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Need a Limited Company? Questions you may be asking yourself

Need a Limited Company: Questions you may be asking yourself

“What are the main differences between being self-employed and running a limited company?”

“What are the advantages and disadvantages of having a private limited company?”

The major difference between running a private limited company and being self-employed are the administrative requirements you are required to do by law & although the volume is more, the data contained within those returns are pretty similar to being a sole trader.

A limited company will:

  • need to keep company records
  • report any changes to Companies House & HMRC
  • need to file an annual company tax return along with the company’s accounts, giving an undistorted view of its finances.

So why go through the extra cost and resources of having a Limited Company?

In forming a limited company, you are limiting your personal liability.  What this means is that the Limited Company becomes a legal entity of its own.  Think of it as another being, that you work for.  However, it is important to keep in mind that you cannot abuse your power with the limited liability, to take selfish and unnecessary risks.  As a director, you are ethically and morally responsible for the business decisions and transactions the company makes.

As a director of a private limited company you will:

  • make decisions that benefit the company rather than your own
  • abide by the rules and regulations outlined by the company Articles of Association, which are written rules about running the company agreed by the shareholders or guarantors, directors and the company secretary
  • notify any shareholders if you might benefit personally from a company transaction
  • always act with the intention of making the company successful.

Having a Limited company can also add professionalism to your business.  This can help your business become even more successful because customers, clients, and B2B companies will be more inclined to trust you and buy your products or services if you are a limited company rather than a sole trader. It is quite common for B2B companies only to trade with another limited company as a general rule.

A final benefit is, if you have a profitable Limited Company, how you distribute salaries and dividends can have income tax savings, especially once your Read more

Small Trader? Make the Most of These 2 Allowances!

Small Trader? Make the Most of These 2 Allowances!

Small trader? Make the most of these 2 allowances!

Small traders with very modest incomes are currently eligible for a couple of very useful allowances. Both of these could save them money — and some paperwork:

1. Tax-Free Allowance for small traders

If you receive income of no more than £1000 per annum (before expenses) from property or trading income, you don’t need to tell HMRC, you don’t need to pay tax and usually you don’t need to do a self-assessment tax return. If you have both types of income and each earns you no more than £1000 gross per annum, you are usually eligible for the tax-free allowance in BOTH cases! There are exceptions, of course, but these are the general guidelines. Income from property or land speaks for itself, while ‘trading‘ would include things like self-employment, hiring out personal equipment or services like gardening, window cleaning or babysitting. Partnerships are not eligible.

2. Trading Income Allowance

If you are paying tax but have expenses below £1000 per annum, you could reduce the tax by claiming for ‘Trading Income Allowance’ instead of claiming for the actual expenses themselves. In effect, it’s like claiming for £1000 worth of expenses rather than the lower amount of expenses that you’ve incurred in reality. This aspect is all explained in greater detail, with a simple example, in our previous Trading Income Allowance article here.

It’s important to know, though, that you cannot claim both the Read more

Don't miss THIS on your self-assessment tax return!

Don’t Miss THIS on your Tax Return! (Checklist)

Don't miss THIS on your self-assessment tax return! (Checklist)

The standard Self-Assessment Tax Return includes all the usual areas that you’d expect to have to confirm to HMRC. These include the obvious things like personal details, information about income for the period in question, any assets, dividends, interest received, pensions and so on.

However, there are a number of additional areas that you need to check and confirm before the return is submitted and filed with HMRC. It’s not an exhaustive list, but things people sometimes miss and that you need to check you have allowed for (if applicable) include:

