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Two Compliance Inspections - SA and Limited Company - advice pls!


JaffaJeo
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Hey guys,

 

I'd appreciate some advice here, basically ive had two compliance inspections, one covering a year of my SA (as a self employed person) and the other a limited company that im a director of (for approximately the same period.)

 

As a self employed person my income was only about 9k (with expenses of about 4k). All my figures in thsi respect are legitimate and if anything are probably understated.

 

Same goes for the company, it made about 22k in a year, and for various commissions i did through the company I invoiced it (for approximately 8k.) Other monies that were paid in went out in expenses for things like events budgets that i managed. Ive been told that its possible that the x2 amount spent in the company (with my SA wage saying staying the same in that year) may be what attracted HMRCs attention.

 

I was looking at some articles about self employed or employee, as that particular year saw most of my income come from invoices to that company - though (agreements for half that income in work i did were with me and not the company - though it was channelled through the account for practical reasons.)

 

Other monies I have made (and more so since the year of inspection) have been from a more diverse set of clients. I work an enormous amount of hours (60+ a week) its in the (er not too profitable artistic industries). I decide myself when i work (not the company) I can also decide to hire other people, and have sometimes paid them and their expenses (and always pay my own expenses from my own commission work) from my personal account. I also work with my own equipment (personally owned) and not just company property etc.

 

There are other directors of the company though they dont draw any money from it. I reckon during the inspection there might be some argument about whether I should be employed, but if i was i couldnt work the hours necessary to do survive? (as I'd have to be paid NMW right as a PAYE working director?) I also would presumably have lost WTC and other benefits.

 

So any advice on these matters regarding possible issues would be appreciated.

 

In the compliance they've asked straight off the bat to look into company and personal bank accounts, receipts, invoices, computer records and to inspect the premises.

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I take it the company is a limited company, in which case, you are classed as an employee as well as a director.

With regards to the SA return, HMRC would expect there to be an employment page completed giving details of the wages paid to you from the company.

HMRC do have the right to inspect records to establish that payments made to directors that constitute wages have been treated correctly for PAYE income tax and NI purposes

Gbarbm

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Hi Gbarbm thanks for commenting.

 

Oh so is that automatic then? That because im a director, my registered self employed status is dismissed in this case and that even though i incurred the personal expenses for doing invoiced commission work (often to produce things) that they would just decide those monies were wages?

 

Hmm if so I wonder what the consequences would be for the money I've been paid and the expenses Ive incurred and how debatable or discretionary this is with compliance officers?

 

I've certainly never had the security of employment from that company, hours, or other benefits so is there any discretion with this?

 

So really im just wondering then in case of fines or anything scary what that might mean? Especially as i was still technically paying tax and declaring all the incomes i was making through my personal income tax (i was never paid through any other means by the company bar my self employed invoices.)

 

Appreciate the tips!

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I would also like to add - that the commissions i did for the amount that i worked for would never have been possible in a million years under NMW? With the time and expenses i incurred as a self employed dude? So im wondering if they might factor that...

 

Im also wondering what consequences it would have for the WTC i recieved during that period if they could arbitrarily decide i have to be reprocessed as a paye employee for that period?

 

Im hoping in my compliance that i can perhaps 'comply' going forward, either by no longer being a director of the company and or going through its books as an employee... (just without such negative consequences?!)

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If the company is limited, then directors are classed as office holders and are treated as employees for tax purposes, unless they are non executive directors which from your description you are not.

If HMRC establish that errors have been made then they will consider penalties by establishing culpability... Was the error made despite taking reasonable care or deliberate for example.

 

If the monies due to HMRC as a result of the error are more than 2.5K then HMRC will recover them from the individual director or they may let the company pay them under a negotiated contract settlement

Gbarbm

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Well Gbarbm thanks for the fast responses much appreciated.

