HMRC have at last announced their package of support for micro businesses.
My immediate reaction is
If this is support then I’m a Dutchman
Their support is restricted to businesses with nine or fewer employees and only consists of allowing these businesses to report PAYE information on or before the last payday in the month, rather than, as HMRC would prefer,every payday.
And it is only effective until 5 April 2016.
Interestingly, it doesn’t affect the situation I faced at the end of last month.
The “value” of this support is easier to understand when HMRC tell us
The package was developed with employer, agent and payroll software representatives and the Department for Work and Pensions, to help micro employers as they move towards reporting PAYE information in real time.
I wonder how many micro businesses were consulted?
HMRC has recently launched a new blog
HMRC working with tax agents
I just wondered if the photo on the first page represents the position of tax agents in relation to HMRC.
HMRC are at their most dangerous when they say they are helping businesses!
Recently they have “improved” RTI by introducing a series of electronic customer service notifications aimed at helping employers manage their Real Time Information (RTI) PAYE tax affairs; these notifications will be called generic notifications.
In plain English, HMRC will warn businesses who have submitted their RTI return late or not submitted the expected number of RTI returns for the relevant tax month or have not paid the expected full amount of their PAYE and CIS liability on time.
Not all of these will generate penalties (yet) but it’s HMRC’s way of saying “We told you” if you try to dispute a penalty.
Last week we received one of these generic notifications because our Full Payment Submission (FPS) was “late”.
I’m not sure how we could have avoided it being late though. And this is the crux of the problem facing small businesses and the RTI rules.
We paid our salaries on the last day of the month (30 November). A Saturday, but we didn’t submit the FPS until the next working day (Monday).
And it was therefore late because we should have submitted it on the Saturday even though we weren’t at work.
HMRC are meant to be addressing this problem. I’m not holding out too much hope for a sensible work around for small and microbusinesses.
Accountancy and marketing are at opposite extremes. Accountancy is based on facts, figures and truths whereas marketing is based on …….
If this seems unfair, is anyone able to explain why BT are advertising “fibre broadband is here” (in Kendal) when nobody I know has it?!
And when I check my office and home broadband I’m told that
Fibre broadband is not currently available in your area
Google have been running a number of events to help small businesses create their first website or improve their existing one. Known as Google Juice Bars, one was held recently in Kendal.
I had a place but cancelled it when I learned that the event was being introduced by our local MP, Tim Farron. If I wanted to listen to a politician I would watch television. I just wanted to listen to Google.
Worse was to come when the Westmorland Gazette reported the event with a picture of Gori Yohaya from Google and
- Peter Thornton, the South Lakeland District Council (SLDC) leader;
- Tim Farron; and
- Lawrence Conway, the SLDC Chief Executive
Not a single small business owner in site.
And that’s the problem with business support in the United Kingdom, the politicians aren’t interested in helping small business they just want to be seen to be doing something.
All image and no content.
Last February, five days after the 31 January tax return deadline, I had a stroke. I collapsed at my desk and was rushed to the Royal Lancaster Infirmary.
I was very lucky because I had no physical damage but the speed I processed information slowed down noticeably. I was told that this would improve over time. And it has. The consultant who “mended my brain” said people find it difficult to understand what a stroke is, and he therefore refers to it as a brain attack because it’s as serious as a heart attack.
We didn’t tell many people until I was back at work part-time.
Everybody was sympathetic and said they would bear with us. Interestingly those who said it the loudest were those who jumped ship in the successive months. Terms such as false, empty vessels, etc. cross my mind, but at the end of the day it’s just human nature I suppose.
As 2014 approaches, however, we are putting all that behind us and would like to take this opportunity to say
Thank you to the silent majority of our clients and friends who have stood by us throughout the year.
P.S. My stroke made me less vocal on my blog. That’s changing as well!
Yesterday’s Sunday Times had a wonderful article in it written by Jenni Russell And titled Be honest, it’s good that Nigella has broken the envy spiral.
The article is behind the Sunday Times paywall but it’s well worth a read.
In essence, Jenni was saying that reports of “Nigella’s marriage, and the latest survey on how often the British have sex offered us that rare thing: a glimpse of the hidden truths of other people’s lives”.
What we don’t offer is the truth. We create a carefully chosen edit of our existence. Everyone wants to be respected and to look as if they’re making a success of their life. We’re rightly terrified of being vulnerable, and we certainly don’t want to risk being pitied or scorned.
And then it hit me, it’s exactly the same in business. Business owners are told they must say they doing really well, even if they’re not. And the result is that everyone else seems to be a success apart from you.
One of the benefits of being a chartered accountant is that we know our clients’ financial position and when it isn’t good we often say they’re not alone. The relief which suddenly shows in their faces is amazing.
I’m not suggesting that business owners reveal all, but do take the success stories with a pinch of salt.
As Jenni says
Frankly the honesty makes me nervous, but if the psychologists are right, both you and I are going to feel happier after this confession. I’m losing status but I might gain sympathy. It’s your turn next.
Jenni is on Twitter @jennirsl
Yet another copy of VAT Notes has been released by HMRC.
I have said previously that it isn’t the most exciting read you’ll come across but HMRC do expect you to read it (even though they don’t send you a copy any more!)
The full notes are here.
Sadly Bart had to be put down yesterday. He was fourteen and a quarter and had literally worn himself out. Over the last few months he has slept more and more. You may well have noticed that he no longer barked when you came in and he didn’t need to be held when the post arrived. He bit a postman a few years ago, having waited patiently for months for the right moment!
He was a wonderful companion and a few years ago even managed to feature in Accountancy, the magazine at that time of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW), which is considerably more than his owner has managed in forty years! They published this photo of him sitting at my desk.
Bart is on the left of the photo. Fly, his companion, has yet to learn the joys of full time work in an accountant’s office.
It didn’t take long for HMRC to start crowing about their “success” in defeating UK Uncut Legal Action over its deal with Goldman Sachs. On the day of the decision they tweeted this:
"The High Court’s dismissal of UK Uncut’s claim puts to rest the fallacy that HMRC is soft on large businesses" http://t.co/El8WRzHxIp
This week’s Private Eye states that
Homer [HMRC Chief Executive] insisted to MPs that the judge “found that on all the substantial points our judgement was right”. which he didn’t. If the whole inglorious episode was indeed an endorsement, things are even worse than we thought
I accept that most members of the public will dismiss the whole thing as yet more proof that the Establishment always wins. It’s interesting, however, to compare HMRC’s treatment of Goldman Sachs with their treatment of one of my one man band limited company clients.
In Goldman Sach’s case HMRC let the bank of £20m in interest.
My client paid her company’s £14,600 corporation tax bill a couple of months late and was charged interest of £99. Within a few weeks of being asked to pay the £99 HMRC transferred the collection to iQor Recovery Services Ltd, a private firm of debt collectors.
Nice that HMRC have their priorities correct and, in their own words, isn’t
soft on large businesses