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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

Making Tax Digital – A New Time Line

Making Tax Digital (‘MTD’) was announced as the new initiative by HMRC to revolutionise and modernise the tax system in the UK.

MTD centres around keeping digital financial records that can then be accessed by software to calculate and submit taxes through to HMRC. The goal is that there will be direct ‘digital link’ between the financial record and the software used to calculate and submit the records and therefore ensuring an accuracy in the figures being generated.

With initial teething problems, MTD for VAT started back in April 2019, and as a result of various delays around Brexit & COVID-19, it still has not sailed out of its ‘soft-landing’ period.

On 21st July 2020 the Treasury published a 10-year plan to modernize the UK’s tax system which outlines a blueprint for the transition of the UK’s tax system into the digital age.

MTD for VAT

Introduced in April 2019, MTD for VAT had a soft-landing period where the rules for this ‘digital-link’ were relaxed.  Prior to COVID-19, April 2020 was the date stipulated where all digital links were to be in place for submissions.

As a direct consequence of COVID-19, it has been now been stated that as of 1st April 2021, the ‘soft-landing’ period comes to an end and all VAT registered businesses submitting VAT returns will need to ensure they have these digital links in place for their submissions.

Furthermore, from April 2022, MTD for VAT will apply to all VAT registered businesses and not just those that have a turnover greater than the VAT threshold.

MTD for Income Tax

The 10-year plan targets 6th April 2023 for self-employed businesses and unincorporated landlords to begin reporting 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

Tax Returns for Self-Employed Londoners - Special Offer

Tax Returns for Self-Employed Londoners – Special Offer!

Tax returns for self-employed Londoners - Special Offer!
Are you self-employed? Are you late filing your 2018/19 Self-Assessment tax return? If so, now is the time to get Taxfile to sort it out for you.

There are 4 important reasons why you should file your tax return now:

1. Save money, with our special offer!

For a very limited time, we are offering to do 2018-19 Self-Assessment tax returns for self-employed Londoners for just £199 + VAT (our usual pricing is from £277 + VAT). That’s a saving of nearly £94 including VAT.

2. Stay eligible for Government Help during the lock-down

Self-employed people who are struggling financially during the coronavirus lock-down may be eligible for financial help from the Government. This is in the form of their recently announced Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (‘SEISS’). However, to remain eligible, you must have filed your 2018/19 Self-Assessment tax return by 23 April. If you miss that deadline, you will no longer be eligible for that Government assistance.

3. Avoid severe fines from HMRC for being so late

The original deadline for submission of your 2018/19 Self-Assessment tax return was actually 31 January 2020. So, if you didn’t already file your tax return by that date, you already owe HMRC a fine of £100 minimum. That’s nothing, though, compared to the penalties they will start charging you after April. From 1 May, you will owe an additional £10 per day, every day from that date if you still haven’t filed your 2018/19 tax return. So, for example, after a week you’ll owe the original £100 plus an additional £70 as a minimum, or the £100 plus a further £140 after two weeks and so on. You may also be charged interest on top of all of that if you owed HMRC a tax payment on the original 31 January deadline and still haven’t paid it.

4. You may be due a tax rebate

Some self-employed people may be due a tax rebate. This depends upon your

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