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Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Tax Deadline Day - 31st January Every Year!

As boring as it is, I'm afraid this is the same message as we do each year!

Tax Deadline Day!

If you have been asked to do a self-assessment tax return, because you are a self employed sole trader, or because you have done one in the past, you MUST complete it by 31st January 2015 (and each year).

Self-employed people, by law, must complete a tax return, even if they also have a PAYE employment. You should have informed HMRC of becoming self-employed (within 3 months of doing so) and they will expect a tax return from you. HMRC will have invited you to complete one. 

CIS construction workers will be owed tax back (usually) as they will have not only overpaid tax but will be able to claim certain expenses back against their tax.

If that is you, get the tax return done or your rebate will diminish in fines and penalties and no-one wants that!

Here are our Christmas opening hours:

christmas 2014 bettertax opening times

Get in touch and we can help you beat the deadline, reduce the tax you pay and get a good refund back for you.

If you are not sure whether this affects you, give Bettertax a call. We can help all tradesmen, whatever your employment status. We can also help and advise anyone that should be completing a tax return!

Happy New Year, eh!! :)

Bettertax - Tradesman's Tax Refund Specialists 01280 821020
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Thursday, 11 December 2014

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Bessie Tax - Did Someone Say I Was A Lumpy VWT5?

It was all going so well! My beautiful new wrapping outer look to go with the fabulous inside conversion, I was set to rock and roll!

However, it had been noted something was a bit off with my lights. Further investigations turned up something not connected and unfortunately, when it was, I just didn't want to have anything to do with it and refused to start. So although the lighting situation got fixed, with the thing not connected, I was running lumpy!

It transpired I had been given a re-con engine at some point - obviously I knew something had been going on when I was auctioned off as a non runner but I couldn't say anything - I'm good but not that good!

I was however, just what Bettertax had been looking for. They felt I was worth their time and investment and knew just who to call to get me sorted.

I was taken to APS in Brackley. Now these lovely guys are VW (Audi, VW, SEAT, Skoda and Porsche specialists: "APS is an acknowledged leader in the field of performance tuning Audi, VW, SEAT, Skoda and Porsche motor cars.")

They soon got to work on me, diagnosing and recommending. From what I gather there are re-con engines and re-con engines and it can be extremely difficult getting it all working well together again.

The prognosis was not good. It was decided I was worth saving and so... completely new bits for under my bonnet were ordered. Up on the ramps I went to remove that failing old heart, ready to transplant the new, along with turbo, clutch, flywheel and other such things VWT5 enthusiasts would know more about!

VWT5 engine removal
Under the bonnet

VWT5 engine completely out
The old engine completely removed

Here's the complete list of what this poorly VWT5 needed to make me feel like new again:


I am currently still receiving TLC from APS. Most of my new bits are in. No doubt they will give me a completely clean bill of health before I am reunited with Bettertax.

I'll keep you posted!

Bettertax - Tradesman's Tax Refund Specialists 01280 821020
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Monday, 24 November 2014

Bessie Tax - Wrapping A VWT5 Transporter Camper Van

Time for a completely new look me. Arriving at the wrap shop with designs to hand, the guys got to work.

Sophie, the designer Bettertax have used almost from the start, has helped to develop the brand and knew what to do. Bettertax had an idea too and from the 3 designs Sophie gave us, this was the final one worked with. My new body colour is very close to the Bettertax brand colour, so it really shows off our dudes well!

 vwt5 transporter rear

vwt5 transporter offside

vwt5 transporter nearside

vwt5 transporter nearside rear

All dressed up and everywhere to go! Hitting the road to bring our service to tradesmen is a new and exciting prospect - the guys in the office can't wait.

The twist in this story will follow tomorrow - if you have a nervous disposition, I'd still urge you to tune in... there's a happy ending - promise!

Meanwhile, get in touch for us to visit you on site. We'll be armed with coffee and tea...  even a biscuit!

Bettertax - Tradesman's Tax Refund Specialists 01280 821020
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Friday, 21 November 2014

Bessie Tax - Inside Conversion of a VWT5 Camper Van

My head is in a spin, but I'll come to that later!

No sooner have I got over admiring my fancy new exterior and hot rod alloys, as told yesterday, than I am whisked off to the conversion workshop.

Imagine, one day a clapped out old panel van, really, I was, and then the next day I'm half way to being a beautifully restored and converted transporter camper van.

The workshop people were given the exact brief - a portable office with mod cons. We want to be able to visit our tradesmen clients and meet new folks, give them a cup of tea and have a chat - in comfort!

Bettertax VWT5 inside conversion

So here I am! I have gas hobs, water, electricity, comfy seating area... great sounds too. They had me insulated and sound-proofed - I think that's to muffle the banging toons! Brilliant storage areas added to keep the give-aways in. Pop your head around the door and see what Bettertax have for you.

Of course, new sign ups will get a little something extra...

So, there I am but you know what's missing? think I need an outer layer, just to make me stand out even more. See you after the wrap!

