Archive for July, 2015

Reasonable Excuse – HMRC Penalties

If you have received a penalty for late filing of their personal tax return it is possible to get it cancelled if all of the following conditions are met:

- the penalty relates to your tax return for 2013/14;
- you have now submitted that tax return to HMRC;
- your appeal against the penalty includes a reasonable excuse for the late filing.

The reasonable excuses that HMRC will accept include; computer faults encountered while submitting the return, unexpected postal delays (only applicable to paper tax returns), life-changing events such as the death of a close family member, and fire or flood that occurred shortly before the tax return had to be filed.

HMRC admit that where a taxpayer is flummoxed by their online systems that can also be a reasonable excuse for later filing. However, you need to be more precise than saying; “I didn’t understand the online instructions”.

An acceptable reasonable excuse may be: “When I pressed ‘submit’ I received an error message that said; ‘access denied’. I rang the HMRC online helpdesk on these occasions and received the following advice…”

When you contact HMRC for help with any tax return filing problem, whether for personal tax or business tax returns, always make a note of the exact time you rang and the number you called. If the HMRC officer tells you to do something (e.g. wait for a code number), write down what was said and ask for a name and reference number for that advice.

Property to Let

What happens If you  personally owns a number of buy-to-let residential properties and decided  for a member of the family to live in one of those let properties. Could the cost of repairs made to that property while they are living there be claimed as expenses against the rental income from the whole property portfolio? 

Any expenditure on repairing a property will be incurred for the benefit of your client and/or their family while they live there, so it can’t be deducted from the profits of their property letting business. Even if the property is let out again after their family has moved out, the repairs done while the family were there have a non-business purpose. Therefore, it would be better to do the repairs while the property is occupied by a tenant or after their family has moved out.

Report find that Guildford has greatest economic potential outside London

Guildford has the best economic prospects outside of London, according to a new survey.

The annual report assesses the economic prospects of towns and cities outside the capital, highlighting those areas that offer the greatest potential for economic expansion during the coming 12 months.

The results rank each location in six categories: most productive; fastest growing; most entrepreneurial; best educated; greenest and most affluent.

Ranked in first place for driving economic growth, Guildford has replaced Cambridge as the area with the strongest and most robust economy, offering businesses and investors opportunity for development, expansion and growth.

Guildford’s main attributes were listed as its high level of affluence, low levels of unemployment and high status educational offering.