Business life doesn’t stop in January so everyone can concentrate on completing their tax returns – although you may like it to. Clients are busy trying to make a profit, or at least striving to avoid a farming loss for the sixth year running. We explain why this is so important in this week’s newsletter. Property owners need to act quickly to complete deals before the new SDLT supplement kicks in. We also have a timely warning about communications from HMRC.

This is an
extract from the first of our topical tax tips newsletters for 2016. It went out on 7 January
(5 days before we publish an extract on this blog). You can obtain future issues by registering here>>>

HMRC communications 
Where a taxpayer has appointed a tax agent HMRC is supposed to write to that agent, or at least copy-in the agent on any correspondence with the taxpayer. That rule is being broken again with “educational” letters being sent out by HMRC. 
  
The letter we have seen is addressed to farmers, reminding them that subsidies paid by the EU are taxable income and should be included on their SA tax return. It goes on to say the farmer should check their tax returns to see if the right amount of income has been declared. This will alarm some clients, and no-doubt prompt phone calls to you. 
  
Other communications, such as emails and texts supposedly from HMRC are obvious fakes. We know that HMRC doesn’t offer taxpayers refunds by email but it does send reminders to complete tax and VAT returns. It’s easy to be duped by the fraudsters. 
  
Finally, where you or clients have been affected by the floods, and as a result need more time to complete tax returns or make tax payments, there is help available. Access that help by calling the HMRC flood helpline: 0800 904 7900. To arrange time to pay a tax debt call before the debt becomes due.

This is an
extract from our topical tax tips newsletter dated 7 January 2016
(5 days before we publish an extract on this blog). You can obtain future issues by registering here>>>

The
full newsletter contained links to related source material for this
story and the
other two topical, timely and commercial tax tips. We’ve been
publishing this newsletter weekly since 2007; it’s clearly written
and focused on precisely what accountants in general practice need to
know about each week.
You can obtain future issues by registering here>>>