TaxAssist Accountants offers expert guidance during the COVID-19 pandemic

May 4, 2020

The UK’s largest network of small business specialist accountants ensures its franchisees continue to lead the way.

The TaxAssist Accountants network, which looks after over 76,000 independent businesses across the UK, is proud to be delivering expert advice, tools and guidance to help support this vital sector through these difficult times.

 
Realising accountants would play an intrinsic part in helping to explain the many support measures rolled out by the Government, the TaxAssist Support Centre has ensured every franchisee has the resources they need to effectively communicate with and assist their clients.

Daren Moore, Group Commercial Director at TaxAssist Accountants, explains: “Very early on, we recognised we needed to set up a dedicated TaxAssist COVID-19 Action Group. “It produces a daily news update to each franchisee, highlighting the latest announcements and examining the finer detail of the Government’s help measures.

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“Feedback received from the network has been fantastic so far, with many praising our pro-active approach and our depth and quality of resources, which has allowed them to offer an enhanced service to their clients, who are desperately looking to them for clarity and guidance. We have also written a letter on behalf of our network, urging the Chancellor of the Exchequer to reconsider some of the measures he has put in place to support certain sectors, and attended a virtual meeting with the Small Business Commissioner at the Department of Business and Industry, where we represented the views of our network.”

TaxAssist Accountants has developed a Coronavirus Hub on its website, containing all of the latest information about what support has been made available. This has been designed to be a comprehensive guide, covering summarised advice by client type, such as businesses, employers, Directors, self-employed and landlords. Analysis reveals visitors to the website more than doubled compared to this time last year, as clients eagerly check on the latest developments.

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“Our franchisees have reported that they have been inundated with queries and have been incredibly busy helping and reassuring their clients. In turn, the Support Centre Technical Helpdesk Staff (all now working from home), have recorded a record number of calls from franchisees accessing our team of specialists,” said Daren.

“All of our accountants have access to the very latest in accounting and office software, which has paid dividends in being able to remain open for business, offering telephone or video consultations for all existing or new clients, and the ability to provide live data and reporting for clients in need of urgent cashflow projections.

“We have helped franchisees produce videos to enable them to engage with their clients and we have produced videos about the support and grants available, as well as running a series of webinars for both franchisees and clients, covering the latest position and practical guidance.”

A major strength of the TaxAssist model is the ability to support its franchisees with a centralised mailing system and social media campaigns. This means every client can be contacted quickly and professionally with the very latest developments relevant to them, a big boon for a busy network of accountants, with more than 400,000 emails sent on their behalf to date and regular posts and client guides shared on social media.

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Lloyd Evans, who owns TaxAssist Accountants practices in Kingswinford, Wolverhampton and Halesowen, said: “The constant messages we receive from clients is one of thanks for the regular updates they receive, which they greatly value. These communications bring us ever closer to our clients and supports the huge volume of telephone calls we are all making at this time.”

If you would like to contact TaxAssist Accountants to request an online chat with one of our Accountants, please call 0800 05 23 555 to discuss your needs.

If you are interested in joining the network of TaxAssist Accountants, we are holding a Virtual Discovery Day on the 21st April – please call 0800 0188297 for more information.

TaxAssist Support Centre awarded 5-Star Employer status for second year running

April 24, 2020

Following an employee satisfaction survey carried out by independent research agency WorkBuzz, TaxAssist has once again been named as a ‘5 Star Employer’.

 
Above benchmark results compared to businesses of a similar size and industry, has led to TaxAssist Accountants being awarded the ‘5 Star Employer’ accolade for the second year running.

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One of the biggest challenges faced by many organisations is recruiting and keeping the best talent available in their respective sectors.

And within the UK’s ever-changing job market, employees’ expectations are constantly evolving – they want to feel secure in their roles particularly at times such as the present, have faster career progression expectations and demand instant change in their workplace based on their feedback.

What has made gaining WorkBuzz 5 Star Employer status unique, is that it is based on confidential feedback from employees, who are invited to complete Engagement Surveys on a regular basis.

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Karl Sandall, Group Chief Executive Director, said: “We are incredibly proud that TaxAssist Accountants has once again received this award and to have received such positive feedback from the 60 members of staff at the Support Centre.

“With the world experiencing unprecedented levels of uncertainty and change right now, I hope this accolade gives our franchise network a much needed boost, knowing that they are fully supported by a happy and engaged workforce who are committed and dedicated to helping and guiding them through the months and years ahead.”

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Steven Frost, CEO of WorkBuzz, said: “For several years, we’ve been helping leading organisations gather feedback from their employees, to improve employee engagement and reduce staff turnover. Through the WorkBuzz 5 Star Employer awards, we will now be able to recognise employers who are truly leading employee engagement to improve the working lives of their people.”

