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TaxCalc Blog

News and events from TaxCalc

Steve Checkley (18)
10 February 2016

Making Tax Digital – Quarterly Updates, Petitions, Debates and Research

I doubt that it will have escaped the reader of this blog that the Government has recently been extolling the virtues of its radical digital agenda. Back in the Autumn statement last December, it dropped something of a bombshell in the form of quarterly updates of accounting information for the self employed and, although rarely mentioned, for landlords too.

Rather than provide explanation as to how this could all work, the detail is still to follow. Indeed, various publications have recently been released by HMRC but they don’t exactly put much meat on the bones. There’s been research, which I’ll discuss later, but (at time of writing) we are still waiting for preliminary consultation, which will be followed by further consultation later this year.

And, of course, consultation generally only focuses upon one thing at a time. So there appears to be separate consultation to be had on quarterly updates, on the alignment of business activity to tax payments, on the penalties regime and so on.

Quite rightly, there has been much hubbub in the media and amongst both the accountancy practice and self employed industries. Again, I doubt it will have escaped you that there was a petition started to challenge “quarterly returns”. Having gained over 100,000 signatures, Her Majesty’s Government was required to debate the issue…

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Samantha Grant (4)
09 February 2016

Chips and Gravy

So, now you may be wondering why anyone at TaxCalc would be writing a post about chips and gravy. 

Well, we ask our customers if they have a couple of minutes to complete a survey after any remote log in session or email correspondence with us. This gives us an idea of how we are performing in relation to the support that we provide our customers. We also have a similar survey for feedback about the product itself.

We continually review the results and the comments received from these surveys and would like to thank everyone who left the fantastic comments we received throughout January 2016.  However, it seems that we just weren’t specific enough for one customer when we asked for additional comments. They took the opportunity to tell us that they like chips and gravy! ...

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Greg Case (1)
19 January 2016

HMRC's New APIs – How They Work in TaxCalc 2016

Hi there. I’m Greg Case and I’m TaxCalc’s Head of Product Development. I’ve recently been reviewing HMRC’s progress with the implementation of their new Application Program Interfaces (APIs) and how we’re going to incorporate this into the forthcoming 2016 version of our software.

In a nutshell it will give TaxCalc the ability to gather information that HMRC hold about a taxpayer and, in time, even update it in real time and outside of the tax return itself.

But only if you want it to. To do this, you need to give your TaxCalc software permission to work with HMRC’s APIs. TaxCalc can’t access any information unless you allow it to.

In this article, we’ll look at how it works…

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Samantha Grant (4)
12 January 2016

Gathering Customer Feedback

We are now in the second week of January and we are pleased to report that, in Support, we are exceeding expectations with an average wait time of just 26 seconds last week.

I mentioned in my previous article that we listen to our customers, and we really do! Part of our review process for cases involves looking at how many customers would like a feature or change to be implemented, so we rely on customers telling us what they want…

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Steve Checkley (18)
04 January 2016

Behind the Scenes of Working with Government

Just before Christmas, there was a lot of discussion on AccountingWeb regarding quarterly reporting and the notion of there being a petition set up to challenge the strategy as announced in the Autumn Statement.

As an apolitical organisation, we won’t be drawn into whether quarterly reporting is a good idea or not but with 229 comments (at time of writing) on this particular thread, it’s clearly proven to be a fiercely debated topic.

One of the comments that caught my eye during the debate was a call for the Big Four firms and accountancy bodies to use their influence with HMRC.

This gave me two thoughts…

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Samantha Grant (4)
21 December 2015

Customer Service at TaxCalc

At TaxCalc, we care about our customers and providing excellent customer service is at the heart of the business. HMRC wait times have been in the news a lot recently and of course it comes as no surprise to anyone that, during a recent Which? Survey, it was revealed that their average wait time between 25 September and 2 October 2015 was 38 minutes – and this wasn’t even during January, the busiest time of the Self Assessment season!

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Samantha Grant (4)
17 December 2015

Support Hours

Christmas is approaching, so it’s time to inform our customers of our opening hours throughout the holiday period.

As usual, we’ll be keeping a support service running during this time because we appreciate that some limited companies accounts and tax returns need to be submitted by 31 December. And, as usual, we'll be extending our January support hours to help our customers at this busy time.

  • Christmas opening hours - we will be providing email support on 29, 30 and 31 December between 9am and 5:30pm.
  • January opening hours – our extended support hours during this month are:

o    Monday – Friday: 9:30am and 8pm

o    Saturdays: 10am and 4pm (commencing 9 January)

o    Sunday 31: 10am and 4pm

Emails will also be monitored during the evening of 31 January.

We wish you a Happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year!

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Steve Checkley (18)
16 December 2015

Digital Tax Accounts and Quarterly Reporting

The Government today released a new document about Digital Tax Accounts. Entitled Making Tax Digital, it consolidates information that has been released into the public domain since the March Budget and lays out the roadmap by which HMRC will transform from its current regime to the new digital one.

Having read numerous articles in the press these last few days, many reporters have reiterated the fact that Digital Tax Accounts, both for individuals and businesses, will be the norm by 2020. However, what seems to have slipped somewhat under the radar by a few is the requirement for “most” self employed people and landlords to make quarterly returns from April 2018…

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