Yours 4 A Day
Yours 4 A Day Ltd. The Working Persons Accountant

Excuses for Missing the 31 January Tax Return

Ten of the most terrible excuses for missing the 31 January tax return deadline have been revealed by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

Many of the excuses claim it was someone else’s fault – pets, girlfriends, work colleagues and even the President of the United States are named and blamed for taxpayers’ tardiness.

The excuses were all used in unsuccessful appeals against HMRC penalties for late filing and payment. Here’s the full list:

  • My pet dog ate my tax return…and all the reminders.
  • I was up a mountain in Wales, and couldn’t find a postbox or get an internet signal.
  • I fell in with the wrong crowd.
  • I’ve been travelling the world, trying to escape from a foreign intelligence agency.
  • Barack Obama is in charge of my finances.

How to be Santa to your elves (tax efficient ways to give your staff gifts at Christmas)

Christmas is a time of bonhomie and generosity, manifesting in the workplace through the renowned tradition of employee gift-giving and the office Christmas do.


But without sounding like Scrooge at Fezziwig's party,these activities are still part and parcel of business, subject to tax terms just like any more sober staffing issue.

So as a small business owner, how can you navigate the holidays while staying on the 'nice' list at the HMRC? Here we look at some of the main tax challenges presented by the most wonderful time of the year, and how to handle them without getting singed.

How to Manage Perfomance

How to Manage Performance

A key to any business is how your staff perform. The aim of managing performance is to continuously improve the performance of individuals and that of the organisation. It involves making sure that the performance of employees contributes to the goals of their teams and the business as a whole.

Good performance management helps everyone in the organisation to know:

  • what the business is trying to achieve
  • their role in helping the business achieve its goals
  • the skill and competencies they need to fulfil their role

10 Steps to Cashflow Heaven

1. Set cashflow targets

One way of controlling cashflow is by preparing and maintaining a cashflow forecast. Andrew Johnson, financial controller for telephone conferencing provider Powwownow, advises that this can be updated weekly, to provide an accurate outlook for the next six to 12 months.

He says: "Setting targets for the credit controllers is an excellent way to ensure it is given the attention necessary and provides a level of satisfaction and ownership to hit and beat these."

2. Agree clear payment terms

Late Payroll Filing Penalties

Late Filing Penalties

From 6 October 2014 the HMRC computer will automatically issue you with a penalty if you submit your full payment submission (FPS) under RTI "late", or don't submit it at all for a month in which you paid your employees.

So what makes the FPS "late"? HMRC say the FPS must be submitted on or before the day the employer pays the employees (the "payment date"). But is that the day the funds leave the employer's bank account or the day the employee receives the money?

In fact the "payment date" for RTI purposes is neither of these dates. It is the date contractually agreed between the employer and the employee to be the date on which the employee is to be paid. If the funds happen to be passed to the employee on an earlier or later date, perhaps due to a bank holiday, that doesn't change the "payment date". This is explained in HMRC's RTI guidance on non-banking days.

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