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    • Chucky_JG
    • By Chucky_JG 16th Oct 19, 9:28 AM
    • 2Posts
    • 0Thanks
    • #1
    • 16th Oct 19, 9:28 AM
    Accountants 16th Oct 19 at 9:28 AM
    I have recently started renting out my previous home as short term holiday lets.
    I'm looking for an accountant to complete my tax return as I do not know where to start with this!
    I have had several quotes and they vary so much - how do I know which one to choose? The cheapest has said 125 which seems great value especially compared to the most expensive which is 460 plus 350 set up fees!
Page 1
    • spadoosh
    • By spadoosh 16th Oct 19, 9:44 AM
    • 7,730 Posts
    • 11,409 Thanks
    • #2
    • 16th Oct 19, 9:44 AM
    • #2
    • 16th Oct 19, 9:44 AM
    Personal recommendation would be one of the better ways.

    Although if youre looking for value for money youd be better putting in the time and effort to understand tax returns and do them yourself.

    Theyre not complicated, its just a case of knowing what youre supposed to and allowed to do. Local councils can offer courses for the self employed with regards to their accounts and anything you might need with regards to what you can and cant do is available free of charge from HMRC.
    Don't be angry!
    • Pennywise
    • By Pennywise 16th Oct 19, 9:51 AM
    • 12,174 Posts
    • 24,116 Thanks
    • #3
    • 16th Oct 19, 9:51 AM
    • #3
    • 16th Oct 19, 9:51 AM
    Personal recommendation is best, but if you can't get one, then at least look for someone who is qualified/regulated by a professional body, such as ICAEW, ACCA, or CIOT - they all have lists of members on their websites.

    The thing with accountancy is that, unlike solicitors, architects, electricians, gas engineers, literally anyone can call themselves an accountant and set up an accountancy practice, even those with little or no experience or no accountancy qualifications. You get a fair few people with a bit of book-keeping experience setting themselves up as an accountant and often charging the same, or even more, than properly qualified/regulated ones.

    Of course, like electricians and gas engineers, even a qualified/regulated accountant can do a poor job or rip you off, but at least by using someone qualified/regulated, you have a better chance of getting a reputable one.

    Widely different pricing is no different to any other "service" provider - you just have to check carefully for any differences, i.e. some will include everything, others may have extra charges for things you may or may not need, such as access to online book-keeping systems. We got quotes varying between 2,500 and 7,500 for replacing the door and windows in our back porch. Same kind of price differential for having the garden landscaped - pretty typical for the highest quote to be 2/3 times the lowest in whatever trade/industry. You have to make your own decisions according to exactly what is being provided, timescales, support, quality, accessibility/contactibility, and probably most importantly, simply do you get on with them.
    Last edited by Pennywise; 16-10-2019 at 9:55 AM.
    • tebthereb
    • By tebthereb 17th Oct 19, 5:42 AM
    • 152 Posts
    • 46 Thanks
    • #4
    • 17th Oct 19, 5:42 AM
    • #4
    • 17th Oct 19, 5:42 AM
    I would ask for a breakdown of what’s included.

    Bottom end of the scale are surely only going to be putting figures you summarise into the right boxes and submitting it for that fee. Perhaps that’s all you need although as has been said you could consider DIY.

    Top end might be thinking they register you with HMRC, provide you a template to capture data, review and analyse your data, calculate and explain your liabilities and adjustments made, make recommendations, and submit. This might be what you need or it could be unnecessary.

    Generally fees are based on expected time spent. The setup bit feels relatively high but who knows what they are doing as part of that. Could be recovering their own internal time on establishing you on their systems - which is arguably harsh, but arguably suggests they are being (and will be) more upfront than others on time/fees.
    • Cook_County
    • By Cook_County 19th Oct 19, 7:48 PM
    • 3,002 Posts
    • 2,102 Thanks
    • #5
    • 19th Oct 19, 7:48 PM
    • #5
    • 19th Oct 19, 7:48 PM
    What qualifications does each accountant have?
    • FluffityBunny
    • By FluffityBunny 19th Oct 19, 11:06 PM
    • 173 Posts
    • 131 Thanks
    • #6
    • 19th Oct 19, 11:06 PM
    • #6
    • 19th Oct 19, 11:06 PM
    125 seems very cheap, if it's a one man band accountant and you have a low turnover/few costs then this may be a good price. A lot depends on where you are in the country and the qualifications of the accountant.
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