By the way, if you are interested in us visiting you, on site, or know someone that is, get in touch - we'd love to hear from you!

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Thursday, 20 November 2014

Bessie Tax - VWT5 Transformation and Conversion Begins

When Bettertax found me I was feeling pretty sorry for myself. (My story begins here). I'd been worked hard by previous owners and even auctioned off as a non runner.

Seeing past all that, Bettertax acquired me for a purpose. They knew I could be transformed into a thing of beauty, with even greater functionality to serve the hard working construction industry!

The vision was to convert me into a portable office. I'd be out on the road visiting construction sites, industrial estates, events - anywhere that would bring us to the people that wanted and needed our tax returns service.

I was given a new paint job, panels removed and replaced with privacy windows and check out my alloy wheels!

VWT5 2004 new paint job and conversion

2004 VWT5 nearside view

2004 VWT5 offside rear

I feel and look amazing!

It doesn't end here though - ooooh nooooo! Next stop is the conversion workshop.

Please join me again tomorrow :).

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Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Bessie Tax - diary of a new Bettertax team member

My working career started with Ennis Construction, up in Salford, in 2004. I formed part of their fleet and happily went where I was told to, site to site. I wasn't a great looker but I made up for that in functionality - I guess I was a bit of a work horse!

2004 VWT5
Here's me when I was shiny and new!

I was looked after well, regularly serviced and generally cared for. I thought I was appreciated because I did work really hard, but when Ennis went into administration (due to the hard times for construction in recent years), I wasn't looking quite so good and in fact, I wasn't really very well - sold at auction as a non runner, no less :(.

And here I am, a little worse for wear and dejected

My memory gets a little hazy, it was an unhappy time for me. I went through a few hands before being found by my present owners, Bettertax! Seems like I was just what they were looking for, to take their service out on the road visiting... construction sites! Oh the synchronicity!

Anyway, all this excitement has made me a little sleepy. I will continue my story tomorrow. See you then :).

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Tuesday, 21 October 2014

HMRC Phishing Emails... Again! Don't Get Hooked!

Warning! Warning! Danger! Danger! As Robby The Robot would say!

Recent reports from HMRC say that 75000 phishing emails have been issued this year, just between April and September, a whopping increase on last year of 70%!

We try to remind and warn regularly as the emails can look convincing and we don't want to see people getting hooked in.

Below is an example of an HMRC fake email.  (The email you use may look a little different).

HMRC do not voluntarily give back money! If you have overpaid tax slightly, certainly for an amount under £100, chances are they will adjust your tax code so you pay less tax to recoup that amount. 

It is tempting though - the idea of getting a few quid back. These emails have tell tale signs that they are not genuine. As illustrated above, that clickable link will take you to a specially set up phishing site that will look very much like HMRC's site (probably easier to navigate - there's another clue!).

The email should be addressed personally to you, not sent to a whole bunch of people. It should have Dear Mr Bloggs. It should have some kind of HMRC reference number that identifies you (NI number, UTR number for example). 

I'm not sure they would sign off Best regards either! This example email is actually written in good English - many are not, and that's another clue.

Remember, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is! If in doubt, give us a shout - we can have a quick looksee for you and keep you out of trouble.

If you found this article useful, please like and share :).

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Tuesday, 20 May 2014

So you got your P60 and a Self-Assessment Tax Return Letter

As you know the tax year starts on the 6th April in the UK. After that date self-assessment tax returns can be completed and submitted to HMRC.

If you are self-employed under the construction industry scheme (CIS), you'll be in a position to complete your tax return almost immediately. All you need is a note of your earnings from their various sources, together with your evidence of expenses, logs of mileage done for work. The completed tax return is submitted to HMRC for approval and your tax refund should follow a few weeks later.

PAYE workers need to wait for their P60 End of Year Certificate. This indicates the amount you have earned and the tax paid. If you have had more than one employment during a tax year, you should have P45s to evidence earnings and tax paid during that particular employment.

HMRC do have records of earnings and the P60, with those records should match.

These P60s are generally issued in payslips during May. At this time HMRC also issues, and sends directly, a letter to say it's time to complete a self-assessment tax return, if one was previously completed. As a client of ours, this is perfectly normal and remember that self-assessment does NOT mean self-employment!

Your tax return can be completed as soon as you have your P60 and evidence of work expenses. Evidencing work related expenses comes in many forms and we can work with you to make sure your tax claim is correct, so that the resulting tax rebate is safe and secure. At Bettertax we work to HMRC exacting working practices - something very few tax agents do.

As a sole-trader not having tax deducted at source, your tax return will be required to be submitted by 31st January in any year. So although you will receive your invitation to complete your return, you can wait until later in the financial year to complete it - just don't forget to or leave it until the last minute! We can help reduce your tax bill, by the way!

As always, any comments or questions, do ask :).

Bettertax - Tradesman's Tax Refund Specialists 01280 821020
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