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Accountants Revenue and Covid.

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  • 11-11-2020 1:31pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 553 ✭✭✭


    Hi, Just thought I would start a thread for Accountants and Revenue alike in relation to compliance issues and Covid.


    Just to kick off, I work in practice. Some clients are brilliant, have their stuff in on time and we are working hard to file returns.


    Some clients are devastated by Covid closures and we are struggling to get info in to complete returns for 2019 as they are just overwhelmed.



    And some clients are using Covid as an excuse to drag their feet and not get their stuff together. (And not pay us!!):mad:



    How are things on other side of fence?
    A lot of Revenue working from home and My enquires is the only real link. They seem happy enough to be honest.

    Thoughts?


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Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 958 ✭✭✭Stratvs


    In sole practice here.

    On Revenue, resolutions to queries have never been faster. I've had MyEnquiries sometimes answered within hours, usually within a day or two. Also I feel Revenue had stepped up to the mark here. The getting of money to people via the TWSS, EWSS & now CRSS has been greatly enabled by their tech. I wonder what would have happened had PMOD not happened when it did as that system enabled a lot to be done.

    On clients I have some that were not affected other than changes to comply with Covid regulations and are trading away ok through it all, a lot were hit by lockdown one but bounced back in the summer and while restricted now again seem to be managing and feel confident enough. Some though who've had to remain closed are a worry. I have had more conversations with people about early retirement than ever. Those that could never take a day off suddenly found in lockdown that they quite enjoyed the time off and have not reverted to 24/7/365.

    On records, we've done ok in fact some are never so up to date as they've had the time to do stuff that might have been left slide in an ordinary year. Waiting for a couple to come back for filing and we're done with 2019. Companies all up to date with next ARDS not 'til the spring. A lot of work has gone into the various relief packages. Payroll & support for the TWSS/EWSS has been time consuming enough and also the compliance checks but they got done. Managed with almost no in-person discussions. Email/phone/Zoom sorted most of it. It was only recently I realised that a lot of it is because I didn’t get the usual holidays. Since Covid hit have had 8 workdays off and in fairness am feeling weary now.

    On money well ok it's been slow but we're managing and not having to beg. Many of these people have kept us in business for 30 years so leeway is needed and to be fair I feel we got info to people as soon as possible on what was available to them and have kept the phone open throughout for support and I feel that has been reciprocated.

    My story may or not be typical, will be interesting to see others experience. Thanks for starting this thread.


  • Registered Users Posts: 553 ✭✭✭berettaman


    Stratvs wrote: »
    In sole practice here.

    ...
    My story may or not be typical, will be interesting to see others experience. Thanks for starting this thread.


    You make some excellent observations.
    Most accountants have been on the go since March without much of a break. That said after the initial flurry of activity we got a nice rhythm going in terms of work flow.


    Some clients are definitely using the time upskilling and looking at a change of direction which is fantastic I think.


    By and large Revenue have been on the ball through my enquiries alright.


  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]


    I’m a bit late to the thread but I would have a different perspective on this issue. To begin with, I think that registered tax agents should have a dedicated phone number to contact revenue rather than go through the same routine as the general public each time. There’s a poll on LinkedIn about this here https://www.linkedin.com/posts/brendanbrady_accountants-accountant-activity-6742455338370428928-uJnl
    Revenue introduced 3 major interventions - TWSS, EWSS and CRSS and it was accountants who implemented and managed the changes on revenue’s behalf. Revenue appear to have quite successfully subcontracted alot of their work out to accountants in recent years with little objection from the profession. For example, how much tax is collected by tax agents processing and submitting payments on ROS, yet no direct number? PAYE modernisation is another example, it’s as though every time Revenue wants to implement a change they turn around to the accounting profession and say “ok Accountants, go ahead and implement these changes for us and if you have a question rise a query on MYEnquiries.


  • Registered Users Posts: 553 ✭✭✭berettaman


    I had an interesting exchange a few years ago with a Revenue official as we concluded an audit.

    He said he couldn't believe that accountants kept taking the sh1te that they were being given by the Revenue. He was of the opinion that the Institutes were useless for letting it happen.


    I make a point of letting the Institute know when the Revenue are trying to make our lives difficult such as bulk upload of subbies to 35% RCT without consultation.


