Tag Archive | "hire accountant"

X Factor Tax Fraud Accountant Pleads Guilty


Millions of people enjoy sitting round the box on a Saturday night and watching X Factor. It isn’t all singing and dancing though.

Oh no. There are many things which go on behind the scenes which would shock you. All kinds of things. Some things we would never even write about here on Contractor Accountants.

One thing we do write about is tax issues, so we feel obliged to report about this particular X Factor tax fraud saga that was going on behind the scenes.

It was an X Factor champion who is the victim here. NO…It isn’t Gareth Gates and NO…it isn’t Rik Waller.

Its a guy named James Arthur who won the X Factor competition recently and then set-up his own music company called “Raff Music Ltd.”

The purpose of this company was to collect the cash for all the songs and appearances Mr Arthur was getting paid for, and to make sure everything was above board he hired an accountant.

Now at this point I would have thought James would have gone to X Factor judge Simon Cowell for advice on who to hire for his accountant.

“Who should I hire?” he would ask.

“A contractor accountant, go to Contractor Accountants DOT Com,” the reply could very well have been.

It is our understanding here at CA that Simon Cowell is a big fan of Contractor Accountants and he hires them to do all of his books.

Unfortunately, it seems that James Arthur never asked Simon Cowell for advice about hiring an accountant. Instead he went it alone, and hired his own accountant.

We are not sure where he found this accountant, but it definitely wasn’t at Contractor Accountants, we can tell you that.

The reason? Because this accountant went on to steal £600,000 of Mr Arthur’s hard earned cash. He took it directly from “Raff Music LTD” and put it directly into his pocket.

As you can imagine, the X Factor star soon noticed that £600,000 quid was missing from his bank accountant, and it wasn’t long before he pointed his finger directly at the accountant.

So tax fraud was the name of the game here and in no time at all the accused accountant was in court and facing a judge.

He pleaded guilty and is now awaiting his sentence.

If you do the crime then you must do the time, is our motto here at Contractor Accountants. Our vote is for this X Factor accountant to spend a bit of time behind bars so he can learn his lesson.

And for James Arthur? Look to the right of the page right now and find legitimate accountants you can trust.

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Remember…Remember…The 5th of October


Write this date on your calender folks…the 5th of October. Why? Because it’s the deadline for 2017/2018 Self Assessment.

That’s right. If you are planning to submit a self assessment for the first time then it MUST be done by the 5th of October 2018. No excuses.

HMRC have just sent out a press release reminding all of you first timers to get your skates on. At the time of writing, you only have 10 days to visit the official HMRC website and get signed up. The clock is ticking.

Once you do sign up then you are all set and are free to complete your tax return for the 2017/2018 tax year and then send it in by the 31st January 2019 deadline.

If this is your first time then it might all seem a bit confusing, but trust me, it really isn’t. Especially if you have a contractor accountant on your side.

That would be my advice anyway. Hire a contractor accountant…even if you are not a contractor.

Forget about those general accountants. Most of them don’t know their elbow from their ankle.

A contractor accountant, on the other hand, is the perfect choice for someone doing self assessment for the first time.

They will do most of the heavy lifting for you. Which means all you have to do is lie back and think of England…or Scotland..or Wales…or even Northern Ireland. Anywhere in the UK basically.

Not sure if you should be doing self assessment? Then you need to get yourself to the Self Assessment page on the HMRC official website. You can access that page on your home computer, laptop, tablet or smartphone. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. So there really is no excuses for not checking.

HMRC have also prepared some high quality content to help you through the self assessment process. You can find webchats, webinars, YouTube videos and social media posts across their network. So make sure you check it all out.

Here at Contractor Accountants we know a thing or two about high quality content. Just take a look through our weekly blog posts and you will see what I mean.

If you are just beginning your self employment journey then I would suggest checking in here at Contractor Accountants on a weekly basis…even if you are not a contractor.

