Tag Archive | "accountant"

Glasgow Woman Left “Gobsmacked” After HMRC Insult


When you call the HMRC helpline you expect to be greeted with a friendly adviser at the other end of the line. Don’t you? Not always.

In this particular story a Glasgow woman phoned the HMRC hotline to enquire about a possible tax rebate. So far…nothing out of the ordinary. Just a routine call about a common question that many contractors, freelancers, and self employed people enquire about.

And then…something very much out of the ordinary…

The woman was put on “hold” but it seems the HMRC adviser forgot to press the hold button.

The woman was then left “gobsmacked” when she heard 2 swear words directed at her from the adviser…2 words she heard loud and clear.

Here at Contractor Accountants we are not in the business of reprinting those kind of swear words. We are family friendly. People of all ages read our blog, every day.

All we can say is that the first word began with the letter F and the second word began with the letter B. If you are old enough to work that one out for yourself then you are no doubt as shocked as we were. It really does make you wonder what is going on here?

“Nothing I’d asked warranted such a reaction. I was just gobsmacked when he let rip,” said the Glasgow woman.

“Clearly, he forgot to flick a switch to put me on hold. I heard it loud and clear. It was hurtful,” she went on to add.

Not surprisingly, she decided to file a formal complaint to HMRC complaints department, and after reviewing the recordings of the call they wasted no time in offering a full apology.

A spokesperson for HMRC described the incident as “unacceptable” and that they were “sorry.” They also added that “disciplinary action” would be taken against the not so helpful adviser.

The Glasgow woman was also awarded £730 in compensation, and if you ask me she should use that cash to hire a contractor accountant to sort out her tax rebates in the future.

Did you know you can hire contractor accountants for below £100 a month? Yes you can, no matter where you are in the country.

You could be in London, Cardiff, Belfast…or Glasgow. A contractor accountant is available to sort out your tax affairs and deal with HMRC on your behalf, which means you don’t have to call their helpline.

It’s what smart contractors and freelancers do. They hire accountants to sort out the tax stuff so they can focus on what they do best…running their business and making money.

If you look to the right side of this webpage then you will find the best contractor accountants in the UK right now. We guarantee it.

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“The Best Kebab in Town!” Said The Accountant


There was a small kebab shop in Camden where (legend has it) accountants lined up to enjoy the best kebab in town.

“The is the best damn kebab I have ever tasted!” said one accountant, and he meant every word.

So it was ironic when that very same kebab shop recently was investigated and prosecuted by HMRC for…yes, you guessed it…NOT paying tax.

All of those accountants who lined up in their shop, day after day, month after month, and year after year, and not once did the owners think to ask for help.

“A years worth of free kebabs for taking a look at my books?” could have been one offer put on the table.

or even…

“I will give you the recipe to my top secret chilli sauce…if you will do my tax return.”

Now of course, some of those accountants would have visited the kebab shop after a night of drinking, and would have been in no fit state to give tax advice

but some…

They would have been stone cold sober and just popped in for lunch, with a briefcase in one hand and a £10 note in the other.

That would have been the perfect opportunity to ask for tax advice or for the accountant to write down on a piece of paper…

“Go to ContractorAccountants.com – Look for me on there…”

But now that time has gone.

What appears to have happened is the uncle and nephew team who were running that kebab shop in Camden have been banned from running another kebab shop for the next 14 years.

The best kebab shop in town…no more.

The 53 and 26 year old were found guilty by HMRC of suppressing takings and sales that were not recorded on VAT forms. They also had other tax related issues that were not exactly playing by the rules.

Could an accountant have stepped in and helped them? You bet they could. In fact, all it would have took is a few minutes to get them on the straight and narrow. The kind of time it takes to prepare a tasty doner kebab with a bit of mint and chilli sauce…all served on a fresh pitta or naan bread.

No accountant did step forward though, and what eventually happened is the Kebab shop owed nearly £300,000 in VAT, Corporation Tax and Penalties.

So now accountants in Camden will have to find a new kebab shop, and as you are no doubt aware, that is not an easy task.

