Tax and accounting legislation is incredibly complex, and accounting for independent schools – with or without charitable status – can be a minefield. Knowing what paperwork to keep, which tax incentives to take advantage of and which to avoid is not easy.
You will want to ensure your school’s finances are in the best possible shape and Fawcetts are ideally placed to help you achieve this. Our experience working with independent schools means that we have added specialist expertise to our already un-rivaled team. We offer a complete financial services package or we can undertake individual projects for one-off needs. Our range of cost-effective services for schools includes:
- Term-by term management accounts, including budgets, cash flow forecasting and financial reports, so that your board of trustees can be sure of accurate financial reports.
- Fee services for ensuring cash flow is consistent. This can include fee collection, interest calculations, advice on debt recovery, standing order arrangements and a complete review of your fee scheme if required.
- Payroll services to ensure your staff are paid correctly and on time every month, including monitoring of benefits in kind to keep taxation to a minimum.
- Tax and VAT planning to take advantage of available tax incentives, as well as helping you avoid potentially costly legislative changes. We can help to maximise your profitability while ensuring you avoid unexpected and costly tax bills.
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A response to a freedom of information request has revealed that HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) cancelled 270,000 late penalty notices in 2016.
However, this figure was dwarfed by the 610,000 cancellations in 2015 and the 400,000 cancellations in 2014.
The request was made by a partner in a ‘magic circle’ law firm, who was himself issued with a late penalty notice, despite having submitted his tax return in December, ahead of the 31 January deadline.
Despite having filed on time, when HMRC overturned the penalty in March this year, it nevertheless issued a letter, stating “if you file on time we won’t charge penalties”.
While HMRC revealed the number of late penalty notices that were cancelled over the three-year period, it did not disclose how many of these were the consequence of errors on the part of the Revenue, as opposed to the taxpayer having a reasonable excuse for late filing.
A spokesperson for HMRC said: “We don’t want penalties, we just want tax returns. Taxpayers with a reasonable excuse for filing late or who have been taken out of SA do not have to pay penalties. Taxpayers who file on time are not issued with penalties.”