Sure, we specialise in blog posts for contractors, but we also welcome freelancers, small business owners, gig workers…everybody!

Even if you are not self employed, but just thinking about becoming your own boss, then reading our blog posts on a weekly basis is 10 minutes well spent if you ask me.

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They Gave Tax the Red Card


Football refs. Love them or hate them you must admit the game couldn’t exist without them. They make a nice chunk of change as well.

Not as much as your top Premiership stars of course, but still a decent pay packet for running about and blowing a whistle on a Saturday afternoon.

Did you know that most referees are actually self employed? That’s right. Just like you, a Premiership referee has to fill in his own tax return or get an accountant to do it.

Some reports have even suggested that refs and players recommend accountants to each other on the pitch.

“That’s a yellow card for you Rooney…I would have given you a red…but you did recommend Contractor Accountants to me…so I will let you off,” is something which could have been said.

However, the HMRC didn’t like the idea of self employed football referees. In their opinion refs should be employed and they should have to pay more tax.

Well, the refs and HMRC couldn’t agree on who was right and who was wrong. The only way to decide was to take the matter to court.

Who won? After a long court battle it is the refs who have taken that red card firmly out of their pocket and shoved it in the face of more tax.

In the courtroom on that day, all of the members of PGMOL were there and dressed in their referee kits with whistles in hand.

As the judge slammed down the hammer and said “NOT GUILTY,” they all started to blow their whistles in celebration.

“Be QUIET,” the judge might have said, because we know how much they like silence in the courtroom.

PGMOL stands for Professional Game Match Officials Limited, and they are representing football referees when it comes to the subject of tax.

The initial £584,000 penalty charge has now been dropped by HMRC. That is one penalty the refs did not want to give, I’m sure.

“That was never a penalty” Alan Hansen might have said from his home in Scotland.

Of course, Alan is no longer on Match of the Day, although he still likes to give his opinion.

“You can’t win anything with kids,” he famously once said. He was wrong.

Here at Contractor Accountants we say…”you can’t give a penalty against a referee.”

We also say that all football referees might just want to visit one of our trusted accountants found on the right side of the page you are reading right now.

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“Champagne For Everybody!” Shouted The Accountant


We talk a lot about the trusted contractor accountants you can find on this site…but what about those accountants who are NOT on this site?

One such accountant was a guy from Galway In Ireland, who was hired to look after the books of a multi national company. The kind of company who turn over millions of pounds a year.

His “trusty” hands delved right into those books. Day after day. Month after month. And everything seemed to be going smoothly.

However, what the company didn’t realise is the accountant was actually putting his hands into the cookie jar, so to speak.

Rather than use those hands to soothe and save…he was using those hands to steal and spend.

How much exactly? £1.7 million pounds to be exact.

It was a secret though. He didn’t want anyone to find out. And he would have got away with it…but he took it too far.

If the expensive holidays, shopping trips and VIP seats at international rugby matches wasn’t enough to arouse suspicion…what happened at his son’s wedding definitely was.

“Champagne for everybody,” the accountant shouted. All paid for on the company credit card, of course.

The only problem is this was right under the noses of the company directors. They were right there at the wedding, drinking champagne they had unwittingly paid for.

Eventually they cottoned on to the fraud, and immediately contacted the Police.

This led to the accountant having his own special day in court, although there was no champagne and no holidays in the sun.

Instead, this particular courtroom had a stern looking judge sitting high above the accountant, and right now as we speak, that judge is sitting there with his hammer firmly in his hand…ready to dish out the rough form of justice that happens to any accountant who breaks the rules.

The accountants wife was also made to answer for these crimes, although she claims she didn’t know anything about it.

If you are a company owner, contractor, freelancer, or just generally self employed…don’t you agree that hiring an accountant like this is simply bad for business.

You don’t want someone drinking champagne and sitting on a tropical beach on your dime…do you? Of course not.