My advice to all accountants out there…when you do find a good kebab shop, make sure they are paying the tax man.

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“YOU LIE!” – 60% of Self Employed Under-Reporting Tax


Filling in a tax return and sending it off to HMRC is a legal obligation, just make sure you tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

This comes on the back of a new study that quite clearly shows that 60% of our nations self employed under-report the amount of tax they owe.

Are they doing this intentionally? In my opinion, most are not, but that doesn’t change the fact that any inspector will instantly assumed you lied on purpose. This spells one word and one word only…trouble.

That last thing you want is to be investigated by the HMRC because of some mistake on your tax return. You want to be focused on your business, and not up in the dock facing a jury of your peers.

The study is based on analysis of approximately 35,000 audits of tax returns that were chosen at random and carried out by HMRC between the years of 1999 and 2009.

Perhaps online digital tax returns are making things easier for self employed people? That could be true, and many pundits were predicting that quarterly tax returns online could make things even easier. Unfortunately, it seems that the sending in a tax return 4 times a year idea has been scrapped.

The vast majority of tax under-reporting is believed to be under £1000, although the study did mention that around 4% was over £10,000, which of course, is the kind of amount that HMRC are not going to be too pleased about.

Where are the worst self employed offenders? It appears that construction, hospitality and transport sectors have the most, with bed and breakfast owners and taxi drivers being right at the top of the list.

The professor behind the study had this to say: “Between errors and deliberate under-reporting, a significant share of self assessment tax goes unpaid.”

If you ask me, a lot of this could be avoided by hiring an accountant to take care of everything for you.

Many self employed business owners, freelancers and contractors think they are doing everything right when doing their self assessment, but are actually making unintentional mistakes that could jeopardize their business

That is why I advise every single self employed person in the UK to find yourself a good accountant. Don’t assume you are not one of the people under-reporting your tax.

You don’t know until someone trained and experienced goes over your tax form…that person is a qualified accountant, and they make it their number 1 priority to make sure you stay on the right side of HMRC.

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Company Boss Avoids Prison for Tax Cheating


We’ve heard about how accountants are avoiding prison when they get into trouble…it’s now the turn of company bosses.

That’s right. A tax cheat boss who owned a plumbing company in Stockport recently got caught by HMRC, where they found that over a 10 year period he had failed to pay approximately £65,000 to the government.

Not only that, but the plumber also neglected to send a cheque to the VAT man between the years of 2004 and 2014, and during that time only paid £750 in tax.

This is despite his plumbing business doing very well during that time, where investigators found that he spent nearly £50,000 on advertising and bought a flashy van for the business, a VW transporter that retails for around £25,000.

It also emerged that he wasn’t doing badly when it came to his personal life, with flashy cars and private school fees being the norm during those 10 years, while at the same time HMRC received barely anything.

An Audi RS6 found its way into his garage with a reported cost of nearly £90,000, while a cheaper BMW 116d SE was purchased…as a backup to the Audi no doubt.

£65,000 was the amount the company boss spent to send his children to private school. It’s good to see they are getting a good education, it’s just unfortunate he didn’t pay the government first, which is what everyone should do of course.

It doesn’t matter if you are a self employed business owner, freelance worker, or contracting professional. Just get yourself an accountant and do everything above board is my advice.

Appearing in court, the company owner admitted that he had evaded tax, VAT, and national insurance contributions, and before an onlooking jury, the judge slammed down the hammer and gave the boss 2 years in the slammer.

However, those 2 years were quickly suspended, which means he will avoid going to prison right now, and as long as the boss doesn’t do anything similar in the future then it should never come to that.

The plumber did get 300 hours of unpaid work as a punishment though, as well as a 3 month curfew where he wasn’t allowed to leave the house after a certain time.

The judge and jury also decided that all of the £65,000 in lost taxes must be paid back by the plumbing company owner, and if that didn’t happen within 3 months then he could very well find himself having to visit the local nick and spend a bit of time.

