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posted 15 Jan 2015, 06:31 by Hayter-Dalgliesh Bookkeeping Services   [ updated 15 Jan 2015, 06:32 ]



Business Record Checks

posted 17 Nov 2011, 07:02 by Hayter-Dalgliesh Bookkeeping Services

HMRC believes that a lot of businesses do not pay the right amount of tax because they don't accurately record their business income and expenditure. In other words their business records are not of a high enough standard to produce accurate accounts. Many businesses do not keep perfect records but accountants and bookkeepers such as myself work with business owners to help them retain the necessary documents, and use those records alongside a good understanding of the business, to produce a reasonable statement of profit or loss for the tax return.

Unfortunately HMRC are not taking such a helpful approach. They are now sending out 120 tax officers to examine the unsorted raw records held at thousands of businesses. If the tax officer (who is not a trained accountant), judges the business records to be inadequate the business owner could receive a penalty of up to £3,000.

Some businesses have been visited already as part of a training exercise for the tax officers. Following those 'test and learn' visits the tax officer may have made recommendations, but he won't have raised a penalty, unless there were absolutely no business records to examine.

Now the learning stage is over and the gloves are off. We expect penalties to be imposed on many businesses by these lightly-trained tax officers. If a tax officer has asked to examine your business records, please contact us immediately. Potential penalties can be avoided if we are able to explain to the tax officer exactly how your basic business records are turned into an accurate profit/loss statement.

HMRC Scam Warning

posted 15 Nov 2011, 08:04 by Hayter-Dalgliesh Bookkeeping Services   [ updated 15 Nov 2011, 08:11 ]

Taxpayers across Britain are being targeted by email scammers hoping to cash in on HM Revenue & Customers exposed blunders. Six million people are due around £400 each and con-artists have already drafted fake emails asking for personal details.

HMRC, which never contacts anyone owed money via email or telephone, issued an immediate warning. A spokesman said: 'We only ever contact customers who are due a tax refund in writing by post. We currently don't use telephone calls, emails or external companies in these circumstances. If anyone receives an email claiming to be from HMRC, please send it to phishing@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk before deleting it permanently.'

Typically, the emails come from fake address such as:- services@hmrc.co.uk

- message@tax.co.uk

- alertsonline@hmrc.co.uk

- info@hmrc.gov.uk

- noreply@hmrc.gov.uk

- securemail@hmrc.co.uk

- rebate@hmrc.gov.uk

- info.hmrc@direct.gov.uk

- email4983913@hmrc.gov.uk

- payment@hmrc.gov.uk

Anyone receiving an email from one of these email addresses should delete it immediately after alerting HMRC. Do not open the mail or click on any links provided – they may be dangerous and leave a PC at risk of virus infection. HMRC has in the past warned over bogus cold callers claiming to be taxman representatives. Its advice is: 'If you cannot verify the identity of the caller HMRC recommend that you to report it to the police immediately.

Some emails are more believable than others. While the more internet-savvy tend to scoff at the trick, the less experienced are advised to be very wary and wait for HMRC to contact them via post.

Are you compliant?

posted 11 Nov 2011, 16:27 by Hayter-Dalgliesh Bookkeeping Services   [ updated 14 Nov 2011, 09:15 ]

5 Top Tips for ensuring you are compliant when becoming self employed.

Becoming self employed is not only a very exciting time, but it can also be extremely daunting. Often, when starting out, people are not compliant simply due to a lack of understanding.

It is important to remember and acknowledge that most business owners start out because they have an interest and / or expertise in a particular field, its important to accept your strengths and weaknesses and seek advice where you lack knowledge. If you are in any doubt at all about your obligations when becoming self employed, please speak to a professional sooner rather than later as they will be able to help and guide you, ensuring you avoid costly mistakes.

HMRC

1. As a self employed person, it is your responsibility to ensure you pay your tax and national insurance. Therefore, within three months of commencing your self employment, you must register with HMRC. This is relatively easy and you can either do it yourself online http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/selfemployed/register-selfemp.htm or ask your accountant for some help.
 