Fortunately, you are in the right place to find trusted accountants who won’t rip you off.

Most of the accountants recommended by us don’t even like champagne. They drink water, fresh and pure just like nature intended.

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Accountant Jailed for 21 Months


An accountant who described himself as a “defender of human rights” has just been sentenced to 21 months in the slammer.

This particular accountant worked for Amnesty International and was considered to be good at his job. Someone who you could trust with the books.

Well, it looks like he couldn’t be trusted after all, because on the sly he was using a work credit card to spend money on things for himself.

“£43,000” is the exact figure he blew on luxuries such as holidays, handbags, and even a top of the range espresso machine.

Will he be able to use that espresso machine in prison? I doubt it, although it wouldn’t surprise me if they serve cappuccinos in the prison cafeteria.

In my opinion this accountant behind bars might want to give up these luxuries and spend his time inside getting back to basics.

100 pressups and 100 situps every morning, followed by eggs and oats for breakfast and then 100 pullups in the prison yard.

Meat of the day and rice for dinner, and then back to the cell for 200 squats before lights out.

21 months of that and I’m sure this particular accountant will have learned the error of his ways.

“No more credit card spending for me,” he could say when released. “I’m all about the basics now…doing the right thing.”

Just like the contractor accountants that we recommend right here this website. These accountants don’t have any requirements for espresso machines. In fact, most of them don’t even drink coffee, they drink water, pure and natural, just like nature intended.

It’s good to know that you have a pure accountant on your side, don’t you think? Someone who focuses on the basics and makes sure all the numbers in your business come together like a well oiled machine.

It’s the equivalent of doing pressups, situps, and pullups in prison, followed by eating a clean diet. Everything pure. Nothing artificial. Just the way you want your contractor accountant to be.

Back to the story, and eye witnesses described the accountant as “sobbing” when the judge slammed down their hammer and gave out a 21 month sentence.

He was then taken away by the guards, and into a waiting police van that would then transport him directly into the jail house which will become his home for the next 21 months.

Also, it was noted this particular accountant actually hails from the country of Columbia, and once his sentence is complete then he is to be sent back to his home country.

Hopefully he can start again in South America. A fresh start. Purity and accountancy, together as one…just like the best contractor accountants in the UK.

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“Toughen Up” Say The HCPAC


In a recent meeting the HCPAC (House of Commons Public Accounts Committee) came up with two words…”Toughen Up!”

Who was these two words aimed at? HMRC (Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs).

The meeting was a long meeting, there is no doubt about that, but the conclusion was short, and with those two words there has now been a chain reaction which could see many contractors and digital traders fall foul of HMRC.

According to HCPAC it is you, the average contractor, as well as thousands of digital traders who trade on platforms such as eBay and Amazon, who are avoiding their VAT (Value Added Tax) duties.

Could notorious tax hound (Philip Hammond) be the chief architect behind this new push for “more tax?” While he isn’t officially on the HCPAC, there are some experts out there who claim he is the one “pulling the strings.”

So the memo to HRMC is crystal clear…”Toughen Up” and crackdown on those tax dodgers who are depriving the government bank account of millions, and perhaps, even billions.

One pundit claims that somewhere between 1 billion pounds and 1.5 billion pounds worth of VAT is being missed out on, although it is difficult to know the exact figure until all the money is collected.

It could take a while, because as we know, many of these online eBay and Amazon traders fly under the radar and cover their tracks…avoiding their VAT duties, year after year.

Hard working contractors such as yourself…obviously YOU don’t avoid your duties and you do everything by the law.

You fill in your tax return and send it off on time, every time.

You get your tax bill and say “do you take a cheque? Every time.

You pay your National Insurance every time.

You pay your VAT every time.

The problem is that Philip Hammond will never stop, ever, until he has 100% of your income safely in the government bank account.