  • Employment Income — have you confirmed any employment income? Have you supplied Taxfile, if we’re your tax agent or accountant, with copies of P60’s and P11D’s. Did you have any employment expenses?
  • Self-Employment Income or Partnership Income — have you confirmed any self-employed or partnership income and relevant expenses? Have you supplied all CIS vouchers, invoices, cash income etc. if applicable?
  • UK Land & Property Income — have you confirmed any rental income and relevant expenses for each property you perhaps rent out?
  • Foreign Income — did you receive any foreign income? Have you confirmed it?
  • Trust Income — did you receive any trust income or are you treated as having received any trust income?
  • Capital Gains — have you sold any assets or investments which may be subject to capital gains tax e.g. a rental house, stocks and shares etc?
  • Residence — were you, for all or part of the year, not resident, not ‘ordinarily resident’ or not ‘domiciled’ in the UK?
  • Investment Income — have you confirmed any bank/building society interest, dividends, etc?
  • Pension Income — are you in receipt of any? It needs confirming if so.
  • Any other income received that doesn’t fit into any of the above e.g. Job Seekers Allowance, Tax Credits? Child Benefit is an important one, especially if one parent is earning £50k or more. Marriage Allowance is another.
  • Do you have a pension that you pay into? If so, how much did you pay for the period in question?
  • Have you given any money to charity? Higher rate taxpayers can usually get extra tax relief on this.
  • Do you have a student loan?
  • Are you subject to the High Income Benefit Charge?
  • Do you use a service company?
  • Have you been paying your National Insurance?
  • Have you been keeping good records?

Taxfile will always prompt you to check for things like these if you’re our customer, before we submit your tax return on your behalf. As we say above, though, the list is not an exhaustive one, so there may be other information we need, depending upon your individual situation. The list of what HMRC requires each year also Read more

Tax reforms coming in 2018

Big Changes Coming to the Tax System

Tax reforms coming in 2018

Starting on 1 April 2018, a brand new tax system, one that will affect most business owners in the UK, will begin to roll out. Whether you’re a landlord, are working for yourself as a sole trader or have a limited company, the changes will affect you.

So what’s happening?

Instead of a once-a-year tax return, HMRC will require quarterly profit and loss information. So, that’s four times a year. For Taxfile clients, that means we’ll need to know all your income and expenses during every quarter so that we can make the necessary financial data available, on your behalf, to HMRC. As well as your bank statements, we’ll need to see receipts for the expenses, whether they’re provided physically or via a suitable electronic medium (there are plenty of apps and software packages for this purpose). Once we have everything for the quarter in question, we will be able to make sure that you’re claiming for all the allowable expenses that you are eligible for and aren’t claiming for things that you shouldn’t, so that your figures are absolutely correct.

If you don’t file in time there could be an HMRC penalty, so letting Taxfile handle your quarterly reporting will help to keep you on track seamlessly when the new changes come into force. We’ll be able to confirm our own pricing nearer the time but it’s likely to be circa just £75 per quarter, excluding VAT.

A ‘cash basis’ system

The new tax system will be known as a ‘Cash Basis’ system and will also allow tax to be paid to HMRC on a pay-as-you-go (PAYG) basis. Essentially, it means that businesses need only calculate their profits based on receipts and payments, which is far more straight forward than the more complex system that currently exists. When integrated into the Government’s new ‘digital tax accounts’, the system will really help to simplify tax, make budgeting and cash-flow easier through near real-time reporting and eventually remove the need for the traditional tax return at the end of the year — that’ll eventually be the case for virtually everyone. As an added bonus it’ll also mean that business owners keep more on top of their bookkeeping and thereby avoid a last minute scramble to update records. Taxpayers will also be able to see a complete financial picture of their tax affairs in the one place — their digital account — and all their liabilities and entitlements will be clear to see and manage more effectively than ever.

Taxfile

Nearer the time the changes come into place, Taxfile will be there to help its customers adapt to the new system and between us we’ll make sure that it’s easy and hassle-free. We’ll be able to Read more

Sage One Cashbook accounting package

Get Sage One Cashbook (online accounts package) FREE!

Sage online accounts package - free![UPDATE: Please note that this offer has now expired]. Get Sage One Cashbook FREE, only with Taxfile. If you are a Taxfile customer you can currently get this excellent online accounting and cashflow package totally free of charge. This is better than any special offer you’ll find online for the same product and an additional benefit is that it allows us, your accountants and tax advisors, to collaborate with you within the package (with your permission of course), making managing your income, expenditure, tax accounting and bookkeeping absolute child’s play. You can stop at any time; it’ll cost you nothing either way.

Features & Benefits of Sage One Cashbook online include:

  • It allows you to record income & expenditure for your business quickly and easily;
  • Access your records from anywhere with an internet connection, any time;
  • No accountancy experience is necessary – it’s simple;
  • Perfect for small businesses, sole traders, etc;
  • It allows you to Read more