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My husband works from home and has just become VAT registered and needs a book keeper and I was wondering if there was anyone local he could use?

Thanks for the recommendation regarding Owain the handyman - he has been brilliant and the doctors I joined, all from this site.

Best wishes.


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This is not an actual recommendation as I do my own books but Cath English follows OpinioN8 on Twitter so she might be all right

Thanks Adrian she has just contacted him from his Tweet out!

Best wishes.


This is a truly horrible accountants advertisement aiming only I think to harvest your email address, but who knows you may learn something from it

I've just had an email request for "a book-keeper for a VAT return".

Did Cath rpove useful? Did you find someone else?

Grateful for any help.

I am Member of the Association of Accounting Technicians and help various clients with their tax returns, VAT, bookkeeping, management reports, cashflow forecasts & budgets. You can contact me on helena@halmeaccounts.com

My site is: <a href='http://halmeaccounts.com/">www.halmeaccounts.com</a>

That link didn't work! The site address is www.halmeaccounts.com 

Helena's website contains the advice

"Also, if it’s your first time submitting an online return (it’s now too late to get a paper one in – you’ll pay the penalty if you do), you’ll need an access code sent to you by HMRC after you’ve registered online. This can take 7-10 days. It’s now 6 days until the returns are due in, so time is of the essence here. But, in a concession to first-timers, the tax office told me personally that they will not issue fines for late returns for anyone who signs on (for the first time) before 31st January, and gets in their return before 14th February."

My form SA1 asking for a Unique Tax Reference arrived at  the CAAT on 4th January. The automated help line just told me not to bother ringing again for progress until after 8th February, i.e. 5 weeks after receipt. 

As I understand I need the UTR to register, this to be followed by the activation code.

I'll be damned if I pay any penalty based on customer disservice like this. Do thay want our money or not?


I'm assuming you've applied for your UTR already before 4th Jan?

In this case, I'm sure they won't apply the penalty charge of £100 if you get your return in before 14 February, however, you will need to pay your tax. It took ages for one of my clients to receive an UTR so you will have a good case to argue if you don't receive this before you must pay you tax.

HMRC have never been efficient & I know it's highly frustrating, but my advice is to wait until you get your UTR, make notes of all telephone conversations with the HMRC office and pay & register & submit your return when you have the UTR. If they issue a penalty & interest, you can appeal. This has been successful for me in the past. 



I managed to speak to a person on the self assessment helpline 0845 3000672 who assured me that for a person's first return they allow three months from the issuing of the UTR until the return is received. Phew!

Apparently this is stated somewhere on the website tho' I have not found it.

This HMRC page is quite nice in that you don't have to be abroad to use the 0161 number and for some phone accounts it may be cheaper than 0845.

Hi Bridget - i know a fantastic book keeper who lives in Muswell Hill - and she is very good value too - call 020 8340 3102 and ask for Oxana's details from Rebekah Hillman.


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