Tag Archive | "tax return"

700,000 Missed Tax Return Deadline

Here at Contractor Accountants we have talked about the tax return deadline a lot. “Get your tax return in by 31st January,” we said.

Despite our constant nagging, it seems there are many of you out there who are not listening.

You see…the 31st January has now passed, and according to HMRC there were 700,000 who didn’t get their tax return in on time.

I’m sure many of those 700,000 are contactors, and I’m even more sure that many of those contractors read our blog on our weekly basis.

If you are one of the 700,000 then what gives, man? You’ve read our blog post on “ridiculous tax return excuses” and you’ve heard us warn you about the “£100 fine” for a late tax return.

Maybe you just can’t be bothered to do it yourself? That’s cool, dude. We get it. And that is why we recommend you hire a contractor accountant to do it all for you.

The bad news is there is nothing you can do about the £100 now. That ship has sailed and there is no getting onboard. You will just have to grin and bear it and write out a cheque.

The good news is that you can still hire a contractor accountant to do your tax return. Even though you are nearly 1 week late there are our trusty contractor accountants waiting on standby to start doing your books and filling in those forms.

Sure, some of our trusted and recommended accountants are off on their holidays and sunning themselves in the Bahamas Their busy season is now officially over and they are drinking pina coladas as we speak.

On the other hand, some accountants have stopped behind in the UK to deal with the “late filers.” They have their suitcase packed, you can bet on that…but they are not taking off just yet, which means you have a short window of opportunity to get your tax return sorted out once and for all.

Hurry though, because once all of the contractor accountants are sitting on the beach then you won’t be able to find one for love or money.

It isn’t all doom and gloom though. Despite 700,000 of you missing the deadline, according to HMRC there was 93% of tax payers who DID get their tax return in on time.

A spokesperson for HMRC said this was their best result ever, and in their opinion, it had a lot to do with 2 quacking ducks.

Apparently their advertising featured 2 ducks quacking “tax.”

“Genius,” is all we can say here at Contractor Accountants.

Maybe next year they could hire Donald Duck?

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Bizarre Late Tax Return Excuses (2019 Edition)

It’s that time of the year again. A time for sending in your tax return by the 31st January..or making up an excuse why you can’t.

Here at Contractor Accountants it has become a yearly ritual to list the best (or worst) excuses for missing the tax return deadline.

Some of these reasons are just downright bizarre if you ask us, but that didn’t stop people from trying it on with HMRC.

Coming in at number 1 (in our opinion) is the guy who was “too short to reach the post box.”

This means he couldn’t post his tax return, which in turn means he missed the deadline. I guess finding someone taller to post it for him was just a step too far?

He should have hired a contractor accountant to get the job done. Research shows that not only are they the best (when it comes to doing tax returns) but they are also above average in height (over 6 ft).

Another self employed person who failed to get their tax return in on time decided to blame the maid(s).

Apparently, the first maid left, and then the second maid stole goods from the house, while the third maid was very slow to learn.

Needless to say this guy was stressed about the situation and didn’t have time to bother about a tax return.

Moral of the story: Pay your maid well and everything will be ok.

How about some other bizarre excuses? Well, there was one woman who couldn’t find her tax return form because she couldn’t find her glasses. It really does make you wonder how she can even find her way down stairs in the morning.

Another guy had the unfortunate luck of no heating in his home due to a broken boiler. Guess what? His house became so cold his fingers were too cold to type, so no tax return was filled in.

What he should have done is hired a contractor accountant to do the tax return for him. The last time I checked, all of our recommended contractor accountants have the heating up full blast at this time of the year, which means warm hands around the clock.

Those warm hands are also “expert hands” who have years of experience of getting your tax return in on time. You don’t have to do anything, just leave it to a contractor accountant.

As you might have guessed by now…all of these excuses were firmly rejected by HMRC, which means all of the above contractors, freelancers and self employed people were hit with a fine for submitting their tax return late.

A fine of £100 to be exact, and if you still don’t send it in? Then expect more fines until you do.

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“DO IT NOW!” – Tax Return Warning

If you want to abide by the law and not get in trouble, then listen up, because what I’m about to say is very important.

As you may or may not be aware, it is the time of the year for doing tax returns, with the 31st of January being the deadline to get it in.

Now I know what you are probably thinking – “The 31st of January is 21 days away. I’ve got more than enough time to get this done.”

Perhaps, but if you want my advice…”DO IT NOW!”

