How to change accountants

Changing accountants can be a very difficult decision.

Every year make a point of reviewing your relationship with your accountant. Your relationship with your accountant is integral to the success of your business.

Consider the following-

Is your accountant proactive?

You need an accountant that can advise you on the best way to progress your business, increase profits and expand. Are they proactive in ensuring you are paying the right tax and making savings where possible?

Are you being supported to use a cloud accounting platform?

With Making Tax Digital now implemented for VAT registered business and the full roll out on the horizon its vitally important you are using an online platform for your accounts.

Do you feel your accountant is friendly and approachable?

There is nothing worse than calling up your accountant with questions and being made to feel you should already know the answer! Ideally you need an accountant that is happy to answer any questions you may have and reassure you. You also want phone calls returned and emails answered within a sensible time limit!

If you feel you are not getting the service you require then it might be time for a change. You might feel it’s a very daunting but here are some tips to help you transition from one accountant to another without too much pain!

Find a recommended accountant.

The best place to start is among your network of connections and ask for a recommendation. If you don’t have a network, check out the trusted accountants listed at Handpicked Accountants. Or you can use Google to find an accountant in your area. Look for companies with recommendations online or check other social media platforms such as Facebook or LinkedIn and see what testimonials they have.

Arrange a meeting with a prospective new accountant

Before making a final decision arrange a meeting to disusss your accounts. Find out the costs, which online platform they are using and what support they can offer you.

Give notice to you existing accountant

Once you have decided send and email to your existing accountant advising them you are changing and give them the details of your new accountant.

Notify HMRC

You will need to notify HMRC of the change, some accountants will do this for you. Just check.

Register with your new accountant

They will require proof of I.D which is part of the law surrounding money laundering. They will also ask you to sign a form to allow them to deal with HMRC on your behalf. Your new accountant will also write to your existing accountant and ask them for any existing records and information. This is called professional clearance and they will also ask if there is any reason, they should not work with you! Sometimes accountants will charge a small fee for compiling the paperwork. An hour’s rate is reasonable.

If you experience problems

Changing accountants should be seamless. Problems can arise. This can be when fees are not paid which you may be disputing or consider unreasonable. If you cannot resolve this then you can contact the body your accountant is registered with.  Or you contact the fee arbitration officer at the the Institute of Chartered Accountants (ICAEW) who can help you settle a dispute.

If there are believed to be any accounting irregularities, you may also find problems switching accountants. Your existing accountant may discuss this with your new accountants.

There shouldn’t be any issues changing accountants if you are running your business correctly and have complied with all the relevant HMRC tax laws.

Speak to Spicer and Co!

We pride ourselves on ensuring our new clients have a seamless and stress free experience.

Part of our onboarding process is an initial meeting to discuss your requirements. Once you have decided that we are the right accountants for you we can arrange a further meeting if required. Our team will send you all the relevant paperwork and we will send you a welcome pack.

 

Demystifying the Domestic Reverse Charge VAT

Update from HMRC – DATE CHANGED from October 2019 to October 2020

Industry representatives have raised concerns that some businesses in the construction sector are not ready to implement the VAT domestic reverse charge for building and construction on 1 October 2019.

To help these businesses and give them more time to prepare, the introduction of the reverse charge has been delayed for a period of 12 months until 1 October 2020. This will also avoid the changes coinciding with Brexit.

CLICK HERE FOR HMRC BRIEF 


On October 1st 2020 there is a big change being implemented in the way VAT is being collected in the building and construction industry. It is called the Domestic Reverse Charge VAT.

This has been set up to tackle fraud. This will mean that fraudsters will no longer be able to set up a construction business, charge VAT to customer then disappear before paying the VAT to HMRC. This practice is known as missing trader fraud and the change means that the customer receiving the service will have to pay the VAT due to HMRC instead of paying the supplier. It will only apply to individuals or businesses registered for VAT in the UK (although it will not apply to consumers).
This will affect you if you supply or receive specified services that are reported under the Construction Industry Scheme (CIS).

