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Business owners urged to make most of tax reliefs before year end

March 11, 2013

With the tax year end on the horizon once again, and significant changes to tax rates taking effect from April 2013, we examine how individuals can make the most of the currently available tax reliefs.

Are you affected by the new Child Benefit rules?

January 7, 2013

Controversial changes to the Child Benefit regime went live on 7th January 2013. The benefit is no longer universal, and will be reduced when one parent earns over £50,000 per year, and scrapped entirely when earnings reach £60,000.

How to keep your accounting records secure

November 2, 2012

Here are some essential tips for the self employed, and limited company owners, on how to keep your accounting records safe, and how long you are required to keep them for.

Child benefit shake-up – will you be affected?

October 30, 2012

From 7th January 2013, Child Benefit (CB) will be means tested for the first time. HMRC are sending out letters to taxpayers over the coming weeks. So, how will you be affected?

Inheritance tax – how to minimise your liability

October 8, 2012

Small business owners who work hard to build up their businesses may feel that the current IHT regime is unfair. In this article, we look at things you can do to escape this oft-resented tax.

High tech tax incentives – are you claiming all you can?

October 4, 2012

There are lots of financial incentives out there for businesses in the high-tech sector at the moment, but many businesses are not claiming all they are entitled to because they simply aren’t aware that they can.

VAT tips for small businesses

July 9, 2012

In this article, we look at some simple VAT tips which could save your business time and money.

Summary of tax rates and allowances for 2012/13

March 22, 2012

Following changes announced in Budget 2012, here are the main tax changes, rates and allowances for the 2012/13 tax year.

Stamp Duty – Small Business Guide

March 15, 2012

This guide looks at the types of Stamp Duty your business may be liable for; Stamp Duty Land Tax on property transactions, Stamp Duty Reserve Tax and Stamp Duty on share transactions.

Who will pay the highest rate of income tax in 2011-12?

March 1, 2012

As the tax year draws to an end, self employed people and limited company owners should consider their tax saving strategies, to ensure that they do not have to pay the highest rate of tax on their hard-earned income.

Guide to Business Rates

February 19, 2012

Just as you have to pay council tax on your home, so your business must cough up business rates for its premises. They can be a pain and an easily overlooked cost when you are starting your business. In some circumstances, you may even have to pay business rates if you run a business from […]

Tax planning opportunities for business owners prior to 5th April 2012

February 2, 2012

The end of the 2011-12 tax year is fast approaching – 5 April 2012. In this article, we look at some of the issues that you may like to consider while there is still time to act.

VAT pitfalls you should be aware of

February 2, 2012

If you are registered for VAT, have to file a VAT return in the near future, or are concerned about putting the wrong amounts on your VAT return, here are 5 VAT traps to watch out for.

HMRC to reduce tax benefits available to shareholders of dissolved limited companies via (ESC) C16

December 20, 2011

HMRC has announced that it is to an impose a Capital Gains Tax ceiling on the amount of capital that can be distributed to shareholders when a limited company is wound up, before income tax is applied.

The self-assessment New Year hangover

December 19, 2011

It’s okay to have a hangover on New Year’s Day but don’t let the suffering continue into the year. January 31st has always been a key date in the small business calendar – it marks the deadline for submitting online tax returns.

Tax reliefs available for the annual Christmas party

December 15, 2011

If you are organising a well-deserved works party this Christmas HFM Accountants have summarised the current tax reliefs available:

This Halloween, don’t be scared of your books

October 27, 2011

Are you tempted to duck under the bedclothes on the night of October 31st and try and shut out the “Ghosties and ghoulies and lang-legged beasties and things that go bump in the night”? Is your business bookkeeping also something you try and hide away at the back of your mind and forget about? Emily […]

Guide to the main HMRC payroll forms for small businesses

October 17, 2011

When you run a small business, either as a sole trader, partnership or limited company, there will always be a number of HMRC forms you will need to be aware of. Although your accountant will typically take care of many of your form-filling duties, we have summarised what the most common forms are used for […]

How small business owners can reclaim EC VAT

October 8, 2011

If you want to increase profits or cut costs, make sure you reclaim all the VAT you can. It sounds obvious, doesn’t it? But even before the global economic slowdown began Ernst & Young surveys revealed “a surprising tolerance of failures to track, fully report and legitimately reclaim indirect taxes”. Businesses of all sizes are […]

Flat Rate VAT Scheme – an overview for small businesses

October 8, 2011

An alternative to the standard VAT scheme is the flat rate VAT scheme which offers qualifying businesses a simpler way of accounting for their VAT transactions.

What is the VAT cash accounting scheme?

October 8, 2011

The VAT cash accounting scheme is a useful tool for many small businesses, as you only repay VAT to HMRC once you have received payment yourself. If you have cashflow concerns, the scheme could be a lifesaver!

VAT calculator for small businesses

October 8, 2011

This handy calculator will work out how much VAT you should charge a customer based on your net billing. Also use this script to work out how much VAT is included in a VAT-Inclusive sum. The current VAT rate used in the calculations is 20%.

Top 10 VAT Tips for small businesses

October 8, 2011

Here are some tips to help small businesses keep on top of their VAT responsibilities – from choosing the right VAT scheme in the first place, to avoiding getting on the wrong side of HMRC.

Guide to the HMRC tax penalties regime

October 7, 2011

A new, tough, HMRC penalty regime came into play from 1st April 2009. Individuals and business owners can now face penalties of up to 100% for deliberately underpaying tax. The new HMRC penalty system has been drawn up to encourage people to take more care when submitting tax returns and other documents, as well as […]

Rewarding staff with bonus shares – Tax implications

October 7, 2011

Bonus payments may have been a bit thin on the ground this year. Hard pressed businesses, struggling to meet existing commitments, may balk at the prospect of parting with cash. However, the benefits of having a loyal and satisfied staff may prompt them to consider alternatives to the cash bonus.

What is Entrepreneurs’ Relief?

October 7, 2011

Following the creation of a new flat 18% CGT rate during Budget 2008, the Chancellor announced the introduction of entrepreneurs’ relief which was to compensate business owners who would have paid a lower rate under the previous taper relief rules on business disposals. The relief allowed business owners to pay an effective 10% capital gains […]

Annual Investment Allowance limit reduction from April 2012 – what should businesses do?

October 7, 2011

Businesses can currently write off 100% of the cost of acquiring qualifying assets against their taxable profits, up to an annual limit of £100,000. Assets that can be written off in this way include commercial vehicles, plant, computers and other equipment – cars do not qualify. George Osborne’s Emergency Budget of 22nd June 2010 gave […]

Annual PAYE and NIC tax deadlines for small businesses

October 6, 2011

The table below highlights some of the key dates to look out for when returning paperwork to HMRC. Chances are, your accountant will be well aware of all tax deadlines, however business owners are ultimately responsible for ensuring that tax liabilities are paid on time.

PAYE – Overview of Pay as You Earn scheme

October 6, 2011

In this article, we look at what the PAYE scheme is, and how it applies to the self employed, including limited company directors.

Self assessment – who needs to fill in a tax return form?

October 6, 2011

Most normal ‘employees’ have tax deducted at source via the PAYE system and are unlikely to have to fill in a tax return unless they receive other income. If you receive income which is not taxed at source, or have complex tax affairs, you do need to complete a tax return.