You do not have to register for self assessment just because you’re a company director

We recently made a member of the team a company director at Atlas. It’s a simple enough process that can be performed online on the Companies House website. We submitted the forms, received electronic confirmation and then forgot about it.

Recently our incredibly diligent accountant got in touch to advise me that our new director would need to file for self assessment. Hmm, that’s a pain and not something I foresaw. Especially when the director in question is paid via PAYE, so all taxable deductions are made at source. This makes self assessment a paperwork exercise at best.

My first port of call was the HMRC website. A quick Google landed me here: Keep in mind that this is the government website and so the majority of people would take it at face value. Scroll down and you’ll see this:

hmrc website

Well that’s interesting. We’re not a charity and we pay our directors, so based on this it seems that our new director does indeed have to register for self assessment.

Feeling belligerent I decided to do some further research and discovered that the law has very specific sections about who has to register for self assessment, and it’s not quite in line with the above information. If you’re feeling nerdish like I was, have a read of this Tax Management Act 1970 where it’s outlined quite clearly:

Bottom line? Just because you’re a company director does not automatically mean you need to file for self assessment. The only caveat is that if you have tax liabilities you do have to register – but that’s the law regardless of whether you’re a company director.

It was incredibly frustrating to see that what is otherwise a very high quality website is providing incorrect information. The cynic in me wonders if this “oversight” plays in favour of HMRC, as it’s in their interests to have more people file self assessments than not.

I’ve contacted HMRC via their online form to tell them their website is incorrect but frustratingly I’ve not been able to find an e-mail address of somebody who I can speak with to get the site updated.

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Inspire Beats Review – Avoid them at all costs

December 2017 update: Three separate individuals have e-mailed me to say how grateful they were for this blog post. Turns out Wilson is still up to his scamming tricks, avoid him.

TL;DR: Inspire Beats are scam artists. They’ll cheerily take your money never to return with the leads they’ve promised you. Avoid them.


Here’s the low down on how I was scammed by Wilson Peng and his team.

On 16th January After making contact with Wilson, one of the founders of Inspire Beats, we discussed what leads we needed and placed an order for the Starter Package. The fee would be a monthly subscription, and so every month I expected to receive 110 fresh leads in return for a monthly subscription payment – neat!

I was very clear upfront about the nature of the leads we were looking for, I stated:

“The leads we’re looking for are primarily UK businesses with between 10 and 50 employees.”

Wilson confirmed that he was working on the leads and that we’d get them soon. Sure enough, we did and on the 11th February we received a Google spreadsheet. Here’s where the real fun began.

On looking at the spreadsheet Wilson had only sent us half of the 110 leads we had paid for. We had also been billed for the second batch of leads in month two. So I was down two months payment, and had only half the leads I’d paid for in the first month.

This made me nervous so I reached out to Wilson to ask for my second payment back and request the second half of the leads we’d paid for. This is what I got back:

Hey Simon, you’re 2nd half will be ready within the next few days. Sure, no worries I can refund you for the 2nd charge and cancel your subscription.

Great! Or so I thought.

Cue months of chasing for the second batch of leads which finally appeared on the 12th April – but they were companies in the USA! I emailed Wilson right away to say that the leads were not as per my original request for UK companies, and Wilson responded with:

Let me look into it and fix it for you. It will take 2-3 days max. I will email you this time as soon as it’s ready.

and when I chased after having heard nothing

Hey Simon, wasn’t the sheet already updated a while back? I think your account was already canceled a few months back, so we didn’t add anymore new leads to it.

Let me know if you have anymore questions,



By the end of April I was furious. My time had been wasted, I had no new leads, and zero confidence they would ever be delivered. I emailed Wilson to tell him I’d like half of my money back rather than the leads and on the 2nd May Wilson wrote back:

Hey Simon, hope you had an excellent weekend. I completely understand. I’ll refund half of the payment through our platform back to your CC.

Well that was over a month ago, and despite e-mailing Wilson multiple times a week we’re still not in receipt of a refund.

If you value your time time and your sanity do not use Wilson’s Inspire Beats service. It’s a disorganised mess that will rip you off and leave you frustrated.

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