For more information on the award click here.

TaxAssist raises concerns to Chancellor on COVID-19 measures taken to support the small business community

April 15, 2020

Group Commercial Director Daren Moore has written to Rishi Sunak requesting he reconsider key elements of the government’s support and intervention packages.

 
Following the flurry of recent announcements from the Government on new initiatives to support small businesses and the self-employed, the TaxAssist Accountants Support Centre team has been working flat out to offer help and guidance to its network of accountants and their 76,000 clients.

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While many clients will welcome the measures announced so far, large sections of the business community have been overlooked, without the help and funding they need.

In order to address this, Daren Moore has written a letter to the Chancellor to request that he reconsider a number of key issues missing from the recent announcements.

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“Whilst we support many of the measures announced to date, we are concerned that large sections of the business community are suffering and that these measures will not provide the help and funding they need,” explained Daren. “We are already seeing our clients under stress and we risk seeing many thousands of small businesses fail without prompt action.”

Daren outlined four key issues that TaxAssist’s clients and its franchisees would like to see urgently addressed including:

• Sole/small company directors and their ineligibility to be furloughed under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
• The proposal to look at three years for averaging purposes, leaving those who commenced trading since 5th April 2019 financially stranded
• The unfairness of the £50,000 trading profit threshold
• The need for emergency funding to speed up the flow of money

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Daren added: “As a proud and ethical franchisor we will take every available opportunity to use our voice to highlight the needs and concerns of our core clients – small businesses – the ‘lifeblood’ of the UK economy. In these difficult times, we need to support and protect them in any way we can, now, to ensure that the sector remains intact and fully functioning when the recovery does come.”

A copy of the letter that was sent to Rishi Sunak can be viewed here.

Five new franchisees join TaxAssist Accountants

April 7, 2020

TaxAssist Accountants continues its impressive rate of growth

Sunny Srai (Hampton), Sanjay Parekh (Wood Green) Gary Bugdale (Managing Director of TaxAssist Direct London Ltd), Jay Gosal (Coventry East) and Adnan Tahir (Glasgow) have all recently graduated from TaxAssist Accountants’ first Initial Training Course of 2020.

 
Having amassed nearly 20 years’ experience within Corporate Finance across various sectors, Sanjay Parekh realised he was confident in his abilities to generate financial success by running his own business. Having worked successfully as a financial consultant for the last five years, Sanjay was keen to change tack and use his wealth of experience to help small businesses. This triggered him to consider running his own accountancy practice via the franchising route.

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“My ex-manager (now a franchisee) introduced me to TaxAssist. I did some research, signed up for the Discovery Day and my experience has been positive from that moment on,” explained Sanjay.

“I have found the network very transparent, truthful, supportive and nurturing. Having completed the training during the COVID-19 outbreak would have been even more daunting if I was not part of a reputable brand such as TaxAssist, which boasts a knowledgeable and diligent back-office support function – which is the backbone of franchisees’ success.

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“I am excited to start trading, and I am confident I will ride the current wave and come out successful on the other side due to the brand backing me.”

Karl Sandall, Group Chief Executive Director, said: “It was a pleasure to train and socialise with our new fantastic group of franchisees and the team at our Support Centre are looking forward to helping them grow their practices.

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“These are unprecedented times, but franchisees know they have the back-up and support of a dedicated team of over 60 staff at the Support Centre on hand to help, guide and advise them and their clients. They also know that their services are very much in demand, as small businesses look to their accountant as never before for help and guidance through the uncertain months ahead.”

If you are interested in joining the TaxAssist Accountants network, there are Discovery Days via video planned in the coming weeks. If you’d like to book onto a Discovery Day, please submit your CV and a completed application form which can be found here to franchiseenquiries@taxassist.co.uk

TaxAssist Accountants ramps up support and creates Coronavirus Hub

March 30, 2020

TaxAssist Accountants has rolled out a series of new initiatives to its network and created a dedicated Coronavirus Hub on its client website containing the latest support available for businesses affected by the pandemic.

 
In a week of unprecedented turmoil and change caused by the global COVID-19 outbreak, staff at the TaxAssist Accountants Support Centre pulled out all the stops to ensure its network of accountants and their 76,000 clients are kept up to date with the very latest developments.

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Karl Sandall, Group Chief Executive, said: “I cannot praise the team highly enough for the work that has been put in over the last week. From the technical team who have digested and created content for the hub, to the business development team who worked tirelessly to communicate to clients on behalf of franchisees, centrally sending around 250,000 emails in total.

