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Small Business Guides on Tax and Business Accounts

A selection of our most popular tax guides, focusing primarily on limited companies:

  • Limited Company Tax Basics
  • Tax rate and allowances 2018/19
  • National Insurance
  • PAYE
  • Home Office Expenses
  • Dividends
  • Expenses
  • There are basically two ’schools of thought’ when it comes to analysing financial data and making assessments about the general performances of a business or a company. The first is the one which tells you that analysing financial data is not as big of a deal and that you can easily judge a financial situation by doing some basic calculations and looking at the certain numbers. The second is the one which advocates that a more thorough and meticulous approach needs to be conducted in order for these numbers to actually mean something.

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    Many business owners struggle to explain their accounts and numbers (we’ve all seen this on Dragon’s Den).  However, unless you understand the story your numbers are telling you, you are likely to be running your business on luck alone.

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    As a small business involved in overseas trading, there lies a high risk due to fluctuating currency. More specifically, the volatile nature of the marketplace and mitigating factors which directly impact the value of selected currencies, both at home and the trading country.  As a small limited company or an overseas contractor, it is vital to actively measure the risk and equip your business against changing exchange rates. Failure to do so could tip your business towards financial difficulty, disrupting company cash flow and the overall profitability of the company, writes Keith Tully of Real Business Rescue.

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    Getting tax right requires careful planning. Whether you are a sole trader, a business owner with staff, or a higher rate taxpayer, you need to be talking to your advisors and keeping your eye on the ball.

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    Value Added Tax is charged on almost all products and services provided in the UK. The current standard rate is 20%. If your business becomes VAT-registered, you will charge VAT on all invoices you submit to your clients.
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    As only 57% of businesses have recently reported that they are ready for the Making Tax Digital (MTD) for VAT deadline, we want to ensure that small business owners are prepared for the future of accountancy. Essentially, the industry is in a period of transition where businesses with an annual turnover over the current VAT threshold of £85,000 (as of 2019/20) are required to digitalise their VAT accounts.

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    In this article, we give you an overview of the basics of limited company tax. This includes the various taxes you will be liable to pay (or collect) as a limited company, and when you have to pay them.
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    January 31st has now passed. Most people spent the arrival of February with their tax return submitted well in advance, while others were exhausted after rushing to file it. And a few will have missed the deadline altogether.

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    Most small business owners will have heard of Making Tax Digital (MTD), but what exactly is it and what does it mean for your business? It’s been a hot topic in the world of finance and accounting since the government announced its plans in the spring 2015 budget. There’s no shortage of information and tax advice relating to MTD, and in fact, it can feel like there is an overwhelming amount. For those of us who aren’t financial experts, it can be confusing and hard to understand exactly what the obligations of small business owners will be under the new rules.

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    Readers Question: I have a trading company with a high level of retained earnings. Rather than liquidate, I am thinking of taking £500k in dividends (grossed up to £555k) and then making a donation to the charity of say £500k (adjustable for tax efficiency), which would extend my basic rate band by £625k. Am I correct in thinking that this combination of dividend and charitable donation is a tax efficient way of charitable giving, in the sense that I would avoid the higher rate dividend taxes?

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    Look, we’ve been there. You’re focused on delivering a project. Then another. Then something enormous comes along and takes up your time. Before you know it, the year’s up. And then it suddenly hits you that you’ve got a self-assessment return to file, and you’ve got absolutely no idea where to start.

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    Entrepreneurs tend to be wearing many different hats and your attention is likely to be on making more money, managing your team etc. Sometimes seeing your accountants can feel like a trip to the dentist. However, if you’re not talking to them, then given the complexity of UK tax rules, you might find yourself making these tax mistakes.

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    At this time of year, you may well be planning parties, awards and gifts for staff and customers.  As you do this are you checking that you are making the most of the available Christmas tax reliefs or ways to leverage your money this Christmas?

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    Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond stayed away from big bold giveaways in his Autumn statement, but the Budget contained plenty for businesses to digest.

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    Here are the main small business tax rates and allowances for the tax year of 2019/20.
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    Every business owner knows just how exciting starting a business or scaling up can be, but that’s not to say it doesn’t come with its own challenges. Increasing ROI and tax-efficiency are usually at the top of every small business owner’s agenda, and putting procedures in place so that you can enhance cash-flow through becoming tax-efficient doesn’t have to be hard. London based accountancy firm, 3 Wise Bears have put together five tax reliefs and tax incentives that every small business should know about, and how they can apply for them.
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    Are you aware there isn’t long left until Making Tax Digital for VAT comes into force? From April 2019 VAT registered businesses with a turnover over £85,000 will need to ensure that all VAT returns are submitted digitally using the HMRC new platform known as Making Tax Digital (MTD). Around 40% of businesses that will be affected by MTD when it comes into effect are still unaware. Therefore, HMRC has recently started an awareness campaign to get businesses prepared before the date.

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    The time of completing and filing a self-assessment tax return is a dreaded time for the self-employed. However, being prepared and having a good working knowledge of taxes and allowable expenses will surely make the task a little easier. Figuring out which expenses you can claim can be quite difficult when it comes completing the self-assessment tax return.
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    If you have registered for VAT, you may well have to wait a month, or more before your application has been processed, and you receive a VAT registration number. A commonly asked question by many business owners is how to account for VAT and issue invoices in the interim?
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    If you have started a business or are thinking about starting one, then you will need to decide on a business structure. You can choose to create a limited company, work as a sole trader or a partnership. Each business structure varies, especially when it comes to accounts and the bookkeeping. Sole trader owners are classed as self-employed, therefore they have their own set of tax rules and regulations to adhere to.

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