BANK ACCOUNTS

2. If you are setting up as a limited company, then you must have a separate bank account set up in the name of the business. If you are trading as a sole trader, there is no legal obligation to have a separate bank account, however, for ease of differentiating your finances it is recommended that you do open a separate bank account. This ensures that your personal and business finances are kept apart. Make sure you visit different banks to try and get the best deals, many people also suggest you do not keep your business bank account with the same finance house as your personal bank account, thus keeping the two entirely distanced.
 

RECORD KEEPING

3. From day one it is important to keep accurate records of all your business transactions. Whether you decide to use a computerised system or a manual one, keep it accurate and up to date. Basic information that you should keep are:

All bank statements

Cheque & Paying in Books

Copies of all Sales Invoices

Purchase invoices and receipts

Other things to consider are if you are employing subcontractors, you may need to register under the Construction Industry Scheme. Also, if employing staff, you would need to register as an employer with HMRC and ensure that any deductions are paid by the 19th of every month.
 

INSURANCE

4. Dependent upon your business sector you will need to ensure you are adequately insured to do the job / product you are selling.

If you are employing staff, you must take out employers liability insurance which will protect you and your employee(s) from any claims that may arise as a result of injury, illness or accident from their employment.

If you are a member of a professional body, you may also require professional indemnity insurance, if you are in doubt, contact your professional body for clarification.

Should you have members of the public visiting you or your premises, you must also have public liability insurance. A good insurance broker will be able to advise you on the level of cover you require.
 

VAT REGISTRATION

5. If your turnover has exceeded £73,000 (as at April 2011) in the last 12 months, or if you expect to turnover more than that in the next 30 days alone, then you must register with HMRC for VAT. You can either ask your accountant to do this on your behalf, or you can do it yourself by completing the form VAT1 from HMRC. If you become VAT Registered, you must ensure you keep accurate records in order to verify your input VAT (VAT spent on purchases) and your output VAT (VAT collected on Sales). Your sales invoices must also show your VAT registration number, be dated and be sequentially numbered.

If you want any help or advice with regards to ensuring you are compliant please feel free to contact us.

Tough New Self Assessment Penalty Regime

posted 11 Nov 2011, 15:45 by Hayter-Dalgliesh Bookkeeping Services

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) are issuing a new penalty regime for late filing and late payment of Income Tax Self Assessment (ITSA) Tax Returns.

The new penalty regime for ITSA 2010/11 returns will be:

Late filing penalties:

* When any return is late, an initial £100 fixed penalty arises the day after the filing date. This applies even if there is no tax to pay or the tax due has been paid on time.
* Individuals are notified they will be liable for a further daily penalty if the return is not submitted within three months of the filing date. The penalty is calculated at £10 per day, until the return is filed, for a maximum of 90 days (up to £900).
* After the daily penalties, and if the return is still outstanding six months after the filing date, a further penalty arises, calculated at five percent of the tax liability on the return or £300 if this is higher.
* Where the return is still outstanding after 12 months, a further penalty arises, calculated at five percent of the tax liability on the return or £300 if this is higher.
* If a determination has been made because the return has not been received, the penalties at 6 and 12 months will be based upon the estimated amount in the determination, and then adjusted retrospectively when the self-assessed amount is returned.

Late payment penalties:

- At thirty days late there will be charged an initial penalty of 5% of the tax unpaid at that date.
- At six months late and there will be charged a further penalty of 5% of the tax that is still unpaid.
- At twelve months late there will be charged a further penalty of 5% of the tax that is still unpaid.
- These penalties are additional to the interest that will be charged on all outstanding amounts, including unpaid penalties, until payment is  received.

These penalties will be issued automatically to all those in ITSA who do not file and pay on time. Taxpayers will be able to appeal against any penalty on the grounds that they have a reasonable excuse for not complying on time and all penalty notices will include an appeal form and details on how to appeal.

More information can be found at http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/about/penalties.htm

Key facts
- around 87 percent of taxpayers file their Income Tax Self Assessment returns on time
- Around 1.5m returns are filed late or not at all
- Under the new system taxpayers who have not filed within six months of the filing date will face a minimum penalty of £1,300.

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