Managing Your Tax

Self-assessment is a major headache for the self-employed, sole traders and partners as well as some private individuals and company directors.

You must understand all aspects of self-assessment, keep your accounts up-to-date and your records safe.  You must complete your tax return properly then submit and pay any tax owed.  You may be called on to defend yourself against tax enquires and tax disputes.

On top of running your business, this is a lot to manage.

You need someone who will take this off your plate.  You need someone who will give you the business advice you need.  You need someone who is willing to fight your corner.  The taxman and even your bank manager can seem like formidable foes at times but we offer you maximum protection.

We can even greatly reduce the amount of time you spend on managing your accounts.  It is much quicker and easier to use a digital accounting solution, such as Free Agent which has been specifically designed for freelancers and small business owners, which manages your finances and monitors your bank account rather than using an Excel spreadsheet and a carrier bag full of receipts and invoices.

It is then simple to give your qualified accountant access to this so they can produce your accounts, file your return correctly and look after everything on your behalf.

Apex Associates can help you with a range of services including:

  • Completing Your Self-Assessment Return – Ensure that it is done right, submitted on time and you are paying the legal minimum of tax
  • Tax Planning – You can minimise your tax through tax planning in the current tax year. Find out how.
  • Tax Disputes – Tax disputes do occur and HMRC are not always right. We can protect you and your business from disputes.
  • Tax Enquires and Investigations – The biggest fear for many self-employed people and sole traders is a tax investigation. We can fight your corner and we offer insurance to cover our costs for helping you.
  • Property tax – Many self-employed people and sole traders are also landlords or own property as part of their business. We can help you to navigate the world of property tax.  

Completing Your Self-Assessment Return

Many people need to complete a self-assessment tax return including:

  • Private individuals
  • Sole traders
  • Partners in a limited liability partnership
  • Directors of Limited Companies

Most of these people are worried about completing their self-assessment tax return with many leaving it until the last minute.

This is very understandable.  The self-assessment regime is full of penalties and HMRC enquiry powers are extensive.

It is vital that your returns are:

  • Correctly completed
  • Filed on time
  • Substantiated by records which are retained for the appropriate
    period

We will ensure that you pay the absolute legal minimum amount of tax and ensure that your tax returns are completed correctly and submitted on time.

We can also assist you with:
  • Advising you on your tax liabilities and how to minimise them
  • Negotiating with HMRC on delaying payments, if necessary
  • Completing all the necessary tax calculations
  • Dealing with all correspondence from HMRC, taking the worry away from you

Life is much easier if you hand everything over to us and let us take the strain.  Why not contact us today

Tax Planning

Tax planning can greatly help you to minimise your tax bill.  Tax planning refers to the way in which you arrange your financial affairs so that you take full advantage of the exemptions, deductions, rebates and reliefs available.

In short, it is the legal way to minimise your tax bill.

We all must pay our taxes but there are numerous ways of saving tax and making sure you do not pay a penny more than is absolutely necessary. Apex Associates has extensive experience in tax planning and we will work hard to minimise your tax bill.

We have also invested heavily in reference materials and specialist software and have access to Tax Legislation, Tax Cases, internal HMRC manuals and to detailed commentaries on all taxes; both direct and indirect. This access allows us to research any tax topic and provides many ways of helping you legally save tax.

New clients are often surprised at how much can be done to help with their tax position. We are always willing to go that extra mile to offer advice on the areas where tax can be saved. This is something we love and excel at.

It is important that this work is done in advance and you should contact us as soon as possible.  The sooner we start to work, the more you will save.

All our tax planning makes legitimate use of the tax legislation and case law so that you are not put at additional risk from a full HMRC Enquiry, or where there are risks, these are pointed out to you.

Tax Disputes

Unfortunately, tax disputes do arise.  Disputes are usually over a specific point whereas enquiries and investigations are more wide ranging.

The first things to know are:

  • HMRC is not always right
  • There is something you can do about it- you don’t have to accept a wrong HMRC judgement
  • We are in your corner and will help you to fight back.

