Terms and conditions for ‘dot.sole’ sole trader accounts and self assessment tax return

This service is only suitable for small sole trader businesses whereby all the information you provide can fit in one of our freepost A4 envelopes. It is not suitable for those who have complex tax matters including but not limited to capital gains, income from trusts and estates, foreign income, pension income, EIS scheme subscriptions and venture capital trust subscriptions or who are not resident in the UK. If in doubt please contact us before you purchase as refunds may only be offered subject to a 10% admin charge.

The service is reliant upon the provision of the correct figures and information by you and any revisions that are necessary to the accounts and tax return because of incorrect information may result in additional charges if you want Dotty About Accounts Ltd to perform the revisions.

The dot.sole service is for a “one off” service and does not entitle you to any help, support and advice, or services throughout the tax year or in relation to other matters. Dotty About Accounts Ltd will not act as your agent or enter into any correspondence with HMRC on your behalf as part of this service apart from the online filing of the self assessment tax return. This also means that we will not have access to your online tax account and will not be able to check your current tax position.

Please be sure that the service you purchase is the correct one for you as refunds may only be offered after the deduction of a 10% admin charge on any of our annual packages.

If you purchase this service but do not provide us with the information required to complete the self assessment return in adequate time so as to avoid incurring a late filing penalty or you do not use the service at all, refunds may only be offered after the deduction of a 10% admin charge. Dotty About Accounts Ltd will not be liable for any late filing penalties that you may incur.

Turnaround times for sole trader accounts and self assessment tax returns could be up to 4 weeks, dependent on the time of year and workload.

We may not accept purchases for dot.sole after 31st December when the tax return is due by 31st January of the following year as we cannot guarantee that your return would be completed in time. If you purchase this service during this time and we have to decline to carry out the service, refunds may be given but will be subject to a 10% admin charge.

We shall not approach any previous accountants for prior year’s information and as such will not be able to provide comparative data within your income and expenditure accounts. We will also not be able to bring forward any prior year’s losses to offset against the current year’s tax return unless you provide us with a copy of the prior year’s tax return.

Nature of services

The services you will receive by purchasing dot.sole are:

    • Preparation of book-keeping
    • Preparation of one set of income and expenditure accounts
    • Preparation and submission to HMRC of one self assessment tax return which is limited to reporting of income and expenditure within the following pages:
      • Bank interest
      • Dividends
      • Employment
      • Sole trade or self employment
      • Rental properties.

ANNUAL ACCOUNTS

Your responsibility for the preparation of accounts

1. You undertake to make available to us as and when required all the accounting records and related financial information necessary for the compilation of the accounts. You will make full disclosure to us of all relevant information. The accounts need to be approved by you before we are able to issue our report.

2. You are responsible for ensuring that, to the best of your knowledge and belief, financial information whether used by the business or for the accounts is reliable. You are also responsible for ensuring that the activities of the business are conducted honestly and that its assets are safeguarded, and for establishing arrangements designed to deter fraudulent or other dishonest conduct and to detect any that occur.

3. You are responsible for ensuring that the business complies with the laws and regulations applicable to its activities, and for establishing arrangements designed to prevent any non-compliance with laws and regulations and to detect any that occur.

Our responsibilities for the preparation of accounts

1. We will compile your annual accounts based on the accounting records and the information and explanations given to us by you. We shall prepare draft annual accounts for your approval.

2. We will advise you as to the adequacy of your records for preparation of the annual accounts and make recommendations for improvements which we consider necessary. We shall not be responsible if, as a result of you not taking our advice, you incur losses or penalties.

3. We will use reasonable skill and care in the preparation of your accounts but will not be responsible for errors arising from incorrect information supplied by you.

4. We will report, with any variations that we consider may be necessary that, in accordance with your instructions and in order to assist you to fulfil your responsibilities, we have compiled, without carrying out an audit, the accounts from your accounting records and from the information and explanations supplied to us.

5. We have a professional duty to compile accounts which conform with generally accepted accounting principles. Where we identify that the accounts do not conform to accepted accounting principles, or if the accounting policies adopted are not immediately apparent, this will be made clear in our report, if it is not clear in the accounts.

SELF ASSESSMENT TAX

(a) We will prepare your personal income tax return together with all supporting schedules and check HMRC’s calculation of your self assessment tax and national insurance contributions.

(b) We will forward to you your tax return form and supporting schedules in duplicate for your approval and signature. Once the return has been approved and signed by you and returned to us, we will submit it with the computations to HMRC electronically.

(c) We will advise you as to the amounts of tax and national insurance contributions to be paid and the dates by which you should make the payments, including payments on account and the balancing payment, and if appropriate we will initiate repayment claims when tax and national insurance contributions appear to have been overpaid.

(d) We will provide our professional services with reasonable care and skill. However, we will not be responsible for any losses, penalties, surcharges, interest or additional tax liabilities arising from the supply by you or others of incorrect or incomplete information, or your or others’ failure to supply any appropriate information or your failure to act on our advice or respond promptly to our communications from us or the tax authorities.

