So... client lost all his paperwork, what on earth happens now?

Sarah-Lou Registered Posts: 141 ? ? ?
Been approached by a friend's boyfriend to take over his book keeping and accounts, thought he meant for 2013/14 but oh no he hasn't even sorted 12/13 out yet! He's moved and somehow lost all his paperwork and receipts (shoebox went missing :ohmy:) He is under the impression he's just not file a return and get a fine and he can then submit next years. If only it was as simple!

Never come across this before, how can you deal with a situation like this? I believe previous years have been filed successfully.




  • JodieR
    JodieR Registered Posts: 1,002
    I presume by saying '2012/13' you mean '2011/12'?

    If so then you need to use whatever information you have avaliable to construct the accounts. Look at the previous year's accounts for a starting point, try to get copies of bank statements from the bank, ask the client whether turnover was up or down on the previous year, if he's got a diary you could maybe work out sales from this, look at ratios on previous accounts which you could check are still valid and use/adjust them.

    Then on the tax return you may want to include a note in the white space explaining that you've had to use estimates in some places. Some people argue that that would increase the chances of an investigation and others say that if you do get an investigation that making such a declaration will minimise any penalties. Might be best to ask what your client wishes to disclose here.

    If the tax return is late then he will get the penalties, but that doesn't exempt him from filing a return and paying the tax, the penalties will just keep increasing until it's filed and paid!

    If you think it's going to be a nightmare I'd suggest either declining the job or submitting a very basic estimate before 2011/12, ticking the box to say they are estimated figures and then filing an amended return in Feb/March once you've gathered everythign you can to produce a better set of accounts.
  • Sarah-Lou
    Sarah-Lou Registered Posts: 141 ? ? ?
    Hi Jodie

    Yes I did mean for year 11/12, am full of chest infection and feel like pants, brain quite clearly not working either.

    I do want to help him and I believe he is legitimate but will email him some questions now and debating on how he answers me I'll decide whether to continue helping him or not.

    Proves how little he knows with the whole 'i'll just get a fine', my brother didn't fill in tax returns for three years and currently has fines of £1200....

    Thank you for your help

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