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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
  • 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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    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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    When you are self-employed you will pay your tax based on the income and expenses you show on your Self Assessment tax return. Here Simple Tax will give you an insight of the Self Assessment process and your legal obligations as a self-employed individual.

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    If you set up a limited company, is appointing a limited company accountant to look after your affairs a statutory requirement, or can you take care of your accounting duties yourself?
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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 a limited company director, you will usually pay yourself a small salary, and draw down most of your income as dividends. Are there any rules which govern the level of salary you take, and what are the tax implications?
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    When your company turnover reaches the ‘VAT threshold’ (currently £85,000) in a twelve month period, you must register for VAT. Even if you don’t, there may be professional reasons why you would want to register anyway. So, how does the VAT registration for limited companies work?
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    It is not a widely known fact, but company directors can receive statutory redundancy pay from their limited company under certain circumstances. If your company becomes insolvent and has to be liquidated, whether this happens on a voluntary basis or forcibly via a creditor’s winding-up petition, you may be eligible to make a claim.

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    If you decide to become self-employed, either on your own (as a sole trader), or with other people (as a partnership), you will be responsible for working out and paying your tax liabilities to HMRC.

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