Showing posts with label limited company. Show all posts
Showing posts with label limited company. Show all posts

Monday, August 7, 2017

Additional Reporting Requirements for PSC

From the 26th of June onward information on people with significant control (PSC) won't be updated on the confirmation statement (form CS01) on a yearly basis anymore. Instead, one needs to inform Companies House using new forms (forms PSC01 to PSC09) whenever there’s a change.

You have 14 days to update your PSC register and another 14 days to send the information to Companies House. Companies House will need to be informed if anyone (or any entity):
  • becomes a PSC
  • ceases to be a PSC; or
  • their details change, such as the extent of their control or their address. 
This will make the requirements for PSCs very like those of company officers, where changes to a director or secretary have been filed on an event-driven basis for some time. This update to the information required about PSCs arose due to a change in anti-money laundering legislation; the spirit of which is aimed at increasing the transparency of ownership and control of companies in the UK and ensuring the information is more current.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

10 Reasons why it's still worth going Limited

With the recent increase in dividend taxation, many of our clients are asking whether it still makes sense to incorporate when you are a Sole Trader. It's a tough question to answer as indeed, the tax benefits of running a business as a Limited Company have now been seriously curtailed. If you extract all of the profits from your company as they arise, the total tax and national insurance (NI) paid is now almost identical whether your are operating as a Limited Company or a Sole Trader.

There are still a number of benefits however to operate as a Limited Company. Here they are:

1. Better legal protection

As the name suggests, if you run a Limited Company, you are protected in case things go wrong. Assuming no fraud has taken place, you will not be personally liable for any financial losses made by your Limited Company. Those running a business as self employed do not enjoy such protection from financial claims if things go wrong with their business. While it's possible (and recommended) to subscribe to a professional liability insurance, there is always a risk of running foul of the fine print...

2. More professional image or status

In some industries, having a Limited Company can provide a more professional image. If you are doing business with larger companies, you may find that they prefer to deal only with Limited Companies rather than Sole Traders or even partnerships. Indeed by being transparent, adhering to regulatory requirements and opening up company accounts to public scrutiny, you are demonstrating that the business is being correctly managed and this inspires confidence.

3. Wider availability of some contracts

The reason bigger corporations do not hire Sole Traders is not just image or professionalism but IR35 risk. The IR35 regulation was put in place to prevent employees to set up shop as free-lancers just to save tax. In other words if HMRC decides that a free-lancer behaves as an employee, then he is required to pay the same amount of tax and NI as an employee would. He he does not, whoever hired him is responsible for the back tax and NI, unless he operates as limited company (and in which case that limited company is responsible). It's easy to understand then why some organisations will only deal with limited companies!

4. Name protection

Once you register your company with Companies House, your company name is protected by law. No-one else can use the same name as you, or anything deemed to be too similar. As a Sole Trader, you can use a trading name but it's not protected and there is nothing to prevent a competitor to start using the same trading name as you. While it's possible to protect a trading name with a trademark, it will be in practice a lot more expensive than just creating a company with that name.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Use of home deduction when using a Ltd

While sole traders and partners can claim an amount for using their own homes for business use, companies cannot as they do not have ‘homes’ so if a Director works from home and wants to make a claim for the cost incurred it is necessary for the Company to rent the proportion of the property that the Director uses. To ensure that the Company is able to get a corporation tax deduction for the rent it is best practice to have a rental agreement in place between the Director and the Company.

The rent charged should be worked out as being a proportion of the expenses incurred time apportioned to the time that property is available. Expenses that can be claimed include council tax, mortgage interest, heating and lighting costs, water, insurance, broadband connection, maintenance and repair, (this is not an exhaustive list) HMRC business manual BIM47820 deals with allowable expenses and suggested methods of apportionment are dealt with in BIM47815 with some examples at BIM47825.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Optimum salary for directors: changes this year

This is one of the questions we hear most often: what is the optimum salary I should take as a director?

There are many salary calculators on the web that you can use but the easiest way in the past has been to take the maximum salary that does not attract taxes nor national insurance, neither for the employee nor for the employee (see our previous article). In 2013/2014 that amount was £7,696 pa. But in 2014/2015, due to the new £2,000 Employment Allowance, there is now a new option for directors' salaries:
  1. If the company is able to use all the £2,000 Employment Allowance in the year, then the best route for the Director’s salary will be to pay over the LEL but below the secondary level in 2014/15 i.e. £7,956 pa (£663 per month). The rest will have to topped up by dividends as per in the previous years.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

What is the optimum salary for a director?

It's common practice for directors of small businesses who are also the company owners to pay themselves a small salary and then take the rest of their income as dividends from the available profit. The reason is for tax efficiency. A company starts paying corporation tax from the first pound of profit and salaries being an expense, they reduce that profit. Dividends on the other hand are distributed after corporation tax of 20% (for small businesses) has been paid. The problem with salaries on the other hand is that they can be heavily taxed on the recipient and also they generate significant Class 1 National Insurance Contributions (12% for the employee and 13.8% for the employer). Thankfully Income Tax and NIC are only charged after you earn a certain amount per year.

From 6th April 2013 the rate at which you can pay a salary to an employee without suffering Income Tax and NIC will increase from £7,488 to £7,696 per annum. This is known as the Employers’ Earnings Threshold. If you have Limited Company and pay yourself a small salary then you should consider increasing the salary up to this threshold.

