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Quarterly Tax Returns

Discussion in 'The Dive' started by Bookangel, January 20, 2016.


Will quarterly tax returns cut your income (e.g due to admin)?

Poll closed January 27, 2016.
  1. Yes

  2. No

    0 vote(s)
  3. Don't know

    0 vote(s)
  1. Bookangel

    Bookangel Administrator Staff Member

    It has been confirmed that the government wants to enforce quarterly tax returns. In their statement they appear to believe all small sellers, including indie authors, people selling on ebay, etc. run accounting apps and keep electronic records.

    They have offered an exemption for people who do PAYE returns and earn under £10,000 from self-employment, so retired authors, disabled individuals or those starting a business to get out of unemployment will be hit hard. As an average author's income is under £10,000, those authors who cannot hold a day job due to illness or disability will be hit. Clubs and non-profits are also affected.

    They are giving precisely 24 hours for feedback on this, and will debate it on Monday. They have only notified people who signed the petition. Feedback can only be given through Twitter.

    Please get in touch with your MP.

    Update: The Society of Authors are now featuring this.
    Last edited: January 20, 2016
  2. Tregaron

    Tregaron Active Member

    I will apologise if I get this wrong, but there is something disturbing in HMRC's figures. Could someone double check me?

    They claim 6.5bn in unpaid tax will be recovered.

    By their own figures in 2014, (PDF) there were 5,236,000 SMEs (under 250 people) employing 15,158,000 people
    Of this 8,276,000 were employed in micro-firms of 0-9.

    The average median profit per SME regardless of size was £8,000 (here)
    It is noted that this was proportional to number of employees - more employees, more profit, and more profit per employee. Micro-firms of 0-9 made far less than the median.

    Averaged across all SME's, £6.5bn is a bill of £1,241 per company.
    Ignoring Admin costs, and giving an average share, HMRC are expecting to remove £1241 per company.

    By their own figures, this would put 8,276,000 jobs at risk.

    It would probably immediately sink the smallest businesses since, even if their company does not owe tax, if they use an accountant to check figures each report costs around £1000 so the smallest firms are still in jeopardy from higher admin costs.

    Please tell me my figures are wrong.
  3. C.Price

    C.Price New Member

    I wish I could, but I can't find figures specifically for micro businesses and yours look too close.

    This is EUVAT all over again. I lost 80% of income and now, if I was still writing, I have to pay the rest and a subsidy to an accountant. I quit.
  4. Bookangel

    Bookangel Administrator Staff Member

    Could someone page tirial? She's a good lobbyist.
  5. tirial

    tirial IT fixer extraordinaire

    No need to be insulting, and I've been on this since I got the email this morning. Less than 24 hours to give feedback on something this big is not particularly impressive.
  6. porridge

    porridge Active Member

    Following this. No hope that HMRC are listening though. Loved the cartoon:

  7. tirial

    tirial IT fixer extraordinaire

    The 24 hours they gave people to give feedback has now closed.

    However there are other ways to give your opinion. You can sign the peititon as it is still open,
    or get feedback to @adamplain adam.palin (at) ft.com @ftmoney who has asked for opinions.

    And it won't be four tax returns a year - it will mean doing the accounts 13 times for different pieces of tax paperwork. Heather Burns on Twitter

    A few personal thoughts: I gave my feedback and spent the last 24 hours raising it with every small business and freelancers group I know - actors, authors, etc. - and several of them have waded in (a few hadn't been notified at all and were not happy), so hopefully there will be some further action going on now people actually know. What worries me is that if the freelancers and small business groups didn't know about this, who on earth did they do their initial consultation with?

    A microbusiness with 0-9 employees has very different requirements to a mid-size firm with 200, and yet according to tregaron's figures, they make up over half of small firms. Isn't it time the government split them into their own grouping?
  8. tirial

    tirial IT fixer extraordinaire

    Groups raising issues: The Society of Authors, Ipse, actors groups and more

    Businesses who have chimed in range from Barristers, therapists, authors, web designers, IT Specialists, actors and more.

    I can't cover all the complaints in one document, but there are a lot:
    • The tax office being unable to handle one return a year in a timely fashion, so increased workload is a bad idea
    • Customer service at HMRC is already overloaded and uncontactable
    • The paperwork for partnership businesses is not available online, so users would have to purchase the forms.
    • Increased accountancy costs,
    • Seasonal businesses having to file blank returns,
    • People who use spreadsheets or paper and don't have access to online accounts, ("Having to use four jam jars" was raised by one)
    • Difficulty of assigning delayed payments to a period
    • Lack of flexibility (most businesses do their annual returns in a quiet period, taking two days out)
    • Loss of working time to administration
    • Not allowing for work performed for licencing requirements.
    • A quarterly report does not allow for profit and loss to balance over time, harming cashflow for small business.
    • Quarterly tax payments reduce cashflow for small business.
    • The need for online firms to do 13 tax submissions a year (here).
    • The fact it will predominantly penalise the disabled, retired, and low income as those on PAYE has a low exemption
    • Lack of consultation - 24 hours to give feedback.
    • Lack of consultation - many groups have only just learned this was going through.
    Even if the response period is over, you might as well keep posting the complaints. If HoCPetitions isn't picking them up there are others in the press who are.
  9. C.Price

    C.Price New Member

    The response document is now available as a PDF you can download here and one of my questions made it in, along with many other people's.

    This is just such a waste of the time we could be using to work!
  10. Bookangel

    Bookangel Administrator Staff Member

    The debate is at 4:30 today according to enterprise nation here. It should be viewable on on parliamentlive.tv, although it is not showing up on their schedule.

    Good luck to all in shooting this down.
  11. tirial

    tirial IT fixer extraordinaire

    If you can't follow on parliamentlive.tv, try here

    So far it isn't promosing. The same guy who won't object to EU VAT (David Gauke) just put a piece in the mail saying quarterly is great. The commenters disagree.
  12. tirial

    tirial IT fixer extraordinaire

    And apparently this is all a misunderstanding because small businesses don't understand what they are told, and these aren't really tax returns.

    Will they require: stock taking, up to date accounts, a payment of tax, and can you be penalised for them being late? If so, then please stop the sophistry. They are tax returns.
  13. porridge

    porridge Active Member

    Meh. Looks like they've already made up their minds. Wonder if they've already sold the build contract to their mates?

    No fucking shit, Sherlock!
  14. tirial

    tirial IT fixer extraordinaire

    I wish they knew the difference between small businesses and micro firms.
  15. porridge

    porridge Active Member

    And yay for the the SNP, talking good sense to 'em.

    & there's our C.Price - great question!
  16. porridge

    porridge Active Member

    "Small business minister Anna Soubry (far right) spotted in the debate room. " Should bloody well hope so!
  17. tirial

    tirial IT fixer extraordinaire

    Watch your blood pressure. (Oliver Dowden's afraid it might clog)

  18. tirial

    tirial IT fixer extraordinaire

    And Peter Kyle seems to be talking sense (and congrats C.Price again. I suppose I know why you're not on here right now)
  19. porridge

    porridge Active Member

    She shoots, she scores.
  20. tirial

    tirial IT fixer extraordinaire

    And Ian Page repeats what C.Price said earlier. We can only hope they listen.

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