We would like to draw your attention to the details on the HMRC website which states the following –
You need to prepare for the 1 October 2020 introduction date by:
• checking whether the reverse charge affects either your sales, purchases or both
• making sure your accounting systems and software are updated to deal with the reverse charge
• considering whether the change will have an impact on your cashflow
• making sure all your staff who are responsible for VAT accounting are familiar with the reverse charge and how it will operate,

What contractors need to do
If you’re a contractor you’ll also need to review all your contracts with sub-contractors, to decide if the reverse charge will apply to the services you receive under your contracts. You’ll need to notify your suppliers if it will.

What sub-contractors need to do
If you’re a sub-contractor you’ll also need to contact your customers to get confirmation from them if the reverse charge will apply, including confirming if the customer is an end user or intermediary supplier.

The reverse charge does not apply to consumers or final customers of building and construction services. Any consumers or final customers who are registered for VAT and Construction Industry Scheme will need to ensure their suppliers do not apply the reverse charge on services supplied to them.

For reverse charge purposes consumers and final customers are called end users. They are businesses, or groups of businesses, that do not make onward supplies of the building and construction services in question, but they are registered for CIS as mainstream or deemed contractors because they carry out construction operations, or because the value of their purchases of building and construction services exceeds the threshold for CIS.

Services affected by the domestic reverse charge
The reverse charge will affect supplies of building and construction services supplied at the standard or reduced rates that also need to be reported under CIS. These are called specified supplies.
There is an important difference between CIS and the reverse charge where materials are included within a service. The reverse charge applies to the whole service whereas CIS payments to net status sub-contractors are apportioned and no deductions are made on the materials content.
The reverse charge does not apply if the service is zero rated for VAT or if the customer is not registered for VAT in the UK.

It also does not apply to some services.

These are those supplied to end users or intermediaries connected with end users. Find out more found in the End users and intermediary supplier businesses section.
Employment businesses who supply staff and who are responsible for paying the temporary workers they supply, are not subject to the reverse charge. Read the Applying the domestic reverse charge for construction services to certain sectors or types of transactions section for more information.

You will have to apply the reverse charge if you supply any of these services:
• constructing, altering, repairing, extending, demolishing or dismantling buildings or structures (whether permanent or not), including offshore installation services
• constructing, altering, repairing, extending, demolishing of any works forming, or planned to form, part of the land, including (in particular) walls, roadworks, power lines, electronic communications equipment, aircraft runways, railways, inland waterways, docks and harbours
• pipelines, reservoirs, water mains, wells, sewers, industrial plant and installations for purposes of land drainage, coast protection or defence
• installing heating, lighting, air-conditioning, ventilation, power supply, drainage, sanitation, water supply or fire protection systems in any building or structure
• internal cleaning of buildings and structures, so far as carried out in the course of their construction, alteration, repair, extension or restoration
• painting or decorating the inside or the external surfaces of any building or structure
• services which form an integral part of, or are part of the preparation or completion of the services described above – including site clearance, earth-moving, excavation, tunnelling and boring, laying of foundations, erection of scaffolding, site restoration, landscaping and the provision of roadways and other access works

For more detailed information please visit the HMRC website or give us a call to check what you need to do if you are affected by this change. Click here

Please also see our graphic below which explains this in simple terms!

6 Top Tips for Smarter Bookkeeping

To be successful in business its vitally important to have a good accountancy system in place. Knowing your numbers is essential for you to track your progress and to ensure your business is profitable.

Most small business owners hate doing accounts – we know this because they tell us! For many it’s the most boring, mundane job they must do to run their business and consequently many do not have a system for doing their business accountants efficiently and therefore leave doing their tax returns to the last minute. It also means they do not know the trading position, which will reflect in the progression of the business.

If you are a small business owner who finds themselves working late in the day or weekends to keep up with the accounts and do not know at a click of a button your figures in your business then you need to start thinking how you can work smarter with your book keeping.

Keep your business finances separate from personal finances

We all hate paying bank charges but there are ways around this. Sole traders (not a limited company), can sometimes use normal bank account for business, transactions with all the better terms that involves but check your terms & conditions – some banks won’t allow this.