I think the message is clear here…pay your taxes and you will be fine, but don’t pay your taxes and you might just have your very own day in court.

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BBC Stars Still Using Tax Dodge? It’s Possible…


Many of you will remember how I reported on BBC stars being accused of dodging tax. Well, some people are claiming it is still going on.

This comes at a time when the BBC has been making headlines of course, as they recently disclosed the salaries of their top earners which was met with almost universal outcry from the public.

At the end of the day, this is license payers money we are talking about here, and it goes towards paying people like Chris Evans a £2.25 million salary. It just isn’t on.

Not only that, but some financial experts are claiming that many of the BBC stars are using personal companies to get paid in order to avoid paying tax. This is something that was supposedly banned 5 years ago, but many suspect it is still going on.

For example, a lot of BBC stars earn over £100,000 a year, which means in normal circumstances they would pay around 45% in tax. However, if they set-up a personal company and get paid that way, then it’s possible to only pay 20% tax.

Despite these allegations by third party sources, the BBC have refused to comment on any of their employees using personal companies to only pay 20% tax, which means right now all anyone can do is speculate about the situation.

Maybe BBC stars do pay 45% tax? Until anything is proven in a court of law then as far as I’m concerned you are innocent.

Take Chris Evans for example, who is the BBC’s top earner with a cool £2.25 million a year. Some experts are saying that there is a personal company listed in his name on record with companies house, although it’s impossible to say if this is the same Chris Evans or a different Chris Evans.

The same goes for Claudia Winkleman and Jeremy Vine, as there are two companies also listed in that name, but so far the BBC have refused to say whether or not this is where their income goes.

Overall, it has been found that 96 BBC staff make over £150,000 a year, with one pundit commenting this is more then the prime minister.

My opinion is that if this was an independent TV channel that got income through advertising and other channels then I wouldn’t care how much they paid their staff, but, this is a channel funded by the UK public. This means we all have a right to know exactly what is going on.

I’m sure this isn’t the last we are going to be hearing about BBC stars in regards to salaries and tax. Maybe some of them are looking for good contractor accountants right now? Who knows for sure.

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High Court Orders Accountant to Pay £300,000


I’ve always thought that accountants are supposed to save you money, but that didn’t exactly happen with one accountant in Ipswich.

Two brothers used an accountant for their metal recycling business over a 5 year period, and at first it seemed like he was doing a good job. They came to trust him, and gave him more responsibility in doing the books for their successful Limited Company.

It was all set to become a happy story until the brothers started to notice that something wasn’t quite right with the financial reports.

After a bit of investigating, it turned out the accountant had somehow managed to get £186,000 out of their business and into his own pocket. Not exactly the kind of service they were expecting I’m sure.

Not surprisingly they fired this particular accountant and confronted him about taking the money, and after a bit of back and forth he paid back the money and it looked like the matter was settled. However, they didn’t end up parting as friends.

Right after all of this happened the brothers decided to get the auditors in…and guess what? They discovered that during the 5 years this accountant was doing the books for this business he didn’t once prepare or submit a proper tax return, even though the brothers were paying him to do so.

As you can imagine they were not impressed when hearing about this, and rightly so took the matter to court where it eventually went all the way to the High Court.

It was there that a judge decided the accountant did the wrong thing, and ordered him to pay just over £300,000.

The brothers, although relieved that justice had been served, went on to say that the accountant was “not only a long standing colleague but also a friend of the family.” I’m sure they were disappointed with the whole thing.

I think this story can serve as a lesson to any business owner, contractor, freelancer, or self employed person out there.

The first lesson is you should always do your research when hiring an accountant by visiting a trusted website where you can find reviews and more information.

Next, be very careful about becoming too friendly with your accountant, and if you ask me, don’t hire your friends to do the books either.

As the brothers said themselves, they considered their accountant to be “a friend of the family” but at the end of the day that might have meant they trusted him too much.

Which brings me to my next point, and the biggest lesson of all from this story in my opinion…never give your accountant too much control, to the point where you just assume they are preparing and sending off your tax return and you never even check it.