These new tax grabs are becoming more common, and as Mr Hammond becomes more sophisticated in his approach, he can easily pull the wool over your eyes and bring in new laws and regulations without any attention.

This is why you MUST hire a contractor accountant. Even if you are NOT a contractor.

If you are reading this news story and your business is trading on eBay or Amazon then you should also make it your main priority to hire an accountant right away.

Don’t delay, because Philip Hammond is on to you…which means you need to know how to legally pay less tax and beat him at his own game.

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Accountant Jailed and Then Banned by FCA


Not a week goes by without stories of accountants getting themselves into trouble, both inside and outside the office.

This week it is the turn of a former high powered accountant who did the books for some pretty well known and famous clients.

Unfortunately, this particular accountant was caught with his hand in the cookie jar, so to speak, and this led to an appearance in front of a courtroom full of his peers and a judge (with hammer firmly in hand).

It was all to do with a “film tax scheme,” something I’ve reported about before of course. Anyway, the judge slammed down his or her trusty hammer and with a few short words sentenced the accountant to 8 years behind bars at HMP Highpoint in Suffolk.

You might think that would be enough punishment for the accountant, having to do 8 years of “hard time” at her majesty’s service, but some people are not done with him yet.

While the accountant is folding laundry and doing press-ups in Suffolk, a team at FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) headquarters have decided to rub even more salt in his wounds…by banning the accountant from doing anything related to accounting once he gets out of the slammer.

In other words, don’t expect to see this particular accountant listed on our website anytime soon, because as you are no doubt aware, we only list TRUSTED accountants on ContractorAccountants.com.

That’s right. If an accountant is sitting in a jail cell or is currently banned by the FCA then you can be rest assured they will NOT be listed here on this website.

We only feature accountants who conduct their business in a legit way, so you can feel safe in hiring them to do your books…typically for less than £100 a month.

Back to the story, and things didn’t get any better for the accountant in prison. Not only did the FCA shun him, but a confiscation order was also made against him, to the tune of £1.8 million quid.

Apparently this accountant had been living the high life before his prison days, sunning himself on a yacht in Monaco and rubbing shoulders with Hollywood stars such as George Clooney in pre production meetings for movies such as “Three Kings.”

Many wealthy investors jumped onboard and happily invested in some of these blockbuster movies, safe in the knowledge that any “losses” made would be secured against tax relief.

One of the film companies which the accountant was involved in spent a cool £5.7 million and made significant losses on 2 British films…a move which alerted HMRC to investigate further.

The trail soon led to a series of discoveries by HMRC, such as suspicious tax rebate claims, fake invoices, and bogus diary entries, and of course, this was all the HMRC needed to take the accountant to court.

How can you, the hard working contractor avoid these dodgy accountants? My advice is to only do business with the accountants you see listed immediately to your right, at the side of the page.

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Messi Tax Situation Gets Messy


Last year I reported on Lionel Messi and his tax situation with Spanish authorities. Millions in unpaid tax was the story in the headlines.

In that post I mentioned how Messi could end up in the stripes of the prison football team…although it now looks like he will avoid time behind bars.

Instead he is off to the world cup…although the tax saga has recently got a bit…well…messy.

The Spanish government spared Lionel with jail time but they did hit him in the wallet, to the tune of 4.7 million Euros…

He didn’t like forking out that kind of dosh so he decided to fight back, by airing his “messi” laundry in public

Was his underpants among that laundry basket? Yes it looks that way…and they were not clean. Not by a long shot.

In a recent interview he claims to be a “victim.”

“I felt victimised but I was lucky to have the backing of those close to me,” said Messi.

You know, I reckon Lionel Messi could have avoided this mess by seeking out the services of a contractor accountant.

Obviously in Spain they are called something different, but the goal remains the same…get your books straight and keep you out of trouble.

That is what Jose Mourinho did…apparently. After getting in trouble with Spain, he moved to the UK and the first thing he did once in Manchester? Typed in “www.ContractorAccountants.” It is the “special one” he was thought to have said.

