What is this fucking HMRC nonsense?

So, there\’s an LLP floating around. Never done anything, never traded. But they want a tax return. For a dormant LLP.

Humph, OK.

Then they insist that I buy commercial software in order to file the form?

What?

18 comments on “What is this fucking HMRC nonsense?

  1. They make you buy a seatbelt as well. And steel toecapped boots. And fire extinguishers.

    I’m not agreeing with any of this. Just pointing out that the government making you buy things to comply with regulations is hardly a new phenomenon.

  2. Are you wanting to file a CT600?

    There is a free way. HMRC provide a downloadable form that can do the filing for you but you need to register with their website in order to get at it.

    Once you have got at it you then need to faff about with Adobe’s security settings and then need to go through a laborious form filling exercise and eventually you will be able to submit the return to the revenue.

  3. Gosh, heaven forbid. Alternativelyyou might have to pay for the ink to fill the form out, and pay for a stamp to send it to them. Some countries even make you pay for the form by selling them at inflated prices through stationers, or making you put tax stamps on them – though most places have realised that charging people to make tax returns reduces the number of returns submitted and have therefore stopped doing it.

  4. “you might have to pay for the ink to fill the form out, and pay for a stamp to send it to them.”

    I suspect the commercial software is unlikely to cost as little 60p + 0.002p for the ink.

  5. But using ink, and even buying a stamp, is different to having to buy specific software.

    Ink and a stamp are basic requirements to send in information. These days we could even extend that to a computer with internet access.

    But this is different; it is not needed to send in information, but is demanded for the Revenue’s convenience, to make their processing easier.

  6. JamesV: I thought the left was normally all over corporate abuse of state power. Is it good now? I lose track.

    The point as you must surely recognise, is that there is quite a difference between HMRC indirectly requiring you to buy ink and stamps and directly forcing you to engage the services of an accountant, albeit an electronic one.

  7. “Then they insist that I buy commercial software in order to file the form?”

    It’s worse than that. (Welcome to iXBRL!) If you’re lucky, HMRC’s electronic CT600 form will handle it. A quick look at the website suggests that might be the case, since they offer submitting dormant accounts to Companies House as well.
    As someone else observed, you’ll need to register. Also to use the CT600 form you’ll need to navigate some extraordinary instructions to get Adobe Reader (watch the version!) going with certificates that will pass the Government Gateway. To be fair, HMRC’s documentation of the bizarre procedure, and other iXBRL-related things, is actually reasonably clear.

    I discovered, however, that the HMRC’s own electronic CT600 form had significant exclusions (ie, I couldn’t use it because of a share premium account). I investigated most of the more obvious items on their list. Apart from integrated accounts software, which is overkill, expensive, and requires converting your accounts, much of the software does not work well. I couldn’t find any commercial-quality software that I could simply buy online and download. (I could download some Excel macros on a trial basis, but they didn’t work very well.) For many on the list, I had to leave name, address, telephone number, etc and wait for a salesman to ring me back. (Hello! It’s 2012!) Surprisingly many are on the list but seem to have given up selling iXBRL software, to judge from the absence of it on their websites. I counted four “independent” offerings that were essentially reselling the same thing, the product of HMRC’s own consultants.

  8. I have a left wing mate (of the sort who sends his kids to private school, lives in a big house far from the scum, goes skiing etc) who is currently livid because the IRS in the States (he does a little business over there) are chasing him to fill out a huge form to do with the tiny amount of tax he owes there. Threats of jail etc.

    He’s either got to take two days to read and act on 70 pages of close typed legalese, or pay someone to do it for him at a cost of around £800.

    I’ve been banging on at him for years about the bureaucratic bullshit killing businesses, to which he usually replies with a loft variant of Richard Murphy’s bullshit about it being out duty to pay tax, and how the mixed economy is the only way forward.

    I had to laugh: finally he’s being forced to understand this shit. Mate as he is, I hope he takes one for the team and gets extradited.

  9. Be aware of a gotcha here. An LLP is a company for most legal purposes, but it is usually taxed as a partnership. However, a dormant LLP is not – it’s just treated as a company (see the old s118ZA ICTA – I can’t recall where the rule is now). So if HMRC are asking for a partnership return, they are wrong. You should just notify them of the above, and that the LLP is dormant (and therefore has no corporation tax liability) and leave it at that.

  10. This whole mess might actually be Murphy’s fault.

    He had a campaign complaining that most companies don’t file tax returns (presumably because they are dormant and don’t need to) but HMRC never chase or investigate them:

    http://www.taxresearch.org.uk/Documents/500000Final.pdf

    All part of the Great Tax Gap of course.

    There’s a horrible possibility that HMRC have taken up his campaign and started insisting that dormant companies (and, in this case, LLPs) file returns.

  11. Don’t get me started.

    My MoT just cost me almost £470.

    That’s to say, I’m required to buy a license (in fact, one of two) to drive. The garagiste concluded my eyetie jalopy didn’t cut the yellow staff (who guards the guardians, etc?), so refused me the license. The remedy cost about £420 (am including VAT).

    Now, I’d noticed nothing wrong with The Beast (the car, that is). It’s purported failings, as recounted to me, we’re arbitrary and had nothing to do with the vehicle’s quality as a conveyance and workhorse. At least, not so as I, the driver, would notice.

    So I’m required to pay for all this. I derive nothing from it except an extremely inconvenient interruption to what passes for my cashflow, and…. And I pay tax – TAX! – on something I don’t want, didn’t need and didn’t ask for.

    The bastards even get to call it value added tax. But that’s obviously just to humiliate.

    And I love it when HMRC monkeys refer to me as their customer.

  12. EL – it’s sometime worth taking the car to another MOT place, especially if the “problems” seem of a somewhat arbitrary nature. Last year I had my car MOT’d by the main agents who told me that it needed work in excess of £1000 doing. I took it to another MOT centre who told me that it needed a bit of welding in one place and then it would pass… Total cost of repairs – 30quid.

  13. Worth knowing, Pogo, thanks. Unfortunately my cashflow is invariably so crap that like Mr Micawber I always wait till the last minute in the hope that something will turn up (ie revenue) with which to pay for my tax disc, MoT and parking permit (which, among other things at this time of year) always fall due at the same time. The effect is that by the time I get the jalopy to the garagiste, I’m driving it those convenient 200 metres untaxed and un-MoT’d. Going elsewhere in those circs is not realistic for me.

    For the class warriors out there (other threads, passim), I’m white, a lawyer, and my garagiste lives in a bigger, significantly more valuable house than mine about 150 metres further up the hill.

  14. Tim, JamesV was going on above about your being lazy about filling in a form and paying for stamps.

    I think LLPs may now be the same as companies, in that you have to file online. Don’t know for sure.

  15. Hi All,

    Looking to chat to people with strong views about the UK tax system and/or interesting experiences of HMRC. Initially, all off the record.

    Cheers,

    Marcus

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