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    • zombie
    • By zombie 7th Jan 18, 6:49 PM
    • 37Posts
    • 9Thanks
    I am 77, retired and haven't filed a tax return for years!
    • #1
    • 7th Jan 18, 6:49 PM
    I am 77, retired and haven't filed a tax return for years! 7th Jan 18 at 6:49 PM
    I was forced into Bankruptcy in 2008 and have never really recovered (financially speaking) I am now 77 in good health and quite active.

    Anyway, since 2008 I haven't filed a tax return, probably lazyness & lethargy on my part and other things going on in my life such as my eldest daughter having cancer (and still has).

    However, I am now starting to panic as I have decided I must do something about this and my conscience says I must do my duty & pay my tax dues + penalties.

    I have never registered as a sole trader. I Have been buying & selling on the internet and do other bits and pieces to supplement my state pension. I also receive a dividend from a company which has increased quite a lot in the last 2 years.

    I am aware I should have advised HMRC that I am doing all this trading years ago. Ironically, I have never ever been contacted by HMRC.

    So, I have prepared 2 years trading records nearly completed (2015/16 & 2016/17)

    Do I now go to a Chartered Accountant and give them all my details and records and let them handle the negotiations especially with the earlier years with HMRC? I can obtains some records for the earlier years. Or, should I go straight to the Revenue and put my case to them and hope for the best? Or, find a good tax accountant?

    This is going to cost me a small fortune apart from penalties and back tax, plus the cost to a Chartered Accountant at £200/300+ an hour to sort this mess out.

    My average earnings from 2008 to 2013 were never more £19/22K a year less expenses & allowances which would be negative tax. But earnings from 2014 to the present has increased to £35K+ a year less my expenses, purchases and allowances.

    Sorry for the length of this posting. I would appreciate any input on this. I really don!!!8217;t know what to do!!

    Last edited by zombie; 07-01-2018 at 6:51 PM. Reason: typo
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    • xylophone
    • By xylophone 7th Jan 18, 8:06 PM
    • 25,565 Posts
    • 15,099 Thanks
    • #2
    • 7th Jan 18, 8:06 PM
    • #2
    • 7th Jan 18, 8:06 PM
    • laticsforlife
    • By laticsforlife 8th Jan 18, 1:33 PM
    • 1,203 Posts
    • 1,473 Thanks
    • #3
    • 8th Jan 18, 1:33 PM
    • #3
    • 8th Jan 18, 1:33 PM
    "My average earnings from 2008 to 2013 were never more £19/22K a year less expenses & allowances which would be negative tax"

    You already get a (taxable) State Pension, so likely pay tax already, so ANY profit made on the internet sales will be taxable unless you did so at a loss? The dividends 'should' be OK, although in 2014 onwards you might be pushing yourself into Higher Rate tax and so they might attract extra tax too - we'd need more numbers to check this exactly.

    'good tax accountant' - a bit of advice here - You might be tempted to use Google and just go to the top of the pile here, maybe to some fly-by-night operation that calls themselves 'forensic accountants' or similar.

    Don't get lulled into this, check reviews, see if a local accountant knows of someone they have used (and not just used Google themselves) who deals with things like Code of Practice 9 (COP9) and the Contractual Disclosure Facility (CDF).

    And don't be paying out £10,000 in advance, until you see some work done for your cash (another common practice of the worse disreputable 'accountants' out there).

    The link to the Digital Disclosure Service (DDS) is fine (although VERY long!) and for some reason ignores the CDF, a reason for which I am missing.

    CDF offers someone the ability to 'come clean' about all their tax affairs, on the promise that if they make a full disclosure, and pay all the tax, interest and deliberate penalties, then HMRC will not open a Criminal Investigation with a view to prosecution. That is a big carrot, as you are currently not in a position to know if you are to be Criminally prosecuted are you.

    Don't wait for the letter on the doormat, as you will lose the 'unprompted' element of penalty reductions (significant).

    Also an unprompted disclosure where you do all the work, and HMRC only has to check it, will be far more likely to be accepted on face value than if you give sketchy detail and leave HMRC with questions.

    Do it now! Good Luck.
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