Let’s not forget Ronaldo and his brush with Spanish authorities over tax.

Insiders say he decided to keep things on the straight and narrow after visiting Contractor Accountants and visiting one of our recommended companies. These days everything is recorded in a notebook with 3 columns..one for expenses,,,one for profit…and one for goals.

Even our main man…Mr Wayne Rooney himself…even he got his act together after a week in Skegness and some time to reflect

“Have you seen this website Coleen? www.ContrtactorAccountants.com…Wayne said before going on a donkey ride on Skegness beach

So over the next few weeks Messi and Ronaldo are expected to light up the football world once again…

While Mr Mourinho watches it on TV and Wayne Rooney gets a tan on Skegness beach

“Can you rub some lotion on my cheeks please Coleen..oh and don’t forget my nose.”

Of course this is all just pie in the sky and famous footballers may never have visited Contractor Accountants. Who knows for sure.

What I do know is that every single contractor in the UK could benefit from a trusty accountant, so you can keep your books clean and stop them from getting messy.

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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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IT Contractors – From Zero to £500 a Day…In 90 Days


IT contracting has always been profitable in the UK, but to go from nothing to £500 a day (and beyond) in only 90 days? You must be kidding.

Actually not, because as a recent survey quite clearly points out, the average new IT contractor on the scene will be making an average salary within roughly 3 months.

That is £500 a day if you didn’t know, and it just goes to show that tapping away at your keyboard and offering all of your computer related knowledge to companies, well, it pays off and gives you the chance to profit.

So the average IT contractor is taking home £500 in his or her pockets every night, stuffed full of cash…but did you know that some people in the IT industry are making even more? Yes they are.

According to the survey, 8% of IT contractors make more than £700 a day, which isn’t bad money if you can get it. No surprises then that so many employees are quitting their jobs and going out on their own, into the world of self employment and IT contracting jobs.

“Do you want cash or would you prefer a cheque?” is what those companies say to IT contracting professionals.

“I don’t care, as long as I can buy a Rolex with it,” is the response from the hot shot IT contractor.

Yes, this is definitely a boom time to be self employed and involved in IT, and if you play your cards right then you could soon be rolling up to jobs in a brand new Ferrari.

However, while enjoying the six or seven figure lifestyle does have its perks, there are also things you need to consider before splashing the cash.

Sure, having a wad of banknotes in your pocket all day, every day, will make you feel like a million bucks, but have you considered paying the tax man their share? Unfortunately many IT contractors completely overlook this important step.

It’s all very well getting £500 a day…or even £1000 a day, but when you think you are above the law then you are going to be in for a rude shock.

HMRC are coming down on IT contractors like a ton of bricks is what I’ve been hearing, and even if there are only a few mistakes on your tax return then expect them to come after you like a gazelle in the wild.

They are hungry lions you see, and although you might be a rich gazelle, the fact of the matter remains that no matter how much cash you have in the bank you must make sure you pay the right amount of tax and everything is in order.

That is why I advise every IT contractor in the UK to hire an accountant.

Not just any accountant…a contractor accountant. Someone who is well schooled in the art of doing books for IT contractors.

So take a look around this site for the best contractor accountants, and then make sure you hire them quick.

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Your Tax Return Excuse…Accepted!


It’s almost 1 month since the tax return deadline slammed shut, and for those who missed it then a £100 fine is on the way, no doubt.

Unless you have a valid excuse that is, although as I’ve reported about before the vast majority of excuses are firmly rejected by HMRC.

That doesn’t stop people trying though, with talk of aliens and other extra terrestrial beings interfering with hard working contractors getting their tax return in on time.

Unless HMRC actually see the spaceship in your back yard then I don’t think they are going to allow it, which means your tax return excuse will be quite rightly…rejected.

Do all excuses get rejected? Apparently not, as HMRC have just released a list of the type of excuses that are more likely to be…accepted.

