Frequently Asked Questions

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Frequently Asked Questions

Answers to all the questions that you might have

How easy it is to change accountants?

Switching accountants is easy and straight-forward. It’s usually a case of simply writing to your current accountant, telling them the name of your new accountants and advising them that the new firm will be contacting them shortly to collect your records. When you decide to switch to us, we will fully manage the transition and ensure that the handover is seamless. We will take care of everything including contacting your current accountant and explaining you are moving away, drafting a brief note confirming the move, arranging for the transfer of records, obtaining copies of your accounts and tax computations, and notifying HMRC and other government offices that we are looking after your business affairs.

What are your qualifications? What professional certifications do you have?

It is a rather concerning fact that anyone can call themselves an accountant. We, on the other hand, are rather proud of the fact that we are an Chartered Certified ACCA firm. The ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) is a professional body that examines and regulates accountants on a global basis. They set high professional and ethical standards which they expect their members to follow in their work, and regulate their compliance with those standards and the Law. It confirms that we have achieved and maintained a standard of excellence that enables us to offer the best available service to clients.

What can you do for me?

If you are just looking for assistance with your tax returns – then that is what we will do. But we will also put reminders in place for you so that next year we can ensure we gather the information in plenty of time. Or if you have a company that you want to have more time to focus on, then we can work through your accounting processes and provide a package of services designed with your company in mind such as financial planning, advice, auditing, record-keeping, business structure advice, cost and pricing analysis, taxation, cash flow management, payroll and government compliance.

Why should I choose Direct Assist for my accounting and tax needs?

The answer is simple. All of us here at Direct Assist work hard to deliver the best possible service to our clients. As an ACCA qualified accounting firm we provide the highest quality advisory services and our relationship with our clients is based on trust, integrity and open communication. We stay up to date on tax laws and associated legislation and ensure you receive all of the tax benefits possible for your circumstances.

What do I have to pay in taxes this year?

For personal tax the amount you need to pay will depend upon how much you earn and and whether you're employed or self-employed. The amount is calculated using different tax rates and a series of tax bands. To work out how much corporation tax your company or organisation must pay for each accounting period will depend upon your company or organisation’s taxable profit. It can easily be calculated by filing a corporation tax return. At the moment, you can pay and file your company tax return online or on paper. Before we delve deeper into the world of taxes, it is worth pointing out that trying to calculate your taxes can be complicated, challenging and time-consuming; it is certainly one of those areas where using an accountant is well worth the money. We can discuss your total tax payment and whether you owe additional taxes this year or if you need to get a refund. Most importantly, we will work out how your income and expenses affect the total tax you pay and the steps necessary to minimize them in the future.

What are the legalities regarding the death of a director?

To notify the death you should submit form 288B at Companies House, and form 288A for the appointment of any new directors. The only things that don’t have to be notified at the time are transfers of shares; these are reported on the Annual Return. Since time is of essence in such situations, it’s advisable to consult a solicitor as things could get tricky. In terms of the bank account, whoever is the executor of the will should be able to co-sign anything for the bank. The company should therefore be able to run as normal.

Is it possible to convert a company limited by guarantee to limited by shares?

It is not possible to re-register a company limited by guarantee to limited by shares. However, it is possible to incorporate a new company limited by shares under the same name and then to transfer the business and assets from the company limited by guarantee to the new one. The newly formed company will become a separate legal entity, with a different company number from the previously existing company. It will still need a new VAT registration, and existing long-term contracts such as bank arrangements, leases, etc. will have to be transferred to the new company. From an accounting point of view the most convenient date for the transfer will be at the end of the existing company's financial year so that accounts can be drawn up for the whole year. You should consult us on this matter.

I am late on my annual return and I received a letter from Companies House warning of criminal proceedings and removal from the registrar. What are the penalties and how do I appeal?

Failure to file your annual return even after receiving reminders can move Companies House to either prosecute you for criminal proceedings or strike your company off after a month or so for an outstanding Annual Return. All companies irrespective of size or status, including dormant, flat management and charitable companies get penalised for not filing their annual accounts on time. It would be best to get in touch with us. We will co-ordinate with Companies House on your behalf and set out an appeal process to postpone any action while we get you up-to-date on your annual returns. You might have to pay the financial penalty but an early submission should lead them to drop any legal action.

How long do I have before I register with HMRC once I start trading?

You must notify HMRC within 3 months to avoid a £100 penalty. If you’re approaching this deadline then contact us and we will help you get the form in on time.

What are the deadlines for Corporation Tax return filing?

The deadline for filing your corporation tax return is within 12 months of the end of your company’s corporation tax accounting period. Yearly filing would include the submission of your company tax return form and other supporting documentation. If you fail to file your return on time your company will be charged an automatic penalty, even if it does not owe any corporation tax. Keeping the above in mind, your actual payment deadline can vary depending on how much taxable profit your company or organisation makes. This is determined by many factors including the amount of your taxable profits and whether you operate a group of companies. It pays to complete your tax return well in advance. We recommend that you contact our offices so that we can examine and plan your return in plenty of time.

What are the deadlines for Personal Tax /Self-assessment return filing?

Under self-assessment, a paper return must reach HMRC by 31st October and an online return by 31st January. If you fail to file the return, you automatically receive a £100 fine - even if you don’t owe any tax or have paid the tax you owe. If, for whatever reason, you miss the deadline, the longer you delay the more you pay. We examine every client’s individual circumstances closely and suggest planning well in advance so that you pay only as much as you have to and don’t incur a fine.

What information is needed to receive a quote and advice?

Firstly, to get a feel of the amount of work involved, we’d need a very brief review of your books and records. Additionally, we’d need a copy of your last financial accounts prepared by your current accountant to provide relevant advice. If there's anything you need help with and think it’s relevant for us to know, please mention it in the quote request.