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

TODAY is the Self Assessment Tax Return Deadline!

TODAY is the self-assessment tax return deadline!

[As at 28 February 2021]: TODAY is the deadline for submitting your Self Assessment tax return with HMRC. Miss the deadline (recently extended to 28 February) and you’ll straight away be in for a £100 HMRC fine, so don’t delay — contact Taxfile for help with your tax return. We’re open today (Sunday 28 Feb) for a limited time. Book a time-slot* with one of our helpful tax advisors and accountancy experts A.S.A.P. and we’ll make it easy! Read more

HMRC Extends the Self-Assessment Submission Deadline to 28th February BUT Payments still need to be made by 31st January

Self-Assessment tax return deadline extendedto February but tax needs to be paid by 31 January

Yesterday HMRC made an 11th hour decision to give the remaining 3 million tax payers an additional 28-days to file their tax return electronically.

For most, a submission after the 31st of January would have resulted in a £100 late filing penalty.  With planning already underway at HMRC on how to cope with the administrative task of appeals around COVID & late filing, HMRC has decided to only issue the penalties after 28th February, effectively offering a 1-month extension on the electronic submission of self-assessment income tax.

However, the payment date for taxes remains unchanged, so it is important to note that taxpayers are still obliged to pay any tax they still owe (including any deferred payments) by 31/01.  In fact we are advising our clients to pay as much as they can into their HMRC self-assessment account and to view it as a bank account with HMRC so that, once their taxes are filed, they are not left with any unwanted surprises with interest on late payments, as any unpaid tax from 19/20 will be charged interest as of 01/02.

The extension has been welcomed and our own Director Guy Bridger had approached the Treasury requesting this extension.  so even though there is a sense of relief, we are adamant that tax payers realise they need to settle their outstanding tax bill if they can, even if it is an estimate, otherwise they will face HMRC’s low rate of annual interest on late payment of taxes along with the initial surcharge of 5% of any tax unpaid for the 19/20 tax year after 28-days.  So Guy’s suggestion is to pay as much tax as you can before 28th of February.

Please view your UTR as a bank account with HMRC, and any money paid into HMRC’s account with your UTR is money that will sit on your account until it needs to be used up.

So, even though your taxes can now be filed electronically by no later than 28/02, you will need to pay money into your HMRC account by 31/01.  If you still need us to calculate and submit your 19/20 taxes, please come and see us or call us on 020 8761 8000. Even though we might not file them before the 31st January, you will at least know the outstanding amount owed.

Guy Tells No. 10 to Extend Self-Assessment Deadline

BREAKING NEWS: No. 10 Heeds Guy’s Plea — & Extends Self-Assessment Deadline!

HMRC Heeds Guy's Plea & Extends Self-Assessment Deadline!

[BREAKING NEWS:] 11 days ago we published a post confirming that Guy Bridger, Taxfile’s founder, had personally delivered a postcard to No. 10 Downing Street, making the case for an extension to the Self-Assessment tax return deadline until the end of February. In Guy’s postcard to Boris Johnson, he had argued that there was simply too much pressure on people during Christmas, the New Year and the month of January, due to the bottleneck caused by the Self Assessment tax return deadline.

Well, in some very welcome good news, it seems the Government has listened to Guy’s plea. This afternoon HMRC confirmed:

“Self Assessment customers will not receive a penalty for filing their 2019-20 tax return late, as long as they file online by 28‌‌ ‌February.”

They went on to say:

“We are still encouraging customers who have not yet filed to do so by 31‌‌ January, if possible.”

This is great news for the people of the UK, in what are otherwise challenging times. Tens of thousands of accountants across the nation will also be hugely relieved. We also suspect that under-pressure HMRC staff will be happy about this development.  Accountants and taxpayers across the UK may well be queueing to buy Guy a drink when the pubs re-open!

It’s important to realise, however, that the tax owed for the tax year 2019-20 will still be due by 31 January. HMRC will charge interest from 1 February as usual. Guy’s company Taxfile is here to help compute the figures, though. For those who wish to take advantage and submit tax returns online during the February extension, but also want pay tax by 31 January in order to avoid interest, we have now published some further guidance here on what to do. That new guidance will help even if you’re not yet 100% sure of the figures, so take a look via that bold link.

Contact Taxfile for Help with Tax Returns & Any Tax-Related Issue

To contact Guy Bridger or any of the helpful tax experts at his company Taxfile, simply get in touch. We’re here to help!

 

You can learn more about Guy Bridger, his involvement at The Office of Tax Simplification and his company Taxfile here. If you would like to read Guy’s original article about the postcard given to Boris Johnson, click here.

Last resort for tax returns this year

Every Day of January is the 31st

Every Day of January is the 31st

HMRC have announced that those members of the public not able to pay their taxes or submit tax returns on time will be able to appeal against the late filing penalties they will inevitably get this winter. From what we have been hearing HMRC are expecting everyone to have adequate proof of sickness. Does this mean that they will be expected to waste the time of the medical community who, if I am right, are rather busy these days?

