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For several years HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) have been concerned that directors and shareholders of companies, referred to as “close companies”, have been able to avoid paying tax by abusing rules relating to loans made to directors, shareholders or other “participants” or indeed to their associates. Typically this might involve a director or shareholder […]

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The Institute of Directors (IoD) today publishes the results of a survey of its members on the administrative burdens that the tax system imposes on them. The picture is much gloomier than that painted by last Friday’s World Bank survey, which placed the UK fourth for ease of paying taxes. The IoD argues for specific […]

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On Tuesday 4th January 2011 the Standard Rate of Value Added Tax is increasing from 17.50% to 20%. This change will mean a lot of extra work for VAT registered businesses and any non registered business or private individuals should consider whether there are any steps they can take to try and pay at the […]

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If you have decided to start your own business as a self-employed sole trader (perhaps having read Choosing the Structure for Your Business) then you might think that you have nothing else to do apart from finding some work and getting paid when you have done it. Unfortunately it isn’t quite as simple as that, […]

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HM Revenue & Customs are facing a flood of legal claims that will blow another massive hole in the public finances. In the past few weeks thousands of High Court claims have been lodges by companies and local councils relating to millions of pounds of interest wrongly charged by HMRC. When HMRC makes a repayment […]

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Accounting is viewed by most non accountants as a complicated and highly technical matter, and this is a view that is encouranged by the accountancy profession. But the truth is that it is based on a very simple principal which once understood allows business owners and managers to understand the financial state of their business without […]

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In the UK it is remarkably easy and cheap to form a limited company. For less than £100, perhaps even less than £50, you can have a company formed in a matter of hours. This compares to the situation in many other EC countries where the costs can run into thousands and it can take […]

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Amid much hype and to no-one’s surprise, yesterday Alistair Darling cut the standard rate of VAT to 15% with effect from the 1 December 2008. The cut is temporary and so on 1st January 2010 the standard rate will return to 17.5%. The 15% rate will apply to the supply of goods and services currently […]

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As of today’s date 24 MPs have signed an Early Day Motion which on the face of it is supportive of small businesses but in actual fact is totally pointless. In fact it could be evidence, if such is needed, that MPs really have no idea of the realities of business life. The motion reads: […]

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As from 1st of October 2007 there were changes made to what information you need to include on a VAT invoice. If you don’t comply then HM Revenue and Customs can hit you with pretty massive fines. Although fines are unlikely to be levied for non compliance in the first year, business owners cannot be […]

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COMPANY CAR: If you have a company car which you can also use for private use then as from 1st July 2008 the following rates apply for reimbursement of fuel costs for business mileage:   These rates don’t often change but you should be aware that they may and they will if VAT rates change. […]

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The so called IR35 Legislation came into force in the UK in April 2000. It seeks to tax freelance workers providing services via their own limited company. Its stated aim was to prevent employees setting up a limited company and performing their duties through that company with the resulting tax advantage. Generally it is more […]

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Accountants come in all shapes and sizes, both good and bad. To many people they are a necessary evil but a good accountant can add value to your business and help you sleep at night. But how do you find the right one for you? The first step is to accept that you need an […]

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Corporation tax is the tax paid by companies on their profits. Unincorporated organisations (such as clubs and societies) also pay corporation tax, if they have taxable income. Partners in both traditional and limited liability partnerships and sole traders pay income tax instead. Companies are taxed on the profits made in an accounting period – normally their […]

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