Most banks offer the first 18months- 2 years for new business banking customers. So, you could avoid charges by simply switching banks when the free banking ends. Money supermarket shares some tips here on the best banking deals and tips to save on bank charges,

If you have an FSB membership you can qualify for free business banking with the Co-Op, worth checking as there are a lot of other benefits too.

Keeping your business finances separate is important as it helps you to be clear which expenses relate to what and should you ever get a tax inspection this will make things much easier.

Choose an online accounting cloud software package

Using a cloud-based accounting software package means you have immediate access to your financial data. There is a huge choice of online cloud bookkeeping software packages on the market. Which one you choose will depend on what your business does. We recommend Xero because we think it is user friendly, you can access your accounts anyway and you can sync it with payment portals. Plus, you can quickly get a picture of how your business is performing, payments which are outstanding and your day to day bookkeeping tasks will be reduced dramatically. You can also use this to monitor your orders and customer activity, vital knowledge about your products or services.

HMRC plans to make all business report their tax information digitally, companies who are VAT registered are already using this system. It makes sense to start using an online package now to be ready for this change. Find more about this here.

Get into a bookkeeping routine

Ensure at least once a month you ensure all transactions have been recorded, payment owed to you have been made, you have invoiced your clients, enter your expenses into your accounting system and reconcile your bank statements. If you find you are spending a lot of time doing this, it might be more cost effective to use a bookkeeping service. Discuss this with your accountant who can advise you, many accountants offer this service. Time spent doing your books could be time spent building your business. Outsourcing activities like bookkeeping often makes more sense.

Weekly
  • All invoices are raised
  • All receipts and expenses are up to date
  • Ensure supplies are paid
Monthly
  • Reconcile your bank account
  • If you have staff you will need to run your payroll
  • Chase any unpaid invoices from customers
  • Ensure all receipts and expenses are up to date for the month
Quarterly

You may have a VAT return to submit

Review your business and how it is trading

Apps to support your bookkeeping

Are you always losing receipts? Or do you find the job of entering them online boring and time consuming then there are 2 apps we recommend both are very easy to use. Check out Auto Entry or  Receipt bank

If you use your vehicle for business and find keeping track of your business mileage difficult then try using an app called MileIQ. It will save you a lot of time by logging the trips automatically. You just have to categorize them by swiping left for Personal and right for Business

Cash in no longer King

Try and get all your customer to pay via a digital payment. This makes tracking payments easier and simpler. You do not want to be holding large sums of cash on your premises anyway!  HMRC regularly target cash-based businesses as they know many do not declare their full income or keep good records. If you are a cash-based business keep very clear, detailed records and receipts.

Create a filing system

Have a folder, box file or some means of creating a filing system for paperwork relating to your business finances. Filing monthly receipts, invoices in chronological order for most businesses works best.  Keep your records safe. Sole traders must keep their paperwork for at least 5 years after the 31st January submission deadline of the relevant tax year, as if you do get an inspection HMRC may ask to see it.  Here is a guide from HMRC for sole traders about what records you must keep.

If you are a Director of a limited company, you can be fined £3,000 for not keeping adequate business records and even be disqualified. Records should be kept for at least six years from the end of the last company financial year which they relate to.

In both cases, if paperwork is missing, be sure to inform HMRC that you’re using estimated or provisional rather than actual figures.

Next Steps

Our overall advice is firstly sit down with your accountant, discuss a system which works for you both. Ensure you get into a proper routine and review your business finances on a regular basis. This way any issues or problems can be picked up and quickly corrected.

If you aren’t using an accountant- why not? They are experts in tax and most accountants will pay for themselves in the savings you make on your tax bill. Plus, by using an expert you know you are paying the correct tax! If you want some initial free advice contact us.

 

 

 

Tax Investigation? Don’t Panic!

IMAGE - tax invesitgationThink of it as a ‘compliance check’ – something that all taxpayers may face at some point. Being investigated by HMRC is not an inference that you have done something wrong within your accounts or tax affairs. You may have been randomly selected or work with a person or organisation involved with a tax investigation.