 

I mean in as much as an error (with reasonable care) I mean according to the questions posed here (http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/moneytaxandbenefits/taxes/workingandpayingtax/dg_4015975) I would have been self-employed, though of course being a director automatically makes me liable for tax purposes. My accountants had said my personal income was so low that it would have ended up under my personal allowance. But then how can one even do the work (for jobs beyond the scope of NMW as a new start up company) unless there free to work whatever hours they need to get the job done? Should I have never been a company director (even though some of my clients required a limited company to process cheques or for them to be a suitable supplier?) The mind boggles eh!

 

Can i ask Gharbm, hmrcs reassessment of my income as regards to tax - would that likely affect my past claims for WTC as a self employed person?

 

I guess im just confused whether them deciding im 'employed' negates me being self employed - or if i could be both, but that i should have put incomes from the company as an employed proportion of my income?

 

(Just to add not all my income was invoiced to that company (others were direct to clients, but in that particular year, it was like just 20% of my income that came from elsewhere - )

 

(So sorry for all the questions!!!)

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It is possible to be employed and self employed at the same time (as long as the self employment is genuine) you could use the ESI (employment status indicator) on HMRC website to check (just put ESI in the search box)

As regards employment income, the personal tax allowance will be set off against this and if it covers your income in it's entirety, then there will be no liability to tax.

There is a possibility that the WTC will need to be recalculated but it might be worth awaiting the outcome of the compliance check before informing the tax credit office

Gbarbm

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Yep I tried the ESI (though it kinda struggled with my industry 'entertainment'? See to me I am genuinely self employed, I mean i'm actively looking for work and commissions outwith what i did with the company, its just that the nature of my work made clients uncomfortable depositing payment to a personal account. (Basically I would get very few gigs a year but would normally be worth a few k a pop) Where as the few I would do as self employed would be for a few hundred. Its also an industry (arts) that is very hard to get employment from (so self employed im certainly working hard to market myself and trying to get gigs.)

 

Any ideas how they will determine if im genuinely self employed? because i can describe what i do with all the honesty and passion in the world haha but if theres some sucky technicalities i should be aware of - much appreciated!

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I just wanted to add, as it can get confusing as regards to IR35? Because there are self employed private contracters who have limited companies too and are not assessed as if there self employed turnover was just a salary from the limited company?

 

Or would they submit there income from a limited company as wages from their SA but would be taxed differently (if deemed outside IR35)

 

Thanks again - its just a lot to get your head around!

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IR35 is a slightly different scenario; what HMRC would try and establish there is, if it were not for the existence of the Ltd Co set up by the individual, would they simply be an employee of the other(or main) Ltd Co.

They basically will look to see if there is a commercial reality and that it is not being used as a contrived measure in order to avoid paying tax and NI

Gbarbm

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IR35 is a slightly different scenario; what HMRC would try and establish there is, if it were not for the existence of the Ltd Co set up by the individual, would they simply be an employee of the other(or main) Ltd Co.

They basically will look to see if there is a commercial reality and that it is not being used as a contrived measure in order to avoid paying tax and NI

Gbarbm

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(I feel terrible asking these questions - but im just trying to understand - thanks so much for the advice!!!)

 

So a self employed person, (ie a private contracter) whom fulfills the criteria of (outside IR35) when invoicing their own company for a commission they did, (for time and expenses) has those monies determined automatically as 'wages' by hmrc subject to a different tax regimen than normal self employed.

 

That it should have been filled in as 'wages' from the SA... is that because hmrc would decide it wasnt really a self employed commission? As if one is an employee of a company (and can be self employed anyway) i would have thought there was discretion and proof that can be provided, that the work is genuinely self employed (even when invoiced to ones own company.)

 

So I thought when they look at my SA and invoices etc, they would be utilising the determinations for IR35 to see whether the payments were valid as self employed incomes?

 

So is this issue really black and white or is there a ridiculous grey area? (because i cant understand why things like ir35 exist unless its because hmrc use it to determine or re-determine the status of incomes as is the case in my scenario?)

 

Thanks for answering btw, i know ive already asked you a lot of questions and you've kindly taken the time to keep answering. I am reading other information trying to educate myself on this too but appreciate the time your giving me.

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