Fresh Threads: Italian job, risky business, and HMRC doom

  1. Ray Newman

    Ray Newman UKBF Newcomer Staff Member

    14 3
    7 |

    Hi UKBFers,

    Welcome to Fresh Threads, our weekly roundup of the best comments and advice from the forums. 

    Here are my top picks from this week.

    1. Can I put a trip to Italy through the books?

    Matthew Hughes

    I run a music tuition company, and as part of the syllabus I have to teach Italian terms. I've been trying to learn Italian more comprehensively (rather than the occasional word), and wondered if I could put a trip to Italy through the books?

    It would be educational and just me as a solo traveler. As teaching it is required as part of my business, can I class this as training?

    Mr D: You can get first-hand experience of the language these days from videos, DVDs, language lessons, online courses etc, or indeed travelling to a region and trying to talk to the people. The problem is, that can look like a holiday at company expense.

    obscure: HMRC are well versed in people attempting to claim personal holidays as a tax write-off. If you are going to claim it was an educational trip you will need to demonstrate that you spent all or most of your time attending actual educational courses.... not drinking espresso and chit-chatting with the locals.

    UK Contractor Accountant: You can stick what you like through the company. What you put on the P11D is the question you need to consider.

    billmccallum1957: Using your own words, it's a holiday and not a business expense.

    2. Getting back an international payment


    I paid a supplier for some items via a transfer, and a hyphen in the account number was in the wrong place. I corrected it and the payment went through normally.

    Then I get an email saying they'd supplied me with the wrong account - they'd given me the details for an account that was closed the day before I paid.

    I don't think anything underhand is going on, bar incompetence - and they have apologised and repeated that it's entirely their fault, but is there anything official I can do?

    MY OFFICE IN CHINA: The money HAS to be somewhere. I know you said it's unlikely, but to me this has 'scam' written all over it. One error, I can accept (just). Three errors is incompetence - or a scam.

    The Byre: You completed your side of the transaction and fulfilled their instructions to the letter. Changing and/or closing bank accounts sounds bogus to me.

    WaveJumper: If an account is closed, should the transaction not have just bounced back us 'unable to complete'?

    paulears: I got a note from Santander saying the international payment had been returned, less of course, more bank charges - so buying nothing ended up costing me over £50. They also want to know when I'll be re-ordering...

    3. New startup, large commercial site - high risk?


    I’m very interested in a site near me in London. It's approx 0.2-acres with a forecourt, a small workshop and a few fuel pumps. My plan is to host a hand car wash and valeting centre in the forecourt area and an auto repairs facility in the workshop, which also has a potential to be extended sideways. The big question is, having done some sums, will it be efficient enough to pay for overheads and pocket profit?

    fisicx: You haven’t costed utilities, waste disposal, and all the other daily costs.

    Mark T Jones: My suggestion would be to get a cashflow forecast template and use that as a gauge, and marketing will be your biggie. It takes time, effort and money to get reliable repeat custom.

    NickGrogan: If you know the address, it should be possible to find the water rates - it is based on part on rateable value.

    tony84: Have you covered pensions, national insurance, holiday and sick pay? How much for the card machine, uniforms? You may find your water bill goes up if you are running a car wash.

    4. Help! Impending HMRC doom!


    Long story short, I had a small and profitable business, my wife had a small and profitable business, we tried to merge the two and scaleup a couple of years ago only to completely screw it up.

    We were late paying last year’s VAT bill, luckily we cut a deal with HMRC and paid them what we owe. Now the next VAT bill is due and it’s another £30,000.The business is finally profitable but we’re still £30,000 in the hole for past mistakes and HMRC are losing patience quickly. I really can’t carry on with this much longer.

    Mr D: You need to get professional advice from an insolvency practitioner, maybe multiple options or just one. HMRC tend to want their money - one way or another.

    Scalloway: An insolvency practitioner can take an objective look at your company and suggest ways out.

    Ian J: HMRC may be able to take the company's possessions, but they won't take yours as it's a company debt and not a personal one.

    WeddingsInWales: When they know you are profitable, they will give you a payment plan but as other commentators have said, you may need an accountant or someone with authority to represent you to the VAT man.

    That's all for this week – have a great run into the weekend.

  2. Furqan721

    Furqan721 UKBF Contributor Free Member

    55 4
    Thank You for sharing this stuff!
    Posted: May 16, 2018 By: Furqan721 Member since: Feb 26, 2018
    Chris The Dropshipper likes this.
  3. Salifuj

    Salifuj UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    24 1
    After all said and done, not all businesses or websites need to worry about it. Most small businesses will not be affected right?
    Posted: May 30, 2018 By: Salifuj Member since: Oct 7, 2016

    ÜZEYİR UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    0 0
    teşekkür ederim
    Posted: Jan 25, 2019 By: ÜZEYİR Member since: Jan 25, 2019
  5. Brian Preston

    Brian Preston Banned Free Member

    0 0
    this is Inflation
    Posted: Mar 27, 2019 By: Brian Preston Member since: Mar 26, 2019