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The Positive Accountant Vol 1 Ed 29

I'm going to start this with a plea for help.

It is to do with bank account details.  We are having to ask for these quite a bit at the moment, for obvious reasons to get money on clients' behalf from HMRC.

If we ask for your bank details,please give us the right ones !

It's such an obvious point, I don't really need to say why....

But would it surprise you that five times this year we have been given incorrect details ?

Three of them have been for Furlough claims.  HMRC have been quite clever and built in Open Banking checks - they check with the bank at the time of making the claim, if the name doesn't agree with the bank details then the claim is rejected.  That's a good thing, it means that there isn't even the slightest risk of the money going to the wrong place.  

But it does mean that the claim is rejected, and because the system doesn't allow the data to be saved part completed, means that we have have to do the same job a second time  with the right details once we have them from you

The more worrying situation has been in connection with tax return refunds, the number goes on the tax return and so long as the sort code is six numbers long and the account code eight, HMRC accept it.

On one occasion this simply meant the payment bounced, which entails more work then redirecting it.  And delays in getting the money - one client has a refund that should have been made in January still outstanding due to this

But on the fifth occasion  the money has (at the moment) disappeared.

If in doubt, please check.  

Remember, if you have 'missed' any previous editions, they can be found at

What are my positives today:-:

1. My largest client is cross with me

Many of those reading this will be familiar with 'Largest Client Syndrome'.  The one you really don't want to upset.  

My largest client is slightly different, in that you really, really, really don't want to upset her.  (And I sense some readers, those who are guessing who I'm writing about, are sniggering right now.)

I had replied to serious e-mail with an amusing response (I hasten to add the real answer followed shortly after)

The phone rang, and I heard a familiar stern voice saying "Adrian, undernocircumstances are you to make me laugh again"

I'll take that as a positive..

2.  Sir Ken Dodd (RIP) was wrong

I 'do' tax.  So I suppose you'd expect me to say that.

But in the light of my first point above, it seems George Carman QC, his defence barrister was right.


In particular the paragraph headed 'Tax Evasion Court Case' - it'll bring a smile to your face.  Tax isn't often the subject of humour.

3. It's the weekend 

Yes, my diary, although nothing else, tells me so.

And what am I talking to clients about  ?  

Scams- crises can bring out the worst in some people, but can also tempt us to lower our guard.  If something sounds odd, it probably is.  

The Government furlough scheme is not being paid to personal credit card accounts, so if you get an email for someone purporting to be from HMRC asking for your credit card details, don't give it to them !  (Yes, I have had someone do it this week).

Your bank will not ring you and say 'there is a problem with your account, can you log on and transfer all your money to your new account at this number'. (Real life story but client didn't do it.)

If you don't have a stockbroker, one won't ring and say 'You can double your money overnight if you invest in., are the bank details'.   (Um, yes.  Somebody has done just that)

Let's be careful out there.

Small Business Rates Relief- People in business tend to be busy people.  Sometimes things get overlooked.

Here's a true story - Client runs a business - defined as small for Small Business Rates Relief (SBRR) purposes - out of two sites.    (Background - SBRR, if you qualify, reduces business rates from full rate down to potentially nil.  But you can't get SBRR if your business occupies more than one property.)

For operational reasons, a couple of years ago, they closed the office down and moved onto the one site.  Anyone who has moved an office or house will know how stressful that is.  So they cancelled the obvious things - the rates bill on the old office, utilities etc, but ...

...what they never thought about was the rates position of the now only one site.  The business rates for it 'only' cost a few hundred a year, in the scheme of how busy they were it wasn't on the radar.  But, of course, as they now only occupy one site, they could have got SBRR and saved that money had they told their council.

This week, because of the £10,000 business interruption grant, it's become apparent, and important.    The grant is available to businesses that pay business rates but get SBRR.  So they are frantically applying to get the register changed at the council, refunds for the last couple of years and the grant.

Enjoy the weekend


07917 338342

Is there light at the end of the tunnel ?

Actually, be careful what you wish for.  

At the end of this 'tunnel' (it's actuallyAnimal Flower Caves in Barbados) is a 50 foot drop into the rough side of the Caribbean.  Survival chance 0%.  

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