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Dealing with HMRC

Posted: 05 Jul 2011 in Blog Business Startup Business Advice

Dealing with the HMRC is an unavoidable fact of business. At some point your business is almost certain to have issues with the HMRC. This can be for two reasons. Firstly, the business can make an error, failing to pay by the deadline or paying the incorrect amount. Alternatively the HMRC can make a mistake, in terms of either mislaying your documents or mis-allocating a payment you have made.


If you make an error, which doesn’t have a simple remedy it is often best to ask your accountant how best to deal with it - because further mistakes can incur harsh penalties. It is highly likely that your accountant will have dealt with similar issues in the past and will be able to advise you as to the best course of action.


The HMRC makes more mistakes than you might think. In almost 50% of the issues we encounter it transpires that the HMRC are at fault. This was clearly highlighted during the PAYE fiasco last year which resulted in 6 million people paying the wrong amount of tax. Even if you are sure that the HMRC are at fault they’ll still chase you for payments until the issues are resolved. The best thing to do is just pick up a phone and speak to somebody. If you don’t, the problem will escalate rather than going away.


If you simply cannot pay then the worst thing you can do is to ignore the bill. And what’s more, the penalties for non-payment can be severe. If you are not confident dealing with the HMRC then in this circumstance it might be best to ask your accountant to negotiate on your behalf. They should have much more experience with the HMRC and be able to work out any ways round the issue, whilst minimising the amount incurred in penalties.


In order to decrease the amount of time spent dealing with the HMRC a good accountant will remain on top of deadlines and remind you when they are approaching as opposed to just helping you deal with the problems if and when they arise.


With the help of an experienced and pro-active accountant, dealings with the HMRC should be a hassle-free and routine part of your business.

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Tax Rates

Income tax2013-142014-15
Tax-free personal allowance (under 65)£9,440£10,000
Basic rate: 20%£0 - £32,010£0 - £31,865

Higher rate: 40%(dividends: 32.5%)

£32,011 - £150,000

£31,866  - £150,000

Additional rate: (dividends: 42.5%)

Over £150,000


Over £150,000


Capital Gains2013-142014-15
Annual Exempt Amounts for individuals£10,900£11,000
Corporation tax (rates for financial years starting on 1st April)20142015
First £300,00020%20%

Next £1,200,000

Over £1,500,00023%21%

Tax credit on dividends (basic rate taxpayer)

Approved HMRC mileage ratesFirst 10,000 business miles in the tax yearEach business mile over 10,000 in the tax year
Cars & vans45p25p

Motor cycles


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