    What really irritates me is that they insist on writing to the client and not copying the agent in certain instances. When I queried this recently the Revenue person replied simply "We don't have to.":eek:


    I asked her who was more likely to respond, the block laying client that doesn't open any envelope with a harp on it (Just sticks it in the VAT bag) or the Chartered Accountant working in practice? not her problem.


  • Registered Users Posts: 624 ✭✭✭gudede


    Sorry lads but I kinda have to disagree (I work in practice).

    Yes, we clean up everything for Revenue, but we wouldn’t have a job without Revenue or the Companies Act. Yes, they are a pain, but its also a revenue stream.

    Direct phone line is a great shout. Sure you can speak to someone in the PAYE section.

    Generally, accountants need to improve their billing and actually charge client's for what we do. we don’t charge enough for all the little things we do. Solicitors would go to town and charge an arm and a leg.


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  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]


    Revenue is a state body and the Companies Act is a statutory instrument. I wouldn't consider them a source of income.

    Do tradesmen consider Health & Safety Authority as a revenue stream?


  • Registered Users Posts: 624 ✭✭✭gudede


    They drive our business!!! People wouldn’t file tax returns or prepare financial statements without them. They do it because it’s law.

    Mechanic’s give out about NCT’s but again NCT’s helps to generate income for them.


  • Registered Users Posts: 553 ✭✭✭berettaman


    gudede wrote: »
    They drive our business!!! People wouldn’t file tax returns or prepare financial statements without them. They do it because it’s law.

    Mechanic’s give out about NCT’s but again NCT’s helps to generate income for them.


    Fair point. I got paid this week by a guy that owed me for a while..out of the blue like.


    Turns out he has a letter from the Tax man..:rolleyes::D


    So now you need me...€€€


  • Registered Users Posts: 553 ✭✭✭berettaman


    Happy New Year!!

    Anyway, today in practice:

    ROS slower than the month of January.:rolleyes:

    Revenue gone missing? Several cases are awaiting replies on my enquiries for some time. Anyone else noticing that?

    Also, due to lockdown I have more clients lobbing in their 2020 books early and pushing hard for fee reductions despite a lot of hand holding and form filling throughout 2020. I am bravely holding the line, for now.

    anyone else seeing the same?


  • Registered Users Posts: 958 ✭✭✭Stratvs


    berettaman wrote: »
    Happy New Year!!

    Anyway, today in practice:

    ROS slower than the month of January.:rolleyes:

    Revenue gone missing? Several cases are awaiting replies on my enquiries for some time. Anyone else noticing that?

    Also, due to lockdown I have more clients lobbing in their 2020 books early and pushing hard for fee reductions despite a lot of hand holding and form filling throughout 2020. I am bravely holding the line, for now.

    anyone else seeing the same?


    ROS was slower in Jan than now but seems ok.

    MyEnquiries, yeah responses are a lot slower last 2 weeks. Also earlier ones were all coming back with "Hi Firstname". Now they're coming back with "Dear Mr Surname". What's with the sudden formality !

    Books coming early yes, have enough in 'til near Easter at this stage.

    Fees - no one has said anything yet and with all the (unbilled) time that went into emailing info on what aid was available, phone calls, bank requests, general "what are we going to do" issues, PUP/TWSS/EWSS/CRSS and any other XXSS that they're likely to come up with not to mention CORE changes I'm getting tired and cranky at this stage so am not planning on entertaining reductions. (rant over)

    PS Happy New Year to you too !


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  • Registered Users Posts: 553 ✭✭✭berettaman


    General observations and peeves for the week:

    New Form 11 for 2020 are more detailed, will take longer to fill in.:rolleyes:

    Professional clearance letters are not just for courtesy, they are an important safeguard for the incoming accountant.

    Had a client move to an "accountant" who didn't seem to know of their existence.:rolleyes:


  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]


    berettaman wrote: »
    General observations and peeves for the week:

    New Form 11 for 2020 are more detailed, will take longer to fill in.:rolleyes:

    Professional clearance letters are not just for courtesy, they are an important safeguard for the incoming accountant.

    Had a client move to an "accountant" who didn't seem to know of their existence.:rolleyes:

    Unfortunately there's not much that can be done about that until the term Accountant is protected and/or Revenue and the CRO conduct some type of due diligence/AML procedures on people they are issuing Agent ID's and CRO accounts to.