What will happen if tax filers struggle with the HMRC online service and cannot get help over the phone, perhaps because HMRC are closing early, not open over the two Sundays, under-staffed on the helplines and rather strangely make you wait 40 minutes in a queue (which has been the case the past year)?

What are people to do?

Buy last minute accounting software from some of the companies climbing on the band wagon to further stress and pressure people into adopting overbearing products and systems designed for businesses not necessarily for sole traders, who probably use their personal bank accounts to get paid, so have mixed use issues? These software products are now being pedalled to the public as the fix-all solution — but who wants to have all their personal bank info imported into a tax and accounting package? Are people expected to analyse every minutiae and, in doing so, become experts on what they can claim or most likely not claim anyway! Or have to master percentages for use of things such as telephone, Internet usage and then apportion in the software (how does this work if at all)?

When I worked with the office of tax simplification we worked out what was actually happening in society and gave it credence;

  • People earn an income from dealing with their clients;
  • They may or may not provide materials or use tools;
  • They may or may not use transport;
  • They probably have some communication and technology costs;
  • Then they may have some professional costs like insurance.

It’s hardly rocket science.

When you come to use the HMRC software it leads you through the maze somewhat similar to the psychology of coping with your first orientation of a new Ikea store!

So I can tell you …

Read more

Guy Tells No. 10 to Extend Self-Assessment Deadline

Guy Tells No. 10 to Extend Self-Assessment Deadline

Guy Tells No. 10 to Extend Self-Assessment Deadline

[THERE IS BREAKING NEWS ABOUT THIS POST – CLICK HERE FOR MORE DETAILS]

Guy Bridger, Taxfile’s founder, has personally delivered a post card to Boris Johnson. He recently slipped it under the door of Number 10 Downing Street (there is no letterbox!).

The Issue with the Tax Return Deadline – & Guy’s Suggested Solution

In his communication to Boris, Guy suggested that the tax return filing deadline should be permanently extended, for example to the end of February, instead of 31 January as it is currently. In his proposed scenario, people would have longer to file their tax return. As well as taking the pressure off over Christmas, New Year and during January, this later deadline would also mean less likelihood of receiving a surcharge on the possible tax debt they owed for the last tax year’s calculation. Taking this a step further and with the help of video journalist David Gyimah, Guy has also been making a documentary about the tax return filing deadline and the immense pressure it puts people under during Christmas and the New Year — and especially during the entire month of January.

In contrast, limited company businesses currently have 9 months in which to file their accounts to Companies House and at the same time pay their taxes. Interestingly, they have 12 months to file their Corporation Tax return.

Guy & Taxfile

Guy has worked in South London for 25 years, dealing with members of the public and their tax responsibilities. At Taxfile, he has long-serving, thoughtful staff on hand six, sometimes seven, days a week every January. This is a measure of just how much work the current tax return deadline causes during this key accounting month every year. Taxfile makes it their task to remind — even nag — every customer about the deadline, as most of them will have to submit a Self-Assessment tax return by 31 January.

Consulting with the Office of Tax Simplification

Guy Bridger’s last visit to the Treasury was when he worked with The Office of Tax Simplification, resulting in the recognition that people actually prepare their self-employed accounts on a cash basis.

When Guy worked with John Whiting there, the other theme he was interested in was the idea that people who were sole traders perhaps didn’t need to form a limited company. This was because, in agreement with John and many members of the consultation body, it was our view that Read more

Act NOW & get 5% Off 2019-20 Self-Assessment Tax Return Fees

Act NOW & get 5% Off 2019-20 Self-Assessment Tax Return Fees

Act NOW & get 5% Off 2019-20 Self-Assessment Tax Return Fees

Have you contacted us about your 2019-20 Self Assessment tax return yet?

If not, please get in touch early this month (November). You’ll save 5% or more¹ by acting right away. You’ll also avoid the coming bottleneck if you act now. So, please get in touch:

We’ll then confirm the next steps.

1. If you supply everything in time for us to submit your tax return by 30 November 2020, you’ll save 5% off our standard tax return fees. You’ll save even more compared to the higher prices that we’ll need to impose closer to the self-assessment deadline. Our prices will also increase very soon to cover weekend working and overtime to cater for those who leave it to the last minute. Please bear in mind that the pandemic lock-down will make things even harder than usual, so please act now and plan ahead.

2. Worried about COVID? There’s no need! We can do ‘virtual’ meetings instead, for example by telephone, Zoom, Teams, WhatsApp, Google Hangouts, Skype, Facetime or whatever suits you best. So, we don’t even need to meet face-to-face. Just give us a call on 020 8761 8000 to discuss your preferences. We’re here to help!

Taxfile are accountants and tax advisors in South London and the South West, with offices in Tulse Hill, Dulwich, Battersea & Devon.

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