Tax investigations can feel intrusive and unsettling. However common sense, honesty and following these tips can lower the stress and complexity involved…

6 Tax investigation Tips

1. Keep Calm and Quiet

It’s easy to panic when the brown envelope arrives. Remember – if you have not done anything wrong, you should have nothing to worry about. It’s also best to restrict the people you tell to your adviser (such as your accountant) and maybe close family. This avoids the myriad of well-intentioned but often inaccurate advice that will be confusing and distracting.

2.  Be 100% Honest

Always be completely honest and transparent with HMRC. If you’re unsure of the answer to a question, say “I don’t know” rather than guess or tell a half-truth. Thanks to a vast array of systems and information, comprehensive material about you and your business will be accessed as an investigation begins.

3. Take Professional Advice

It’s important to know your rights during a tax investigation. For example, do you know that the HMRC cannot insist that you meet with its representative? (If you go ahead with a meeting, insist upon seeing an agenda in advance.) Appropriate advice from a tax expert will save time and anxiety during the investigation.

4. Keep Accurate Records

Make sure that your accounting information is readily available. (This is made much easier by using online accounting systems such as Xero.) You are obliged to keep financial records for six years from the end of the last financial year (companies) or last tax year (individuals) that they relate to. If there are any gaps, HMRC will use its own calculations. Without accurate records, these figures cannot be disputed.

5. Cooperate

Being obstructive will not help the investigation. It’s best to cooperate and follow the guidance of your advisor, (who will have experience of working with other clients going through tax investigations). If a mistake is spotted, pay any monies owed as soon as possible. This demonstrates complete cooperation and reduces any penalties involved.

6. Learn

If you have done something wrong, even as a genuine mistake, HMRC is likely to revisit your affairs in the future. Make sure that you learn from your mistakes.

IMAGE - hiding from tax investigation“We understand that being involved with a tax investigation can be worrying,” says Suzanne Spicer of Spicer & Co Chartered Accountants. “Discrepancies are not always intentional. Mistakes happen. It’s important to be open and honest with HMRC… and with the professional who is giving you guidance.

“Plus, we offer a Tax Investigation Service for our clients which means that you won’t incur any additional accountancy fees should HMRC investigate you and/or your business. This is available to all our clients and offers fantastic peace of mind.”

Would you like reassurance that you’re ‘squeaky clean’ should a tax investigation take place?

Would you want to avoid additional fees should an investigation happen?

Contact the friendly team at Spicer & Co – we love to talk about tax! We’ll put the kettle on and have a chat without obligation. There’s no need to dread the arrival of a brown envelope from HMRC.

Tax-Free ISA Turn 20

IMAGE: Tax-Free ISA turns 20Happy Birthday ISA!

The tax-saving ISA accounts turn 20 years old this year. The “Individual Savings Account” allows you to hold cash, shares, and unit trusts free of tax on dividends, interest, and capital gains.

Having replaced the Tax-Exempt Special Savings Accounts (TESSAs) and Personal Equity Plans (PEPs), the ISA accounts come in seven varieties:

  • – Basic ISA. This is the most popular type of ISA and is used to shelter cash savings, as well as stock-market investments from both income and capital gains tax.
  • – Junior ISA
  • – Inheritance ISA
  • – Help To Buy ISA
  • – Flexible ISA
  • – Innovative Finance ISA
  • – Lifetime ISA

To celebrate 20 years since the first ISA was introduced, here are seven top tips about the unique savings account:

1.     Use it or Lose it

Each adult can save up £20,000 in an ISA each tax year. But – make sure you use your allowance. If you miss one year, or don’t invest the full £20,000, you can’t save your remaining allowance during a following year. Your allowance is refreshed to a maximum of £20,000 at the start of each tax year, (6 April). (When the ISA was introduced in 1999, the maximum savings limit was £7,000.)

2.     Spreading Your Cash

You can invest in one of each type of ISA during a tax year. For example – you can invest in a Cash ISA and also a Stocks & Shares ISA within the same year, as long as the total you invest doesn’t exceed £20,000. It isn’t possible to invest in more than one Cash ISA during the same year, unless you are transferring funds from an existing ISA.

