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Q?How long should I keep my business records?

Records should be kept for a minimum of six years for Inland Revenue purposes. A VAT inspector will usually only go back over three years when undertaking a routine inspection.

Q?When must I prepare my company accounts?

Company accounts are due to be filed at Companies House nine months after the end of your financial year. Any corporation tax due is payable nine months and a day after the end of your financial year, and should clear HMRC’s  account if interest charges are to be avoided.


Q?Do I have to be VAT registered?

You are required to be registered by law if your taxable turnover exceeds the annual registration limit, currently £81,000. You can register voluntarily before you reach the turnover limit if it is beneficial for you to do so.

Q?Does my company need an audit?

Audits provide reassurance to shareholders, lenders and creditors that the annual accounts are reliable. The turnover threshold which currently exempts most companies and limited liability partnerships (LLPs) from a statutory audit is £6.5 million.

Not all companies with turnover under £6.5 million come within the audit exemption provisions, because there are criteria other than turnover; since 1 October 2012 small firms have been able to obtain an audit exemption if they meet two of three criteria relating to balance sheet total, turnover and number of employees. Public companies and those carrying on particular types of business, such as insurance broking and financial services are also subject to an audit.

Shareholders can require that an audit is carried out, for example if they are not involved in the day-to-day running of the business and require reassurance that their investment is being properly looked after.


Q?Should I be a sole trader, partnership, limited company or LLP?

Like most things, this depends on a number of factors; the type of business you are in and in particular, your size and profitability. All of these determine whether there are tax advantages to being set up a particular way. There are also other legal and statutory issues that may make you more in need of one structure than another.

We have a specific factsheet in our ‘resources’ section that goes into further detail on business structures.

Q?I think I have paid too much tax, what should I do?

If you know why you have paid too much tax and that this is due to an error by you or the tax authorities, you should contact them by phone or in writing explaining the error so they can adjust it. In other cases, seek advice from our tax consultant.

Q?Will it be clear from the outset how much you will charge me?

We understand that you need a clear indication of costs for the work we do for you. Before we start on the work, we will explain clearly the charges for our service. We will, wherever it is possible, pre-quote a fixed fee or provide you with an estimate of the anticipated costs.

We try to work on a fixed cost basis, but on occasions when it is difficult to assess the amount of work involved, we usually work on a time bases. In this instance we will continually keep you informed. There will be no hidden costs.

Q?How easy is it to change accountants?

Becoming a Harts client is easier than you think. If you would like us to contact your previous accountant and organise the transfer of your files / books we can arrange this without you having to worry. The process is simple, fast and easy.

Many businesses and individuals who might be considering changing accountants or using an accountant for the first time may not be aware of how easy it is to start working with us.