What HMRC Know About You !

Don’t worry we’ll make sure you don’t get into trouble!

You may or may not know that…

HMRChave significantly increased the number of tax investigations they carry out.

Not only that…

HMRC’s “breakthrough” computer system, a new, powerful weapon against fraud, tax evasion and avoidance, will ensure that even the most determined are caught eventually.

The system is called as ‘Connect’, and was designed by defence contractor BAE Systems. Although it cost HMRC £45m back in 2010, it has already delivered £1.4bn of additional tax revenues.

So given all of this we thought it would be helpful for you to have the information contained in this article to save you from getting into bother with HMRC.

We think it best to be prudent because…

You may never have had an HMRC tax investigation, but given the government have put HMRC under pressure to collect more tax revenues than ever before, the chances are the even the most careful of Self-Employed/MD Owners will come under HMRCs microscope at some point.

Connect computer power

“6 out of 10 tax inquiries use this system”

The HMRCs powerful tax inquiries computer system is called ‘Connect’.

It’s a very appropriate name because…

HMRC has unrivalled wealth of information about people living in Britain, due in part to its many connections with other databases, such as the Land Registry, Companies House and the Electoral Roll. “HMRC has more data than the British Library”

Not only that…

The HMRC website is one of the world’s biggest websites at peak filing time.

‘Connect’ has access to such comprehensive data that it allows investigators to spot anomalies.

HMRC’s powerful IT system allows Tax Inspectors to build up literally dozens of connections for any one individual. Creating a unique profile about that persons circumstances.

It also makes it much easier for HMRC to check up on individuals’ tax return

HMRC gets information from other organisations
The tax authority’s access to Land Registry and DVLA data means it knows how much someone has spent on their house and can see vehicles registered to each address.

So, if someone has bought a high value vehicle, but lives in a modest flat that might not fit with that individual’s financial affairs.

Maybe an individual owns some properties in their name, but has not declared any income, that would be a warning sign.

The Inland Revenue can easily build up a picture of someone’s financial worth and means that if someone is only declaring £20,000 a year, but is living a £100,000 lifestyle, HMRC can call on that individual to pay more.

What goes ‘on the web’ stays ‘on the web’

HMRC also grabs seemingly harmless information from social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

If someone is constantly putting up pictures of expensive holidays and flashy cars on Facebook, but is paying minimal tax, then that could trigger an investigation.

HMRC also obtains information from less obvious sources, such as adverts on noticeboards, in newsagents or even stories in local newspapers.

“All media is a valuable source of information for HMRC”

“Fear and guilt on TV, Radio and Billboards”
The tax authorities advertising campaigns are designed to make tax evaders feel rotten about cheating the Exchequer when times are hard.

Ad campaigns emphasise that “the net is closing in“. The latest adverts warn tax cheats to declare all their income “before it is too late”.

There’s More…
Apart from powerful computing systems, and the ability to gather huge amounts of electronic information, the tax authorities also use these tactics……..

Mystery Shoppers…
Tax inspectors also now operate undercover, in disguise, and in teams to root out suspicious behaviour.

Informers and tip-offs…
Embittered divorcees and disgruntled former employees are among HMRC’s sources of useful information.

Overseas property owners….
Higher-rate taxpayers with properties abroad are among those targeted by the 200-strong HMRC affluence unit. This affluence unit has been set a target of raising an extra £560m over the next four years.
As well as overseas property, other investigations involve commodity traders and people holding offshore accounts.

Offshore bank accounts….
In-line with the above, International borders are increasingly meaningless for tax authorities pursuit of outstanding taxes.

Property raid…
In certain circumstances, inspectors now have the power to raid the homes of people they suspect of not paying tax.

Raids last year were 155% up on the previous year. These property searches, tend to focus on individuals who run their businesses from home

Fake numbers….
The “chi squared” test is another tool sometimes used by tax inspectors to check the reliability of reported figures, including restaurants’ sales figures. This test, also known as ‘Benford’s Law’, is a means of testing the randomness of figures.

Basically if numbers are made up, or appear to have some honest anomalies, there is a very good chance that HMRC will spot it and investigate.

So what is the answer?

How can you make sure that peace of mind is never far away?

It goes without saying that instructing a quality accountant is a must.

However HMRCs powers have increased significantly over the past couple of years, and that is set to continue. So even with a good accountant on your side, an investigation can be very stressful, intimidating and take up so much of your valuable time.

What will you do if HMRC decide to investigate your affairs?

We recommend taking out ‘protection insurance’.

We offer our clients insurance against the accountancy/legal costs of HMRC investigations.