3.     Here to Stay

Some people query the need for saving in ISAs following the introduction of the Personal Savings Allowance (a threshold amount beneath which interest earned on savings is tax-free). “The need for ISA savings largely depends upon the amount you are saving and/or investing during the tax year,” says Suzanne Spicer, Chartered Accountant at Spicer & Co. “It’s also important to bear in mind that the PSA level is likely to change over time, whereas ISAs are almost certainly going to continue to offer a tax-free wrapper.”

4.     It’s All About The “I”

You can’t have a joint ISA. The ‘I’ in ISA stands for ‘Individual’.

5.     Fickle Savers are Winners

Many ISA providers accept transfers from existing ISA accounts with other banks. This means that you can keep an eye on interest rates and performance, switching to an ISA with better returns. Always check that there are no penalties involved and that you able to transfer existing ISAs into the account you want to open.

6.     Go For It!

According to a survey by Beagle Street, planning for their financial future is the thing most Brits delay (followed closely by exercising, chores and dieting). Common distractions include television, social media and going to make a cup of tea!

7.     Leave or Remain?

You are able to withdraw money from an ISA account, (please check the terms of your specific account as penalties may be payable). However – once the funds have been taken out of the ISA wrapper, they cannot be re-invested within an ISA unless the money forms part of your annual investment allowance.

“An ISA account is usually a good investment for most people,” says Suzanne. “It’s important to keep an eye on interest rates, transferring ISA funds as needed and looking for the best home for your annual allowance.”

Have a chat with the friendly team at Spicer & Co Chartered Accountants. Working across Dunstable, Luton, Leighton Buzzard, Houghton Regis and beyond, we love to maximise your potential and minimise your tax. Let’s talk.

Making Tax Digital: VAT Is Going Live!

From April 2019… next month… VAT is going digital!

IMAGE: Making Tax DigitalThe new rules require every business with a turnover greater than the VAT threshold (currently £85,000 pa) to keep VAT records digitally. Plus, their VAT returns will have to be filed using software or spreadsheets that comply with Making Tax Digital (MTD) requirements. (At Spicer & Co, we recommend using Xero accounting software.)

VAT is the first tax to adopt this new approach to filing returns and keeping records. All other taxes – such as income tax and corporation tax – will eventually be included for businesses and individuals with an annual turnover of at least £10,000.

Businesses with voluntary VAT registration (turnover less than £85,000 pa) may choose whether to continue with HMRC’s current online ‘Gateway’ system or join Making Tax Digital. (Please read our earlier article for full details about Making Tax Digital.)

Are you affected by Making Tax Digital?

If so, you need to use online accountancy software. If you are not already doing this, start investigating the options… now!

“Online accountancy offers great opportunities for businesses, independent of the Making Tax Digital requirement,” explains Suzanne Spicer, Chartered Accountant. “It also gives business owners the advantage of understanding the current business finances, rather than looking at retrospective figures. It saves a huge amount of time too!”

Would you like to know more?

Image: VAT Advice from AccountantSpicer & Co Chartered Accountants work with clients across Luton, Dunstable, Houghton Regis, Leighton Buzzard and beyond. As the number one firm of accountants in Luton and Dunstable using Xero, we are perfectly placed to help you with online accounting as well as Making Tax Digital.

As well as being online accountancy and tax experts, we also appreciate great coffee. If you have any queries about making Tax Digital and how it may affect you, let’s talk. We’ll put the kettle on! No obligation, no jargon, just friendly advice.

Accountancy Networking in Luton

Spicer and Co are delighted to be talking about Making Tax Digital at a free networking event hosted by Metro Bank’s Luton branch on Tuesday 19 February, 6pm – 8pm.

The accountancy practice in Dunstable helps clients in Luton, Houghton Regis, Leighton Buzzard as well as Dunstable, where the team is based. Their proactive, forward-thinking nature is a natural fit with Metro Bank which takes pride in its personal approach to business banking.

“Making Tax Digital begins in April for many businesses. Some owners are not fully aware of the which businesses are affected in April and the opportunities that the change offers,” says Suzanne Spicer, Chartered Accountant, who will be presenting at the event. (Take a look at our Making Tax Digital blog for an overview.)