Just like that homework you used to put off years ago. You waited and waited and waited…and then waited some more. And then, on the morning it was due you still had not done it.

Back then the teacher might have given you a firm caning for forgetting your homework.

However, while the HMRC are not quite as sadistic, they still punish you for forgetting your “homework” and missing the tax return deadline.

You can expect an immediate fine of £100 for being forgetful, followed by even more charges up to a maximum of £900 over the next few months.

Not only that, but HMRC also have the power to slap you with even more fines if they see fit. You could end up paying way more than you should, which is why you should take action now.

The best way to fill in your tax return is on the HMRC official website. You do everything online and send it off straight away. There is nothing complicated.

Or if you don’t have the time or you just can’t be bothered, then you should hire a contractor accountant.

The best contractor accountants can do your tax return for you and make sure it is sent in on time. No problem at all.

With that being said, the best contractor accountants are very much in demand at this time of the year. Many of them work around the clock to make sure their clients are looked after and their tax returns are completed, but there are still only so many hours in the day.

If you look to the right of the page then you will see our recommended contractor accountants. The best of the best.

All of these contractor accountants can do your tax return, but they only have limited spaces remaining.

So take our advice and “DO IT NOW!” and hire a contractor accountant today.

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Tax Bill Payment…DECLINED!

Its that time of year again. The end of the year. A time for giving, sharing, and paying…the HMRC what you owe.

The HMRC don’t care if you have “spent up” on Christmas presents and Santa Costumes. They want paying, and they want paying very soon.

Bizarrely, they recently sent out a letter to the UK 5 million self employed and gave everyone some outdated information about how to pay their tax bill.

One of the options to pay is by Credit Card, they said.

We say…WRONG!

Another option is to pay at the Post Office, over the counter, they said.

We say…WRONG!

This information is just wrong, wrong, wrong. It couldn’t get anymore wrong. Although its you, the innocent contractor, freelancer, gig worker or self employed business person who is going to suffer.

For example, if you leave your tax bill payment to the last minute and then to decide to whip out your credit card. Guess what? You will be met with a DECLINED alarm.

Another example: You go for a walk down to your local post office with a carrier bag of cash and try to pay your tax bill over the counter. Guess what? The post office manager is going to laugh in your face and then laugh you out of the door.

“I will just take a first class stamp then,” you will say…followed by “HOW MUCH?”

Back to tax bill payment options and using your credit card was was withdrawn by HMRC in January of 2018, while taking away the Post Office as an option was removed in December of 2017.

So why are HMRC still sending out the wrong information? According to them, they are in the middle of changing print suppliers and wanted to save costs. However, this has led to a right old mix up which could leave thousands of contractors with a late payment fee.

My advice on this saga? Don’t deal with HMRC directly and never attempt to pay your tax bill on your own.

Instead, you should hire a contractor accountant to do it all for you. All you have to do is pay them a small fee every month and you never even see your tax return or tax bill.

These expert contractor accountants know that credit cards and post office branches are out. You won’t ever get caught with your pants down while a contractor accountant is behind you.

While the HMRC have been sending out the wrong information, it must be noted they are now attempting to rectify the situation by sending out additional leaflets with the CORRECT information.

Then, once they have changed print suppliers we should never see this mistake again.

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You Kante Be Serious?

Tax is a subject we talk a lot about on this blog. Tax, tax, tax…and more tax…we just can’t shut up about it.

You will have heard us talk about big companies such as Amazon and Apple, who pay virtually NO tax here on British shores.

You will have also heard us talk about big name football stars such as Ronaldo and Messi who tried to get away from their tax duties by setting up offshore accounts.

That’s why it comes as a surprise when we have just heard about Premiership football star N’Golo Kante. The famous Chelsea player who has just signed a new £290,000 a week deal with the Blues.

Not bad money if you can get it…but get this…Kante has made it clear that he will pay HMRC every single penny they are owed.

In other words, he won’t be trying to send his money away in some kind of offshore bank account and he won’t get involved in some kind of dodgy film finance scheme (Sorry Rooney).

Now, Kante will pocket a cool 15 million from his new deal with Chelsea, which means the tax man or woman will come knocking for around £6.7 million in tax.

Here is the interesting part. This means our man Kante will pay MORE tax than Amazon.

That’s right. You heard it here first.

Last year Amazon only paid £1.7 million pounds to HMRC, despite the fact they rake in billions all around this country of ours.

