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Posted Mon, 10 Jun 2024 08:37:56 GMT by TG156
Hi, I'd really value some advice on how to deal with the following situation. I'm new to self-assessment, having always previously paid tax through PAYE. I signed up with a UK accountancy firm last year because I moved overseas and needed someone back in the UK to file tax returns for myself and my wife. I sent them my FY22-23 tax return info last August and received an acknowledgement. I heard nothing more after that, so in April of this year I contacted them to ask for any news (and perhaps an invoice for their services). They eventually replied to say that they'd filed a "dummy return" for me in January, and that they would pay any fines for late filing. Since then, it seems like they've been trying to avoid me. They don't reply to emails, and when I've phoned, they've said that they would get back to me but haven't. The company in question is part of a well-known franchise that generally gets excellent reviews. I've tried contacting the franchise owner after they responded to a TrustPilot review, but even they seem to be ignoring me. Obviously, my main concern is to understand what my position is with regards to any fines, and also at what point it becomes a serious problem. Am I worrying about this too soon? I've done everything I reasonably can from my end, but when the accountancy firm is giving me absolutely no information at all about their timescales, I have no idea where I stand. (Should I be signing up with another firm a.s.a.p. to get them to file my FY22-23 return, and if so, will I then be liable for any fines?) Thanks in advance for any advice!
Posted Thu, 13 Jun 2024 12:37:44 GMT by HMRC Admin 20
Ultimately, the responsibility for ensuring your returns are filed on time is yours.
The due date for your 22/23 return to be filed was the 31st of January 2024 - as late filing and payment penalties will now be accruing for this return, either file the return yourself or arrange to have it filed with another accountant as soon as possible.
While you are liable for any fines present on your record, if you believe these are the fault of the accountant you hired, you may consider approaching them to discuss who should pay.
You can also appeal the penalties, if you believe they are unfairly or incorrectly applied - just go to Appeal a Self Assessment penalty for late filing or late payment
Thank you.
Posted Fri, 14 Jun 2024 09:28:45 GMT by TG156
Thanks very much for your reply. I'm pleased to be able to say that I've now heard from my accountant, and to their credit, they've volunteered to cover any fines without me having to ask. However, it sounds like the situation isn't as bad as I'd feared. It seems they did in fact file on time, but an update is needed to make a correction. (I misunderstood their original explanation about the initial filing, I thought they meant that it was empty). One thing perhaps worth mentioning - changing accountant from overseas is not as straightforward as it could be due to the need for the agent approval codes to be sent by post. It took a number of attempts to sign up with our current accountant, because the expiry time for the codes is almost exactly the time it takes for the codes to reach us in the post. If you can suggest any other way to do this, I'd be very grateful.
Posted Tue, 18 Jun 2024 10:42:17 GMT by HMRC Admin 18

I'm sorry for the inconvenience regarding the time it takes to receive the approval codes. Unfortunately, for security reasons, we can only send the approval codes by post.

Thank you.

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