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What do I call myself?

What do I call myself? Without a doubt the question I'm asked most frequently when I start to act for someone new to the adult entertainment industry is "How do I describe my business to HMRC?". And I fully understand why. How many people trust the Government nowadays? What is to stop HMRC disclosing your occupation to a future employer or building society when you're applying for a mortgage at some stage in the future? The second question is easier to answer than the first! I am ...

November 22, 2016

Mortgage applications - proving your earnings.

Years ago it was really easy to apply for a mortgage if you were self employed or you owned your own company, the mortgage lender, usually a building society, wrote to your accountant and asked for details of your income. Over the last few years more and more lenders have relied on the form SA 302 which can be printed off the the HMRC website giving details of your income. Which is all well and good if you have submitted your own tax return. If, however, your accountants have submitted your ta...

October 30, 2016

If you’re in the adult entertainment industry this is why you need a chartered accountant who specialises in your industry.

First you need a chartered accountant because any Tom, Dick or Harry can call themselves an accountant. Interestingly there are more Dicks than Toms or Harrys who do this! Believe me, I've met them and the mistakes they've made. Only someone who is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants is allowed to call him or herself a chartered accountant. Behind the title you know that a chartered accountant has spent many hours studying to pass exams to ensure he or she gives you the correct ...

September 22, 2016

Next Sunday's tax bill

Next Sunday, July 31, the second payment on account of 2015/16 tax is due. Unless you have already submitted your 2016 tax return (full marks if you have) then the payment will be based on your 2015 tax bill. If your 2016 tax bill will be less than your 2015 bill you'll end up paying more tax than you need. To avoid this you can either submit your return so that HMRC will correct the amount due or you can ask for the payment on account to be reduced. ...

July 22, 2016

HMRC hit nightclub dancer with a £57,000 bill

HMRC were unimpressed with Funda Catal's arguments that she didn't realise that non-British citizens had to pay tax and charged her £45,000 in tax, £8,000 in penalties and £4,000 in interest....

June 16, 2016

Don't be afraid to change your accountant

Yesterday I was approached by a businesswoman whose accountant hasn't really cared about looking after her tax affairs for the last five years. Despite this she was worried about changing because of "the consequences" - "Would he initiate an HMRC inquiry into her tax affairs?" My advice was to move as soon as possible because things wouldn't get any better and it was highly unlikely that he would do anything with HMRC which may come back on him. I'm very pleased she took my advice. Now I can ...

June 9, 2016

HMRC are taking an unhealthy interest in the adult entertainment industry.

HMRC taskforces have recovered more than £540m since they were introduced in 2011. And they're getting better at what they do. About £250m was raised in 2015/16, almost double the previous year's yield (£138.1m). HMRC has targeted sectors including retail, the tobacco industry and adult entertainment. They've actually targeted more than 140 different sectors but have only mentioned these three in their press release. Which may mean they are going to focus even more on these areas. After all,...

June 2, 2016

Budget 2016: changes to registration and deregistration limits

With effect from 1 April 2016 the VAT registration threshold has increased from £82,000 to £83,000. Businesses will be expected to account for VAT once the value of taxable supplies in a 12 month period exceeds this figure. Businesses may still register for VAT voluntarily even if their value of taxable supplies is below the threshold. A VAT registered businesses may deregister if the value of its taxable supplies in the previous 12 months is below £81,000....

March 22, 2016

George (Gideon) Osborne twists the knife he's used to stab small businesses

Less than two months ago I wrote about 2016 being the perfect storm for small businesses never realising that Osborne would make matters worse by adding yet more work to his never ending list of changes forced upon small and microbusinesses. This week HMRC have announced that every business will be expected to keep its accounts in a digital form and spreadsheets will not be acceptable! Further details will be published after the Budget but I'm willing to guess that the starting date for this ...

March 14, 2016

Can I claim tax relief on coffees, lunches and meals?

As always there's never a simple answer to a question if it involves tax. Fortunately, a fellow chartered accountant, Emily Coltman, who is the Chief Accountant at FreeAgent, has produced a rather clever infographic which will help you answer the question....

March 10, 2016

Pay yourself a dividend and keep some of your money away from George Osborne

Shareholders have a one-off opportunity to save tax but they only have until 5 April 2016 to do so. George Osborne's attack on the small business sector has given shareholders a chance to withdraw money from their company by paying themselves dividends and avoiding the extra 7.5% tax which will be payable from 6 April 2016 onwards. Scott-Moncrieff, a firm of accountants in Edinburgh, have discovered that more than a quarter (28%) of SME owners across the UK are planning to pay themselves a sp...

February 22, 2016

UK productivity at its worst compared with rivals

Today's Times reveals what is at the heart of the problems facing UK businesses The UK's level of productivity has fallen further behind other leading western economies than at any other time since comparable records began in 1991. The output per hour worked in the UK was 18 percentage points below the average of the other six members of the G7 group of industrial nations in 2014, according to the Office for National Statistics. Germany was 36 percentage points higher, which was the widest ...

