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We're here with practical tax information for your business. Find out about business taxes, tax planning and more.

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We've scoured the web to get you the most up-to-date advice which includes the most useful tools on offer from the officials themselves.

Effective tax planning is essential if you are to minimise your tax bills. Simple tax planning can significantly reduce your tax liabilities.

The self-assessment tax return is an unavoidable burden if you are liable for self-employed tax or have complicated income tax affairs.

Corporation tax is charged on a company's profits. If you trade as a limited company, ensure that paying this tax is as painless as possible.

National Insurance Contributions (NICs) are payable whether you are self-employed or employed by your own company, although different rates apply.

As well as your legal obligations, you’ll want to ensure that payroll is painless and that you use any opportunities to improve your tax-efficiency.

VAT

Effective VAT planning aims to ensure that VAT is relatively painless, and that you are reclaiming as much as possible of the VAT you pay.

Capital gains are made when you sell something for more money than you paid for it. As a result, you can be subject to tax. Take professional advice.

Business property taxes apply to businesses with commercial premises.There are two commercial property taxes: business rates and stamp duty land tax.

If you have tax problems or face a tax investigation, it pays to seek professional advice and you must act rather than just hoping for the best.

Employment Allowance

The Employment Allowance scheme (from 6 April 2014 onwards) enables eligible businesses to receive a reduction of up to £3,000 each year on their employer's Class 1 National Insurance Contributions (NICs). 

The Employment Allowance is designed to encourage employers to grow their businesses by recruiting more staff. It was aimed at helping small businesses. From April 2020, this allowance will not apply to organisations with an NIC bill of over £100,000. It is estimated that at least 90% of small businesses will still benefit.

Am I eligible for the Employment Allowance?

You can claim the Employment Allowance if you are a business or charity that would otherwise pay employer's NICs. You can also claim if you employ a carer or support worker. You can only claim for one PAYE scheme. This means that if you are part of a group, only one company or charity within that group can claim the allowance.

You cannot claim the allowance if:

  • you employ workers to carry out personal, household or domestic work (eg cleaners) unless they are a carer or support worker;
  • you are a public body or more than half of your work is for the public sector (unless you are a charity);
  • you are a service company with only deemed payments under IR35 rules;
  • You are the director and the only paid employee in the company.

How much is the Employment Allowance worth?

The Employment Allowance is worth up to £3,000 per year.

The allowance would enable a small business to hire the following staff without paying any employer's NICs:

  • three adults on the minimum wage; or
  • nine 18-20 year olds; or
  • one additional adult on an annual salary of £30,371 from 6 April 2019 (£30,163 for 2018/19, £29,903 in 2017/18).

How do I claim the Employment Allowance?

The Employment Allowance can be claimed through your payroll software when you submit an Employment Payment Summary (EPS) to HM Revenue & Customs. You need to select 'Yes' in the 'Employment Allowance' field when you submit your EPS. You only need to do this once and your employer's NICs will be reduced each time you submit an EPS until your allowance has been used up.

If you use HMRC's Basic PAYE Tools to submit your payroll information, you should:

  • select the correct name in the 'Employer' menu;
  • select 'Change employer details';
  • select 'Yes' in the 'Employment Allowance' field;
  • submit your EPS.

You can claim the Employment Allowance at any point during the year. If you've claimed late and do not use your full allowance by the end of the tax year against Class 1 NIC already paid, you should contact HMRC to claim any unclaimed allowance towards any other tax or NICs you owe (including VAT or corporation tax). Alternatively, you can claim a refund if you do not owe any tax at all.

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