Fresh eggs and flowers in an egg box - LEOBS case study
Owner and Editor of the popular Pulse magazines in Northampton and Milton Keynes, Kerry Lewis-Stevenson, thinks Lucie and the LEOBS team are all ‘good eggs’. We asked her what she has liked about her experiences since joining the LEOBS family. 

The end of an accounting journey 

Kerry explains: “I had worked with my previous accountant for eight years. Things didn’t always run smoothly. Although information was sometimes filed late with HM Revenues and Customs (HMRC), my accountant had paid the penalties and we carried on working together. 
“The decision to change came in January this year, when my tax return was due, and I couldn’t reach my accountant at all. I didn’t know what was happening and my access to Xero disappeared, which was very worrying. 
“My phone calls weren’t being answered, so I went to the offices. While my accountant assured me he would have done the work, he didn't explain the problems he was having. I was so unnerved by this that I decided to move to LEOBS.” 

Getting back on track 

Changing your accountant is always a little bit unsettling, especially when you have worked together for a long time. However, Kerry was confident that Lucie and the team could sort things out, even though they had just days to complete her 2020 tax return. Without access to the records on her previous accountant’s system, everything had to be set up again. 
Kerry continues: “We discovered that my accounts were out of date for three years. LEOBS heroically took it all on from February and have managed to make sense of it all. 
Lucie has helped more in the last six months than my previous accountant had in eight years. 
Nothing is too much trouble and she comes up with some fab ideas. She really is a ‘good egg’. 

Making a difference 

“Accounts are difficult enough, so we all need the help of an expert. I can now relax and know that someone has got my back. We are a team, thinking about the future of my business together. 
“I always feel fully informed and the team makes sure we stick to the rules. Lucie works with our bookkeeper, who really likes her too. It’s a breath of fresh air and I’m really pleased we came on board.” 

What happens when tax returns are late? 

Having confidence in your accountant is important for your peace of mind when you run your own business. HMRC can charge you a penalty if you are late: 
paying your tax 
submitting your tax return or other paperwork. 
You might also face penalties if you: 
don’t tell HMRC about changes that affect your tax liability 
make an error on a tax return, payment or other paperwork that understates or misrepresents your tax liability, unless you have taken reasonable care
If HMRC issues a penalty, you should receive a Penalty Explanation Letter that explains the period for which the penalty has been charged and the type of penalty. 
If you find out there is a mistake in your tax returns, it’s important to let HMRC know straight away to help minimise your penalty. 
If you tell HMRC before they start an enquiry or say that they plan to inspect your records, this can make a big difference to the penalty you might have to pay. Even if an enquiry has started, you will receive a lower penalty by cooperating as much as you can. 
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