For example, if you were hard at work trying to complete your online tax return just before the deadline, in the hours between 11pm and midnight (which many people were), then any kind of computer of software problems during that time could lead to HMRC looking on the brightside and deciding to give you a free pass.

You might need to prove that your computer gave out on you at the last minute, but if it really is a genuine excuse then you can probably avoid that £100 fine.

The same goes for if the HMRC website decided to have an “under construction” message during the final few hours leading up to the tax return deadline.

In other words, if it was the HMRC official site that failed you and it is no way your fault that the deadline was missed, then you can expect them to be very relaxed about the £100 fine.

What about another kind of excuse that will be accepted? You will be pleased to hear that if your property has recently been subjected to fire, floods, or theft…then guess what? You probably won’t be fined the £100.

HMRC understand that a fire will have no doubt seen your tax return go up in flames, while a flood would probably have made it unreadable.

A theft? Well, if a rogue of the night swooped in and decided to relieve you of your tax return then there really isn’t anything you can do about it. HMRC will understand this.

Another excuse that could work in your favour is whether or not the Royal Mail have got their act together. We all know how your average postie in shorts can be a bit relaxed at times, to the point where you send off a letter in January only for it to reach its destination a few weeks later.

“First Class” just doesn’t have the same meaning anymore and neither does “Second Class” either. If there are delays in the postal system that caused your paper tax return to miss the deadline then you can expect a bit of understanding from HMRC.

Do you know who else has complete and total understanding of the tax system in the UK? Contractor accountants of course, who you can hire (and fire) at will, although if you choose the contractor accountants found on this website then expect to do more hiring than firing.

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“You Pay,” Say Francais


A few months ago I reported on how Google stuck their middle finger up to the country of France and said “no pay, Francais.”

This no doubt annoyed the French who were probably rubbing their hands at the thought of getting some of that “Google cash.”

In the absence of a cheque from Google it seems that the French government set their sight on another target…Amazon, the online shopping giant.

Just like Google they have quite a bit of cash in the bank, so it makes sense that French officials would try and hit them up, so to speak.

To the tune of 200 million Euros, which the French government say is for back taxes during the years of 2006 to 2010. Amazon were making a nice bit of change in France during those years but the tax office in Paris saw barely anything. So they say anyway.

This isn’t the first time that Amazon have found themselves at the wrong end of the court room when it comes to the subject of tax in Europe.

Last year It was the turn of the Italians to go hunting for back taxes against the online commerce company, and after a lengthy dispute they finally got a postal order…for the sum of 100 million Euros. Nice money if you can get it, and it appears the Italian government got plenty of it.

So now it is the turn of the French, and although we are not sure exactly how much Amazon have paid in back taxes, it does seem they have come to a settlement.

“We have reached a settlement agreement with the French tax authorities on past issues and our main objective remains to provide the best possible buying experience for our clients in France,” said a spokesperson for Amazon when asked about the situation.

Why are Amazon constantly finding themselves locking horns with European nations anyway…surely they obey the law when it comes to paying tax? While I’m sure they are above board and doing everything legit, the area of contention is about when Amazon first started trading in many of these European countries.

At that time all of their money went directly to Luxembourg, which means countries such as France barely saw a penny.

Of course, legally paying less tax is something that all companies are concerned with, and is the reason why they hire accountants to do their books properly and make sure everything is accounted for.

It’s the same with hard working contractors in the UK. They want to pay less tax, yes, but they want to do it within the confines of the law. That is why contractor accountants are so popular, they make that happen without the need to do anything dodgy like offshore bank accounts.

So Amazon have backed down, and Francais have got their pay day. “Viva la France!”

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Ludicrous Tax Return Expenses Revealed (Sausage and Chips)


Contractors who read this blog on a regular basis will be aware by now of the 31st January tax return deadline. I’ve spoke about it before of course.

