One effect of the Construction Industry Scheme for many businesses in the building trade is that they will pay too much tax during the year, and will need to claim a refund at the year end. Companies often have a loss to carry back to a previous year, and they may also claim a refund of corporation tax.
Getting money back from the Revenue was traditionally considered to be difficult to do. They now have a website where the accountant can enter a password and look at client details. When a claim for a refund is made, the accountant can check online that the claim has been submitted correctly. After the submisssion date, it takes a day, or sometimes two days, for the submission to be recognised on the Revenue’s system. This is probably because the claim is subject to more efficient overnight batch processing by the Revenue computer. It will then take about another seven days for the tax to be refunded. The accountant can see these two stages on the Revenue computer, and can alert the client to look out for a refund to the client’s bank account.
Getting tax back from the Revenue is not as painful as it used to be. At our end, we can prepare accounts quickly using optical character recognition on the bank statements and all-electronic processing, so maybe the refund time can be down to two or three weeks. We can’t promise anything, but we will pull all the stops out.
David Porthouse & Co is a firm of accountants based in Carlisle in North West England. We have a keen interest in new technology with the aim of speeding up accounts production and making accountancy more affordable for our clients. We are pioneers in the introduction of automated processing and optical character recognition.