We will provide up to £75,000 (through our insurer) in respect of fees incurred by us attending meetings with HMRC or responding to correspondence from HMRC when you are subject to an HMRC check, enquiry, visit, meeting or dispute.

For full terms and conditions, in addition to guidance and advice please about your tax affairs contact us at info@oandk.co.uk, call 020 8686 7756 or visit our website www.oandk.co.uk

Best Wishes and Success

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Was this George Osborne’s last Budget?

Budget

This years Budget was pretty Political – which is no great surprise given the forthcoming general election in May. There can be little doubt that a number of the chancellor’s measure were designed to attract voters. Non-pension savers, for example, were offered a new personal savings allowance, which is worth up to £200 a year and are to be given more flexibility and investment options for their ISAs after the election. The Budget is also likely to be good news for existing pension annuity owners, who are to be allowed to sell their income in return for a lump sum.

House prices and the difficulties of getting onto the property ladder are rarely out of the news these days and the Chancellor has proposed to give those who aspire to own their own home a helping hand – a new Help to Buy ISA. This scheme, due to start in August 2015, will see the government provide a £50 bonus for every £200 of monthly savings deposited in this ISA, up to a maximum of £3,000 on £12,000 of savings.

Unfortunately, the Budget’s can’t all be good news for everyone. Those who have not yet retired received a bit of a blow in the form of a further reduction in the lifetime allowance, which the Chancellor has cut down to £1 million – a measure proposed by the Shadow Chancellor in February.

So, we heard lots of interesting announcements in this Budget but Whether these proposals become legislation very much depends on the outcome of the election.

Article by Taxwise.

“We Walk the Social Enterprise Walk”

OandK_logo

“We Walk the Social Enterprise Walk”

Here’s how we take Social Responsibility seriously……

Owadally & King have the pleasure of being a sponsor of Young Start-up Talent in Croydon 2015. We love getting involved with community based projects in Croydon as we believe in giving back to our community and to those less fortunate than ourselves.

Inspired by a seminar he attended, our partner Simon Maddox showed the global charity International Needs UK how it could enable businesses to give back to projects the charity supports. O&K are leading by example;

  • By giving life-saving vaccinations every time we complete an Annual Return for a client
  • By giving new school uniforms to third world schools every time we finalise a company Tax Return.
  • And by giving an African family a sustainable source of food and an income, in the form of chickens, every time we win a new client at O&K.

So far we have donated, 118 Child Immunisations, 478 School uniforms, 660 Chickens (33 families)

We wanted to make a real difference to our local community too, so when an innovative CIC Enterprise Cube came to us, having been let down by another firm, not only did we solve their accountancy issues within 24 hours, but we also got involved in their community work.

Enterprise Cube CIC runs business start-up training courses for the residents of Housing Associations. The courses are free to delegates, because they are paid for by the Housing Associations and give their tenants (many of whom are from disadvantaged backgrounds) the skills, knowledge and confidence they need to set up their own business.

Young Start-up Talent is a community based project helping 16-25 year olds with an entrepreneurial flair for business to make their dreams become a reality.

The judging will be ‘Dragons Den’ style pitch and the panel are made up of Local business leaders. The judges of the project will get to star in a video of the pitches, which will then be presented to the audience at the grand final which in the past has included heads of schools, politicians, teachers, local business leaders and the families.

This project has grown since its launch in 2010, there is a prize fund of £50,000 worth of products and services to help the winner start up their own business, and we are always looking at ways of helping entrepreneurs get their businesses up and running and we just had to be sponsors of this year’s Young Start-up Talent.

 natalie

Enough about us here is a little bit about the last winner of the Brighton 2014 competition and her business idea. 24 year old Natalie Evans wowed the judges with her company 42juice, which produces fresh organic juices made up of 100% raw, cold pressed fresh fruit and vegetables to provide instant nutrients and vitamins, 42juice offers cleanse and detox packages. Since winning the prize fund Natalie has appeared in The Sunday Times magazine and in Cosmopolitan. Natalie recently opened a shop in Market Square in The Lanes, Brighton and we wish her and all the other winners a bright and profitable future.

Success at The London Business Show – Olympia

What a success!
Our team worked very hard in the build up to The London Business Show Olympia and this hard work certainly paid off

Our Business Success Planning Workshops were fully booked well in advance, and proved to be one of the most popular seminars at the show.

Our ‘One Page Business Success Plan’ seems to have captured peoples attention, as did our ‘Head Start’ package for people wishing to start their own business.

Visitors were also asking about our Business Success Clubs, and of course the wide range of Accountancy and Tax Advice services that we provide.

We have also decided to give start up businesses a helping hand.

