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And So Yet Another Tax Year Ends!

Yes, we are now at the 5th April, the end of yet another Tax year. Wow, doesn’t time fly when you are having fun? It’s right though, the older you get the more the time seems to fly, policemen always appear to be a lot younger than they were in the olden days, and the kids always seem to be leaving the lights on in the house (funny when we were their age we never seemed to notice that light left switched on, did we?)

For the vast majority of you people reading this blog, you will shortly be receiving your annual ‘Birthday Card’ from HMRC. Well what I really mean is a Notice to file your 2012/13 Self-Assessment Tax Return Forms, or if not this ‘Birthday Card’, then the large ‘Birthday Present’ in the shape of your actual Self-Assessment Tax Return Forms thudding through your letter box and on to the mat.

Now we all know by now, we can take the advice of Corporal Jones from the old classic TV series of Dad’s Army uttering the immortal words of “Don’t Panic!, Don’t Panic!” And he is right, there is no need to panic, we do have until 31st October 2013 to file the paper version of the Tax Return with HMRC, or if we have all successfully moved into the hi-tech computer age (and even I have managed to do that, but I must confess I am still struggling with my Blackberry mobile phone and all its gadgets and apps!), then it will be the 31st January 2014 for the Return to be filed on-line. So, there is no reason to rush or panic, we all have plenty of time! But, as the old saying goes, time waits for no man (or woman for that matter), so it is probably best to start getting prepared right now.

So, what do you need to do? – well a good starting point is to look at what was required for your last year’s Tax Return. Make sure you look out for the Bank Interest certificates that come through the post, and put them to one side, but please don’t be too disappointed if your Bank in Cyprus doesn’t issue you with one, I think we will all understand why!

Dividend vouchers are always something that seems to cause a bit of a problem when completing Tax Returns, so again have a search around for these. Sometimes, you do need to watch out for when a Dividend is not actually paid out to you, and so never hits your Bank Account, but is re-invested into further shares in that Company. This is still a Dividend received, and so needs to be declared on your Tax Return and you would have still have been issued with a Dividend voucher, so go have a look for this.

If you have a rented property, then it’s usually fairly easy to know what rents you have collected, and you should of course have receipts for any expenses paid out for the property. It is usually the Mortgage interest that is more of a complication, as this can depend upon how you financed the property in the first place, plus any re-mortgaging that has taken place. Rented properties also includes any rental income generated from overseas properties, so that week you rented out your Spanish Villa to Michael Bublé for the filming of his new music video will still count, and so needs to be declared on your Tax Return.

For employed people, it is usually a question of keeping your P60 (usually issued by the end of May), and a copy of your P11D Form (usually issued by 5th July). The P11D form is the declaration by your employer of any taxable benefits you have been provided with during your employment. These could be provision of a company car, the private use of company fuel, private medical insurance benefit, and would even stretch to the use of a hospitality box at Doncaster Rovers Football Ground (Do Donny Rovers actually have any hospitality boxes? – I know we do at Leeds United, but the way Leeds are currently playing at the moment they could be a strong argument with the Taxman whether there is any benefit arriving through the use of any hospitality box? In fact one could argue the opposite and maybe a Tax Refund is more likely to be due??)

On the employment section of the Tax Return, it is important to consider whether there are any expenses to be claimed on the Tax Return, that are a direct result and condition of your employment. The most popular claim is a Mileage claim for use of your own private vehicle whilst carrying out your employment duties. You can claim against your Tax position a figure of £0.45 per mile for the first 10,000 business miles and then £0.25 per mile for business journeys over the 10,000 miles. These limits apply for each Tax year.

You do have to deduct of course any mileage amount re-imbursed to you by your employer. Oh, and by the way, you can claim an extra £0.05 per mile for every business passenger you carry. The sharp-eyed ones of you out there will be kindly noting, “Ah yes, so that’s why Rickey has a people carrier!” – Spot on!

So, keep a record of these journeys, or if you haven’t already done so, go back and collate this information from the start of the 2012/13 Tax year (i.e. 6th April 2012). Sadly, travel from home to work will not qualify.

As all JCL (Jones Cooper Limited) clients are aware, we do of course contact you fairly promptly after the 5th April to get all these details from you, so we can complete your Tax Return as early as possible. The earlier we can complete your Tax Return for you the better, as this will mean you will always receive prior advanced warnings of any looming Tax bills. And just as importantly, if we have up to date information, we can then look at your current Tax year position and consider any pro-active Tax planning measures available to you, to help reduce your future Tax burden.

Rickey

Rickey Cooper FFA, FMAAT, ATT
JCL – Jones Cooper Limited

 

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