Sure, you might pay your accountant to do this kind service, but make sure they are actually doing what they say, and spend some time looking over the books yourself.

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Cristiano Ronaldo Investigated Over £120 Million of Tax


Not a week goes by without a big company or famous celebrity being accused of tax avoidance. This week it is the turn of Real Madrid star Ronaldo.

The richest footballer in the world has been accused by Spanish authorities of not paying £120 million in tax on income he has received in image rights, between the years of 2009 and 2011.

This has led officials in Spain to demand a large scale investigation against the Real Madrid player, and if successful, something tells me that the Spanish government will be getting a big cheque through the post from Mr Ronaldo’s accountant.

However, let’s just be clear here…right now nothing has been proven in a court of law, and as we speak this is all just allegations against Ronaldo. It could very well be that he has done nothing wrong and that this will be easily proven.

It isn’t the first time that a high profile football figure has come under scrutiny from Spanish officials, as last year Jose Mourinho was investigated about alleged tax avoidance while he was manager of Real Madrid.

I don’t think anything ended up coming of that investigation, although it’s difficult to say for sure because the result of these tax investigations very rarely get reported in the press, especially when innocence is proven or a small settlement is reached.

Back to Cristiano Ronaldo and reports are suggesting that Spanish Authorities believe that money was diverted to a shell company in the British Virgin Islands, and that approximately £120 million of tax has been avoided.

When asked about the issue previously, Ronaldo has denied any wrongdoing, even to the point where his agent released tax records for the footballer showing his exact incomings and outgoings.

I’m sure that Ronaldo hires a good accountant and makes sure everything is recorded accurately. Who knows, he might even keep details of all his earnings in a simple notebook? I’m sure it’s a bit more complicated than that, and his accountant no doubt uses the latest accountancy software to keep everything up-to-date.

Let’s wait to see what happens on this one anyway. At the end of the day, the Spanish government are yet to launch any kind of investigation and it might never happen. Of course, Ronaldo might be completely innocent and this could quickly be proven.

I’m sure everything will get sorted out quickly so that Ronaldo can get back to what he does best, playing football and showing the world his skills.

If you are a contractor then you might not have the skills of Ronaldo, and you probably don’t make as much money as him, but you still need an accountant, which you can find right here on this website.

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77% Say – “Tax the Wealthy!”


A recent survey of the UK public gave us some interesting insights, with the average man and woman making their thoughts clear…”tax the wealthy!”

In the survey, which took place on the streets around our nation, the public were asked if they thought a return to the 50% income tax rate for people earning over £150,000 a year was something they would like to happen.

Well, 77% said “yes,” which just goes to show you that not everybody is in favour of less tax for all.

Many believe that by taxing higher earners 50% of their wages, it would go a long way in balancing the books and helping the government get their finances in order.

I agree that many in the government need to do more to sort out the financial state of this country, especially with Brexit just around the corner, but is more tax really the way to do this? In my opinion, no.

It was only recently of course that Philip Hammond announced his plans about more tax for the self employed in his budget speech, only to then back track a few days later after public outrage.

I think there is people out there who should be taxed more, such as those Billionaires who get out of paying tax altogether while relaxing on their luxury yachts, but I don’t think that hard working people who just happen to earn more should be punished.

Many people seem to believe that there is some kind of balancing act when it comes to tax, and that if those who are wealthier are taxed more, then workers on lower wages will pay less. This isn’t the way it works though.

The problem is quite simple…the government are not very good at using the tax they get. The solution is not to tax more, it is to better manage what is already going through the system.

Taxing 50% to workers who earn £150,000 a year or more isn’t going to make any difference at all, and although it makes a good headline it doesn’t really change anything.

I don’t think we are going to hearing about any tax changes for the wealthy in the near future, as I reckon the Chancellor is going to stay away from that subject for a while.

If you are a contractor who earns £150,000 or more a year, then my best advice is to invest in a contractor accountant.

Don’t listen to the general public and their surveys and think you are obliged to pay more tax for the good of the nation. No way. Instead, get a contractor accountant and see what they can do for you.