February 19, 2016

Osborne's new tax on dividends - another kick in the teeth for business

Following on from my blog post 2016 - the perfect storm for small business, I thought this was a good time to mention Osborne's dividend tax. The new rules don't start until 6 April 2016 but there may be tax saving opportunities during the next few weeks so it's important to understand the rules sooner rather than later. In very simple terms, the first £5,000 of dividend income in each tax year will be tax-free. Sums above that will be taxed at 7.5 per cent for basic-rate taxpayers, 32.5 per...

February 18, 2016

If you missed the tax return deadline don't think HMRC will ignore you

I was just about to delete the link to the Days to 31 January timer on my website because it now shows days since 31 January rather than days to 31 January when I realised it may be of use to the 870,000 taxpayers who didn't submit their tax returns on time....

February 3, 2016

Paying your tax late can prove very expensive

Most taxpayers are aware that if they are late paying their tax HMRC will charge them interest from the due date. What may come as a shock is that HMRC will charge penalties based on the unpaid tax if certain payment deadlines are missed. Next Sunday, 31st January, the balance of the 2014/15 Self Assessment will become due for payment (as well as the first Payment on Account of the current year's liability). If the 2014/15 balance is still unpaid 30 days from 31st January HMRC will charge a pe...

January 26, 2016

Intimate waxing and HMRC

HMRC have just announced that number three of their top five most outrageous tax return expense claims is "the cost of my intimate waxing". I have to disagree. It can often be an allowable expense qualifying for full tax relief. I regularly submit claims for workers in the adult entertainment industry and have even managed to claim for the cost of a female impersonator having his chest waxed on a monthly basis. ...

January 25, 2016

2016 - the perfect storm for small businesses

I used to think that small businesses fared better under Conservative governments. 2016 is the year which has changed my mind. Small and microbusinesses are facing the introduction of the National Living Wage on 1 April 2016, extra tax on dividends from 6 April 2016 and the start of added duties under the new pension regime. If you operate as a limited company and employ staff you'll be facing extra costs both in time and money. Make sure you start to take action sooner rather than later to ma...

January 20, 2016

How do I pay my tax?

At this time of year I'm asked this question more than any other "How do I pay my tax?" The first thing to remember is that paying HMRC is no different to paying anyone else. You pay from your online bank account not the HMRC website. Secondly, you'll need a reference number which is your 10-digit Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) followed by the letter 'K'. ...

January 14, 2016

George Osborne's Brave New World - II (How to cope with quarterly accounts)

Cumbria's floods have stopped me keeping up to date with my posts about George Osborne's Brave New World of quarterly digital accounts. This week's publication of HMRC's document Making tax digital which outlines how their proposals will transform the tax system, so that it is more effective, more efficient and easier for taxpayers (their words not mine) has prompted me to start again. ...

December 16, 2015

HMRC is helping flood affected businesses

HMRC is offering support for anyone affected by the recent severe weather and floods, including a special telephone helpline. The helpline will enable anyone affected to get practical help and advice on a wide range of tax problems they may be facing. HMRC will also: agree instalment arrangements where taxpayers are unable to pay as a result of the floods agree a practical approach when individuals and businesses have lost vital records to the floods suspend debt collection proceedings ...

December 10, 2015

Storm Desmond - we weren't as lucky this time

I have never seen rain like it and unfortunately we weren't so lucky this time. Last night the River Kent burst its banks which meant our office was about 50 cms. deep in flood water. Fortunately we can all move upstairs and resume work as normal first thing tomorrow morning. Our phones aren't working (yet) so if you want us phone me on my mobile 07866 800721....

December 6, 2015

HMRC target the adult entertainment industry

HMRC are cracking down on tax-dodging adult club owners and adult entertainers in a new campaign. I'm fairly certain they were encouraged by their success in catching Janine Adeleke who hid the £650,000 income she earned from her London-based escort agency so that she could avoid paying tax and claim state benefits HMRC are becoming more and more sophisticated in finding information on the internet and checking back to their own records. I'm quite sure that over the next few months they'll b...

December 4, 2015

Do my online views influence you and your business?

If so, would you please nominate me for the #ICAEWROAR by clicking here? My Twitter handle is @StuartJones The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales has set up an online challenge called #ICAEWROAR to discover the top online influencers in the UK accountancy world. P.S. It might not compare to the X Factor but it's the only popularity competition for accountants! ...

December 3, 2015

Tax and sin - what next?

Last weekend the Financial Times published a graph showing how tax receipts had grown over the last 15 years from so called sin duties (tax on wine, spirits, cider, beer, gambling and tobacco)....

December 2, 2015

George Osborne's Brave New World

Last week's post, George Osborne hits the self employed, has convinced me that small businesses will have to cope with major changes over the next few years as to the way they deal with their bookkeeping. Gone will be the days of dumping their "books" on their accountant once a year so that the accountant can complete their tax return and work out their tax bill. Accountants will need the figures quarterly and in the vast majority of cases the quality of the record keeping will have to improv...

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