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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.

Work out the correct rate of VAT

VAT-registered businesses charge VAT on sales of most goods and services at the appropriate rate and pay the VAT they have charged to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).

VAT is generally charged at the standard rate of 20%. There is a reduced rate of 5% which is charged on items including energy-saving materials, mobility aids and sanitary protection products. A zero rate also applies to some goods and services such as food and drink (although confectionary, hot food, take aways and alcoholic drinks all attract the standard rate of 20% VAT).

VAT is not charged on goods and services that are exempt from VAT or those which are outside the scope of UK VAT. You can also zero rate goods and services which are exported outside the European Union.

The rates applicable may only apply if certain conditions are met, or in particular circumstances such as:

  • who’s providing or buying the goods
  • where they have been provided
  • how they've been sold
  • whether you have the necessary evidence and kept the right records

Other conditions may apply.

The VAT rules are different depending on which type of business you are running.

This guide from HMRC explains VAT rates on different goods and services.

Note: you can also find a full list of VAT notices on the GOV.UK website.

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