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Anyone out there do their partners admin and tax returns?

(16 Posts)
LucyEllensmummy Thu 29-Jan-09 12:17:26

I just wondered how much you "pay" yourself, for tax purposes?

I put myself down at 5K, obviously im paid in kind wink, because its all our money that the business makes but im just wondering what other people do.

I probably do 10 hrs a week on average, but more at this time of year. The accountant has put the account down to 2.2K as she felt my amount was excessive. She calculated this amount based on the hours i said i worked at minimum wage shock. Minimum wage? Are there secretaries/book-keepers and general dogs bodies Ms Do everythings that would work for minimum wage?? I certainly wouldn't angry.

Maybe im being a bit precious, i am highly qualified but not in accountancy, but even when i worked at a general lacky and dogs body in a vets i was paid much more than the minimum wage and i was pretty much a kennel maid for some of that time.

traceybath Thu 29-Jan-09 12:22:29

Am in similar situation and i get paid about £5k too.

I do a bit of project management for my DH's business.

However this is what i do by profession and i know DH's accountants wouldn't have wanted me claiming any salary if i didn't actually do the work - they like to keep everything on the straight and narrow.

LucyEllensmummy Thu 29-Jan-09 13:00:44

Yes, tracey you are most likely right. The question i asked myself was, would we have paid 5K to have this done by someone else and no, we wouldn't, no where near.

But anyway, i have just had a good look at the tax return form and i reckon it took the accountant ten minutes to do it! I had collated everything and all she had to do was copy it into the relevent columns in her spreadsheet - so, next year - i think i'll do it myself as she hasn't saved us a penny this year And if we paid her on an hourly rate we would be looking at £600 an hour i reckon! Of course she is qualified etc etc, but this is self assesment so its not rocket science surely.

Just out of interest, we have been billed for 2008/09 in advance this year. This is the first time we have had to do this? Am i right in thinking it is because his turnover was more than 40K? this time round?

Im going to get on to the inland rev anyway and find out about courses and workshops, might even do a book keepers course and try and make some money from it.

Katiestar Thu 29-Jan-09 17:58:30

Its not for the bloody accountant to decide what your DH should 'pay' you.Do what is best for both of your tax positions

LucyEllensmummy Thu 29-Jan-09 20:57:01

ah well she's sacked now anyway - every other year she has saved us significant sums of money - this year she didn't save us as much as we paid her. So, it would seem im the new family accountant.

ChasingSquirrels Thu 29-Jan-09 21:01:50

payment on account for 08/09 - it depends on your tax liability for 07/08, some formula (can't remember it) but not turnover based, final tax liability based.
£5k doesn't seem unreasonable - you should be putting it through a PAYE scheme;
i) because you would have received £750 for online filing of year end returns over the last few years - too late for that now
ii) by filing the returns you are getting your NI records updated and at £5k (or just over) you will get credit for the state 2nd state pension, but won't have to pay any PAYE, or employers or employees NI.
THIS is the kind of this your accountant should be paying you for, yes tax return completion is admin - but there is knowledge in all the other stuff that goes round it - and that is what you should be paying for. If you aren't getting it find someone else.
<CS hopes that she isn't LEM's accountant!>

PlumBumMum Thu 29-Jan-09 21:03:10

Get paid less than 5k
So it falls below taxable income
You should get 300 and something a month, our accountant dosen't worry about the amount of hours

ChasingSquirrels Thu 29-Jan-09 21:03:16

ahh - didn't read this post;
ah well she's sacked now anyway - every other year she has saved us significant sums of money - this year she didn't save us as much as we paid her. So, it would seem im the new family accountant.
Sometimes you can't save money, without tax evasion - and that is illegal .
If she is saved you money in the past I would consider sticking with her.

LucyEllensmummy Thu 29-Jan-09 21:23:19

CS - thanks, I am hoping that i can do the tax returns myself this year - i've looked at the forms and they seem straight forward, and as you say, i am paying for her knowlege and she hasn't ever mentioned any of this and i have basically put the accounts together for her for the past three years. I have more time now and want to contribute more to my partners business.

