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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
  • Salary aside, most limited company directors (and shareholders) typically draw down most of their income in the form of dividends. Dividends are distributed by companies of all types in order to return a proportion of company profits back to their shareholders. Here we look at what are company dividends and how to calculate them.
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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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    When operating on a self-employed basis as a sole trader, you are your own boss, which means that you’re legally responsible for the financial affairs of your business, including the maintenance of financial records, daily bookkeeping and retaining the likes of invoices and receipts. As you keep close watch of your income and expenditure to ensure that the business is running smoothly, there are reporting obligations you are required to meet, writes Mark Halstead of Red Flag Alert.

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    When starting a small business, one of the first things to be decided is the legal structure used for the business. It can either be a sole trader or limited company or a partnership. Setting up as a sole trader is the most popular legal structure in the UK, with approximately 3.4 million sole proprietorships created in 2017. Sole traders accounted for 60% of small businesses in the UK. There were also 1.9 million limited companies, making it the second most popular legal structure.

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    The tax on dividends is paid at a set rate that is set by the HMRC. Every new tax year, as with other taxes, the rates change. The biggest change in the last couple of years is the tax-free dividend allowance being reduced from £5,000 to £2,000.

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    We all want to keep our businesses taxes as low as possible and one way is to claim all legitimate expenses.  But the general rule that says you can claim all expenses incurred wholly and exclusively for the purpose of your business is, sadly, not entirely straight forward.

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    The tax season for 2019 in the UK is officially defined as the period between 6 April 2018 and 5 April 2019. Each tax season, all businesses, regardless of size, must provide their employees, contract workers, and others, with tax documentation that is required by the HMRC so that workers can file their tax returns. Unless an extension is requested, all tax paperwork must be postmarked or filed with HMRC by no later than 31 January 2020.

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    If you are thinking about getting private healthcare insurance for yourself and your family, you can pay for it in two ways. You can either pay for your private healthcare insurance through your limited company or do it from your personal accounts. Depending on various factors, the tax efficiency of both methods will vary. Therefore, it’s always a good idea to get an opinion of an accountant to help you find the best option.

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    Readers question: How do I pay myself as an employee of my limited company?

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    If you are classed as self-employed or have a source of untaxed income, you will be required to complete a Self-Assessment. However, this criteria is vague and many are left confused as to whether they actually need to file the tax return or not.

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    While having fun may not be a mandatory prerequisite for succeeding in the business world, if you have fun performing vital tasks, you stand to receive a number of benefits. First of all, you’re bound to pay more attention to what you’re doing (instead of just dozing off in boredom), thus reducing the likelihood of a mistake being made. Second, you’re less likely to procrastinate and postpone handling this task, which means that you’re more likely to handle your tasks in time and regularly update them. Finally, if you like what you’re doing, you’ll learn a lot quicker, seeing as how you’ll already have a strong intrinsic motivation for such a thing.

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    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 limited company owner, your company is liable to pay Corporation Tax on its profits. All UK companies are liable to pay tax on their profits, regardless of where in the world these profits were accumulated. We have put together this guide for your to understand what corporation tax is, how to account for it, be able to calculate it and the corporation tax rates and allowances.
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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 as written by the senior accountant from Dolan Accountancy. 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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