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January Question and Answer Corner

Newsletter issue - January 08.

Q. How do I know the VAT number on my suppliers invoice is genuine?

A. It's a good idea to check any VAT number you have doubts about, as you can't reclaim the VAT charged if the VAT registration is invalid. The quickest way to do this is to ring the VAT helpline on 0845 010 9000. The VAT officer will tell you if the VAT number and address details you read out match theirs. If they don't match, they won't tell you the details they have on file, but then you know you have a problem, so go back to your supplier.

Q. What will I gain by sending in my monthly CIS return online?

A. Your CIS return needs to be with the Taxman by 19th of every month, even if you have no payments to report. If you submit the return online you don't have to allow for the time a letter takes in the post. The online service is available 24 hours a day, so you can do your return at any time it suits you. You gain peace of mind knowing your return has arrived safely as you get an instant acknowledgement with an online return. As long as you receive this acknowledgement by midnight on 19th of the month you can also be sure you won't get fined for submitting a late return.

Q. I'm going to be a bit short of money for the self-assessment payment due on 31st January and was wondering what the Taxman would do if I paid another creditor I have instead of the Taxman?

A. If you don't pay your income tax bill by 31 January 2008 you will have to pay interest at 8.5% on the unpaid balance. Also if you delay paying beyond 28 February 2008 you will have to pay a surcharge of 5% on the outstanding tax due for 2006/07, which will also carry interest at 8.5%. What's more the Taxman marks late payers as high risk cases. A high risk marker means you are more likely to get investigated and end up paying penalties for any tax errors you have made in the last six years. If you are really going to struggle to pay it is sensible to talk to them to arrange a payment plan.


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Choice Events Limited

All at Beauchamp Charles are very helpful, approachable and easy to talk to. They keep me informed with key dates; I can feel totally confident that I won't ever miss any deadlines! Whoever I deal with, always deal with matters professionally and efficiently and if they are unavailable they get back to me promptly.

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I have worked with Beauchamp Charles as our management accountants for over 20 years and have never received anything less than exceptional service. Their approach is both professional and personal. Finances and particularly tax strategies are a minefield for small businesses; Beauchamp Charles have in-depth knowledge of these area, which is comforting. They pay very close attention to our business activities and have provided financial strategies that have helped our company develop.

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We have used Beauchamp Charles since company formation back in 1998. Beauchamp Charles offers us a one to one service as they are small enough to offer this dedicated service and large enough to do the work and offer best advice. They get to know us as individuals and a business, always giving sound advice. Frederick Thomas Electrical are in a stronger place thanks to the service we get from them.

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We are a small business and had employed the same accountancy firm for many years. Two years ago we took the decision to switch to Beauchamp Charles after several othe local businesses recommended them very highly to us. We have not been disappointed with the service they have provided to us over these last two years.