Many pundits have hit out at the online shopping giant, but so far, nothing has been done to find out exactly why their contribution to HMRC is so low.

On the other hand, N’Golo Kante is only making 15 million, but he has no problems paying his due and writing out a cheque payable to “HMRC.”

“6.7 million pounds only” – he will write on that cheque, and then, with a first class stamp on the front of the envelope he will pop it in the postbox at the top of his street.

“Back of the net!” he may even say, as he pops it in.

But is Kante going to be scoring an own goal? In the opinion of us here at Contractor Accountants…maybe.

Why? Because although his intention is no doubt a noble one, we think he should at least try to save a bit of that £6.7 million tax bill.

Not much, just a bit.

The good news is that Kante doesn’t have to do anything dodgy. Everything will be completely above board.

All he has to do is hire a contractor accountant. They might be able to bring his tax bill down to £4.7 million at a guess. A saving of 2 million pounds…at a guess.

Everything legal. Everything down the straight and narrow.

Kante still gets to do the right thing and pay into the system, but at the same time he saves a bit of money. For that…we would salute him.

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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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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 Have a Tax Refund…NOT!

Plenty of contractors got their tax returns in by the 31st January deadline and paid with their credit card…some even got tax refunds, so they thought.

Emails have landed in thousands of inboxes over the last few weeks all claiming to be from HMRC and with the headline..”You Have a Tax Refund.”

This no doubt was a nice surprise for all of those hard working contractors out there, who would obviously like to receive a cheque in the post.

Unfortunately, these emails are not legit, and in fact, if you click on the link and then go to the website then you are asked to put in your personal details such as bank details and credit card information.

This isn’t the real HMRC website though, oh no, it is a fake website setup by those crafty criminals that operate in cyber space.

Not only that, but they have also started to send out texts as well as emails, all claiming to be from “HMRC.” It’s easy to see why so many contractors fall for these scams. They look so legitimate.

One contractor who wishes to remain nameless said that he got an email from “HMRC” promising him a tax refund. All he had to do was click on the link…but this particular contractor was having none of it.

Instead, he contacted HMRC directly through one of their direct communication channels and was met with the response he anticipated. The response? That HMRC will never, under any circumstances send out an email or text telling people they are due a tax refund.

Official correspondence usually comes through your own personal account on the HMRC website, or they may even send you a letter. That is how they do things.

Also, a spokesperson for HMRC did mention that anybody who has been scammed by this cyber criminals, well, if you let them know then they will do everything in their power to investigate the issue and try to bring these online thieves to justice.

I’ve heard the government and Police force are working very closely together on this, and in the future we should start to hear about arrests being made.

For now though, the best piece of advice I can give to any contractor to avoid becoming the next victim is to hire an accountant.

Not just any accountant…a contractor accountant, someone who specialises in controlling the tax affairs of our nations self employed freelance and contracting professionals.

You don’t even need to bother about clicking on emails from “HMRC,” all you need to do is send everything to your accountant to sort out.

If you get a tax refund then great. Your contractor accountant will arrange it with HMRC and make sure you get the cheque you owed, directly in the mail to your mail box.

Don’t delay…hire a contractor accountant today.

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Owed £400? Some Contractors Are…

Getting in your tax return by January 31st is essential, unless you want a £100 fine…but, some contractors may actually be owed £400…

That is because recent statistics show us that during the 2017-18 tax year, there is an estimated 4.7 million self employed Brits who have overpaid on tax.

Yes you read that right. Not content with giving up between 20% and 50% of their income, there are contractors out there who want to pay even more…more than they should.

Of course, they are not doing this on purpose. There are no prizes for overpaying on tax and it won’t get you into the good books of HMRC, so to speak.

The only thing that happens is you get a refund, with a short note to get your books in order and “stop sending us too much money,” no doubt.

After looking through the numbers of the amount of tax that has been overpaid by the self employed workers of our nation, experts have estimated that, on average, every person who overpaid is due around £400.

That is going to be a nice surprise to find in your morning mail. Instead of bills, bills, and more bills…it’s going to be a cheque for a change. Pay that directly into your bank account.

While there are nearly 5 million who have overpaid, there are some that have done the exact opposite…underpaid!

Guess what? These people who have deliberately or not deliberately tried to short change the HMRC are now going to be punished, to the tune of £800 million pounds sterling.

So that is quite a bit that each and every self employed person is going to pay and this includes contractors don’t forget. The HMRC accept debit card, cheque and postal order, although your credit card may be declined.