  • Registered Users Posts: 553 ✭✭✭berettaman


    brenbrady wrote: »
    Unfortunately there's not much that can be done about that until the term Accountant is protected and/or Revenue and the CRO conduct some type of due diligence/AML procedures on people they are issuing Agent ID's and CRO accounts to.


    Agree 100%

    It was a mistake by the powers that be not tying up the term accountant prior to dispensing with the requirement for audit.

    It is scandalous what is going on in some areas.

    I had a person ring me up to ask me me CAT/CGT queries for a client that he had and he was not a qualified accountant, he was a web designer come book keeper.:eek:


  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]


    There's a potential can of worms around TAIN's on several fronts - AML, GDPR, central bank regs.

    Too much to go into now but I've touched on the AML issue here https://www.linkedin.com/posts/brendanbrady_antimoneylaundering-accountants-taxadvice-activity-6767776863243833344-g0Yv


  • Registered Users Posts: 553 ✭✭✭berettaman


    Practice life update.

    2020 form 11s have the PUP amount received on them. very handy. However it is not always added to other DSP income received amount so don't take the first figure you see.;)

    Lockdown ongoing; there has been a up tick in clients looking at options to close versus Pandemic supports only thing keeping some places going.

    Getting harder to explain the Celtic Afro in zoom meetings as we are normally more clean cut individuals:D

    UK businesses are (still) asking Irish exporters about Import/export rules.:eek:


  • Registered Users Posts: 553 ✭✭✭berettaman


    Practice life update:


    What do you do when a UK company won't engage with UK authorities and certify that the goods they are selling are for export?:eek:


    My guy, in Ireland wants to but the goods and is trying to fill in UK export forms for the UK company and HMRC site is blocking him as he is outside the jurisdiction.


    Oh joy.


    Also received a CV where fortnite is listed as both a hobby and an IT skill.:D


  • Registered Users Posts: 958 ✭✭✭Stratvs


    berettaman wrote: »
    Also received a CV where fortnite is listed as both a hobby and an IT skill.:D

    Is Super Mario no longer a thing so under IT skills ? Looks like I may need some upskilling :D


  • Registered Users Posts: 565 ✭✭✭hjr


    Stratvs wrote: »
    Is Super Mario no longer a thing so under IT skills ? Looks like I may need some upskilling :D

    Football Manager for sure is a required skill!


  • Registered Users Posts: 624 ✭✭✭gudede


    fortnite probably more believable than our current work loads.

    PPA agreements for companies who are closed due to Covid are now taking up my time. How can Revenue and the client agree on a payment scheme, when the company has zero income (apart from CRSS). Never mind the impossible VAT questions and that fact everyone wants their audits done ASAP but using covid as an excuse for not providing information. Interesting times.


  • Registered Users Posts: 553 ✭✭✭berettaman


    gudede wrote: »
    fortnite probably more believable than our current work loads.

    PPA agreements for companies who are closed due to Covid are now taking up my time. How can Revenue and the client agree on a payment scheme, when the company has zero income (apart from CRSS). Never mind the impossible VAT questions and that fact everyone wants their audits done ASAP but using covid as an excuse for not providing information. Interesting times.


    I had a similar friendly phone call.

    Guy has an arrangement with the Sheriff and they have amended his tax credits to cover liabilities for other periods and now they want a PPA for a prior period as well!!?:eek:
    I laughed and said that he would consider a PPA when the Sheriff is off the pitch.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 553 ✭✭✭berettaman


    Okay, there is a certain advert on radio that does my head in. If you have to go into a dustbin to look for receipts I don't want you as a client.:mad:


  • Registered Users Posts: 958 ✭✭✭Stratvs


    berettaman wrote: »
    Okay, there is a certain advert on radio that does my head in. If you have to go into a dustbin to look for receipts I don't want you as a client.:mad:

    What are the strangest things you found in a box/bag of records that came in?

    Here
    1) part eaten bacon sandwich
    2) draft of a love letter from an elderly bachelor farmer to ...?
    3) not strange but certainly happens often - unopened Revenue letters


  • Registered Users Posts: 848 ✭✭✭duffysfarm


    Found a receipt for sexy lingerie about 15 years ago which was a hot topic of conversation in the office for a while.

    Found maggots in another box of records. Partner in charge threw the records straight in the bin!!!
    Stratvs wrote: »
    What are the strangest things you found in a box/bag of records that came in?

