COGENT HOLIDAY OPENING TIMES

COGENT HOLIDAY OPENING TIMES

Thursday 20th December 9.00am – 5.00pm
Friday 21st December 9.00am – 3.00pm
   
Monday 24th December 9.00am – 1.00pm
Tuesday 25th December CLOSED – Christmas Day
Wednesday 26th December CLOSED – Boxing Day
Thursday 27th December CLOSED
Friday 28th December CLOSED
   
Monday 31st December CLOSED
Tuesday 1st January CLOSED – New Year’s Day
Wednesday 2nd January 9.00am – 5.00pm
Business as usual thereafter. Happy New Year!

Send us your Self-Assessment Tax Return Questionnaire by 31 December to save 50 per cent on your basic tax return fee

***PLEASE IGNORE THIS REMINDER IF YOU HAVE ALREADY SENT US YOUR QUESTIONNAIRE***

If you would like Cogent to prepare and file your 2017/18 tax return and you have not yet sent us your completed personal tax return questionnaire, you will need to do so by 31 December 2018 to benefit from our discounted fee.

The standard charge including VAT for a basic tax return is £240. Questionnaires received by 31 December 2018 will receive a 50 per cent discount on the basic tax return, charged at £120; any returns received after 31 December 2018 will be charged at the full rate of £240.

Please note, more complicated tax returns where additional work or supplements are required, will be subject to additional charges.

  • It is important to remember that even if your limited company has or is to be closed, it does not mean you are no longer required to file a Self-Assessment tax return. Only HMRC can release you from this responsibility and they will only do so providing you have no other sources of untaxed income.
  • If you have a second shareholder, they may also need to file a tax return, even if they haven’t previously; this is due to the changes to dividend tax from April 2016 which affect many dividends over £5,000 (£2,000 in 18/19).

Our Cogent deadlines have been set so that we can complete your return in time to meet the HM Revenue & Customs’ online filing deadline of 31 January 2019. Penalties for late filing of tax returns can be as much as £1,600, even when there is no tax due, so please ensure your tax return is filed on time, whether you ask Cogent to prepare it for you, or you have made other arrangements

You can request a questionnaire by emailing tax@cogentaccountants.co.uk

Please complete the questionnaire and return it together with any attachments to tax@cogentaccountants.co.uk

You are required to file a tax return if:-

  • You have been asked to file one by HMRC
  • You have a tax liability for the year (e.g. tax on dividends or higher rate tax, or if you have any income which has not been taxed at source)
  • You have a new source of income that needs to be declared

***PLEASE IGNORE THIS REMINDER IF YOU HAVE ALREADY SENT US YOUR QUESTIONNAIRE***

Contractors warned there is ‘no escape’ from the HMRC credit card ban this Christmas

Freelancers who paid their last self-assessment tax bill using a credit card are being reminded that there is ‘no escape’ from HM Revenue & Customs’ (HMRC) new ban on credit card payments this Christmas.

The news comes after HMRC moved to ban credit card payments on 13 January 2018 – leaving many forewarned taxpayers rushing to file their returns early in order to avoid falling foul of what critics described as a “customer-unfriendly” change to HMRC’s payment terms.

However, with the credit card ban now in full force, contractors and freelancers will have no choice but to save up the cash needed for their tax return over the Christmas period and pay the amount in full ahead of HMRC’s 31 January 2019 self-assessment deadline.

A spokesperson on behalf of the Institute of Chartered Accountants (ICAEW) pointed out that people who have overlooked this fact and haven’t allowed time to save shouldn’t despair, as “there are other payment options” they can use.

Such options include online/telephone banking, debit card online; direct debit; BACS, CHAPS or cheque posted to HMRC. Taxpayers can also pay at a bank or building society – but not at a post office.

Are you at risk of tax fraud this Christmas?

Taxpayers are being urged to be on their guard this Christmas, after a new study revealed that the number of tax scams reported each month had jumped to 85,000.

The figures, highlighted by accountancy body ACCA, represent a marked increase from the 70,000 reports of tax fraud per month last year.

Chas Roy-Chowdhury, head of taxation at the ACCA, said ‘ordinary’ taxpayers are most at risk of fraud this Christmas – which could include contractors and freelancers.

Fraudsters are getting increasingly more sophisticated, with many targeting their victims via phone, text or email, purporting to be from an official organisation such as HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).

In fact, phone scams now account for around 10 per cent of all tax scams in the UK.

So, how can unsuspecting taxpayers spot a fraudster and what can they do about it?

Most fraudsters rely on a technique known as ‘spoofing’ or ‘phishing’ to ensnare their victims. This involves tricking the victim into believing that the fraudster is contacting them from a genuine organisation. For example, the scam artist may manipulate their phone number to appear as though it is from the official HMRC call centre.

For all intents and purposes, the fraudster may look like the real deal.

But almost all of these scams have a weakness: under no circumstances are you required to entertain them.

If you feel that you may have a genuine issue or dispute with the tax office, always contact them directly using the email address or phone number provided on the official HMRC website.

A genuine advisor will never have a problem with you asking to phone them back. If they argue this point, it should raise an immediate red flag.

And, as Mr Roy-Chowdhury says: “It is a new world we live in when it comes to tax scams, don’t be a victim and do your own due diligence. Just a few simple checks to avoid being taken for a ride.”

And finally…

At this time of year, UK supermarkets tend to start stocking up with all sorts of special products and delicacies ahead of the festive season. But while Tesco, Waitrose and others are filling aisles with luxury mince pies, egg nog and all the usual Christmas goodies, Sainsbury’s has bucked the trend by launching some slightly more ‘exotic’ treats this Christmas.

According to a report in Sky News, the retail giant has broken new ground this winter by becoming the first UK high street supermarket to stock ‘edible insects’.

As of Sunday 18 November, as many as 250 stores all across the UK have begun selling ‘smoky BBQ crunchy roasted crickets’ and other equally leggy treats at the recommended retail price of £1.50 per packet.

The products, which are manufactured by alternative snack group Eat Grub, have reportedly been on sale on Ocado and other online shopping websites for several months, but this is the first time they have made it into a mainstream store – attracting mixed reviews from bemused customers.

Shami Radia, Co-Founder of Eat Grub, said: “Currently, insects are eaten and enjoyed by two billion people worldwide.

“We’re on a mission to show the West that as well as having very strong sustainability and environmental credentials, they are also seriously tasty and shouldn’t be overlooked as a great snack or recipe ingredient.”

According to recent research, around 10 per cent of Britons have tried edible insects – more than half of whom claim that they enjoyed eating them and would be happy to purchase them again.

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