MARTIN LEVIN & CO
Taxation Practitioners - Accountants & Auditors
Gordon Avenue - Highams Park - London E4 9QU
Telephone (Skype): Martin.Levin1066
Web Site www.MartinLevinABC.co.uk
NEWSLETTER FOR AUTUMN 2016
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Tax Returns have been filed - Thanks to clients’ great and prompt co-operation in providing their data for the year ended 5 April 2016 as promptly as requested, we have managed to ensure that their tax returns were successfully filed online by early August. Peace-of-mind prevails, and we are able to address other matters.
Change of hours – please note these above.
Digital Age- A full year ago, we launched our “app”: MLevinABC, which can be accessed on both iPhones (Mac) using the link:
as well as Android ‘phones via the usual website Google-play-store:
In order to keep costs down, we have tried to link it to our body of High Street Accountants (ICPA = Independent Certified Practising Accountants), http://www.icpa.org.uk/.
Class 2 National Insurance- the way that it is collected has changed. Instead of a direct debit every month or six months, it has been added on to the Self-Assessment Tax calculation with any balance being added to the 31 January balancing figure. Until such time as this is changed, or the charge is abolished (it has been announced), clients who thought that they had no balancing charge (the “mop-up”) for the previous year, will find that the figure (currently £145.60) will be due. Poor communications from HMRC has been a factor.
Other burdens from HMRC We professionals have had to endure Real Time (Payroll filing), Automatic Enrolment (Payroll pensions), plus Making Tax Digital (Book-keeping filing), the changes to Employers’ National Insurance as from 6 April 2016, as well as the many other changes that the Revenue appear to be rolling out incessantly are continuing unabated. We attend so many lectures to keep up-to-date, which is a drain on our time. However to ensure that clients get the best out of us, this is a necessity.
Brexit 23.06.16 created a change of administration, and the previously announced Making Tax Digital could be in point. The TaxMan appears to have been “caught short” when the then Chancellor (George Osborne) announced this in December 2015. Since then the word “chaotic” seems appropriate. The intention appears to be that taxpayers are to use the digital facilities to send their “records” to HMRC once a quarter. As we keep informing HMRC “clients are traders, not book-keepers”, how (and whether) this will work is a moot point. We shall be ready and will advise our clients when something positive surfaces. We know that some clients cannot and do not use computers, and this point was put to a representative of HMRC at the Accountex2016 Exhibition at London’s Docklands (May 2016).
Changes in Tax Procedures
Savings Allowance – there is a trap that was not publicised at the time. There is a “nil” rate of tax for up-to-£1,000 for Basic rate taxpayers, but only £500 for Higher Rate Taxpayers.
Capital Gains Tax – Not all gains from 06.04.16 will be taxed at the lower rates (10% for Basic Rate, but 20% for Higher Rate (previously 18% & 28%), as Residential Property will still be taxed at the previous rates.
Poor Service by HMRC – The National Audit Office has reported on this. Mistakes continue to be made. We have reported at least two cases of mismanagement which we have experienced. We have joined a website group on LinkedIn (HMRC Watch), sponsored by ICPA (see opposite) highlighting cases. No doubt many do-it-your-self taxpayers will suffer unless they have the tenacity to keep going. Obviously accountants’ fees, which are based on time, need to be considered, but our practice has consistently billed HMRC for its time-wasting inefficiencies.Parking Fines – Group4S, (previously Group Four) lost a case in April 2016 as the fines were designed “to punish”. Beware.