CIS client with no info

jow774 Registered Posts: 465 Dedicated contributor 🌟 🐵 🌟
I have recently had a request from someone to prepare their self assessment return. Trouble is he has no info only bank statements which I can get income from, but it looks like he hasnt paid on card for anything, just taken cash out for everything. He has written a list of figures out for fuel, insurance etc but with no receipts I have no proof. He says his previous accountant (chartered) would just prepare accounts from the figures he gave?? When I rang and asked the accountant they got shirty and said they werent able to provide info on how they prepare accounts for clients without a letter from client? Half of me wants to send him packing but Im struggling to find clients so any advice?


  • Monsoon
    Monsoon FMAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 4,071 🎆 🐘 🎆
    aww, you do seem to get the 'interesting' ones, for sure!

    Previous accountant is right, they can't release client info without consent from the client. Once they have consent though, they are obliged to provide you with the information you need to complete the clients accounts, though their working practices might not be part of that.

    If you want to take this client on, you need say he has to keep receipts as best he can. I would be happy to estimate expenses where reasonable (eg a painter and decorator who has to replace brushes x times a year at a cost of £y per time) but make it clear to the client that you have to state on the tax return it is an estimate and that this my increase the possibility of an enquiry.

    Equally if is self assessment and if the client says he spent £x, then that is what HE is signing on his tax return, and your accountants report says you have completed the accounts from the information and explanations provided by your client. As long as they know there is a 'better' way of doing things, and they have chosen to take that risk, then as long as you are happy working on those terms, I wouldnt ge too concerned about going ahead.

    Prsonally, I would take this client on myself, but make sure I get it in writing to him that technically he ought to be keeping proper records.

    You might need to risk assess him as higher than normal for MLR and make sure his figures look sensible, and make sure his engagement letter covers your back!
  • jow774
    jow774 Registered Posts: 465 Dedicated contributor 🌟 🐵 🌟
    Thanks Monsoon, you always give brilliant advice. Im starting to think id be better off being an accountant for the mafia, lol. I probably will take him on like you say, hopefully he may lead me to better things or even more clients like him is a bonus at the moment! If I ever get enough clients of my own to move out of the exemption I'll die of shock, lol.
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