We have devised a business ‘Head Start’ package, designed to support new businesses in their first year, in the following ways:
‘Head Start’ Advice
Practical ‘down to earth’ advice, with everything new businesses need to know about
setting up a business.

First Years Financial Return
Comprehensive help with first self-assessment tax return or the first set of Annual Accounts.

‘Unlimited’ Practical Advice
Access to our advice all year!, by phone or email 9:00am – 5:00pm Monday to Friday

VAT Advice
Help with the first VAT return.(if VAT registered)

Access to our Business Advice Clinic
Held on the 1st Friday of each month in Central London

Marketing and ‘Growth’ Advice
A one hour consultation with a Marketing and Business Growth Coach

Quarterly ‘Start Up’ Success Booklets
Full of useful hints, tips and techniques delivered to an inbox each quarter

Business Success Clubs
10% off membership to this exclusive group of ‘like minded’ business people.
(Whether you are a start up, SME or just want more direction)

All this for only £47.50 + VAT per month

For more information, or to speak with one of our Client Managers, just CLICK HERE

Great Comments From Our Business Success Club Participants

It is very rewarding to hear the comments that people make once they have experienced our Business Success Clubs.

It is also wonderful to see how a small group of business owners, who do not know each other, start off relatively quietly and as the Business Success Club progresses they become more and more confident with the rest of their group.

Success Club Photo

We have run three Business Success Clubs now and here are some comments from a selection of the previous participants

“This has been such a very useful course and has made me focus on both my personal and business goals, as previously I had not made the link between the two”
Proprietor – Nash Oils

“The process has changed my outlook and galvanised us to make changes, thank you”
Managing Director – All Comfort Solutions

“Great sessions, nice and interactive with very useful info and with your help I have changed my objectives and plans and now work just 4 days per week. Thank you”
Proprietor – Safety Is the Key

“Very helpful sessions and highly informative”
Managing Director – Kato Enterprises

“I was not sure after the first session, but the module about People and Personality Profiles changed my opinion”
Director – Pancentric Digital

“As a small business owner the course, the content and presentation was first class. We are now more focused regarding how to make our business more efficient and pro-active”
Managing Director- Innovation Fire and Security

“The Business Success Club has been a great help, thanks sincerely” 
Managing Director – Advocate Art

“Thanks again. This has been so worthwhile for me and Elaine”
Proprietors – Croydon Community Angels

“Original, fresh, thought provoking with good structure and strategy”
Proprietor – Tidal Media

Now matter how long we are in business, or how tough things sometimes get, comments like these make our efforts worthwhile.

If you would like some information about the next Business Success Club, which starts on Tuesday 8th September, then contact lisa@oandk.co.uk.  

A Newbie on the Block

Starting at Owadally and King was daunting as I was returning to work after a career break to care for my son. I have now been here for 6 months and things are going well. I am settling into my role as an Administrator/Receptionist and enjoy the interesting and challenging work; two days are never the same.

Everyone here is friendly and gave me a warm welcome when I started and that has continued. It’s not all work, work, work; I had my first team outing at the end of April which saw us heading to London for high afternoon tea at Rubens at the Palace, and I must say I enjoyed every sandwich and every bite of the delicious cakes; we will also be going out to the theatre sometime in October to catch a show.

Lisa

I am busy with the all aspects of administration including the Practice Social Media activities, so if you would like to follow us on Twitter CLICK HERE, or even ‘like’ our Facebook Page by CLICKING HERE.

So to sum up my first 6 months here at Owadally and King, all I can say is I’m having a great time and am enjoying every day so long may it continue.

Success at The Business Show – London Excel

Our One Page Business Success Planning Workshop was a great success as all 14 sessions were oversubscribed. During the two days of the Business Show Exhibition at London Excel over 350 business people attended our seminars.

At times it was standing room only as we set out to explain how it is vital to link personal goals with any business objectives, whilst at the same time providing MD/Owners with useful business growth tips and techniques they could use for their own business straightaway.

One Page Business Success Plans

Our Business Planning Workshop

We also received a significant number of enquiries from people thinking about setting up their own business. Our ‘Headstart’ package, created specifically for start-up businesses, was launched at the show.

We also held a FREE Business Card Draw, with the lucky winner receiving membership of our next Business Success Club, the value of which is £725.00 plus VAT.

One Page Business Success Plan

A fully booked workshop

Due to the success of our first exhibition appearance in London, we will be exhibiting and conducting these unique workshop sessions again, this time at the London Business Show at Olympia on 27th and 28th November 2014. You can book your place HERE as the sessions will once again be oversubscribed. See you in November !