Save VAT – Get Your Books in Early

January 31st 2011 is looming. It’s a date that causes consternation amongst business owners and accountants alike. This year though there is a government backed incentive to get your tax return done early!

We have talked in the past (see “6 good reasons for early tax return filing“) why it is a good reasons to get your books in to your accountant as soon as possible before the deadline, mainly so your and your company’s tax position can be most effectively managed. Your accountant (and that means us) will also love you for it because we have to batten down the hatches trying to make sure everybody gets dealt with before the deadline.

This year there is a better reason than ever to provide us with your books earlier than normal. If we can do the work before January 4th then you will automatically save 2.5% by avoiding the upcoming rise in VAT!

So gather your papers, forms and receipts together and hot-foot it down to Lewis Smith & Co., at our offices in Grange Road, Dudley and make your saving today.

If you have any questions or queries about your tax return then email us at or call 01384 235549

Lewis Smith & Co. – Providing accountancy, payroll and bookkeeping for Tipton business

More Tax Toolkits from HMRC

HMRC are publishing an additional three “toolkits” to help tax payers and tax agents reduce errors in tax returns.

The new toolkits cover VAT input tax, inheritance tax and expenses and benefits from employment.

HMRC have been at great pains to stress that use of the toolkits is “voluntary” and that they don’t constitute a set of standards. The guides set out the taxman’s perspective on tax law and regulation (although they were developed in partnership with professional bodies), which tax advisers may choose to disagree with.

The toolkits can be found on the HMRC website.

Let us know if you have used the toolkits and how you got on with them. If you prefer to have a professional organisation look after your tax affairs then give Lewis Smith & Co. a call on 01384 235549.

Lewis Smith & Co. – Thinking about setting up as a limited company: read our article today.

Furnished Holiday Letting – Good News and Bad News

Many of you will have benefited from a number of items of tax relief over the years if you have property that have been designated as Furnished Holiday Lettings (FHL).

Even more of you may have been delighted to hear that the rules were going to extend to properties within the EEA (European Economic Area) – the EU plus Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein. The government thought that it might fall foul of EU regulations.

However as ever the government “giveth with one hand and taketh away with the other”. The thought of giving tax relief to even more tax payers was as much as they deal with so from April 2011 some key rules are being changed.

  • Property must be available for letting for 210 days per year (up from 140) and actually let for more than 105 days (up from 70).
  • Tax relief, which allows setting losses against other income will be stopped.

If you aren’t sure where you stand with these new regulations then So even if you still qualify for relief it may be more restrictive, and if you don’t qualify then there may be an increased CGT (Capital Gains Tax) exposure. No at all good news.

If you aren’t sure where you stand with these new regulations then feel free to give Lewis Smith & Co. a call to help you sort out your position. Phone 01384 235549 or email to arrange a free , confidential discussion.

Lewis Smith & Co. – Accountants for Halesowen, Cannock and Telford

Had a letter from HMRC?

It probably hasn’t escaped your attention that the HMRC have been sending out letters, which for some people represent extremely bad news. You owe the tax man some money.

Lewis Smith & Co. can’t second guess the contents of those letters nor do we no the circumstances of everybody that gets one but we can give at least some reassurance…Just because you have received a letter doesn’t mean that you have to pay immediately!

The key thing to recognise is that the letters are tax calculations and not demands.

First thing to check is what tax year the letter refers to. HMRC have a 12 month window to notify you about tax shortfalls so if the tax year in question is 2008-2009 and you are certain that you provided the tax man with all of the relevant information regard ing your tax affairs then you may be able to use the “Extra Statutory Concession A19 to write the “debt” off. HMRC can respond with a discovery assessment if they believe that you didn’t provide all of the relevant information.

Then check the information provided in the letter for mistakes in job status, benefits (such as company cars) or relevant tax relief. This was a big exercise and mistakes were bound to have been made. Document any mistakes and write to HMRC.

If the calculations show a shortfall of under £2,000 then you should be asked to pay it back through a new tax coding in April 2011. If the shortfall is greater than £2,000 then you may be asked to pay it back directly. In both cases if payment is difficult propose a payment schedule that you can manage.

Of course if you are unsure about anything related to these letters then remember that Lewis Smith & Co. are here to help. We can check the information and work out whether you really owe any tax or not and deal with HMRC on your behalf regarding debt release or payment terms.

Just give us a call on 01384 235549 or email and arrange a free, confidential meeting.

Lewis Smith & Co. – Chartered Certified Accountants in Dudley