.

Am I exempt from MTD?

Groups or individuals exempt from MTD include;

  • those with religious beliefs that prevent them from using technology
  • those going into insolvency
  • those that it is reasonably impractical to do so (eg. geolocation, physical &/or mental disabilities – that prevent the use of technology)

What are my responsibilities?

You will need to ensure that all your transactions (expenses & sales) are individually recorded digitally with a MTD-compliant software.  You still need physical &/or electronic copies of these records stored for at least 6 years.  The MTD-compliant software is then used to calculate & submit your VAT returns.

What should my ‘digital’ data look like?

From April 2019 all digital record keeping will include;

  • Business Name
  • Business Address
  • VAT Registration Number
  • VAT Account Schemes
  • Information about Supplies & Sales

All Supplies & Sales invoices should include;

  • a Tax Point Date
  • Sequential (alpha-)numerical labelling format
  • Itemisation of services/goods
  • NET amount clearly shown
  • VAT rate & VAT amount clearly stated

Currently, the date, NET & VAT amount all need to be digitally stored for each-and-every-one of your transactions.  It is also recommended that a digital upload of your bank feed is included to back the entries for both expenses & sales.  VAT will then be calculated using these digital entries & submitted to HMRC via the compliant software used to record them.

View our latest MTDfVAT Newsletter HERE

Taxfile's May 2018 e-newsletter

May Newsletter – New Battersea Branch, Easy CIS Tax Refunds, Avoid £10 Daily Fines & More

Taxfile's May 2018 e-newsletter

Our informative May e-Newsletter is now ready to view online. It includes exciting news of our new branch opening in Battersea along with important tax and accountancy-related news that might affect you. Here is a quick summary of the newsletter’s contents:

  • The first article announces the opening of our new Battersea Branch in London SW8. New and existing customers are welcome to pop in and say hello and to get expert help with your tax affairs and accountancy requirements. Learn more about the opening of the Battersea branch, and the core services on offer, here or click the big button below to read the newsletter.
  • If you work on one of the many Battersea construction sites in or around SW8, we can help you reclaim overpaid tax and much more … see the newsletter for more details – click the big button below.
  • If you’re a sub-contractor working in the construction industry scheme (‘CIS’), you’re almost certainly due a tax refund (learn why here). Taxfile are experts at getting tax rebates from HMRC, so come and see us and we’ll get you the maximum refund possible. Read the newsletter (click the big button below) to learn how we make your tax refund application fast and hassle-free.
  • We can help limited company contractors too! We’re tax and accountancy experts so we can help you register as a limited company or register for CIS if you’re not already set up, we’ll help you with the monthly tasks demanded of you by HMRC including accounts preparation, confirmation statements, corporation tax handling, CIS set-off rebate, National Insurance (NI), VAT, bookkeeping, payroll and much more. We’ll save you time and will make operating the Construction Industry Scheme a breeze. Click the pink newsletter button below for more details.
  • If you introduce a family member, friend or colleague to Taxfile, you will get a discount off your next tax return if they sign up as a new paying customer with us. Click the button for details.
  • Taxfile recently printed some brightly coloured postcards to promote our new Battersea office and our tax-related services. Simply get in contact if you’d like some of these postcards to hand out to colleagues. If you write your full name on the back and use it to refer a colleague, it might even save you money! Click the button for more details.
  • Our team are multi-lingual and always happy to help. If English is not your first language, let us know and we’ll try to match you to the most appropriate staff member.
  • If you, your friends, family or colleagues have not dealt with your old tax returns, HMRC will be adding £10 per day to the penalty from 1st May. That’s on top of the £100 fine that will have applied immediately after missing the original 31 January deadline. Let Taxfile get your tax records, tax returns and overdue tax all in order so you don’t have to pay any more in fines than you have already. Learn more here or contact your nearest branch for a consultation.
  • All Taxfile clients get free ‘Tax Enquiry Fee Protection Insurance when they file their tax return through Taxfile by the statutory deadline. So – if you’re investigated by HMRC – our fees to sort it out are covered. Click the button for more details.

