Frequently Asked Questions
Not all accountants are the same and for many businesses finding an accountant can be tricky. While choosing an accountant can be a difficult process, especially if you are a new business startup, it’s much simpler if you approach it systematically and ask the right questions. As a guide below are a few of the more common questions we get asked by prospective clients considering using our services…
Q: How easy is it to change accountants and why should I change?
A: If your existing accountant is offering you an excellent pro-active service at a fair fee then stick with them. However, different accountants will save you different amounts of tax and provide different levels of business advice. If your present accountant doesn’t offer the type of service you want and that we do offer, then changing over to us is very easy. It involves just one letter from you and we take care of everything else for you. Your existing accountant is not usually allowed to charge you for providing the normal handover information.
Q: You seem to offer a lot. Are your fees expensive?
A: No! We offer fixed fees linked to the value of what we provide. We’re not always the cheapest and as with many things in life the cheapest is often the most expensive in the long run. However, we are not expensive and we offer excellent value for what we provide. Most importantly we never undertake work without agreeing the fee arrangements in advance so you always know where you stand.
Q: I’ve just had my accounts done and don’t need an accountant until next year, so is there any need to contact you now?
A: We can’t over emphasise the importance of tax planning at an early stage, not crisis driven advice. Ideally you do tax planning before the year even starts but after that, the earlier the better. The same is applicable to all areas of advice and we are about helping you change the future, not just reporting what has already happened.
Q: When and how soon can you come to see us?
A: When’s good for you? Let us know and we’ll do our utmost to help. If you need to see somebody urgently, we’re always out and about and can arrange to see you very quickly.
Q: Is your fixed quote guaranteed for more than one year?
A: We’re not in the business of providing low quotes just to get your business for the first year and then raising the fees. We want you as a long term client who trusts us to do what we say we will do. We quote what we anticipate to be a fair fee for the value provided and would only anticipate normal inflationary increases if the work stays the same. Very occasionally there may be reasons why the amount of work involved exceeded what was expected but we would sit down and discuss these with you. In some cases, where it is clear exactly what work is involved we can guarantee the fee for more than one year.
Q: You seem to be offering so much that I’m just not used to from my present accountant. How do I know you will deliver?
A: All we can say is that as accountants, you’d expect us to be a bit analytical, which is true. As such do you really think we would offer you something we couldn’t deliver that is backed up by our 100% risk free guarantee. Our clients are used to this level of service. Go to our ‘See what our clients say’ page.
Q. Why has HMRC emailed/texted a message to me regarding a tax refund?
A: HMRC never contacts customers to say they are due a tax refund via text message or by email. This message is a scam. Do not click on any links/attachments and do not reply to the email. If you have clicked on any links – do not supply any information on the website.
If you think you have accidently supplied any personal information or have lost any money due to fraudulent activity, you need to contact your bank immediately. You can also make a report to Action Fraud if you have been a victim.
Q: How do I pay my self-assessment tax bill?
A: For a CHAPS, BACS or Faster Payment bank transfer, the details are as follows:
Sort code Account number Account name 08 32 10 12001039 HMRC Cumbernauld 08 32 10 12001020 HMRC Shipley
The payslip you may receive from HMRC will inform you which account to pay in to. If you are unsure, use Cumbernauld.
The reference to use is your 10-digit Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) followed by the letter ‘K’. You can find your UTR on your HMRC online account, letters or the payslip you may receive from HMRC, or you can contact us.
If your account is overseas, the bank details are as follows:
Account number (IBAN) Account name Bank identifier code (BIC) BARCGB22 GB62BARC20114770297690 HMRC Cumbernauld BARCGB22 GB03BARC20114783977692 HMRC Shipley
Q: What is an authorised agent?
A: As your accountant, we would be your authorised agent. We would deal with HMRC and Companies House on your behalf. To become your authorised agent we will have to request to become your agent with HMRC. You will then receive an authorisation code in the post from HMRC which you will need to pass on to us to action.
Q: What qualifications/experience does Draper Accountants have?
A: Brittany Draper her completed her AAT exams with distinction and currently holds an AAT Accountant Licence. Peter Draper has been an accountant for over 50 years. Rochena Draper has completed her AAT exams and has also completed her ACCA exams. Please find more information in the “Meet The Team” section of our website.
Q: What is the VAT threshold limit?
A: You are currently legally required to register for VAT if your 12 month rolling turnover exceeds £85,000. You must register within 30 days of your business turnover exceeding the threshold. In some cases it can be beneficial to register even if your turnover is below the threshold. De-registration threshold is £83,000. The VAT registration and deregistration thresholds will not change for 2 years from 1 April 2020. We can handle your registration on your behalf.
Q: What is the current minimum wage?
A: From 1 April 2019, the minimum wage rates are as follows:
Age 25 and over 21 to 24 18 to 20 Under 18 Apprentice 2019 £8.21 £7.70 £6.15 £4.35 £3.90
Minimum wage rates are likely to change every tax year.
Q: When should I inform HMRC that I have commenced trading?
A: You must notify HMRC within 3 months once you have started trading to avoid a £100 penalty. We can help you complete the registration of your business.
Q: What are the deadlines for filing Corporation Annual Accounts and Corporation Tax returns?
A: With HMRC, you have 12 months after your company’s accounting period to file a company tax return. If you fail to file on time your company will be charged an automatic penalty – even if no corporation tax is due. Paying your Corporation Tax bill and telling HMRC that your company does not owe any money has a separate deadline, which is 9 months and 1 day after the end of your company’s accounting period.
With Companies House, you have 21 months to file your first accounts after the date you registered. Future annual accounts need to be filed within 9 months after your company’s financial year end.
Q: What is the deadline for self-assessment tax return online filing?
A: An online tax return needs to be filed by 31 January. If you fail to file the return in time, you automatically receive a £100 fine.
Q: How long do I have to pay my Draper Accountants invoice?
A: As stated on our letter of engagement, unless specifically agreed, payment of our invoices is due within 7 days from the date of the invoice.
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