Claim a grant through the coronavirus (COVID-19) Self-employment Income Support Scheme

March 27th, 2020  |  Published in Uncategorized

Use this scheme if you’re self-employed or a member of a partnership and have lost income due to coronavirus.

UPDATE 9 April


Whatever happens, HMRC will NOT be contacting you via text or email. This is a golden opportunity for the type of scammer who appears every year claiming to be HMRC trying to give you a refund. Really, they are after your bank details, so they can empty your account. HMRC will work out what you are entitled to, and write to you. If you aren’t sure, get in touch with me before replying.

‘HMRC’ bogus calls and email scams. Again.

February 6th, 2020  |  Published in Uncategorized

Ive posted about this before, but having just paid your tax, you’d love a refund, right? Or not having paid your tax you’re worried that HMRC will be on your case any day now.

So far this week I’ve had calls from two worried clients that HMRC has emailed to repay them some random and unexpected amount, but are asking for their card details to facilitate the repayment. One I had forwarded to me tells you to make sure you have your bank card ready when you click on the link or call the number.

If it sounds too good to be true, then, yes it is, these are scammers, probably overseas, with convincing(ish) ‘HMRC’ web addresses – once they have your card details they will be off to spend your money or empty your bank account ASAP. DON’T reply or open any links on the email.

One I’m getting myself is a robotic voice on the landline, telling me the HMRC have a warrant out for my arrest, and I should press 1 to talk to my case officer. No doubt he has a script to help him get my card details so I can pay some notional amount to clear my account.

If you get this just hang up, these people really are the scum of the earth. If there really is any surplus or shortfall on your account, be sure that the real HMRC will WRITE to you about it. In reality I find it almost impossible to engage with the real HMRC by email at all, they’re just not that modern.

Pay CGT on property in 30 days

September 23rd, 2019  |  Published in Uncategorized

From 6 April 2020, Capital Gains Tax due on the disposal of residential properties will be payable within 30 days of the completion date.

Normally you would tell me after the end of a tax year, when doing your self assessment, but from next April you must tell me asap, so we can report the sale and pay the tax within 30 days, or else there will be a penalty.

Originally for non residents only, this change was due to start in April 2019, but has been deferred for another year. We don’t have to report if the gain on your property is less than the annual limit, but don’t just assume it doesn’t apply to you, get in touch if you sell a property or other chargeable asset.

VAT: Reverse charge for builders delayed until 2020

September 11th, 2019  |  Published in Uncategorized

In a move hailed as a ‘victory for common sense’, the government has announced a 12-month delay to the introduction of the domestic reverse charge VAT for construction services, citing industry concerns and Brexit as the reasons behind the postponement.

Basically, if your services supplied to another builder are then billed by them to a third party, you don’t charge VAT, there’s more to it than that, of course, but forget it for now, despite it being a big change, with weeks to go. HMRC realised that hardly anyone knew about it!

If it will affect you, we can talk about it next year.

Make Tax Digital starts April 2019, or does it?

December 14th, 2018  |  Published in Uncategorized

You may have read about this,I think HMRC and the Government were sold some magic beans by the software companies, and had a fantasy where you would take a photo of your invoices with your smartphone,and software would do the rest. Accountants have been telling them for a long time that it’s not that simple, and lots will go wrong as the software can’t distinguish for example between revenue and capital spending, and some of my clients have never used a smartphone or a computer.

In the real world, I can see us having to do a lot of it on behalf of clients, many of whom have better things to do than learn how to become digital accountants, but where you made one submission a year to HMRC, now there will be at least 4!

I’m afraid they are all over the place with this, and deadlines have come and gone. Software is thin on the ground, as is information.

At present if you are trading over the VAT limit the digital era starts April 2019, but I’ll believe it when I see it.

If it affects you, ring me for advice.

National Minimum Wage rates on 1 Ap‌r‌il 2018

February 16th, 2018  |  Published in Uncategorized

April Fool’s day increase, the HMRC press release says:

The government is increasing the National Minimum and National Living Wage rates on 1 Ap‌r‌il 2018.

This includes the largest increases in a decade for the rates that apply to 18-20 and 21-24 year olds.