Feel free to Read more

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

VAT on eBay & Amazon Fees - all Change for UK Sellers

VAT Clampdown for UK Sales on eBay & Amazon

VAT on eBay & Amazon Fees - all Change for UK Sellers

According to a website1 run by a campaigning group of UK eBay and Amazon business sellers, HMRC and UK traders lost out on £27 billion in sales revenue and taxes from such online marketplaces over the last three years alone. The group has campaigned for some time against over-leniency by HMRC towards overseas traders, particularly from China, who have not been charging VAT on products, despite those products being located (often via UK fulfilment houses) and supplied within the UK. Moreover, the overseas sellers’ volumes are also often well over the threshold for registering for VAT if selling from inside the UK, yet many have continued to flout the law and seem to have been getting away with it for a considerable time. That hurts both HMRC in terms of lost VAT and tax revenue, as well as making it difficult for compliant UK sellers to compete against competitor prices that seem ‘too good to be true’.

“This abuse has grown significantly and now accounts for £1 – 1.5bn of the total VAT gap. These overseas traders are unfairly undercutting all businesses trading in the UK, abusing the trust of UK consumers and depriving the government of significant revenue.”

(Source: David Gauke MP, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, 16th March 2016).

Levelling the Playing Field

However, following new changes that came into effect on 1st August, that is now starting to change. While it’s not yet a perfect system to fight VAT fraud in online marketplaces and level the playing field for legitimate UK businesses, it is at least a start. Genuine private sellers using the platforms will, though, see a small increase to their costs in the form of VAT now being levied on eBay and Amazon fees, but hopefully it’s a small price to pay to make for a more fair, and legal, system overall.

VAT Changes Starting This Month

As part of the March 2016 Finance Bill delivered by then Chancellor George Osborne, UK individuals selling on eBay will begin paying VAT on eBay charges, starting on the 1st of August (2017). The VAT rate will be the standard 20% rate and will be automatically charged on eBay fees to UK sellers who have not registered as business sellers with the company. It may at first seem odd to target non-businesses, but actually this is a way to force the likes of Amazon and eBay to put pressure on those who have not registered with them as businesses when, in many cases, they should have. Such online marketplaces will also potentially become liable for the outstanding VAT on products actually sold if they do not take measures to counter (or remove) non-compliant overseas sellers.

“HMRC will also be given new powers to make online marketplaces jointly and severally liable for the unpaid VAT of overseas businesses who are non-compliant with UK VAT rules and using their platforms to sell through … These measures will provide HMRC with the tools necessary to tackle the overseas businesses who do not comply with UK VAT rules and help level the playing field for all businesses.”

(Source)

Those businesses operating within the UK will need to properly register as business sellers, in which case they will generally also need to account for VAT as a business if their taxable turnover is above the VAT threshold of £85,000 (or £70,000 if ‘distance selling’ into the UK) over the course of a year.

UK eBay sellers, and overseas sellers supplying/fulfilling orders completely within the UK, will now Read more

Taxfile multi-lingual staff at a glance

Taxfile’s multi-lingual, multi-talented staff, at a glance

multi-lingual accountants and tax advisers[Updated]: It’s common knowledge that most of Taxfile’s South London staff are multi-lingual but can you guess which staff member speaks no less than four languages fluently (Russian, Pashto, Dari and English) and which staff member is into both metal music and Irish dancing? And who should you ask for if you need payroll services? And who specialises in bookkeeping … who in limited company accounts and so on? Our staff ‘mind map’ tells you a bit more about each member of the team, what their specialities are, key interests and, of course, their contact details in case you ever need their help. Take a look … Read more

Free accounting software package

AMAZING OFFER! Save Time, Money & Space with a FREE Sage Bookkeeping & Accounts Package!*

Free accounting software package[UPDATE: Please note that this offer has now expired]. Taxfile’s customers can benefit from an incredible offer on a range of Sage accounting packages at the moment. We’re offering a FREE or, in effect, heavily subsidised* Sage accounting package to all active Taxfile customers, whether existing or new. There are various different packages available so we’re sure we’ll have one which will suit every customer perfectly. The list of benefits is almost endless — here are just a few:

  • Firstly we’ll GIVE* Taxfile customers the package — you don’t have to pay Sage at all;
  • Say hello to quick and easy bookkeeping and record-keeping;
  • Quick and easy cash flow management tools;
  • Cloud-based record keeping means you can access accounts records from anywhere with an internet connection;
  • Automatic bank statement integration makes bank reconciliation a breeze, helping when receipts go missing and even recognising – and accounting for – regular transactions;
  • A mobile app module allows you to simply snap a photo of your receipt and it uploads to your Sage account (say goodbye to physical receipt storage!);
  • Less paperwork!
  • Automatic tax computations performed by the software;
  • Report and analysis options;
  • VAT handling;
  • Automatic VAT return options (or let us handle it for you as you prefer);
  • Shows you the taxes and National Insurance due so you can easily pay them on time;
  • Fast and easier tax returns;
  • Help from Taxfile at any point and from Sage’s own helpful videos;
  • Helps you stay in line with UK laws, taxes and regulations;
  • No experience needed;
  • Perfect for the self-employed, start-ups and small businesses;
  • Taxfile will even be happy to set you up;
  • Integrated invoicing and quotation options available (even from your mobile phone!);
  • A quick and easy payroll bolt-on is also available for limited companies, with payslips, RTI, Auto Enrolment integration etc.;
  • Auto enrolment communications included if you have a company pension scheme;
  • Option to automatically integrate online e-commerce records into your Sage account;
  • Fast and easier company accounts preparation;
  • … and much more!

But there is more major benefit – collaboration with us, your accountant!

The Sage packages we supply are not only free, or in effect heavily subsidised depending on the package involved, but also allow us, your accountant and tax adviser, to collaborate with you within your Sage package with your permission. So where you cannot do something yourself, we can log in using our own integrated Sage administration system to get involved on your behalf, for example to set things up for you, run reports, activate VAT returns, tax returns, end of year accounts, payroll and so on. It’s amazing really! So you do as much or as little as you want to … and we cover everything else!

You save money!

Using the easy but powerful Sage bookkeeping and accounting packages supplied by Taxfile
means that you’ll save money. It’s as simple as that. Customers using such packages makes our job easier, reducing our chargeable hours working on your accounts, so quite simply saves you money!

You also save time!

Our Sage packages will save you SO much time you’ll never look back! Once you’ve tried our Sage packages for a while you’ll Read more

George Osborne

How the Chancellor’s 2014 Autumn Statement affects YOU!

George Osborne, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, announced his Autumn Statement on Wednesday (3 Dec 2014) in what could be seen as a mini budget. Here we focus on the key announcements, concentrating on those relating purely to taxation, as it is those which affect you, our customers, most directly.

1). First some good news: The UK is seeing the fastest growth out of all the G7 countries, and the number of people employed is at its highest point ever. This is good for all of us because it restores optimism in the UK economy, higher employment speaking for itself.

2). As we announced in a separate blog post, Stamp Duty (Land Tax) has been given a major shake-up and, for anyone buying a house for £935,000 or less, the amount of Stamp Duty which they’ll have to pay will be less, and sometimes very significant. See our separate blog post and infographic for more detail.

3). In the financial year 2015-16, the tax-free personal allowance (which is the amount you can earn before you start to pay any tax) will increase to 10,600 which is an increase of £600. So … more tax-free money in your pocket, which is good.

4). Economy flights will become cheaper for under 12s from 1 May 2015 and under 16s from 1 March 2016, because their tickets will become exempt from tax on those dates. So … a small concession, but another welcome one. Average 4-person families will save £26 for flights within Europe and £142 on flights to the U.S.

5). From 3 December 2014, spouses will be able to inherit their partner’s ISA benefits should their partner pass away. Currently this is not the case and the change will mean that, from 6 April 2015, the surviving spouse or civil partner will be able to Read more

Online banking may save you money!

Online banking can save you money on your accounting costsDo you have online banking? Sending us downloaded statement information straight from your online banking means we can more easily import the data into our system and check for expenses and income which might otherwise have been overlooked. It can also fill in the gaps where you are missing receipts or invoices. This simple service could therefore save both time and money! Most online banking platforms allow you to export this information, for example as a CSV file, and this format is perfect for our accounting system.

Don’t have online banking? No problem! We also have a new system where we can scan in your paper statements straight into our ‘Bankstream’ accounting platform, making analysis faster and easier.

Either way, ask us for further information or, better still, send us a sample download of a typical month’s bank data (or 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).

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