“We have ensured the 60 members of staff at the Support Centre, who are all now working from home, have access to all the equipment they need to maintain our usual high levels of service and support to our network of accountants. They can then in turn, confidently advise and guide their clients with the very latest information to help them and their business. We also have assurance from all major key partners that they can also work remotely and maintain services.

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“All franchisees continue to have access to Employmentor, a service that provides guidance and help with all employment related law issues, which is provided free of charge by us.”

The TaxAssist Coronavirus Hub will be continually updated, and the Support Centre team has been delivering the following for the network:

  • Video tutorials and guides for franchisees on how to have client meetings using video technology to maintain service to new and existing clients.
  • Video messaging from the Chief Executive and other Directors to provide guidance and support.
  • Advice and tips on how to network on the online networking communities.
  • Daily social media content covering further announcements from the Government.
  • A dedicated section within the Franchisee Support Site to collate and access all COVID-19 related content.
  • Daily COVID-19 update bulletin emailed to franchisees issued from the Support Centre, which contains a detailed summary of announcements from the Government, practice advice and support, client communications, new marketing materials and using technology.
  • Live webinars delivered to franchisees outlining the latest changes and practical guidance around planning points.
  • Advice on how to support clients with short-term cashflow planning and the tools we have available to assist with this.
  • SMS texting to communicate with prospects and clients to keep them informed of working arrangements.

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To view the TaxAssist Accountants Coronavirus hub click here.

If you are interested in joining the TaxAssist Accountants network, we intend to hold Discovery Days via video over the coming weeks. If you’d like to book onto a Discovery Day, we will require your CV and a completed application form which can be found on the website.

New TaxAssist Accountants shop opens in Surbiton

March 13, 2020

Salmaan Shaikh has opened a new walk in tax and accountancy shop on 57 Brighton Road, Surbiton.

 
Salmaan Shaikh FCCA, is an accountant with more than 15 years’ experience working with Big Four accountancy practices and small and medium sized businesses. Keen to establish his own practice in his local area, he joined TaxAssist Accountants in 2019 with ambitious plans for growth.

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“I always knew that I wanted to build my own practice,” said Salmaan, “but I wanted the back up and support provided by a franchise. I did my research, came across TaxAssist and my mind was made up! I would like to thank every member of staff who has helped me to get where I am today, as they have always been nothing but professional, friendly and positive.

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“My shop looks great and will provide the perfect environment to meet with clients. It is well located with good accessibility and plenty of parking close by. I’d like to encourage anyone interested in finding out more about our services to come in for a free initial consultation.”

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If you are interested in finding out more about joining TaxAssist Accountants, regular Discovery Days are held, where you meet with the Directors of the franchise and find out more about the technical and business development support on offer. Call 0800 0188297 to find out more.

TaxAssist Accountants delivers personalised Budget 2020 highlights

March 13, 2020

On the day of the Budget, TaxAssist Accountants was pleased to provide its franchisees with personalised versions of the Budget 2020 material to share and communicate with clients, prospects and business referral contacts.

 
This included a summary highlighting the announcements that will affect small businesses and the self-employed, and an e-mail newsletter to its clients.

The latter was personalised for franchisees’ individual websites, and produced for print and e-publications, enabling franchisees to share with their clients the changes pertinent to their businesses just hours after the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, delivered his Budget.

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During the day, the Support Centre team posted live updates to the @TaxAssistUK Twitter, as well as posts on the national Facebook and LinkedIn accounts.

The following content was added to the website www.taxassist.co.uk for franchisees to share on their social media profiles:

  • Budget 2020 – Summary for Small Business
  • Individuals urged to be mindful of Budget 2020 measures
  • Budget 2020 gives the UK business community a shot in the arm
  • Support for employers in Budget 2020

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James Mattam, Group Business Development Director at TaxAssist Accountants, said: “As we do every year, the Support Centre team worked hard to ensure we delivered bespoke Budget commentary in a timely and efficient manner for the benefit of both the accountants in our network and their clients.

“We emailed the Budget summary to over 40,000 clients on behalf of franchisees, leaving them free to concentrate on running their practices – one of the many beneficial services we offer to our network of accountants. The franchise network will now follow up with their clients to see how they can advise them further after the many announcements the Chancellor made in his speech.”

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If you are interested in finding out more about the benefits of joining TaxAssist Accountants and the services provided by the Support Centre, call 0800 0188297 for a confidential chat.

New TaxAssist Accountants shop opens in Welling, South East London

March 8, 2020

Daniel Wu has opened a new walk-in tax and accountancy practice on 132 Bellegrove Road in Welling.

