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New HMRC guidance for directors’ returns

Until now, HMRC has insisted that all directors must register for self assessment, even if they have no tax to pay. This has now!

HMRC has said that all company directors must register for self assessment, treating this rule as law, but in fact it’s simply advice that can help you to decide whether you need to complete a tax return. As an example, HMRC has traditionally insisted that directors should complete a tax return for the tax year in which they become a director, even if they receive no dividends or income from the company in that year.

Several legal tests have been carried out to determine the position of a “no income” or a “no income other than PAYE” director, and a judge has now said that:

“No one has a statutory obligation to do anything in relation to income tax simply because they are a director of a company which is not a not-for-profit company. Being a director per se does not entitle a person to dividends … If dividends from the company of which a person is a director fall within the higher rate band or above [for 2015/16], then there was a liability to notify, but not because of being a director.”

So HMRC has finally changed its position and the new advice is that a director is NOT required to file a Self Assessment Return if he or she is taxed under PAYE and has no additional tax to pay on other income such as dividends.

You must still file a tax return if HMRC has issued a notice to do so.  You may be able to ask HMRC to have the notice to file withdrawn, but it may decline your request. We’ll advise you on this if the case arises, as you could be issued a “section 8 notice” which means they won’t take it back and you must still submit your tax return or face a fine if it has been issued and not withdrawn, and then your payment ends up being late.

There’s some government guidance here to help you see whether you need to complete a Self Assessment Tax Return. It includes a message saying that you don’t need to if you’re a director with an income below £50,000 and no other taxable income. Of course, it’s much simpler for you to pick up the phone and ask us – we’re always on hand to answer your tax-related queries and would be delighted to sit down over a cup of coffee and run through things. Call us on 020 8530 0720 or email paula.w@nordens.co.uk

Voted as EXCELLENT - 9.8 out of 10 based on 160 reviews

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Chris Dyer

Director - Metro Bank

Nordens are always very easy to deal with and extremely professional and efficient. I would have no hesitation in recommending them to my clients for their accountancy needs, no matter how complex they may be.

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Jamie Brown

Co-Founder - Chicmi Limited

Very good to work with - the team go above and beyond to make the accounts easy and efficient. They're all super friendly and a joy to work with.

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Simon Rose

Director - Rose Opticians

I have been using Norden Chartered Accountants for 5 years and very happy with the service provided. All members of the team are very knowledgeable and have a wealth of experience which has proved very beneficial to my organisation

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Rebecca Bossick

Founder & Director - Physio LDN

Very easy to contact and put me in touch with the right person whenever I need to ask any questions. Extremely knowledgeable and can help me manage my various businesses whenever I need.

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James Aconley

Principal - Pauline Quirke Academy

Great accountants, always available to offer advice. The team have transformed my business.

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Christopher Wilce

Founder - Dataphone

Having worked with Nordens over the last 5 years, not only to look after my annual accounts but they have also provided outstanding professional advice. They have guided me through a Company share buyback with clear and objective advice. We have also been using Nordens strategic services for a couple of years, which has helped bring about significant improvements that exceeded my expectations. With experience of working with several local accountants over my 29 years in business, I’m very pleased with the service I have received from Nordens.

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Dave Hodges

Director - Linekers

Trusted our business with Nordens for over 10 years now and watched the company grow into the successful innovative business it has become today. Deservedly so. Every aspect of financial advice we need is always given promptly and with a smile. We have total confidence in all aspects of advice Nordens give. If you are looking for accountants, its a no brainer!

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Tony Charles

Founder - Foundation Sports Limited

A fantastic, modern, vibrant firm that care about the clients and their staff in abundance. It is rare to find an Accountancy firm with such vibrance and focus and relationships. It is no wonder they win award after award in their field.

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Peter Horlock

Managing Director - Prime Time Boilers

I have been with Nordens for many years now and they are a great accountants.

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Simon Cushing

Founder - Vivid Finishes

We have used Nordens for the last 5 years and have had a great service throughout. The guys are very passionate about what they do and have played a part in the growth of our company, highly recommended.

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Andrew Martin

Managing Director - AMD Interior Architecture

Great Service at Nordens from a friendly very approachable team Particularly Kirsty Willis and Joe Sword who have been helping us since we started the business in 2016.

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James Robinson

Director - Forma London

Nordens provide a first class service. We moved to Nordens last year and have been impressed with the level of service provided. Keep up the good work!

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  Why I Founded Nordens

In November 2002, having sold our other business interests off earlier in the year, I decided to set up Nordens Chartered Accountants. The easy part was knowing how to do it, as I had established and built a smaller practice a few years earlier, the difficult part was not following the traditional accountancy path. Having run businesses, both successfully and unsuccessfully, I wanted to help business owners resolve their short term problems and work with them to achieve their longer term goals. Business has always been my interest and I love that I can help business owners achieve what seems like the impossible every single working day.

Mark Norden
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Our limited company accountants have a range of qualifications from The Institute Of Chartered Accountants (ICAEW) to the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA). They follow the bye-laws, regulations and ethical guidelines of the ACCA and we are an ACCA accredited employer. We are also accredited by Professional Passport for our Umbrella and accountancy services.