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 2020
Historically, our Newsletters are issued around September, but this year has been later due to various factors of which we appreciate you will be aware.
Tax Return season for us, once again, with grateful thanks to most of you that have co-operated with our requests for information sent out on 16 April 2020, in providing us with the documentation, etc. This enabled early filing to be achieved, and your 31 July 2020 and 31 January 2021 tax liabilities are confirmed. You can relax. Tax Return data received after our cut-off date (30 September) have predictably proved more time-consuming, and so have incurred higher fees. Once again (as in previous Newsletters), we were beset by the problems of not being provided with the requested specific documents, principally:
Bank Interest Received – we asked for certificates, and
Pension Payments made - we asked for certificates, and advised clients to reject any other paperwork that the pension companies might (still) send out.
Should Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs (HMRC) ask for evidence that is why we insist on seeing a third party certificate. If it goes wrong, HMRC has 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.
Every year we seem to have other matters that have been imposed by HM Treasury, and HMRC, and this year we have had to contend with the effects of Coronavirus/Covid-19 problems. Much assistance has been expended on Payroll for Employers, where claims for Furlough have been successfully made, legally. In September 2020, we learned of two firms of accountants (Romford and Walthamstow areas) who were prosecuted by HMRC for making fraudulent claims. Our clients can sleep easy on this. Business Self-Employed clients have needed our assistance in making claims for Self Employed Income Support (SEISS), although as accountants, we have been excluded from directly making these. Such is the way that HMRC tends to regard “agents” (accountants). 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”. It was 1st March 2020 that the undersigned was in the LBC studio answering ‘phone-in questions on “IR35” [people working through their own limited company having their income re-classified as Employees rather than Self-Employed and not subject to payroll taxes]. A 41 minute recording exists at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NocJWJWdq4w
Making Tax Digital involved many self-employed VAT Registered clients to keep their accounting records in a digital format (free ABC Accounts Books are still issued to our clients for parallel use) and file under a different Government portal. We are duty bound to point out that it is still Her Majesty’s Government and The Treasury’s intention to extend this. Landlords whose annual rent received is over £10,000 are scheduled to be brought in.
Software tested: Again we were not convinced about any ideal software. However, the facilities offered by NatWest Bank in buying out FreeAgent and allowing users to use it free, plus the fact that all software houses are constantly evolving, is worthy of note. The cost to outsiders might even be more economical to customers of other banks. We are always on hand to assist clients with short-term problems with their book-keeping, but for some clients, the use of an experienced book-keeper (short-term) is advised.
Once again it’s been a busy year with a plethora of changes taking place. As mentioned previously, tax is still a shambles, and becoming more complex.
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 - we have a page: M Levin & Co. Would you be kind as to visit it and perhaps pass some comment, please? https://www.facebook.com/M-Levin-Co-393175484388729
With so many changes and announcements, it is a way to daily update tax news.
My App is where our helpful news is distributed. If you have not yet downloaded the “app”, you are recommended to download it. You can either:
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 November , 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.