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Santa has to Pay Tax…in Belarus


Christmas is all but over, which means now is the perfect time to send Santa Claus a tax bill through the post. Well that’s what they’ve done in Belarus.

Santa Claus, or Grandpa Frost as he is known in many parts of Eastern Europe, usually spends most of his time going round the towns and villages of Belarus and meeting with families to give the children gifts. He is usually accompanied by his assistant…the Snow Maiden.

Now you would think they would get a pass from the Belarus tax department because they are going round and giving gifts and all that, but no, they want Santa and the Snow Maiden to pay tax just like everyone else.

The government of Belarus made it official on their website, stating that, “Grandpa Frost and Snow Maiden also pay their taxes.”

However, many people in Belarus are angry at the news, with some saying that this might be the last Christmas they see Santa and the Snow Maiden visit their town or village.

I hope that Grandpa Frost and the Snow Maiden continue to do their thing around Belarus next Christmas, it’s just they might want to start looking for a good accountant so they don’t get in trouble with the government.

This all comes at a time of course when many people in the UK are doing their own tax returns. Sure, there is about 1 month until they have to be handed over to the government on the 31st January, but reports are suggesting that many are taking care of it early.

In fact, recent statics show that 6,214 did their tax return on Christmas Eve, while another 6,200 did one on Christmas.

I wonder how many contractors were in those numbers? A few I’m sure, because if there is one thing I know it’s that of the thousands of contractors around the UK…the vast majority like to get their tax returns in well on time so there is no rushing around.

As we all know, if you miss the 31st January date then a fine of £100 is automatic, and if you don’t do anything within 3 months of that then expect to be getting a call from the Inland Revenue.

Fortunately, doing your tax return in the UK is now really easy to do online, so you don’t have to mess around with sending in forms or anything like that.

This has led to the soon to be introduced quarterly digital tax return, which has divided opinion among contractors and self employed people in general.

You will be expected to file your taxes 4 times a year online, although some people think it makes the whole process more simple. However, others argue it is actually more complicated and will take up a lot of time.

Who knows…maybe Santa Claus in Belarus will be doing his tax return online 4 times a year if countries in Eastern Europe follow our example? Let’s see how it works out first though.

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Google to Pay Tax in Indonesia


Negotiations have been going on for a few months now, but Google have decided to give in and pay tax to the Indonesian government.

As I’ve talked about before on this site, here in the UK big companies such as Google pay virtually no income tax, which has led many financial experts to wonder exactly what is going on. Have they just got really good accountants? They probably have, but many people believe they should be paying more tax.

That is what the Indonesian government thought as well, which in turn led to them holding talks with the search engine company about why they were paying almost no tax, despite making millions in the country of Indonesia

What’s really interesting here is that now Indonesia have been successful in getting Google to pay more tax, this might just inspire other countries to follow suit…perhaps even the UK? It might just happen, although it wouldn’t surprise me if nothing happens. You just really don’t know.

Of course, the UK government did manage to get a bit of money out of Google…£120 million, and it is thought this was for back taxes for the last ten years. So that’s about £12 million a year in tax for a company that regularly has revenues over £1 billion pounds.

Google currently hires thousands of contractors and freelancers in the UK who have to hire accountants, fill in their tax returns, and ultimately, pay HMRC what they owe them.

It seems very strange that all these people who are hired by Google, most probably, pay more tax combined than Google do.

Understand that I’m not accusing Google of anything. Far from it. I just think that more needs to be done to look into why they are paying so little tax in the UK. Maybe they have amazing accountants? Yes that is possible. Or perhaps they have a lot of costs? Again, this is possible.

Who knows exactly what the reason is? We just need to find out.

Back to Indonesia and one of their tax officials commented to the media that 5 years of back taxes is what the government wanted, with an estimated $400 million of taxes last year alone.

It’s certainly quite a bit of money we are talking about here, but let’s wait to find out what the real number is, as sometimes these reports are not entirely accurate.

