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Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Tax Code Changes - do they really reflect your current expenses?

Our very first blog on the subject of tax code changes, is still as relevant today as it was then.

HMRC take it upon themselves to revise your tax code based on the tax return completed from previous years' information. In our opinion this can lead to so many problems of under or over payments of tax.

For example (extract from the original article):

"Here are the constants and effectively why this new change can never be accurate let alone work in your favour: -
The classic record of a scaffolder over a 3 year period is that
• he will work for at least two employers and as many as six,
• he will be based at a minimum of two sites and as many as 15
• the expenses he will incur can and almost always will differ greatly
• He will sometimes be able to take advantage of a company vehicle or the wagon and yet other times may/will be required to use his own vehicle
• the distances involved will vary dramatically and ultimately again the expenses associated will also differ greatly from year to year."

As you can see from this, to base a tax code on information given regarding a previous year is ultimately going to mean that it is highly likely that there will be the wrong amount of tax paid come year end!

paye tax refunds and tax codes


As soon as your self assessment tax return is received by HMRC, before the return has been approved or looked at, the tax code changes. As a tax agent we do not get advised that our clients' code has changed, although a letter is sent to you of the change.

If you are a client of ours, we can stop HMRC doing this if you want us to, but we need instruction from you i.e. a phone call 01280 821020, email or a PM. We have always advised clients to have their code returned to the normal code so that under payments do not occur. We can ask on your behalf, if you let us know of the change, but HMRC can be "difficult", insisting that the right code is in place based on information given.

Unfortunately, because initially your pay packet will suddenly increase based on the new code, that is making allowances for expenses you may not incur this year, some clients have accepted the new code, only to find at the end of the year, they owe HMRC money.

To be perfectly clear, this money owed is nothing to do with the tax refund we successfully claimed for you the previous year. HMRC are NOT clawing that money back at all! What has happened is the tax code was allowing too little tax to be paid over the course of the following year and your expenses were not as much as previously - hence the difference.

Being put back to the normal tax code, at the end of the year we will help you calculate your correct expenses and claim your overpaid tax for you, thereby ensuring that you are not trundling unknowingly towards a debt that is wholly the making of HMRC and it’s ‘cute’ practice.


Bettertax - Tradesman's Tax Refund Specialists 01280 821020
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Monday, 15 October 2012

31st October - Be Afraid! It's only HMRC Tax deadline day!

Last year I wrote about this most auspicious of occassions, HMRC tax deadline day for paper tax returns.

As always, if you choose to file a paper tax return, you must make sure it is on HMRC's desk by midnight 31st October, any year. It doesn't scarier than that as a time and date!

More worrying still is the penalties now in force for late returns.

This extract from HMRC's website:

What happens if you miss the tax return deadline

"If you miss the deadline for sending in your paper tax return, you should send it online instead. If you don't, you will have to pay a penalty. You must send your return online by midnight on 31 January 2013.
If you do still send a paper tax return and it reaches HMRC after the 31 October deadline, you'll have to pay a penalty. The penalty is £100. You'll still have to pay this even if:
  • your return is just a day late
  • you have no tax to pay
  • you pay all the tax you owe before 31 January 2013
The longer you delay, the more you'll have to pay. There are additional penalties when your tax return is three, six and twelve months late. Together these could add up to a penalty of £1,600 or more so make sure you get your tax return in on time. 

Remember, if you've missed the paper tax return deadline, don’t send a paper tax return, send it online. If you don't, you will have to pay a penalty."

Bettertax are registered HMRC tax agents and file our clients' tax returns online, and on time! Many of our clients had been too worried or not aware that tax returns should have been completed and had therefore not been claiming the tax refunds due to them.

It's a daunting prospect dealing with HMRC when you are in a tax mess but we can look at past years tax claims for you and liaise with HMRC on your behalf to get you up to date.

If you are at all worried about your tax situation, whether you're a CIS tradesman or PAYE construction industry worker, if you know you are behind with your tax returns or you just need some advice, we're happy to help.


Bettertax - Tradesman's Tax Refund Specialists 01280 821020
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Thursday, 4 October 2012

Didn't we have a luvverly time, the day we went to Wembley!

Since Bettertax's inception, there has been some great achievements that we are all very proud of, but yesterday was a "stand out" moment.

As the founding corporate sponsor of the Homeless FA, Bettertax, (represented by MD Roger, directors Ricky and Steve, and senior members, Adele and Rosie) were invited to Wembley Stadium to enjoy the launch of the team's England kit, prior to the men and women's teams heading off to Mexico for the Homeless World Cup, which starts 5th October 2012.

The day started with a welcome to Wembley introduction by Club England Managing Director, Adrian Bevington before being given a guided tour of the stadium.

At the end of the tour, the players were shown into the away dressing room, where their named and numbered kits were hanging for them. This was a complete surprise to the teams and became a very emotional moment for most of us, seeing the squads' reactions.

For Bettertax, it was immensely pleasing knowing we had played a part in this culmination of many months of hard training and dedication for all those involved with The Homeless FA. And, of course, the shirts look great with the Bettertax logo emblazened across the chest!

Bettertax proudly partnering Homeless Football Association


Photos can be seen on our Bettertax flickr stream too.




We'll be watching both the womens and mens teams with huge pride as the tournament begins tomorrow.

Come on, England!!




Bettertax - Tradesman's Tax Refund Specialists 01280 821020
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