An important requirement of Making Tax Digital is the submission of figures using online accountancy software.  Spicer & Co is proud to be the number one firm of accountants in Luton and Dunstable using Xero, an online accountancy software system.

“We’ve been using Xero for years, so we appreciate how online accounting helps your business’ accounts to become simpler, faster and more efficient,” says Suzanne. “We are big fans of networking too, so we’re looking forward to the Luton event at Metro Bank.”

As well as hearing about Making Tax Digital, the evening is the perfect opportunity to meet other local businesses plus the management team of Luton’s Metro Bank.

Would you like to come along?

Date: Tuesday 19 February

Time: 6pm – 8pm

Venue: Metro Bank, 10 – 20 Castle Street, Luton, LU1 3AJ

The networking event in Luton is free, however booking is essential.  Please book your place via Eventbrite.

See you there!

Avoid Tax Return Turmoil!

Many of us struggle in January – getting back to ‘normality’ after the festive break, commuting in the dark… the imminent tax return deadline!

31st January is the date that self assessment tax returns must be submitted. The period covered is the year ending 5th April of the previous year. It’s always the same deadline, yet it seems to approach many of our clients faster each year!

Does this feel familiar? Don’t worry – help is at hand!

Good news! If you haven’t already submitted your paperwork to the friendly tax experts at Spicer & Co, you still have a little time… but be quick! “We appreciate that everyone has busy lives,” says Suzanne Spicer. “Ideally, we would like to receive clients’ paperwork during December, however we can accept information up to the second week in January.

“Even better, if we receive information more regularly, we can help with practical tax planning advice before the end of the tax year. Plus, we can chat with you about your business performance and plans, offering proactive advice along the way.”

Submitting Self Assessment Details

At Spicer & Co, we aim to make life as easy as possible for our clients. We provide easy-to-use ways of capturing the details needed for your return. Plus, we suggest ways of keeping your records up-to-date along the way avoiding the last minute rush. Examples include:

  • Use of apps to capture receipts digitally
  • Cloud bookkeeping software
  • Simply dropping in your receipts to us more than once a year and having a catch up and a cup of coffee

“We can help by suggesting efficient ways of collecting the information needed,” explains Suzanne. “However receipts in shoe boxes or even washing powder tubs are common! Once we have the details needed, we minimise your tax liability and ensure that your return is submitted on time.” Phew!

Excuses for Late Tax Return Submission

HMRC will charge you a penalty if your tax return is submitted after 31st January. With each case assessed individually, there are however, some excuses that may be deemed ‘reasonable’ by HMRC. These include:

  • The recent death of a partner
  • An unexpected stay in hospital
  • Computer failures
  • Service issues with the tax authority’s online services
  • A fire which prevented the completion of a tax return or postal delays

Making Self Assessment Straightforward

At Spicer & Co, we aim to lighten the load – by minimising your tax bill and simplifying how you collate the details needed during the year. Even with our careful planning and regular communication, sticky situations sometimes happen… such as when a client lost all their receipts when their van was valeted – and the receipts thrown away!

To find out about our tax services, contact the friendly team at Spicer & Co. Based in Dunstable, we help people and business to minimise their tax across Dunstable, Houghton Regis, Leighton Buzzard and Luton as well as further afield. Find out more over a coffee and without obligation. Let’s have a chat.

Making Tax Digital: The Countdown Begins!

If you need to complete accounts and/or submit tax returns to HMRC, you need to know about Making Tax Digital, which starts next year. It’s the biggest change to tax since the introduction of self assessment in 1996.

Computer Mouse for Online AccountingWhat is Making Tax Digital?

This initiative will require businesses and landlords to use commercial software to maintain their business records and update HMRC quarterly.

What’s involved?

