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Fee Policy

Fee Policy

This guide explains how we set client fees, and the circumstances in which we may charge additional fees or change fee agreements with clients.

This guide does not change our Terms of Business, which form the contract we have with clients, but helps to amplify and explain them.

 

Fixed Fees for Routine Services

Where possible we work with clients based on a Fixed Fee for a bundle of routine services.

Fixed Fees are agreed in advance and recorded in a Service Level Agreement.

Subject to any specific agreement between us the Fixed Fee includes:

  • Preparation of your annual accounts
  • Preparation of tax computations on the accounts and submission to HMRC
  • Preparation of annual tax returns for the proprietor, partners, or directors, and where necessary their spouse – we may charge separately for spouse returns if they have separate income streams, depending on complexity.
  • Dealing with tax assessments as they are raised, including appeals and subsequent correspondence
  • Dealing with routine queries raised by HMRC on your accounts or tax returns
  • Dealing with routine Tax, VAT or NIC advisory issues – but not specialist areas, or those which require research or investigation
  • Ad hoc queries, requests for advice, telephone calls or correspondence from you
  • Corporation Tax return (company clients only)
  • Registered office service and company secretarial work other than Confirmation Statement and Register of People with Significant Control  (company clients only)
  • Monthly Directors only payroll and RTI (company clients only)

Unless agreed otherwise our Fixed Fee does not include:

  • Business Consultancy and Tax Planning
  • Regular periodic bookkeeping, VAT accounting or invoicing
  • Preparation of VAT returns
  • Preparation of regular payroll calculations for staff
  • Tax enquiries (including Self Assessment enquiries, VAT inspections and PAYE/NI inspections)
  • Income confirmations for mortgage, borrowing or tenancy purposes
  • Applications for Tax Credits, Universal Credit or similar benefits administered through the tax system

 

Setting Fixed Fees

Some of our Fixed Fee Agreements are based on standard tariffs, others are negotiated bespoke with each client.

Tarriff Based Fixed Fees

We have a range of Tarriff based Fixed Fees, for example for Yoga Businesses and Personal Service Companies.  The Tarriff Fee is based on our estimate of providing the bundle of services for a typical client.

Tarriff Fees are subject to a Fair Use policy which says:

“Our fixed fee packages are priced to cover the typical service level a client needs. In any given year some clients will need more support or service, others less, and our fees balance this.

However occasionally a client’s service needs, or the complexity of their requirements, will go beyond that anticipated. Rather than have a long list of exceptions or small print, we operate on a fair use basis. Where services cannot be accommodated in the fixed fee:

  • We will endeavour to let clients know at the start of the engagement, or if not as early as possible
  • We will avoid unreasonable suspension or withdrawal of services at short notice
  • We will avoid incurring any material additional charges for clients without authorisation
  • We will work collaboratively with clients to resolve the issue

Under our Terms of Business, either party can cancel the contract between us with no notice.”

Bespoke Fixed Fees

These make up around half of our client agreements and are for situations where clients have more diverse requirements.  For example a client may:

  • Have a business which falls outside the scope of our Fixed Tariffs
  • Have a number of businesses which are run together
  • Need additional services such as bookkeeping, bureau payroll or VAT returns

Our bespoke fees are based around our judgement of the client’s needs across the bundle of routine services.  There are several factors considered, including:

  • The complexity of the client’s business
  • The size of the client’s business in terms of Turnover, Profit or Balance Sheet
  • The volume of transactions
  • The client’s bookkeeping, systems and accounting capabilities
  • An estimate of likely ad hoc needs
  • Experience previously of supporting the client or similar businesses

Changing Fixed Fee Agreements

Occasionally we will need to change Fixed Fee Agreements, for example if:

  • The client’s business expands or contracts by a significant amount
  • The client acquires other businesses
  • There is a permanent change in the service level required.

Adjustments may not always be proportional.  For example, if a client runs one company we may charge £1,000 per annum; if they open a second company it may be an additional £600, a third company an additional £400 – the step down if one company ceases will be similar.

Sometimes we will need to change a Fixed Fee due to our experience over a few years of the time requirements placed on us as a firm; we take a long term view on such changes, and generally such a change wouldn’t be triggered by one year where additional support was required in isolation.

External factors and regulatory changes can also lead to a need to review fees – a current example of this is HMRCs Making Tax Digital Programme, notably MTD for Income Tax from April 2024.  In this instance it is likely that we will need to embark on a wider restructuring of our fees to reflect the demands placed on our practice.
Position Statement on Prospective Fee and Service Changes for Making Tax Digital for Income Tax

Indexation Adjustments

From April 2022 we are making an annual indexation adjustment to client fees, normally around 3%, from the third year of client service.   This is intended to offset the periodic and gradual effects of inflation, and is separate to changes in fees for service level requirements as set out in the preceding paragraph.
Fee Indexation

Fair Use

Our fixed fee packages are priced to cover the typical service level a client needs. In any given year some clients will need more support or service, others less, and our fees balance this.

However occasionally a clients service needs, or the complexity of their requirements, will go beyond that anticipated. Rather than have a long list of exceptions or small print, we operate on a fair use basis. Where services cannot be accommodated in the fixed fee:

  • We will endeavour to let clients know at the start of the engagement, or if not as early as possible
  • We will avoid unreasonable suspension or withdraw of services at short notice
  • We will avoid incurring any material additional charges for clients without authorisation
  • We will work collaboratively with clients to resolve the issue

Under our Terms of Business, either party can cancel the contract between us with no notice.

 

Fees for Non-Routine Services

Non-Routine Services represent services, either for existing clients or others, covering work not within our Fixed Fee agreements.  This could be:

  • Consultancy Projects
  • Tax Planning Projects
  • Assistance with Buying or Selling Businesses
  • Tax Enquiries and Disputes

For this type of work we will normally charge on an hourly basis, invoicing you on completion of the project, monthly or at staging points.  We provide a forward estimate of costs where possible.

Our hourly rates (all exclusive of vat) for non-Routine work are currently:

  • £200 Principal/Director
  • £100 Manager grade staff
  • £50 Senior Technician grade staff
  • £25 Junior Technician grade staff

 

Payment

Where possible we encourage clients to pay us via Direct Debit – it makes life much easier for us.

Direct Debits are based around taking the annual fee and dividing it into 12 for equal instalments.

When setting up a Direct Debit we may need to take either a lump sum up front or extra payments for the first few months to make sure there is enough “in hand” when we first invoice you; if we don’t do this then accounts run permanently in arrears – this doesn’t change the quantum paid, merely its timing.

For clients who don’t pay us by Direct Debit, we can accept payment by Bank/Credit Card or Bank transfer.

We do not accept payment by Cheque or Cash.