Tax scam email warning

HMRC (HM Revenue and Customs) has responded to an increase in the number of people receiving emails that offer tax rebates. They have issued a new warning not to follow weblinks in such emails or provide confidential information.

They have stressed that they never notify individuals of a tax rebate using email, nor will they request that online forms are completed.

More details of HMRC’s guidance can be found on their website.

If you have received a suspicious email, related to tax rebates, and you aren’t sure what do do about it then feel free to check it out with Lewis Smith & Co. get in contact by phone or email.

Lewis Smith & Co. – Accountancy, tax and business advice for start-ups in Dudley, Stourbridge and Wolverhampton

Don’t fall foul of the Data Protection Act – Check your status now!

The Information Commissioners Office (ICO), which upholds information rights in the UK, seems to have taken a more aggressive stance on companies that it deems to be operating as “data controllers” but who haven’t registered as such under the Data Protection Act. The Accountancy sector has been hit hard recently with a number of practices suffering fines of more than £1,000 for breaching the act – but it could easily your business that gets targeted.

According to the ICO a data controller means a person or an organisation who (either alone, or jointly, or in common with others) decides how and why any personal information is to be processed. This is distinct from a data processor, who only processes personal data under instruction from the controller. So in small and medium sized businesses the data controller is very likely to be one of the directors.

There are exemptions from notification that relate to the nature of the organisation (not for profits are exempt) or where the only personal information being referenced is for staff administration purposes such as payroll. Looking at the exemption list, however, it becomes quickly apparent that registration is more likely to be the normal requirement.

In the first instance it is probably prudent to register anyway and then start checking your Data Protection Act obligations a little more thoroughly.

If you have any queries about how the management of financial and payroll data is impacted by the Data Protection Act then give Lewis Smith & Co. a call on 01384 235549 to arrange a free consultation. It is an area we have a lot of experience in.

 

Lewis Smith & Co. – Tax planning and compliance for Wednesbury businesses

Lewis Smith & Co. get the gold

Black Country chartered certified accountants, Lewis Smith & Co., are delighted to announce that they have been awarded gold level status as an Approved Training Practice by the ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants).

ACCAThis means that ACCA trainees get provided with excellent training and practice experience to enable them to obtain their own Practicing Certificate. Only trainees working in an approved training practice can obtain this certificate.

Lewis Smith & Co. Director, Andrew Smith, sees this as great accolade.

“For Lewis Smith & Co. developing the skills of our team has been a vital element in growing the business. We’ve worked hard to create the right training environment and achieving gold status from the ACCA shows that the effort has paid off. Lewis Smith & Co. will have a pool of experts to help us support new clients as we continue to expand.”

For more information on how Lewis Smith & Co. can support your business give us a call on 01384 235549 or email us at info@lewissmith.com.

Lewis Smith & Co. – Chartered Certified Accountants for Wolverhampton

Protect directors’ addresses from disclosure

October 1st 2009 sees the final stage of the implementation of the Companies Act 2006.

One provision that we at Lewis Smith & Co. will be of particular interest relates to directors’ addresses. From October 1st directors will have a service address and a residential address. By default the service address will be the same as the residential address but you will have the capability to change the service address (to, say, the registered office) on the Companies House website.

The residential address will still be available to public authorities and credit reference agencies but not publicly accessible.

Lewis Smith & Co. provides a registered address for many companies and if you need any information on how to respond to this change then please contact us for advice today.

Lewis Smith & Co. – A dedicated team of accountancy, tax and business advisors for Halesowen and Quinton

Sage Users May Need to Upgrade

HMRC’s roll-out of compulsory on-line VAT returns and payments (Lewis Smith & Co. News 17/09/09) may impact businesses using older versions of Sage finance software.

The latest versions have a direct interface with the HMRC but if you have an older version then you will have to use the HMRC website to enter information and make payments. This is inconvenient rather than being a “show stopper” but it may signal a good time to upgrade your software and get the benefits of the latest version.

If you are not sure what version of Sage you are using or whether you should upgrade then contact us today. As members of the Sage Accountants Club, Lewis Smith & Co. has a licence to provide first line support on Sage systems and we have access to full technical support from the supplier if needed.

Lewis Smith & Co. – Bookkeeping, payroll and credit control for Blackheath, Netherton and Cradley

HMRC Says VAT Returns On-line Please

Starting in April 2010 HMRC is starting the process of making it obligatory to file VAT returns and make payments on-line.

Next year the obligation is only on newly VAT registered businesses and companies with a turnover greater than £100,000. This is the start of a process to ensure that businesses of all sizes file and pay on-line by 2012.

If you are still using paper returns and sending in cheques then it is probably a good time to investigate making the switch to the electronic facility.

Our team are available to help you out if you aren’t quite sure how to start. Just call us on 01384 235549 or email info@lewissmith.com.

Lewis Smith & Co. – Tax and VAT Specialists for Wolverhampton, Wednesbury and Walsall

Paper tax return deadline

The filing deadline for paper-based self-assessment tax returns is October 31st 2009.

So you need to start pulling together all of the information needed straight away – do you remember how long it took last year? You will need forms P60 and P11D, records of self-employment, details of savings and investments, and information about untaxed income.

Online submissions aren’t required until 31st January 2010.

If you need any help completing either the paper-based or online self-assessment forms then, of course, you can contact Lewis Smith & Co. for help and advice.

Lewis Smith & Co. – Taxation experts for Dudley, Kingswinford and Stourbridge

Move to new Dudley offices complete!

Our office move was completed successfully over the August Bank Holiday weekend and the business is up and running in our new Grange Road, Dudley premises.

We are not too far away from our old location and there is a Google map on our contact page that will (as if by magic) help you to get directions to us from wherever you are.

Many of our customers have our offices as their registered company address. You should have received a form to notify Companies House of the change of address. Just give us a call on 01384 235549 if you haven’t received it. Remember that your registered address should appear on your website so that may need to change too.

Lewis Smith & Co. – Accountants for Stourbridge, Hagley and Kinver