We may have to take on staff rather than subcontract at some point if things go well (please god). So will be on a steep learning curve.

Do you know if the revenue offer workshops and courses to bring myself up to speed with the legalities etc. Or can you recommend any type of book keeping course that would be of use? I really feel that we have paid the accountant to do very little this year. This is the first year we haven't been satisfied. Ive never met her until now and was less than impressed when she left me standing in the street with DD yesterday when i took the accounts in - she made me wait outside while she went and fetched some stuff to give me. This was at her big swanky office and i got the impression she didn't want DD in there! We got soaked cos she was ages - VERY unprofessional!

ChasingSquirrels Thu 29-Jan-09 21:28:57

well that would piss me off enough to leave!
No idea on HMRC courses.
Payroll I would get someone to do, payroll bureau's do it pretty cheaply.
Is it a company or a sole trade (presume sole trade as you are doing it now).
Have you considered incorporation (depends on lots of factors, tax saving no longer as good as it was, but still there).
Do you use an accounting package or manual records.
Do you have fixed assets, and if so do you understand capital allowances?
There are actually lots of things that you may not be aware of which an accountant does kind of behind the scenes.

LucyEllensmummy Thu 29-Jan-09 21:46:01

My partner is a builder and pretty much a one man band. Definately described as a sole trader.

No, i don't understand capital allowances, in fact that was the only thing on the form i wasn't sure about - how does that work?

I just assuming that it is self assesment for a reason and that because i am collating all the data, the accountant doesn't really have that much work to do on it - DP used to just hand over the receipts in a box and she calculated from that - perhaps i should just leave her to it then. Seems i have been doing half her job? Or is that standard practice?

LucyEllensmummy Thu 29-Jan-09 21:48:11

I just use excel, we have sage but i don't use it as yet - ive not been well (PND) so been doing the bare minimum, but want to be more involved.

I didn't mean to sound like i think accountants don't earn their money, i just wondered if i could manage it myself, especially as she didn't save us anything this year. The only reason we have used an accountant is because she always seemed to save us money.

PlumBumMum Thu 29-Jan-09 21:50:11

Lucyellens mum you sound just like us we hand everything in perfect, I think we pay an accountant so we know we are keeping ourselves right

ChasingSquirrels Thu 29-Jan-09 21:53:02

No, i don't understand capital allowances, in fact that was the only thing on the form i wasn't sure about - how does that work?

- well that's one of the things you are paying her for (her tax knowledge), there are various rules around it, but tax allowability is a pretty complex subject.
The HMRC website has all the information on it, but if you don't know what you are looking for it probably doesn't make sense.
- basically capital allowances are the HMRC depreciation, so you get set rates.

Yes you are doing half her job, if you wanted her to do all of it you would be paying alot more. Good records = lower fee. TBH I try and train my clients so that I get decent records from them, seems daft for them to pay me quite alot to summarise their records/get them in some kind of order when they could do it themselves and just pay me for the knowledge bit.
Unless they don't want to and are happy to pay me - then I am happy to take their money!

It is self-assessment because you (or your accountant, but you take the ultimate responsibility by signing the form) make the assessment (ie calculate the tax due) rather than just sending all the information in and HMRC assessing how much is due (which is what used to happen).
So the onus is on you to ensure full disclosure, get everything right etc. Rather than on the HMRC to ensure they have all the right information.

LucyEllensmummy Thu 29-Jan-09 22:03:30

Our accountant charges the same fee, whatever state the accounts are in. £320, does that seem reasonable to you?

Think im going to have to learn about tax then. Of course im hoping that DP will earn more money and the business will take off then we will definately need an accountant.

ChasingSquirrels Thu 29-Jan-09 22:06:28

for a basic tax return - company director with salary, dividends, maybe a few other bits of income - bank interest, small dividend portfolio - we would charge £150+VAT min. That's where we probably do the company accounts and payroll and have all that info to hand.

Small self employed with very good records, £320 sounds cheap. Certainly wouldn't consider a bag full of invoices at that price.

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