No matter if you are in the “overpaid” or “underpaid” camp, if you ask me, the number priority for you right now is to hire a contractor accountant.

This saves you from making mistakes that could get you in trouble with HMRC, and if your accountant does make a mistake, well, you can just blame them. After all, if would be their fault.

However, you don’t have to worry about your accountant making mistakes, not if you choose one of the best contractor accountants in the UK.

If you browse around this site then you will find plenty of the best, and none of the worst. It’s win-win all round really.

Even better, if you are one of the lucky contractors who is soon going to be getting a cheque for £400 in the post, then perhaps you could use that cash to hire an accountant. They soon start paying for themselves.

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HOW LONG? 26 Million Hours…That is How Long

With the tax return deadline just around the corner there is one thing we know for sure…contractors are going to be spending time “self assessing.”

How long exactly? According to a recent survey it is going to be a collective 26 million hours that contractors and the self employed in general are going to put in over the tax return season. No matter if they are filling in those returns online or offline, it definitely is a lot of time that is being spent.

The survey went on to find that 47% of contractors who have previously filled in a tax return, well, they take, on average, between 1 and 3 hours to get the form filled in and then sent off to HMRC.

A simple click of the button if they are doing it online, or, placing the form carefully into an envelope and then slapping a stamp on before putting going to the postbox if doing it the traditional way. A postie in shorts will pick it up shortly.

How about this…the survey went on to find that 29% of self employed people (which includes contractors and freelancers) have got the process of tax form “filling in” down to a smooth 1 hour or less. They don’t mess about, and are usually done in time for lunch.

However, when you consider that mistakes are becoming more common on tax returns, to the point where HMRC are regularly handing out fines and other punishments, then maybe some of these people should spend a bit longer than 1 hour making sure they do it right.

Not everyone finds filling in tax forms a piece of cake though, with 20% mentioning it takes them more than 3 hours to get it all done and a staggering 4% who say it takes them more than 15 hours.

Yes you read that right…15 hours! Some people could really do with a contractor accountant if you ask me.

Of course, keeping your books in order and storing away all of the receipts and invoices will go a long way to making sure the season of tax returns is a happy time, but, and this is a big but…if you have a professional such as a contractor accountant in your corner then they can save you a whole lot of hassle.

Not only that, but many contractors mention how their accountants also save them money…often paying for themselves, no doubt.

Back to the survey and 34% said they have trouble understanding the complicated forms provided by HMRC, while 10% complained they have to spend too much time looking up definitions of words in the paperwork.

Perhaps a new and improved form could be a good idea, one that is written in plain English and easy to understand? Maybe.

What I do know is that you will find it very simple to hire a contractor accountant right here at this site. Take a look around and see who we recommend. Only the best, that is for sure.

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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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CHAOS EXPECTED Over New Tax Form “Error”

HMRC have come up with a new system where tax forms are already pre-filled with your data, in a bid to make the process of self assessment more simple.

It sounds like a good idea if you ask me, because as all of you contractors, freelancers, gig workers, and business owners will be all too aware, spending hours filling out tax forms is a major hassle.

However, some experts are predicting that around 10% to 20% of these pre filled forms will actually contain errors, which means innocent self employed people around the country are going to be paying too much tax.

Yet again, it is the hard working people of the UK who get taken for a ride, while the super rich billionaire playboys relax in their luxury yachts around Monte Carlo and have never even seen a tax return form. Allegedly anyway.

Many pundits are predicting this “simple assessment” that isn’t so simple will cause chaos around the country, especially when you consider that any error on the form only has 60 days to be challenged and corrected.

A lot of our nations self employed don’t have the time to be going over every sentence on their pre-filled tax return and then having to check it against their books. There are only so many hours in the week, and most of them are spent doing the things that make you money.

For this reason, I would advise every contractor, freelancer, gig worker and business owner to hire an accountant immediately. Let them take care of that side of your business so you can do what you do best.

Any decent accountant will be well versed in the art of finding mistakes on self assessment tax forms, and once found, they can challenge the mistake and get it corrected…all without you having to lift a finger. That’s what you pay them for.

Not sure where to find a good accountant? How about right here at Contractor Accountants, where you can find the details of professionals who specialise in saving you the most amount of money, legally of course, while at the same time making sure you don’t get into trouble with HMRC.