(e) You agree that we can approach such third parties as may be appropriate for information that we consider necessary to deal with your affairs.

Anti money laundering legislation

All accountants must comply with onerous duties imposed by the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, the Terrorism Act 2000 and the Money Laundering Regulations 2007 (the “Anti Money Laundering Legislation”), which are intended to inhibit the activities of terrorists and other criminals by denying them access to technical expertise. If we fail to perform these duties, we risk imprisonment.

Before we accept your instructions, we may need to obtain ‘satisfactory evidence’ to confirm your identity. In certain circumstances, we may need to obtain evidence confirming the identities of third parties, the source of any funds or other property, the purpose of any instructions or any other matter. We may also need to obtain such evidence after we have begun to act on your instructions.

We assume that our clients are honest and law abiding. However, if at any time, there appear to be grounds to suspect (even if we do not actually suspect) that your instructions relate to ‘criminal property’, we are obliged to make a report to the Serious Organised Crime Agency (“SOCA”), but we are prohibited from telling you that we have done so.

In such circumstances, we must not act on your instructions without consent from SOCA. If SOCA do not refuse consent within 7 working days we may continue to act. If SOCA issue a refusal within that time, we must not act for a further 31 days from the date of the refusal.

‘Criminal property’ is property in any legal form, whether money, real property, rights or any benefit derived from criminal activity. It does not matter who carried out the criminal activity or how removed the property is from the original crime. Even if you are honest in your dealings, if your property represents a benefit from someone else’s crime, we must still make a report.

Activity is considered ‘criminal’ if it is a crime under UK law, no matter how trivial. For example, tax evasion is a criminal offence but an honest mistake is not. We will assume that all discrepancies are mistakes unless there is contrary evidence.

Client monies

We may, from time to time, hold money on your behalf. Such money will be held in trust in a client bank account, which is segregated from the firm’s funds.

If the total sum of money held on your behalf exceeds £2,000 for a period of more than 2 months, or such sum is likely to be held for more than 2 months, then the money will be placed in an interest-bearing client bank account. All interest earned on such money will be paid to you. Subject to any tax legislation, interest will be paid gross.

If there are grounds to suspect (even if we do not actually suspect) that any monies held in a client account is derived directly or indirectly from any criminal activity whatsoever, we may not release such monies until we receive permission to do so from SOCA.

Commissions or other benefits

In some circumstances, commissions or other benefits may become payable to us in respect of introductions to other professionals or transactions we arrange for you, in which case you will be notified in writing of the amount, the terms of payment and receipt of any such commissions or benefits.

Ownership of records

In the event of non-payment of our fees for services rendered, we may exercise a particular right of lien over the books and records in our possession and withhold the documents until such time as payment of our invoice is received in full.

File destruction

We will keep your accounting records for the time it takes us to complete your accounts and corporation tax. We will then return them to you for your safekeeping.

We intend to destroy correspondence and other working papers that we store which are more than seven years old, other than documents which we think may be of continuing significance. If you require the retention of any document, you must notify us of that fact in writing.

Postage

We will provide you with one freepost envelope in order for you to post your information to us. However, we cannot accept any responsibility for any lost or missing post. We would therefore highly recommend that you take a scan/photocopy of your documents before you send them to us. We are happy to accept the scans/photocopies.

Ethical guidelines

We will observe the ethical guidelines of the Association of Accounting Technicians and accept instructions to act for you on the basis that we will act in accordance with those guidelines. A copy of these guidelines will be supplied to you on request.

Insurance

We are licensed and regulated by the Association of Accounting Technicians, under the name of our principal, Helen Fielding, and in accordance with their regulations we have appropriate Professional Indemnity Insurance in place. If you require a copy of our Professional Indemnity Insurance then it is available on request.

Customer service

We are committed to providing a high standard of customer service. If you have any ideas as to how our service to you could be improved, or if you are dissatisfied with the service you are receiving, please let us know. In the event that you have a complaint, we will look into this carefully and promptly and do all we can to explain the position to you or address your concerns. If you are still not satisfied you may of course make a complaint to the Association of Accounting Technicians.

Third parties

All accounts, statements and reports prepared by us are for your exclusive use within your business or to meet specific statutory responsibilities. They should not be shown to any other party without our prior consent.

No third party shall acquire any rights pursuant to our agreement to provide professional services.

Applicable law

These terms and conditions are governed by, and construed in accordance with, English law. The Courts of England will have exclusive jurisdiction in relation to any claim, dispute or difference concerning this engagement letter and any matter arising from it. Each party irrevocably waives any right it may have to object to any action being brought in those courts, to claim that the action has been brought in an inappropriate forum, or to claim that those courts do not have jurisdiction.

Disclaimer

We will not be liable for any loss suffered by you or any third party as a result of our compliance with the Anti Money Laundering Legislation or any UK law or at all.

Agreement of terms

We will request that you agree to these terms and conditions on our website before you can proceed to purchase our services.