As the minimum wage increases more employers than ever will be directly affected, including those who currently pay above the minimum.

Lets hope these young people spend their extra 30p wisely.

The hourly rate for the minimum wage depends on your age and whether you’re an apprentice.

You must be at least:

  • school leaving age to get the National Minimum Wage
  • aged 25 to get the National Living Wage – the minimum wage will still apply for workers aged 24 and under

Current rates

These rates are for the National Living Wage and the National Minimum Wage. The rates change every April.

Year 25 and over 21 to 24 18 to 20 Under 18 Apprentice
April 2017 (current) £7.50 £7.05 £5.60 £4.05 £3.50
April 2018 £7.83 £7.38 £5.90 £4.20 £3.70

VAT Flat Rate Scheme Changes

April 10th, 2017  |  Published in Uncategorized

Well that was too easy, wasnt it?

From 1st April 2017, the government introduced a new definition of a ‘limited cost trader” (see definition below) to the flat rate VAT scheme. The result is that affected contractors must use a new percentage of 16.5%. The introduction of this new rate means the flat rate scheme is no longer suitable for the vast majority of contractors, who will now generally be better suited to the standard rate VAT scheme, where they can at least offset some of the VAT paid on purchases against what they have to pay HMRC.


The definition of the newly introduced category of a “limited cost trader” is one whose VAT inclusive expenditure on “goods” is either; less than 2% of their VAT inclusive turnover, or less than £1,000 in total, per year. Note that “goods” does not include the following:

  • Services (such as telephone, internet, accountancy fees, insurance, rent)
  • Travel, subsistence or mileage
  • Gifts or donations
  • Training
  • Capital items (items with a useful life of more than one year)
  • Pension contributions

Budget Update – NIC rise scrapped

March 15th, 2017  |  Published in Uncategorized

The Chancellor obviously reads my posts on here, (although he says he actually found out from the BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg) as he has now reconsidered and scrapped the planned rises to Self Employed Class 4 NIC, realising that they were in direct contravention of the manifesto pledge not to increase tax or NIC. Did noone think to tell him beforehand?

At the end of the current tax year’s self assessment you will still pay the £145.60 class 2 NIC that you paid this year, but it will be the last time, as they are scrapping it for future tax years . This is the old ‘stamp’ NIC, that you used to pay monthly. Class 4 NIC will remain as it is now, 9% on profits between £8,060 and £43,000 plus 2% on profits over £43,000.


Budget 2017

March 10th, 2017  |  Published in Uncategorized

You really believed them when they said Tax and NIC wouldn’t go up in this government? Ha! But then they didn’t think they’d get in either, which is why we now get an NIC rise for the self employed, to 9% in 2017/18 and 10% the year after. After a fuss was made, they have temporarily kicked the legislation into the long grass, hoping we will forget about it when we vote in May’s local elections.

Of course we still don’t get sick pay, holiday pay etc, and try and claim Jobseekers’ Allowance when you have no work, they’ll laugh at you! That’s why we pay less NI than PAYE workers do.

For the Limited Companies, you will get 1% off the small companies Corporation Tax rate in 2018, but will get hit with personal tax on all but £2,000 on your dividends, up from £5,000 tax free this year. This is paid from money that you have already paid Corporation Tax on, of course.

You may have heard stories about Make Tax Digital – apparently you will wave your smartphone at your receipts and it will produce figures for HMRC  4 times a year using new magic software that doesn’t exist yet. I’m sure they want to eventually have you pay them 4 times a year too, otherwise what would be the point?

No surprise to find its been put back another year, unless you are over the VAT threshold when it will start in 2018. Or not.



Hola! Spanish Job Offers

December 2nd, 2016  |  Published in Uncategorized

Scammers have been spoofing this web adress to send out emails offering jobs, in Spanish.

I have no idea how the scam works, but THERE IS NO JOB.

Los estafadores han estado spoofing esta dirección web para enviar correos electrónicos que ofrecen puestos de trabajo, en español.No tengo ni idea de cómo funciona esta estafa, pero NO HAY TRABAJO.

Thanks to Google translate, apologies to any Spanish speakers if the translation works as well as some I have seen into English.