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 2019
Tax Return season for us, with grateful thanks to most of you that has co-operated with our requests for information sent out on 11 April 2019, have provided us with the documentation, etc., and so early filing has been achieved, and your 31 July 2019 and 31 January 2020 tax liabilities are confirmed, and you can relax. One of the ongoing problems that beset early paperwork was that: Bank Interest Received – again, we asked for certificates, and we were surprised that a bank told a client that “he didn’t need any as his interest was below the Savings Allowance”. They don’t know if the client had other interest, etc. In any cased THEY don’t prepare the Tax Return.
Pension Payments made: again, we asked for certificates, and advised clients to reject any other paperwork that the pension companies might (still) send out. If Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs (HMRC) does ask for evidence that is why we insist on seeing a certificate. If it goes wrong, HMRC has introduced a phrase “careless” in preparing a tax return; and that carries a penalty. We don’t want our clients to have to suffer this ignominy, as that is what you pay us for: to keep you and the taxman as strangers for as long as possible.
Other matters that we have to abide by that have been imposed by HM Treasury, and HMRC have been: Payroll (Auto-Enrolment, Real Time Information), Registrations (Business, Self-Employment, Limited Companies), General Data Protection, Money Laundering are only the tip of the iceberg, that we assist all clients. This list grows longer every year, and is one of the reasons that the undersigned attends so many tax meetings and courses. This knowledge is sought by LBC (the former London Broadcasting Company), as its “High Street Accountant”. In the past year, we have helped one anxious person who was fined by HMRC for information that they apparently had on their files that was not appropriate to him. They fined him the maximum [£1600]. We managed to obtain that money to be repaid to him, but the way that HMRC handled the matter needed careful patience as they procrastinated.
Making Tax Digital still trundles on. The media is still peppered with advertisements for software, which, we have yet to be convinced, combines Book-Keeping (with Accounts Production) together with a Digital Link for filing online. Until we are satisfied – and we are in constant feedback with some software houses – we cannot recommend any one specific product. The period around April 2019, with the first filing of VAT (Value Added Tax) had its predictable hiccup. We are not against evolving, but the way in which Government Departments introduce changes, and encounter pitfalls/teething troubles, is astounding. We, as accountants, are expected to shoulder such happenings. You, as clients, are told facts [by the government] that are not fully tested for their accuracy.
Other successes have been that a client who has never used a computer – and does not want to – was exempt from Making Tax Digital. Our representations to both our Institutes as well as HMRC’s VAT Division in that “artistic people may not be computer literate” were eventually heeded.
Once again it’s been a busy year with a plethora of changes taking place. As the last couple of years, tax is still a shambles.
One of the “boiler room” tax schemes – The Loan Charge - was where workers, who were forced into Limited Liability Companies (to save Employers’ National Insurance), were encouraged to create “Loans” to overseas entities, and draw back funds which, allegedly, would all be “tax free”. Currently HMRC has been successful in countering this.
If you haven’t heard of IR35 that’s another method where working via a Limited Liability Company whose work is paid out of the public purse (this includes Local Government, Schools, etc) is caught by this, deduction of tax at source is to apply. The persons who conducted this task on behalf of HMRC were then told that they would suffer tax deduction at source. As a result, they resigned almost en masse.
On 1st October 2019, in the Construction Industry the Domestic Reverse Charge takes/took effect whereby VAT Registered Builders and Sub-Contractors have to account for VAT – and reclaim it in their VAT Returns (Yes, it is strange). Stop press on 12.09.19 delayed ONE YEAR (just like Making Tax Digital, and others…)
HMRC’s Personal Tax Account if you still haven’t signed up for this the online link is: https://www.gov.uk/personal-tax-account
Facebook - as an experiment, we started a page:
M Levin & Co. Would you be kind as to visit it and perhaps pass some comment, please? With so many changes and announcements, it might be a way to rapidly update news. A posting was made on 13.09.19
As the peak of filing has passed, we can devote our time to other matters. However, as we are still around for you, please feel free to contact us on any matters. Hopefully, with the pressure of tax returns now passed, we can relax, and look forward to a quieter time in December and January – unlike so many other Practitioners who are held hostages by their clients, which result in their own health (and families) suffering. Thanks to all those who respond quickly to our requests for information, etc, that enables us to keep you out of trouble – and keep our time – so our Fees to you – down to economic amounts.