Tax return filing season – TRFS!

First day after the end of tax return filing season so all those engaged in this frantic activity of preparing and filing returns and processing payments on ROS on behalf of clients can take a collective sigh of relief for at least a couple of days before we get stuck into company preliminary tax payments, Vat & PAYE returns (not to mention the famous B1 company annual return filings) so that we can keep our clients on the straight and narrow. Since our last blog we have our new old President back which was no surprise, given the quality of the man, but the big shock was how well Peter Casey did by not being politically correct. It looks like he has carved out an opportunity for himself in politics, if he wants to go down that road. A deal on Brexit looks more possible now than ever so who would envy Teresa May’s job in the weeks ahead. I witnessed an unreal hurling match between Ballygunner and Ballyhea that the Gunners somehow managed to win after 2 periods of extra time. I brought a friend from England to see the match which started at 1.30 and we left Walsh Park at 3.45. I thought at one stage that if there was any more extra time then it was touch and go if the kids got back in time for school on Monday. The game was an absolute credit to both sides and how the Gunners managed to come back in normal time was truly remarkable. I hope they have started work on a statue to Philip Mahoney out there. Next up for them is the Munster Final in Thurles on Sunday so best of luck to Fergal and all the team.  For the blog this week I have taken a small detour to let you know some key lessons that we learned over the TRFS. We will get back to our “You ask we answer” series next week.

People go a bit funny

And that is not in the comedy sense of the meaning. It’s a strange time of year. Summer is over, days are short and people are working hard so are under their own pressures to get paid and keep jobs, mortgages and bills paid while having to fork out cash at Halloween and Christmas is on the horizon. I see it starts now the 1st of November as I saw when I visited the local Super Valu. Therefore the most horrible and daunting thing is that they have to do paperwork, probably in their spare time, and hand over large cash amounts to Revenue and have to pay us too. Not really a win win situation, so that is why we have been encouraging all our clients to get this done early in the year and sit back in smug satisfaction knowing that everything is sorted and they can still pay Revenue on the last day possible. As for paying us, that’s a no brainer! We do good work for you, keep your taxes to a minimum and help you in any way we can by working together in partnership so we should be top of the list.

There’s nothing in it

I know I know I know I keep harping on about this. Doing your own return costs you money in the vast majority of cases and also costs you time. I saw history repeating itself the other day as again a company director did his own tax return and again missed out on the Home carer tax credit that cost him €1,100. I didn’t see the return but only saw the assessment that issued so I don’t know if there were other errors or missing information on the return. We had another case of this a few weeks ago and it bugs the life out of me. I have to get over it! There’s nothing in it – the form is 36 pages long and getting longer each year. I remember the good old days when it was only 22 pages long.

I was talking to a guy in a bar

If this is tax advice or tax related then unless “the guy” is a good accountant or tax advisor please ignore said advice. The same guy in the same bar has been dishing out advice every day of every year to whatever sucker gets caught with him and probably recommended you get heavy into property in 2008 and buy a lot of dot come shares in 1999. The guys brain and probably liver has suffered from excessive alcohol consumption so best leave the sports and politics chats to the bar and talk to your accountant or tax adviser to get proper advice. We are going to start collecting these advices or stories in the office and will publish one day. It will be available in the fantasy section of your local book store

Working in the business and not on the business

One of the most disappointing things I have seen in the last few days are some client accounts where very little profit was made and I know they are genuinely working very hard in that business. They are hardworking and honest and pay their bills yet they are not making near enough money for all the work they are doing. This must be very stressful for these clients to see that their own employees are making more money than they are but not carrying any of the risk. I believe this is associated with specific industries but now is the time to change the way they are doing things. They are doing extra work, not getting paid on time, operating on fixed prices and a number of other issues that bleeds their cash, increase what they owe and reduces what they make. In many scenarios they are losing money on particular jobs. Therefore there is an issue with their systems and processes and are unfortunately being sucked into doing the same thing and expecting different results.   Therefore we need to help these clients so that they can grow, improve their businesses and ultimately make a good income from a good day’s work and help eliminate some of the stress.

False Promises

I’ll have that into you tomorrow. I’ll pay that by the end of the week. I will call into you next week. Will you have a look at that for me but don’t spend any time on it.

These are a flavour of some of the sentences we hear now and again but especially at this time of the year. These are usually from our last minute clients or clients that have missed the tax return deadline because they haven’t sent in anything we asked for or promised they would send it in or call into us and, guess what, it never happened. Thankfully we don’t have too many of these and it is likely we will have less by the end of the year. And it is always the same few so we are not really working in partnership but we will be called upon in times of need. There could be a break-up on the cards!!

Team at CF

Finally I would like to thank the great team we have here at CF for putting their shoulders to the wheel in the last few months and doing a great job for our clients to ensure that the tax returns that were under our control got filed with Revenue. About 3 weeks ago we had 91 tax returns to be filed and by close of business yesterday that was down to low single figures. Darragh our senior manager, who has been hobbling around the office on a crutch for the last week, had been our chief organiser with Dee our office manager and have done great work in cajoling clients and the rest of us to get so many returns done. Ludmila has been in contact and met a lot of clients and takes it to heart if a client has a large tax bill. Ewelina, Aedin & Catherine have been blasting out accounts and tax returns in the last few weeks to beat the band while at the same time juggling their other roles. They are great people and we are very lucky to have them.

Remember any help or advice needed please contact your accountant or tax advisor. We at Comerford Foley would of course be delighted to see if we can help with your business or taxes so please contact one of the team on 051396703