When asked for a comment about the matter Google refused to answer to the press.

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BRCs binned by HMRC, contractors rejoice


Business Record Checks, or BRCs, have been binned by Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs after finding that they’re just not effective.

Proof positive that accountants have been doing their job and doing it well, HMRC has decided to abolish BRCs by citing that it’s been nearly impossible to find non-complient firms that need to undergo these checks. In other words – well, this is a paraphrase, of course – the scheme wasn’t worth the paper it was printed on.

You’d be forgiven if you’d never heard of the BRC programme, considering all this. However, if you’re curious, BRCs were compliance measures that the taxman used to employ to ensure that firms of all types were keeping proper expense and income records to make taxation easier and more accurate. Last year there was a record number of BRCs run, yet despite the sheer volume of checks, more than three out of every four companies were well within the guidelines of keeping records. This seems to have been the final straw as far as HMRC was concerned – or perhaps the final nail in the coffin – as now the taxman has decided to scrap the entire thing.

 

HMRC is of course spinning the move as a resounding success, claiming that BRC was influential in encouraging firms to keep better financial records. Meanwhile I’m much more ready to put roses at the feet of our nation’s cadre of contractor accountants working overtime to ensure that the businesses they work for are in compliance with all of the tax authority’s many rules and regulations. Of course, the Government is keen to take credit for this as usual, but what can you do about that realistically?

Still, it’s good to know that there’s just one less regulation that you’ll need to comply with if you’re a small business owner.  So far there doesn’t seem to be any indication that the Government will be replacing BRCs with some other scheme, half-baked or fully developed, to ensure that companies are keeping accurate financial records, but there’s good money that HMRC will be announcing some sort of other “new and improved” compliance measure that’s sure to be a plague on us for years to come. Your guess is as good as mine as to what kind of form it’s going to take.

Of course, if you’re one of the lucky few actively going through a BRC right now, you’re not off the hook – you’ll still have to finish the entire process from soup to nuts. At least you can rest assured you’ll be one of the last people in the country to actually have to put up with it. Cold comfort I’m sure, but better than nothing.

 

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Judge gives HMRC two weeks to get its act together


Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs has two weeks to get its act together to determine whether it’s going to get a court case together against a tax avoider.

Well, an alleged tax avoider anyway. Apparently the taxman has been dragging its feet in whether it’s going to put dishonesty allegations to directors of of Ingenious, a media firm, in order to decide if its film investment initiatives actually are tax avoidance after all. A tribunal judge ordered the deadline after HMRC and Ingenius faced off in a case to suss out whether the film finance schemes of the company were either legitimate investment schemes or illegal tax dodges. Determining whether these schemes were marketed in a dishonest manner to the countless celebrity clients of the firm could be key in determining if Ingenious is actually open to legal action originating from all of its duped investors.

Meanwhile, the tribunal judge, Mr Justice Henderson, ordered the tax authority to give Ingenious any details it has concerning dishonesty allegations that it might be making in two weeks or less. The judge said he had grown tired of HMRC saying again and again that it would not be alleging dishonesty or fraud, yet the taxman had also been giving off the impression of evasiveness or ambivalence on the issue.

Still, in the interest of fairness, Justice Henderson gave the taxman two weeks to finally make up its mind once and for all if it would accuse Ingenious of dishonesty or not. For what it’s worth, I have to agree with the judge’s decision. As much as I’d like to see Ingenious strung up by its heels and beaten with a cricket bat until candy begins to fall out, the law is the law and you can’t say one thing and then do the opposite without expecting the powers that be to grow tired of your ridiculous behaviour.

Would I like to see HMRC accuse Ingenious of dishonesty? Of course! It would mean that any individuals that participated in the scheme, whether they be rich and famous celebrities or just your run of the mill self-employed contractor that trusted his or her accountant that Ingenious was on the up and up. Let’s just hope the taxman gets its ducks all in a row before time runs out!

 

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HMRC doubles self-assessment taxpayer investigations


Consider this your warning: the number of investigations by HM Revenue & Customs into self-assessment taxpayers doubled over the course of 2013.

