Frequently Asked Questions


What information should I bring for our free initial consultation?

Ideally it would be helpful if you could bring last year’s accounts and tax return and any current letters you may have received from HMRC which are troubling you. In addition, we require sight of an original photo id, for example passport or photocard driving licence and an original current utility bill (not more than three months old). Providing this information at the outset means we will be able to act quickly on your behalf, although if you don’t have these details to hand you can of course provide them at a later date.


Are you able to meet me outside of office hours?

Whilst we prefer to have meetings during office hours, we understand that your business is your priority and that this is not always possible. Since meeting face to face is so important to us, we will always try to organise a meeting time that suits you. Visits to clients’ premises for a cup of tea and a chat are standard and helps us to really get to know your business. Not only can many important issues pop up on these occasions but it also allows us to see first-hand how your business is set up.


What will your services cost me?

Your initial consultation meeting is free however long it lasts as it is important to us to take the time to get to know you and your affairs. It is just as important that you also get to know the team here as we hope our relationship will be a long one. Quite often at this initial meet lots of topics come up and where issues are relatively straightforward we are happy to provide free advice and guidance to help. Our estimated annual costs are based on expected hourly rates and the time taken to deal with your affairs. They are made according to the level of expertise required in any given case; it is entirely possible that more than one person will make a contribution to producing your finished accounts. After all, you do not necessarily need a qualified senior accountant to be processing your bookkeeping and, consequently, we assign an appropriate team member to oversee different aspects of your work. We will always try to keep your bill as low as possible and to get the task completed as efficiently as possible. At our initial meeting we will review all your records and discuss the services you require before giving you a fixed quoted fee. At the end of the year we will review this and discuss if any guidance is needed to improve matters to keep our fee value for money. We normally encourage our clients to set up a monthly standing order towards their annual accountancy fee which helps to spread the cost over the year.


Will I be charged every time I ring up?

Communication is vital so that we are aware of what is happening in your business and with you so we can help and advise accordingly. Your fixed quoted fee will include calls to chat about ongoing annual tasks and routine compliance issues that come up so you won’t be charged every time you ring up! If you require us to undertake any work during the year that has not already been agreed, we will discuss this with you and agree an additional fee for the extra services. Quite often a quick chat resolves matters without the need for extra costs.


What paperwork do I need to keep each year?

  • Bank statements for the entire period and records of bank transactions.
  • Sales and purchase invoices and credit notes for the period.
  • Petty cash records for the period.
  • Details of any correspondence or notices received from HMRC.
  • Rental incomes and related property expense receipts etc. for the year to 5th April, if applicable.
  • P60 and P11D, if applicable.
  • Pension incomes received by you in the tax year, if applicable.
  • Investment incomes via dividends and interest etc., if applicable.
  • Pension payments made, if applicable.
  • Details of any shares bought or sold.

There’s lots to remember but don’t worry, we will contact you each year with a reminder, particularly if you are new to running a business.


When should I send you my paperwork?

In an ideal world, the sooner, the better as starting your year end accounts promptly means we will have plenty of time to look at any proactive tax saving. It also means that if you are due a tax refund you will receive it sooner rather than later, after all it’s better to be in your bank account than the Revenue’s!


How long will it take to prepare my accounts?

This depends on the state of the records you have kept but assuming everything is in order, your accounts can normally be prepared within 2-3 weeks. If we can see ways to improve your record keeping and so speed up the process for next time, we will let you know.


How long do I need to hold onto my paperwork for?

The minimum period for which you must keep your records is 6 years plus the current tax year. You may need to look back at them yourself, and HMRC may need to see them if there are any queries.


Why do you need to see my bank statements?

It is a compliance requirement of HMRC and unfortunately, we cannot complete your Tax Return without them. They are also a record that is useful to refer to when preparing your accounts and return.


When and how do I pay my tax bill?

We will remind you when your taxes are due and also let you know how much you need to pay. There are three ways you can choose to pay your tax bill:

  1. Online banking, requiring the following information:

    Sort code: 08 32 10 (HMRC Shipley)

    Account Number: 12001020 (HMRC Shipley)

    Amount: £xxx

    Tax Ref.: Xxxx

  2. Payment by debit card:

    Go to www.billpayment.co.uk/hmrc

  3. Payment by cheque:

    To HMRC quoting your unique taxpayer reference. (Again, if you forget, we will remind you!) Please note as of the 1st April 2011 all limited company corporation tax payments must be paid electronically.


What is a UTR number?

It stands for unique taxpayer reference and is a 10 digit number. This should be given to you by HMRC once you have registered for self-assessment. We will need your UTR to file any tax returns on your behalf. If you are already registered it can be found on documentation issued by HMRC such as the Tax Return (SA100), a 'Notice to complete a Tax Return' (SA316) or a Statement of Account. Depending on the type of document issued, the reference may be printed next to the headings 'Tax Reference', 'UTR' or 'Official Use'.

HMRC can take up to 6 weeks to send out your UTR number, so make sure you apply for one today to ensure you do not miss any important deadlines. Without a UTR number, HMRC will not allow you to file a tax return. Act early and register for self-assessment to avoid potential fines!


What is Tax Fee Protection Service?

This is a fee protection service that we offer our clients in case of an investigation by HMRC. Every year, HMRC conducts investigations into thousands of businesses and individuals.

The fee protection has been developed specifically to protect you from HMRC’s wider powers of investigation. Our fee protection can offer you peace of mind, knowing that, should you be investigated, we can dedicate the right level of representation without you worrying about spiralling expenses.


What is a confirmation statement?

If you have a limited company, Companies House requires a confirmation statement to be filed once every twelve months. This ensures that that the details they hold about your company are up to date. All limited companies and limited liability partnerships need to submit a confirmation statement, even if the company is dormant. We will email you prior to the date your statement is due and can also deal with the submission of this if required.


How can I contact you?

If you have any questions, or for more information about any of the above, please get in touch and one of our team will be happy to chat to you whether you are an existing client or not.

Telephone: 01622 738165

Email: sean@rustrick.co.uk

By post: 3 Greystones Road, Bearsted, Maidstone, Kent ME15 8PD