It’s usually around this time that HMRC release their official list of ludicrous tax return expenses that self employed people try to claim for…but ultimately fail.

You might think you can be clever and get away with trying to put everything down in the expense column, but over there at HMRC headquarters they are having none of it.

Take the enthusiastic contractor who enjoyed his regular meal of sausage and chips on a work day afternoon. He took salt and vinegar as well and always asked the chip shop owner for a receipt

That is why on his recent tax return he decided to claim for £1125 worth of sausage and chips. Nice try for sure, but it didn’t get by the HMRC staff who denied his opportunistic grab for paying less tax. Maybe next year he should try fish and chips? It could work.

While sausage and chips is certainly an interesting expense claim, it is nothing compared to the woman who tried to get away claiming for her brand new three piece suite.

The reason she gave when questioned by HMRC? It was because her partner had to sit in it while she did the accounts. Something tells me this particular person might be better off handing her accounts over to a professional contractor accountant before she tries to claim for the kettle.

Other hopeful contractors tried to claim expenses on their tax returns for things like drinks at a Glasgow nightclub and hotel room service that included candles and prosecco. Sometimes you just need to let your hair down a bit it seems…wouldn’t it be nice if all these things were genuine expenses? Unfortunately they are not.

Also, don’t forget that getting your online tax return in on time is very important, because failure to do so will result in a £100 fine.

However, every year thousands do miss the 31st January deadline and this always results in some unusual excuses from contractors.

Take the one bloke who tried to get out of his £100 fine by telling HMRC that he could not enter the house…because his wife had been seeing aliens. Apparently she thinks he is from another planet, which means he could not log on to the HMRC website in time.

Another excuse for a late tax return? “I spilled coffee on it,” said one contractor. At least they didn’t try the old fashioned “my dog ate it,” although some have tried that in the past.

One man said he had been much too busy to file a tax return…with his one man play which has been touring the country. Has it never occurred to him that he could hire an accountant? I think he should.

Without a doubt, the prize for best (or worst) excuse for a late tax return is quite simply…”my business doesn’t really do anything.” Fair enough if you ask me.

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Digital Entrepreneurs Could Save £400 on Tax


Every year thousands of people try their hand at a bit of digital entrepreneurship. It’s easy enough, all you need is a computer and internet connection.

Take eBay trading as a prime example, where all you to do is sign up for a free account on their site and you are good to get started selling your products for a profit.

This has led to the government introducing a new tax scheme that has been billed as the “eBay tax allowance” or a “tax break for the digital age.” The main idea behind it all is that online entrepreneurs on a low income could save up to £400 a year on tax.

We have the previous chancellor, George Osborne to thank for this one, as it was him that came up with the idea in March 2016. Well, now they are getting ready to implement the idea by putting it into action.

However, not everybody is convinced this is a such a good idea, with some experts arguing that while there are a few digital entrepreneurs on a low income that will benefit, the vast majority will pay more tax as a result.

Not only that, but they also argue that these new tax rules are so complicated that you would need to hire one of the best accountants in the country just to understand them.

This is why many people are expected to get things wrong when filling in their next tax return, which will then result in them either paying more tax or getting fined by HMRC for mistakes.

I thought the main goal was to make the subject of tax in the UK simple and straight forward? That seemed to be the way the government were heading a few years ago with the whole “making tax digital” and “quarterly tax return” plans, but when they were shelved it now appears they are back to making tax a complicated subject once again.

That is why I always advise anyone…it doesn’t matter if you are a digital entrepreneur or contractor…the best thing you can do is to hire an accountant and let them tell you the best way forward.

Even if you are a digital entrepreneur with a low income, hiring an accountant is really a smart move, because no matter how much you make…they will save you money.

Back to this new “tax break for the digital age” and I’m sure the government are going to run with it and see how it all plays out. Maybe it really will work and thousands of online entrepreneurs can save up to £400 a year.

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