The team at Spicer & Co Chartered Accountants in Dunstable have summarised the key points of Making Tax Digital:

·       Your tax affairs are updated every three months, so no cramming it all in at the end of the year

·       Cloud software records all money in and out of your business bank account

·       You have an idea of your tax bill every quarter

·       Tax planning is easier

·       Compulsory use of technology

·       More reporting deadlines

“Making Tax Digital is good news for businesses overall,” explains Suzanne Spicer of the Chartered Accountancy practice. “It’s a huge change and many people will need to change their systems to meet the reporting requirements. However online accounting systems such as Xero offer big benefits to businesses and the self-employed. As well as easier record keeping and financial planning, digital accounting saves precious time on a day-to-day basis.”

When Will It Start?

Making Tax Digital is just a few months away! 

A phased introduction will start in April 2019. This first phase will involve businesses registered for VAT with a taxable turnover above the VAT registration threshold of £85,000. These businesses will need to keep VAT records digitally and file their VAT returns using compatible software, (this includes Xero and others).

From April 2020 (at the earliest), all other taxes – such as income tax and corporation tax – will be included. This will affect businesses and individuals with an annual turnover of more than £10,000.

How Will Making Tax Digital Work?

Firstly, businesses will be issued with a digital tax account.

Some information will automatically flow into the digital tax account (such as bank interest). Data will need to be checked and then any gaps in income and expenses completed before filing with HMRC.

What Happens Now?

Spicer & Co Chartered Accountants recommend three steps to prepare for Making Tax Digital:

1.     Check when you must start filing quarterly returns (April 2019 or April 2020)

2.     Investigate online accounting software options (if you don’t already use one)

3.     Keep up-to-date by signing up to our newsletter and keeping an eye on our blog. We will guide you through the changes with regular updates, including jargon-free explanations of the details issued by HMRC. Plus – you are welcome to contact us if you have any queries.

“The transition to the Making Tax Digital requirements will be much easier if your records are on a cloud platform accessible to both yourself and your accountant,” explains Suzanne. “Now is the time to make the changes – especially if you are VAT-registered and have a turnover of more than £85,000.”

She adds: “Above all, remember that we’re here to help with understanding how Making Tax Digital will affect your business and answer any queries about cloud-based accounting.”

Would you like to know more about how Making Tax Digital affects you?

Contact the friendly team at Spicer & Co. Our tax experts are always happy to have a chat and a coffee without obligation. Let’s talk.

Get Ahead of Your Tax

Most people have a dislike in common: completing their tax return! Whether you pay corporation tax, income tax or maybe both, you’ll need to complete a tax return. Despite generous timescales, it’s something that most people leave until the last minute.

“As accountants, it’s our job to gather the necessary details from our clients – businesses and individuals – to ensure that tax returns are completed and submitted in good time,” says Suzanne Spicer of Spicer & Co Chartered Accountants based in Dunstable.

“Our role is to minimise the amount of tax that becomes due and take away the headache of completing your tax return,” she adds. “Yes, we can complete tax returns just before the deadlines – late January is always very busy! But – receiving details in good time gives us greater opportunities to plan and track down all the information needed. In fact, the earlier we receive your details, the better!”

6 Reasons to Complete Your Tax Return Early
1. You know what you owe. Filing your tax return early gives you longer to budget and ensures that you know the exact amount of tax due.

2. Get your refund! You may be entitled to a repayment – it’s better in your account than HMRC’s!

3. Avoid panic and penalties. If you are employed, your P60 is available now. If you have benefits, you should receive your P11D by 6 July. Somehow, information is always easier to find when time is on your side! Avoid frantic searches for key details in December, or even worse – penalties for late tax return submission as you simply can’t find the information needed.

4. Tax planning for future years is more effective when some time can be dedicated to it. At Spicer & Co, we make a point of understanding your goals for your business and/or your personal finances. Earlier conversations give us a better opportunity for tax planning to meet your aims.

5. Avoid the unknown! Whether it’s extreme weather, illness or your hungry hound… unexpected events can result in late submissions and a financial penalty. The amount involved is a minimum of £100.

6. Tick that task! It’s often a relief to finish uninviting jobs. Crossing off your tax return from your ‘to do’ list allows you to concentrate on what you enjoy – from running your business to a well-earned holiday!

To find out about our tax services, contact the friendly team at Spicer & Co. Why not pop in for a coffee, without obligation? Let’s have a chat.