As a taxpayer, you have many rights and we will ensure that these are not forgotten or overlooked by HMRC.

Disputes can arise over a range of matters including:
  • Employment status disputes- e. are you employed or self-employed? This is not as simple as you making a decision. There is much case law surrounding the difference between an employee and someone who is self-employed.  This can have a major impact on the tax you pay and we can help guide you.
  • IR35- This is tax legislation which is used to combat tax avoidance. It looks to differentiate between genuine businesses and workers who, for all intents and purposes, are a temporary employee
  • Valuations needed for tax purposes
  • Repairs and maintenance vs capital disputes- repairs and maintenance work count as expenses whereas capital investment comes under your capital allowance- there can be disputes over which is which
  • Private usage adjustments- how much are you using something for personal use and how this is dealt with.
  • VAT segregation of a business to avoid registration– some companies split the business into parts so to stay below the VAT threshold and keep their prices lower

With disputes, it is usually the facts of the case that are in question but sometimes it is the legislation itself. Tax isn’t always black and white and where this is the case we are happy to argue your case in the strongest possible terms. 

We have the specialist tax knowledge to assist you with a wide range of tax disputes.  Contact us today for support.

Tax Enquiries and Investigations

HMRC investigate businesses at random as well as for specific reasons.  A full investigation is unpleasant and without an expert defence it is possible to get trampled all over.

It is an unfortunate fact of business life that you may well come under enquiry by HMRC through no fault of your own or of your accountant.

If you are selected at random, you will need an accountant who knows how HMRC works and thinks and is prepared to fight your case. We make sure that HMRC keeps to their own internal guidelines and don’t over step the mark.

We will talk you through the enquiry process, tell you what to expect and support you throughout the ordeal.

The Power of Anti-Investigation Scanning Checks

Whilst with random investigations anyone can come under enquiry, you can help to avoid the chance of an investigation into your affairs for other reasons.

We know the triggers that often give rise to enquiries if not fully explained to HMRC when submitting returns to them. Every tax return or set of accounts goes through an anti-investigation scanning check to identify any areas that may lead to an enquiry before being submitted to HMRC.

This greatly helps to minimise the chances of you being on the wrong end of an enquiry.

The Penalties

There are various penalties HMRC can seek to impose following an enquiry for undeclared income. As well as having to pay the tax, you can find them seeking penalties up to an amount equal to the tax, so doubling your tax bill.

Interest on the late payment of the tax is also part of the arrangement which is not a pleasant experience. We can help you minimise these penalties as much as we possibly can.

Tax Investigation Fee Protection

You can take out insurance which will pay our fees in the event of a tax investigation.  The accounting costs of dealing with a tax investigation can be substantial. With the ever-increasing risk of full tax enquires and investigations, it is worth protecting yourself from the accounting costs of dealing with it.

Even if HMRC finds nothing wrong as a result of their investigation, you will still have unexpected professional fees to pay as a result. We cannot prevent you from being investigated by the taxman, but we can help to ensure that you get the best possible support and advice without having to worry about the cost.

You can get cover for:

  • Self-Assessment enquiries
  • VAT Enquiries
  • IR35 Enquiries
  • PAYE and Benefits enquiries

If you would like the peace of mind which comes with tax investigation insurance then contact us today.

Property Tax

Many individuals, self-employed people and sole traders own business property or are landlords.  Property tax is a bit of a maze but we can help you to legally reduce your liability.

We can advise you on a range of issues including:

  • Stamp duty planning
  • Tax reduction strategies for rental income
  • What constitutes repair and maintenance and is tax deductible and what is capital expenditure
  • When to use a Limited Company to save tax
  • Trading income versus Capital Gain considerations and advice
  • Capital Gains rollover and holdover considerations
  • Tax efficient mortgage structures
  • VAT considerations of property deals
  • Making the most of the Principal Private Residence election
  • Tax issues on the sale of part of your residence
  • Second homes
  • Inheritance Tax angles

This is a tricky area but we can help you take the right actions so that you remain compliant and legally reduce your tax bill.