Accountant is always late submitting returns

Lou26

Registered User
Messages
15
Hi,
My husband and I run a small business as sole traders. He is the named sole trader and I just do the background stuff. We have to submit VAT returns every two months and we occasionally have someone working with us when it gets busy so we require payroll maybe every second month. Our accountant is constantly late submitting VAT returns and payroll. I always send the information to her before it is needed but I have to chase at least 3 times before it gets submitted. The last VAT return was submitted 4 weeks after the deadline with no apology or reason.
My question is is this industry norm, I'm new enough to the accounting world so maybe it is? I don't want to get a new accountant if I'm going to be in the same boat with a new one. I have brought this up when I met her in person and I was just told it's really busy. She's generally very helpful when we meet in person (3 times so far in 18 months).
Thanks very much in advance.
 

cremeegg

Frequent Poster
Messages
3,124
Fascinating.

You need to get this sorted. Being late with your returns exposes you to penalties and increases the likelihood of a Revenue audit.

I suspect that its not particularly uncommon.

How long has this been going on.

What exactly does she do for you. Do you send in invoices for her to compile VAT returns or do you do some pre-processing with them first. Do you summarise the sales and expenses and send that.

If you dont mind telling us how much do you pay her.
 

jcollins

Registered User
Messages
21
With respect to your Payroll, under PAYE Modernisation the penalties are much higher for consistent breaches of the regulations.

If you read the following document at https://www.revenue.ie/en/tax-professionals/ebrief/2019/no-0932019.aspx

"Revenue will continue to assist any employer who is experiencing genuine difficulty in complying with the new PAYE requirements. However, employers who fail to engage with Revenue or who persistently breach the PAYE Regulations are liable to a €4,000 penalty per offence under section 987 of the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997."

Note, that is per offence!!!

Revenue are currently trying to help employers, but i expect that to change next year when Revenue are likely to start using a little less carrot and a bit more stick.
 

Sconeandjam

Registered User
Messages
45
It is a no no for any returns submitted late. You are opening yourself up to a risk of an audit as others have said.
If you have only a few people working for you and your accountant is manually uploading the return late you will eventually get a fine..Revenue say you cannot pay staff until you get approval from Revenue to pay. I use a very easy payroll software and completes payroll in no time.
A vat return is easy to submit and you can do this yourself on Ros. There is a plan down the road to make people scan and upload all invoices and purchases in real time and submit vat return by monthly.

Maybe take that work back and do it yourself. Should not take too long and could save you some fees. I don't know if you can message me but I can let you know the payroll software(no don't have to be an accountant to use it) I use.
 

Lou26

Registered User
Messages
15
Thanks for your replies.
The payroll part isn't too bad. It's only occasionally we need it and I submit the hours and rate to her. I just need to follow up a few times before it's done. I pay our employee once I get the payslip back and then pay the tax etc myself on ROS.

With regards to the VAT returns I do all the prep myself and send on a spreadsheet so it's a simple enough calculation as far as I can see. We are in business since early 2018 and it's going on since then. We pay €850 per year and €35 per pay roll instance.

I think I'm going to have to have a chat with her before we start a new year. Thanks for your replies.
 

Lou26

Registered User
Messages
15
Sorry sconeandjam I only saw your post after I sent mine. Yeah I am half thinking of just doing it myself. I'm reasonably comfortable with ROS as I have been submitting Form 11 for years due to shares we hold.
Thanks for your reply. I'm assuming from the replies I have got that it's not industry norm to have the returns submitted late all the time.
 

Sconeandjam

Registered User
Messages
45
Thanks for your replies.
The payroll part isn't too bad. It's only occasionally we need it and I submit the hours and rate to her. I just need to follow up a few times before it's done. I pay our employee once I get the payslip back and then pay the tax etc myself on ROS.

With regards to the VAT returns I do all the prep myself and send on a spreadsheet so it's a simple enough calculation as far as I can see. We are in business since early 2018 and it's going on since then. We pay €850 per year and €35 per pay roll instance.

I think I'm going to have to have a chat with her before we start a new year. Thanks for your replies.
You are already doing the work yourself then you could do the final bit. Brightpay(Irish company) do a program for one employee (not sure the price) but it is linked to Ros so you enter the hours and upload onto Ros.

Just so you know vat return is completed with sales vat, purchase vat, vies(imports from EU non EU Exports EU non EU and services) click calculate and then return. That is the return. If you are doing all the preparation then you can upload yourself on Ros. Only filling a sheet in online.
 

Sconeandjam

Registered User
Messages
45
Sorry sconeandjam I only saw your post after I sent mine. Yeah I am half thinking of just doing it myself. I'm reasonably comfortable with ROS as I have been submitting Form 11 for years due to shares we hold.
Thanks for your reply. I'm assuming from the replies I have got that it's not industry norm to have the returns submitted late all the time.
If you have experience of Ros then you are half way there. You will save stress and money in the process. Reduced accountancy fees.
Definately not the norm. If you have a return late it highlights your business and after a few they could send out a team to see what is going on and do a full audit. Personal accounts and business are all reviewed and it is stressful even if you have nothing to hide.
If you are going to be late you have to give a reason. For vat you have up to the 19th of the following month but i try to have it entered before then.

Bright pay offer a licence for free if you have one employee. They let you try it for a month as well. Worth looking at it as that will save the 35euros per submission. Just checked on their website. Also new rules you have to have a back up stored somewhere and they have the cloud.
I was watching blog on Bright pay(what have we learned since modernisation of payroll). At the minute no fines as everything is new. In the New Year there will be more changes. Have a look at their information blog section for some information as what is going to happen. The design of the new payroll system with Revenue was created with Bright pay.
Just make sure what ever date you say you will pay the employee it cannot be before the date submitted. so do submission say pay friday do not pay thursday. They are going to get very strict about this going forward.
Heres one..
Also no subs before wages...as it is a loan and risk of bik! New one to me.
In the future people will have to log onto my account for p60, balancing statements and approve/accept figures so everyone will sort of do a mini tax return. Constant changes.
 

Nutso

Frequent Poster
Messages
533
I agree with the others, if you are doing most of the work yourself, submitting the return is the easy bit. It will be much less stressful for your overall. Payroll is also fairly easy to manage, there are some 1-day courses which would explain the basics if you need them.
 

myate

Frequent Poster
Messages
236
I do my own VAT returns to save a bit of money on the accountant side. He showed me how to do it before I started it, I've done it since. I do it bi-monthly as I find it easier and it works for me that way. Like you I use a spreadsheet, then simple matter of going into ROS and filling in the figures!
My accountant does the yearly return, and never has it been late.
 
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