    Here
    1) part eaten bacon sandwich
    2) draft of a love letter from an elderly bachelor farmer to ...?
    3) not strange but certainly happens often - unopened Revenue letters


  • Registered Users Posts: 773 ✭✭✭capefear


    berettaman wrote: »
    Okay, there is a certain advert on radio that does my head in. If you have to go into a dustbin to look for receipts I don't want you as a client.:mad:

    what add is it as havent heard it online, I would guess big red books or sage


  • Registered Users Posts: 553 ✭✭✭berettaman


    capefear wrote: »
    what add is it as havent heard it online, I would guess big red books or sage


    Nope..TaxA$$ist or some such


  • Registered Users Posts: 553 ✭✭✭berettaman


    Stratvs wrote: »
    What are the strangest things you found in a box/bag of records that came in?

    Here
    1) part eaten bacon sandwich
    2) draft of a love letter from an elderly bachelor farmer to ...?
    3) not strange but certainly happens often - unopened Revenue letters


    1. Maggots, between receipts-binned.
    2 . Clients childrens homework-returned.
    3. Animal tags-returned.
    4. Shopping lists with money-returned.
    5. Love poetry- admired and returned.
    6. Twix and maltesers-not returned
    7. Team sheet for a camogie team-returned
    8. Rant letter to Revenue-admired, not returned.
    9. Unopened Revenue letters-not returned but dealt with.
    10 Unopened Revenue letter-marked deceased by living client, not returned but dealt with..;)


  • Registered Users Posts: 958 ✭✭✭Stratvs


    berettaman wrote: »
    4. Shopping lists with money-returned.

    You don't do click and collect so :D


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,382 ✭✭✭Sunny Dayz


    Stratvs wrote: »
    What are the strangest things you found in a box/bag of records that came in?

    This would actually be a good topic for a thread of it’s own!

    One client’s records often come in stinking of smoke.
    One client (sole trader) used to send us in receipts for EVERYTHING. They were frugal enough with money but receipts for grocery shopping, buying clothes in Dunnes, a loaf of bread and litre of milk in the petrol station - kept everything!
    Scratch cards and lotto tickets - nothing on them bar one had the minimum amount, like €4 or something.
    Kids artwork which is clearly not for us, admired and sent back with a note of compliments.
    For preparing VAT returns I get people chancing their arm - personal hotel stays, household appliances, gardening and power tools, electronic devices in Aug (school/college) and Dec (Christmas).


  • Registered Users Posts: 958 ✭✭✭Stratvs


    Sunny Dayz wrote: »
    This would actually be a good topic for a thread of it’s own!

    One client (sole trader) used to send us in receipts for EVERYTHING. They were frugal enough with money but receipts for grocery shopping, buying clothes in Dunnes, a loaf of bread and litre of milk in the petrol station - kept everything!

    I sometimes think it's better to have more than needed and discard the rest than be missing stuff that's needed. But it can be a pain. They probably use the FID system of filing which is still quite common among older folk. We also get biscuit tins with the receipts in. No biscuits, just receipts. Although usually they are Afternoon Tea tins, not those cheap ones:D
    Sunny Dayz wrote: »
    For preparing VAT returns I get people chancing their arm - personal hotel stays, household appliances, gardening and power tools, electronic devices in Aug (school/college) and Dec (Christmas).

    Receipts/invoices with dates around Christmas week are often great fun to whittle out. Jewellers, off-licences, Smyths Toys, Curry's etc. Multiple PCs and iPads each year. How many of those does a carpenter really need !!


    (FID = Fired Into a Drawer )


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  • Registered Users Posts: 553 ✭✭✭berettaman


    In the practice I trained in I got all the farm accounts to do because I was "from the country". (I am not from a farming background as such).

    Anyway, I was given a file to look at while the manager was explaining what type of farming the client did. After a brief look I told him that last years accounts were wrong. He told me I was a cheeky ba$tard.:rolleyes:
    Eventually he asked why and I said where I come from hoggets are not classified as pigs! (red faces all round).

    Fast forward a few years and I have my eye on the exit door and I am training two ladies from the city. They will be taking over a lot of my clients. I had them sorting invoices from a farmer and one complained that the invoices were stuck together with weird blackish green clay.
    I said "That's not clay...":D


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