It doesn’t matter how much you are making either. Some contractors and freelancers think that just because they only bring home £30,000 a year they don’t really need an accountant and would be better off doing the books themselves.

Unfortunately, it isn’t as simple as that, and the truth of the matter is that thousands of self employed people are paying more tax than they should.

Add to the mix this new pre-filled self assessment form madness, and that is going to be thousands more that have to pay out extra tax.

Do yourself a favour and just hire an accountant. They pay for themselves anyway, so what are you waiting for? You are in the right place to get started.

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Nearly 2 Million Pensioners Forced to Fill In Tax Returns

You would think that pensioners could have the luxury of putting their feet up and relaxing once retired. It doesn’t appear to happen that way though.

A recent story by a national newspaper said that 1.7 million pensioners are being forced to fill in a self assessment tax form every year, despite the fact that many of them have not been working for years.

This is highlighted by the fact that 275,000 are over the age of 80, and for some, it’s been nearly 20 years since they last clocked in or ran their own business. Say the words “gig economy” to your average 80 year old and they probably won’t know what you are talking about. .

There are many campaigners out there who claim it is pure “madness” that these pensioners are still having to send off their tax return in the post. For some retirees, it takes hours to get it all right, and some make mistakes that results in fines and penalties.

Take the story of Anne Funnell, aged 83, as an example. She has been doing self assessment for years even though she hasn’t actually worked for an employer in a long time. Unfortunately, it seems she ticked the wrong box on a recent tax return form, which resulted in HMRC sending her a letter which demanded payment.

£5,541 to be exact, which HMRC say is for unpaid National Insurance contributions from between the years of 1978 and 1994.

According to Anne, the letter she received got straight to the point and was not exactly friendly in tone, with demands for “immediate payment” and talk of losing her state pension and benefits if she didn’t send in a cheque.

It was also mentioned that a debt collection agency would be called in if the matter was not resolved.

Who knows exactly what has gone on here, but it does highlight the fact that everybody should hire an accountant to do their tax return and get everything right, even if you are 83 years of age.

All of the 1.7 million pensioners should contact an accountant immediately if you ask me, because the last thing you want is a bill for £5,541 arriving in the post.

A good accountant would make sure the “wrong box” was not accidentally ticked and that the confusing self assessment forms were filled in correctly and on time.

Steve Webb, who is the former pensions minister agrees, and has recently gone on record to question whether or not pensioners should even be taking on the often complicated task of filling in a tax return.

“In very many cases we are talking about very small amounts of money,” he commented, “you are putting people later in life through huge amounts of hassle and stress.”

I don’t think anything is going to change soon though, and this means that nearly 2 million pensioners will have to keep filling in those tax returns.

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Contractors Spend 19 Million Hours on Their Finances

When it comes to balancing the books as a contractor you would think the logical thing to do is hire an accountant. Apparently not.

A new survey just published shows us that contractors and the self employed in general are wasting an estimated 19 million hours every month on doing their own finances. That’s roughly 2.5 million working days that are lost, which isn’t exactly ideal if you think about it.

Contractors in the UK struggle with tasks such as keeping accurate finance records, managing cash flow and completing their annual tax return for HMRC, although a third of those surveyed said they were stressed out because of it.

Not only that, but nearly half admitted they didn’t really have any confidence in their own abilities to manage the finances, so it makes you wonder why they are doing it? Perhaps they just haven’t found the right accountant yet.

15% of people in the survey commented that managing their finances was the least enjoyable part of their business, while 43% said they were frustrated and 54% admitted to regularly making mistakes.

Surprisingly, 25% mentioned they often ask family and friends for help with things like balancing the books and filling in tax returns, but in my opinion, they should just spend a bit of money and hire a contractor accountant instead. No need to bother your family and friends if you ask me.

It’s not all doom and gloom though as 34% said they are in control of their finances (probably because they’ve got a decent accountant) and 42% even went on to say they “rated themselves highly” and were “confident” about their abilities.

What I always tell contractors and anybody that is self employed…if you find it even slightly difficult to do your own books and get everything right, then start looking for an accountant right away.

Yes they do cost a bit, but the right one will actually save you money. Also, it leaves you to do what you are best at, which is running your business and becoming more profitable.

At one point it did appear the government were going to make things easier for contractors and the self employed with the whole “making tax digital”, but it now seems that has been forgotten about.

Who knows if it will come back into favour at some point, and even be introduced to the self employed? For now the best advice I can give you is to hire a contractor accountant and let them handle everything for you.

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