Beware bogus email scams

 

From HMRC this week – and worth remembering at all times:

“Customers are advised to lookout for a new bogus email scam, claiming to be from HMRC.

If you receive an email with a subject that reads “You have received new messages from HMRC”, that also has an attachment, please send it to phishing@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk and then delete it.

HMRC will never ask for any personal, or financial details over emails or text messages.

For more advice on scams, phishing and genuine HMRC contact, please visit G‌OV‌.U‌K
and search ‘phishing’.”

Your HMRC wants YOU….?

 

 

Many taxpayers have been receiving this email alert from HMRC :


You’ve got a new message from HMRC

Dear XXXXX

You have a new message from HMRC about Self Assessment.

To view it, sign in to your HMRC online account.

For security reasons, we have not included a link with this email.

Why you got this email

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£1,000 tax-free trading allowance

Question: You do a little bit of buying and selling on ebay (or other sundry sales/income earned) and make a few hundred pounds per year profit on this. Do I need to declare this on my tax return?
I’m often asked this question by clients – although most of them hope dearly to make more than a few hundred pounds with their writing! – but in some cases it doesn’t go that way. HMRC recently brought in a new allowance to cover these sundry sales. There’s more detail on the HMRC website, and I’ve also excerpted a good summary below from JF Financial, an online accountancy practice. One important thing I’d ask you to bear in mind – this allowance applies to your PROCEEDS, not the profit you make.

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HMRC hiccups

Spare a thought for accountants and their clients this weekend, and anyone who’s wrapping up personal tax returns in the final month before the deadline of 31 January – the HMRC online access has been “down” since at least Thursday, and submissions are waiting in a draft limbo. Here’s hoping it’ll be up and running again soon, HMRC are diligently working on it. Maybe we’ve broken  the system, leaving too many submissions to the last minute! 🙂

*makes note to chase clients for details even earlier next year*

Paying your Income Tax Bill

HMRC will no longer accept payments by personal credit card after 12 January 2018.

The reason of the change is that from 13 January, the EU Payment Services Directive 2 prohibits merchants (including HMRC) from recharging associated fees back to customers. HMRC will not absorb the cost of credit card fees as this would be a cost to the public purse.

Payments by debit card or corporate credit card will continue to be accepted.

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Government Gateway – why you need one and how to get it

Hello taxpayers!

This is the face of your future communication with HMRC on any kind of tax. They would like us all to communicate online, via a GOVERNMENT GATEWAY NUMBER.

From there you can set up an online account called a Personal Tax Account, so you can access at any time your tax position.

You can also use it to register for self-employment, including the range of taxes that may then be applicable. You can monitor these taxes through your Business Tax Account, including making your regular payments.

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Self Employed National Insurance – info for 2019/2020

NEWS on the application of National Insurance rates from Accounting Web:

Classes 2 and 4 NIC were to be merged from 6 April 2018, with class 2 NIC abolished from that date. This merger will now take place from 6 April 2019.

Delay

In a written statement to the House of Commons released late yesterday, it was announced that the abolition of class 2 national insurance contributions (NIC) would be delayed by one year to 6 April 2019. This delay was justified by a need to consult more fully with interested parties in respect of the effect of the abolition of class 2 NIC on lower earners.

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Simple tax assessments from next year?

I have several clients who are pensioners with a small amount of taxable income – whether or not they pay tax on it, depending on the amount – who are still being asked for a self-assessment return. I think this new initiative from HMRC may cover that more satisfactorily in future, though I’m cautious if (i) it would override any actual tax calculation, and (ii) it means a return to paper communication.

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 From accountingweb.co.uk:

As yet there is still no detailed guidance available on gov.uk concerning simple assessments, but we expect some guidance to appear in the next two weeks.

The policy paper for simple assessments suggests that this new procedure will be used where the taxpayer’s main source of income is taxed under PAYE, but he or she also has up to £10,000 of other taxable income or gains. This income threshold has not been included in the legislation.

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VAT – the Flat Rate Scheme is changing

vat logoVAT is changing, if you’re on the Flat Rate Scheme.

Briefly, this is an existing, simplified scheme for smaller VAT-registered businesses (up to £150,000 turnover) who don’t have many transactions – or not many types of transactions – to make it easier for them to maintain VAT-compliant records.

Instead of totting up each quarter what you’ve sold vs what you’ve bought, and calculating the VAT on the balance – bearing in mind you may have some transactions at differing rates of VAT – you can just take a flat percentage of the sales and pay that over.

This flat rate depends on what kind of business you are, and is lower than the standard rate of 20%. In other words, HMRC will receive (say) a flat rate 14% of your gross sales, instead of you calculating VAT on net sales at 20% then deducting VAT on net purchases at ranges of VAT between 0% and 20%.

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