 
Daniel Wu, who joined TaxAssist Accountants in October 2019, brings with him almost 10 years of experience in tax consulting with the Big Four firms. Having found the ideal location from which to operate his welcoming and accessible shop, he is relishing working for himself.

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“It’s been a long-held dream to run my own practice in my home town,” said Daniel. “I was attracted to working with small business clients and am passionate about providing a first-class service, helping them with their businesses and directly impacting on my local community.

“I was fortunate to find the ideal shop so quickly and am pleased with the fit-out and look of the shop, which provides the perfect environment for clients to come in and discuss their tax and accounting requirements. I would encourage anyone to pop in for a chat over a cup of coffee for a free initial consultation to find out more about us.”

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The TaxAssist Accountants network has been operating successfully for 25 years and has over 365 shops and offices right across the UK. It specialises in servicing the needs of small businesses and currently supports over 76,000 clients.

If you are interested in finding out more about joining TaxAssist Accountants, regular Discovery Days are held, where you meet with the Directors of the franchise and find out more about the technical and business development support on offer. Call 0800 0188297 to find out more.

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New TaxAssist Accountants shop opens in Stockport

February 25, 2020

Andy Slade FCA joined TaxAssist Accountants in March 2019 and has opened his new shop in time to benefit from self-assessment tax return season.

 

“I would like to thank the Norwich based Support Team who helped me to source and fit out the shop which looks great – I’m so pleased with it. It’s highly visible, well located and has plenty of parking available nearby,” said Andy.

Andy worked in industry for eight years, culminating in becoming a group financial controller before moving to Manchester, where he began working as a contractor. Knowing that he wanted to establish his own business, he turned to franchising, discovered TaxAssist Accountants and the rest, as they say is history!

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“I wanted to build something more permanent to be proud of,” explained Andy. “I also wanted to get back to having and managing my own team and be more involved in my local community.

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“I’ve really enjoyed meeting with and helping clients over the last 10 months, and I’ve had a really busy January. I am actively looking to grow the practice, so would encourage anyone interested in finding out more about our services to pop in for a free consultation.”

Andy’s shop joins an established network of 229 shops nationwide.

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If you are interested in finding out more about joining TaxAssist Accountants, regular Discovery Days are held, where you meet with the Directors of the franchise and find out more about the technical and business development support on offer. Call 0800 0188297 to find out more.

Over 100,000 tax returns filed by the TaxAssist Accountants network

February 25, 2020

Now the 31st January deadline for 2018-19 self-assessment tax return submissions has passed, TaxAssist Accountants can confirm it has filed more than 100,000 personal tax returns on behalf of its nationwide client base.

 
The network’s clients are a broad spectrum of businesses, as well as self-employed professionals, contractors and property landlords. All of whom lean on their accountants’ knowledge and expertise to organise their financial affairs, file their returns accurately and on time, and minimise the amount of tax owed.

As the UK has one of the most complex tax systems in the world, hard-working business owners often struggle for time to prepare even the most straightforward self-assessment tax return.

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Furthermore, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is not obliged to advise the self-employed community on how to organise their financial affairs and minimise the tax they pay.

Samantha Skyring FCCA, Senior Training and Communications Manager at TaxAssist Accountants said: “Almost a million UK taxpayers missed the 2018-19 self-assessment tax return deadline, incurring immediate £100 late filing penalties.

“Our nationwide network of 375 offices helps businesses, self-employed individuals and those with second incomes to accurately calculate and pay their tax liabilities on time.

“There are many benefits to being organised and arranging your self-assessment tax return well in advance of HMRC’s deadlines.

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“First and foremost, you can start budgeting for your tax bill and manage your cashflow accordingly. However, for those who are due a tax refund, it can allow you to receive the money you are owed sooner rather than it sitting in HMRC’s bank account.

“Our accountants encourage the UK’s business community to not delay the inevitable and avoid late filing penalties that become an unnecessary drain on business finances.”

What are the penalties for missing a self-assessment tax return deadline?

Those who miss the 31st January deadline for the online submission of self-assessment tax returns are hit with an automatic £100 late filing penalty, regardless of how much tax you have outstanding.

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Taxpayers with tax returns overdue by more than three months will be hit with £10 daily penalties, which continue until they hit a £900 peak.

Should the tax return become more than six months late, a penalty of the higher of £300 or 5% of your tax due will be charged.

The same level of penalty is applied again if the return becomes more than 12 months late. All these penalties are in addition to one another and, as a result of this, the penalties for a late tax return could reach more than £1,600.

If you have missed the deadline to submit a 2018-19 self-assessment tax return and need help, it’s important to call us on 0800 787 0628 as soon as possible to minimise any penalties you may face.