Why we ask for your ID

As part of our onboarding process we ask all of our clients for two pieces of ID. You might be wondering why we need this and what we do with it afterwards? We explain it all here.

Why we need your ID

As we are a regulated accountant, we are required by our regulatory body (AAT) to hold two pieces of identification for all clients for whom we act. This is so that we can complete anti money laundering checks on all of our clients and ensure that all of our clients are who they say they are.

What ID do we need

We need two pieces of ID from you:

  • Photo ID – such as driving licence or passport
  • Proof of Address – Such as bank statements, credit card bills, council tax bills, utility bills or driving licence.

All ID must be in date and display your current name.

Note – you can use your driving licence for either piece of ID, but not both. If you are giving us your driving licence please also submit an additional piece of ID so that we can still have two pieces of ID for you.

How do we use your ID

We request your ID using our Karbon client portal. This is the most secure way of getting your ID to us and is preferred to email which is not as safe.

Once in our possession, we upload it to our secure cloud storage system, Sharepoint. It is never saved onto individual computers.

We will use your ID to confirm your identity during our anti-money laundering checks. If we have not met you face to face we may arrange a zoom call with you to make sure you are the same person as in your ID.

All of our systems are GDPR compliant.

When we’ll need you to update your ID

If you have changed your name for any reason, we will need an updated copy of your photo ID and proof of address with your new name. If you haven’t arranged for updated ID yet we can accept your marriage certificate or deadpoll document until you can obtain your updated ID.

If you move address, we will need updated Proof of Address ID. We understand that these can take a while to come through but if you can get them to us as soon as you have something, in these cases often bills are the first thing to come through, then we can get started on updating our systems.

We will check your ID once a year when we update your anti-money laundering check. If we find your ID to be out of date we will simply request that you send us an updated copy as soon as possible.

Marriage Allowance

As we are in the middle of wedding season, it’s worth reminding everyone about marriage allowance. This extra bit of tax relief could be especially helpful to people now during the cost of living crisis.

What is marriage allowance?

Marriage allowance lets you transfer 10% of your unused personal tax allowance to your husband, wife, or civil partner. This will then reduce their tax bill by that amount. It could be worth up to £252 a year!

Am I eligible?

To be eligible to marriage allowance you need to be;

  • Married or in a civil partnership
  • one partner earning below the personal tax threshold of £12,570 per year
  • The other partner earning below the higher rate tax threshold of £50,000 per year

Unfortunately you can’t claim marriage allowance if you are only co-habiting and not married or in a civil partnership.

How do I claim marriage allowance?

If you are a client of ours, mention that you would like to apply for marriage allowance when we complete your tax return. We can then help you sort this out.

You can also apply yourself by phoning the income tax helpline on 0300 200 3300 or by applying online. You will need your partner’s national insurance number for the claim.

There are some online firms that will charge you a commission for claiming through them, our advice is to stay away from these and to either claim yourself by contacting HMRC or through your accountant. We do not charge our clients extra for this. This will ensure you get 100% of what you are owed!

Can I backdate my claim?

When applying for marriage allowance you can backdate your claim to 5th April 2018! So if you have been eligible for marriage allowance since then, these tax years will be included in your claim and you could receive more money back.

If you are married and not already taking advantage of the marriage allowance then what are you waiting for! Make sure you apply to receive your tax refund.

2018 tax reuturns

1 Accounts 2018 Tax Returns

2018 Tax Returns

A note from Paul

This year has been really strange for me in preparing for January and completing over 160 Tax Returns in one month.  A Challenge that I was prepared for and it was 60 less than last year!

Today is 25 January and we have 9 left to do which hopefully will be down to zero by the end of today!

Waking up this morning I thought how on earth did we achieve this and how am I so chilled about it, I have come up with four key reasons that we have achieved our goals.

Building blocks spelling Tax

Practice manager

We employed my daughter Jade as practice manager during this year and next to Jenni, she is probably one of the only people that can sort me out.  Jade said that I was not going to do all the returns on my own this year and that we have to spread them around the team.

Jade has also worked relentlessly on getting our systems into place and her devotion to getting Karbon into a great working tool has been second to none.

Jade split the returns and shared the work load with all of the team.

Jade has seen the stress in past years that I have put myself under and wasn’t going to let it happen this year.  She is also in charge of onboarding and will not let the last minute “don’t want to pay” person take up our time.  Filtering out the clients that just do not work for us has been a real challenge for me to say no, but Jade has done this so well.


Over two years ago we invested our time and faith in the apprentice scheme and  this month I have seen both of our apprentices shine.  They have both gained level 3 of their AAT and have worked hard and learnt a lot this last month.

The rest of our team have all stepped up as well and really worked hard to reach our targets whilst getting on with their normal work load, all managed by Jade using Karbon.

Apprentice Grace
Apprentice James


For anyone that knows me, whilst I preach about systemising your business and put robust systems in place for our clients, I am the best person to mess my own up and go outside the system.

Karbon has been such a great system for us and we can all see our own progress during the month with regards to our work load and Jade has already planned year end accounts to the end of July!

Four months ago we changed our Tax and accounts software and have really tested this new software to the limits, and it hasn’t let us down.

Some people said why not change this in February when demand is not high, however the decision to really use it in anger during our busiest period has worked very well.  It is amazing how quickly a problem gets sorted out and we move on.

Business Coach

Yes we are business advisors and we do coach our clients as well as make there lives easier with great systems because life is too short to do your books.

In my opinion all businesses need a coach and we are no exception, I will write another Blog on our use of coaches and what to look for later; I did not think we needed our latest coach and she also thought we were well sorted by our very public image in our industry, how wrong we both were!

I use Heather Townsend of Accountants Millionaires (I am not one yet!!) and she has guided me in many ways, that until now (6 months later) I hadn’t really appreciated, sorry Heather.

Heather recommended our change in Tax and Accounts software, huge saving In monthly fees over £800 per month!  Insistence of investing in a practice management solution (Karbon).  Guidance on the issues of employing your daughter who is as strong headed and stubborn as me.

The guidance from her team and the ability to allow me to focus and empower my team is exactly what a coach should do.

Now looking forward to growing the business in 2019 and building on our fantastic dedicated team.