If there was any time to find a good contractor accountant it’s absolutely now considering how HMRC is positively gunning for anyone with even a hair out of place on their self-assessment tax returns. More than 237,000 Brits had their tax affairs looked into in 2013 according to recently released figures; compare that to the 2011-2012 tax year where only 119,000 or so individuals had to deal with the taxman’s tender ministrations and the writing is on the wall in big bloody letters, and those letters read ‘RUN!’

Truth be told this has been coming for quite some time. The tax authority has its marching orders from the Government, and they consist of ‘squeeze every rock in the UK until it bleeds’ in order to fill the Treasury’s coffers with as much cash as it possibly can. With HMRC’s focus on rooting out what it refers to as ‘overly aggressive’ tax avoidance – and with much of that tax avoidance taking the shape of schemes like contractors using disguised employment or using personal service companies to effectively launder their cash overseas the taxman is keen to stamp it out at every opportunity, and that means investigations have been increased by a substantial margin.

Of course the majority of freelancers and contractors in the UK don’t engage in any of that sort of rubbish but HMRC is convinced that it needs as wide a net as possible. Even if you’re not doing anything untoward even the smallest inaccuracy or accidental omission on your taxes will bring the fury of the tax authority down on your head, so do yourself a favour and make sure absolutely everything is sorted before submitting any self-assessment documents. If needs be get yourself an accountant; even if it’s prohibitively expensive it’s shedloads less financial pain than having HMRC actively combing through your financial details and charging you fixed penalties left and right.

Yes, it’s incredibly inconvenient and terribly unfair, but this is the post-recessionary world we live in now and it’s certainly not as friendly to small business owners as you would think it should be. It’s not our fault that the Treasury bleeds cash like a stuck pig – we just have to pick up the pieces.

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Another tax avoidance scheme bites the dust


The final nail has been driven into the coffin of yet another tax avoidance scheme this week, much to the chagrin of the firm making use of it.

It’s true: the tax courts have thrown out the so’called ‘Project Sussex’ tax avoidance scheme roundly on its ear for the second and hopefully final time. The scheme, which was the brainchild of Ernst & Young and was used extensively by brewer Greene King, has been a target of harsh criticism for its highly complex one.The Old Speckled Hen brewer had been hoping to avoid paying its fair share on a massive £21 million of interest, but now it’s in some serious hot water as a result.

The backlash against both Ernst & Young and Greene King has been rather robust during the whole process. It’s been some time since news of the investigation into the tax avoidance scheme went public, and with tax avoidance and tax evasion being such a hot-button issue at the moment there was no doubt that many consumers decided to boycott the products and services of both firms as a result. Honestly I think that anyone involved in such a boycott should be praised, as it shows these companies that you shouldn’t be rewarded for your nefarious attempts at getting around paying what you owe to HMRC.

I mean let’s be serious here for a moment. The Treasury has been leaving no stone unturned in its quest to maximise tax revenues lately. Even the lowliest contract worker and freelancer has been feeling the squeeze; did Ernst & Young and Greene King truly think they would squeeze by unnoticed by the by-now paranoid and frantic eye of the taxman? It’s just this ind of hubris and bare arrogance that makes companies think they can get away with murder, and I for one am tired of it.

Many of these companies like to gamble by adopting new tax avoidance schemes that haven’t been ruled upon yet, even in the hopes that the time they get to operate under the scheme before it’s declared will result in enough tax savings for it to be worthwhile. It’s vile and underhanded and I can’t believe actions like that are permitted in the current day and age! To hell with Greene King and its lackey accountant.

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  • Switch Accountants for FREE

    Switch Accountants for FREEAt K&B Accountancy Group we have introduced a simple and straightforward approach to changing accountants. We’re offering contractors, consultants and freelancers the opportunity to switch to K&B Accountancy Group for FREE without the need to pay for any ‘catch up’ or retrospective accountancy fees for the previous year’s accounts and corporation tax return* *T&Cs apply

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