Businesses that are behind with their VAT returns have until 28 February to take advantage of HMRC's latest campaign, launched in January
HMRC ’s ‘affluent compliance team’ is to recruit an extra 100 tax inspectors in its bid to clamp down on wealthy tax avoiders. The unit will target taxpayers earning over £150,000 and with wealth of between £2.5m and £20m, as well as those with wealth in the range £1m to £2.5m.
HMRC has resumed its business records checks and is in the processing of writing to businesses all over the UK advising that they will receive a phone call from HMRC during which they will be asked a number of questions, their answers will be scored and if not satisfactory a HMRC visit will follow, this is something which should be taken seriously and I would recommend speaking to us or your current accountant before making the call. It is possible for the accountant to call on the clients behalf however this automatically reduces your scoring due to the way the system is setup therefore this is perhaps not the best option in most cases.
see recent article below on the subject
With just over three months to go before changes to Child Benefit entitlement for higher earners comes into effect, it's an ideal time to see how or if the changes impact you.
Those affected are any individual who claims child benefit and has income in excess of £50,100, or a couple where one partner is claiming child benefit and where either partner has income in excess of £50,100 per annum.
Only those who earn over £60,000 per annum will lose their child benefit entirely while a couple each earning less than £50,100, they will keep all of their child benefit payments. There is a sliding scale of loss in benefit for income in excess of £50,000.
An election can be made not to receive the child benefit, for example where it is known that one income will be in excess of £60,000 and therefore all child benefit would be clawed back.
The changes mostly affect high earning employees where often the mother in the relationship stays at home to look after the children. Where an election is made not to receive child benefit, this group, which could comprise over 350,000 women, could lose their National Insurance contributionswhich in turn will impact on their state pension.
Contributions over 30 years are required to qualify for a full state pension. Full-time mothers currently receive National Insurance credits towards their state pension in recognition of the contribution that full time parents make to society.
However, because of the way the changes have been drafted, it is possible to claim child benefits and then elect to withdraw and, in so doing, the full time parent does not lose NI credits.
Clearly, there is a danger that some people will be unaware of this potential trap and because those affected by the new changes will most likely have received their income through PAYE structures, many of them will have had little recourse to consult a technical accountant.
This is likely to change for a number of reasons. Firstly the child benefit ‘clawback’is mostly to be made under self-assessment and will therefore mean that many more people than previously will need to complete a tax return.
The higher earner in the couple is also responsible for notifying HMRC of their chargeability. Penalties will be imposed by HMRC if this is not done.
The changes to child benefit entitlements come into effect on 7th January 2013.
The deadline for posting 2011/12 paper tax returns to HMRC before the 31 October deadline, is now just days away.
Any paper tax returns received on, or after 1 November 2012, will result in a £100 penalty – even if there is no tax to pay or the tax due is paid on time.
Anyone unable to submit a paper return by the end of the month, can avoid a late-filing penalty by sending their return online by 31 January.
And for anyone sending a paper return close to the deadline, HMRC recommends taxpayers obtain proof of posting, as this provides evidence of your posting date in the event of any appeal against a late-filing penalty.
If you are in doubt get in touch with us for helpful advice.
According to the government the Universal Credit will simplify the current system of Department for Work and Pensions payments to unemployed people and low-income earners. It consists of a standard allowance and five other potential elements, which are:
businesses. As it stands, if you are in business for yourself, you will need to submit an additional online report on a monthly basis. Your benefit payments will be suspended if you don’t claim your Universal Credit within seven days of filing this. The concern is that this timeframe is too tight given the inherent pressures many self-employed people are under. Please call us for further information
Taxpayers who have yet to file tax returns for 2009/10 have less than a week left to take advantage of reduced penalties for late returns.
Under HMRC's tax return initiative, outstanding tax returns up to and including 2009/10, if submitted before 2 October 2012, will be subject to reduced penalties, even though new penalties for late tax returns have already come into effect.
“Time is running out, so taxpayers with tax returns outstanding should act immediately if they wish to keep the weight in their wallet and off of their shoulders,” Baker Tilly said.
Under the new rules a penalty of £100 is charged when a return is just a day late. When the return remains outstanding after 3 months, a daily penalty of £10 is levied for up to 90 days. When the return is 6 months late, the higher of £300 or 5% of the tax due is imposed and this penalty is then repeated if the return remains outstanding 12 months after the deadline.
In serious cases, HMRC can charge penalties of up to 100% of the tax due for a return that is over a year late. These staggered penalties are automatic and cannot be mitigated without a “reasonable excuse”, such as a serious illness or a breakdown in HMRC’s computer system.
Where late payment applies, further penalties equal to 5% of the tax due are levied 30 days and 6 months after the 31 January and 31 July payment deadlines. There is also interest to pay.
London lawyers have become the latest target in HMRC’s taskforce initiative as the Revenue widens its net to tackle tax dodgers from hair and beauty businesses to the motor trade in Scotland.
HMRC has called the latest campaign an “intensive burst” of activity in specific high-risk trade sectors and locations, and is expected to bring in £19.5m.
Read the full article here
_The Self Assessment deadline is fast approaching for for the tax year ending 5th April 2012 and you need to make sure that you meet the following deadlines or you will receive a penalty from HMRC.
Deadline for Paper Returns
All paper returns must be received by HMRC by midnight on 31 October 2012.
The only exception to this is if HMRC have written to you after 31 July 2012 asking you to make a self assessment return. Then you have three months after the date on your letter to submit the return.
All self assessment notifications are usually sent out by HMRC during April.
Deadline for Online Returns
All online returns must reach HMRC by midnight on 31 January 2012.
Again you will only have an extension on this date if HMRC write to you requesting a self assessment return after 31 October and you will have three months from the date on the letter to submit the return.
If you want HMRC to collect any tax due through your tax code then you must submit your return before 30 December 2012. This is only an option if the tax owed is less than £3,000
Length of delay
Penalty you will have to pay
1 day late
A penalty of £100. This applies even if you have no tax to pay or have paid the tax you owe.
3 months late
£10 for each following day - up to a 90 day maximum of £900. This is as well as the fixed penalty above.
6 months late
£300 or 5% of the tax due, whichever is the higher. This is as well as the penalties above.
12 months late £300 or 5% of the tax due, whichever is the higher.
In serious cases you may be asked to pay up to 100% of the tax due instead.
These are as well as the penalties above.
A scheme which encouraged higher rate taxpayers to sort out their accounting at a reduced cost is set to end early next month.
HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) sent out more than 7,000 letters offering people who are yet to file their accounts or pay tax for 2009-10 the option of lower costs if they sorted out their affairs ASAP.
They have until October 2 to respond, after which fines and charges will revert back to their normal levels.
The tax authority has not confirmed what those who do come forward before the deadline will be charged but it has said that it will be significantly lower than the costs taxpayers will be hit by if HMRC has to track to them down.
Marian Wilson, head of HMRC campaigns, said: “This campaign offers you a quick and straightforward way to bring your tax affairs up to date, but time is running out - you have until 2 October to submit your tax returns and pay the tax you owe.”
If you need help with getting your tax affairs up to date or need an accountant in Brighton get in touch with us to see if we can help
Licenced Accountant in Brighton