Monday, November 12, 2012

What is the settlements legislation?

Sharing dividend income from a limited company with a non-fee-earner has been a classic tax avoidance tactic employed by consultants, contractors and locum doctors who operate through limited companies. It is useful as it allows the use a non-fee-earner’s tax allowances and progressive taxation rates in order to save significant tax.

However, unless the non-fee-earner is a spouse or civil partner qualifying for a spousal exemption, HMRC could treat all the company’s fee income as that earned by the contractor, and tax them accordingly. The settlements legislation will apply if a contractor gives shares in their contractor limited company to a partner, family member or friend who does not work in the business yet receives an income.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme

This new tax advantaged form of venture capital scheme was announced at the Autumn Statement 2011; it will be focused on smaller, start up companies and will provide a form of relief similar to the EIS Scheme. This scheme will make tax relief available to investors who subscribe for shares and have less than a 30% stake in the company.

The main points to note are as follows:
  • The type of company this applies to is one that has less than 25 employees with assets of up to £200,000 who are preparing to carry on new business

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Dividends: dos and don'ts

Distributable profits

Dividends must be paid out of distributable profits and directors must prepare relevant accounts to confirm the position. If it later transpires there are not enough distributable profits and relevant accounts were not prepared then the dividend is illegal and repayable, and should be disclosed as such.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Pros and Cons of using a Trading Name


Many people believe that a Company has to use its name as its brand when it communicates with its clients. But it does not have to be. A Company can use a trading name instead. Or even more than one.

A trading name is just a name used instead of the legal name. There is no need to file anything at Companies House nor at HMRC when creating a trading name but there are a still a few things to keep in mind:
  1. You will need to inform the bank of those trading names so that you can cash cheques for example. While you can create separate accounts, you don't have even though it's good practice. 
  2. Even though no registration is required, the same rules that apply to company formation apply to trading names. For example, the trading name cannot be similar to another company or business name in a way that might be confusing. Also, the use of sensitive words is prohibited as part of a trading name in much the same way as it is for limited company names. You cannot use words like “association”, “group”, “federation” for example.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Owning property via a limited company

When you purchase properties in the UK, you might be tempted to setup a company to do the purchasing. As with any business incorporating has a great number of benefits, like reduced taxation and increased flexibility. Property investing however has some specificities that need to be kept in mind before you decide to make the jump. Here are some of the benefits and drawbacks of incorporating when doing property investments:

Benefits of owning property via a company

1. Flexibility regarding share transfers
2. Reduced stamp duty (0.5% vs. up to 5%)
3. Lower tax rates on net rents
4. Indexation allowance on capital gains
5. Profits can be reinvested
6. Income may be extracted by dividends
7. A company has limited liability

Sunday, March 13, 2011

How well do you know your clients?

We have already stressed in the past the importance of credit control. It's even more critical in a difficult business environment to ensure that you only extend credit to those clients who will pay you. You don't have to rely on luck however. There are many tools that allow you to monitor your clients and be alerted they start showing signs of financial difficulties. But until now those tools have been very expensive and therefore most small businesses have been unwilling to use them.

That's not the case anymore. At TaxAssist Accountants, we have teamed with Red Flag Alert to get extensive data from which you can now benefit. Be it sales, credit control, collection, risk or compliance we have information on every limited company, every PLC, LLP, 3.5m sole traders and 26.7m director records. The data source comes from Companies House, London Gazette, Central Register and Equifax, which provides data intelligence and protection against credit risk. Using those tools you can now:

Monitor your risk
We can provide 'real time' critical automated e-mail alerts when a company being monitored starts to deteriorate. Using various detrimental triggers, we will notify you of changes to your customer/supplier status as they happen, in order to minimise your risk exposure.

Friday, March 11, 2011

How much tax do you pay on dividends?

Taxation of dividends in the UK has always been confusing. The rates people mention are actually different from the effective rates for some legacy reasons. As if tax was not complicated enough...

There used to be 2 dividend tax rates but this changed last year. There are now 3 different rates depending on your tax band. And with the introduction of the new band at 50% called top rate income tax threshold a new band was introduced as well for dividends. Here they are:
  • 10% on dividends for income received below the higher rate income tax threshold (£37,400)
  • 32.5% on dividends for income received above the higher rate income tax threshold
  • A new 'additional' dividend tax rate of 42.5% applies to individuals earning £150,000 or more from April 6th 2010 onwards.
However the calculation is a bit convoluted. The actual rate of tax you pay in dividends is lower than these headline rates, as dividends automatically receive a 10% tax credit. This is to take into account the fact that you will already have paid corporation tax on your company profits.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Extracting profits from your company

One of the benefits of running your own company is that it gives you a lot of flexibility when it comes to extract profits from the firm. As a sole trader, whatever profit you make is taxed immediately at a rate that depends on the amount of profits but that can now be as high as 58% if we include Class 4 National Insurance Contributions.

If you own a limited company however you have a lot more flexibility and if you are not needing the cash now, you can reduce your tax considerably. In most cases it's just a matter of following those simple steps:
  1. If, as a director, your only revenue comes from your company, you can extract up to the personal allowance without paying personal taxes and that cost is tax deductible for your company. That amount is currently £6,475 but it should increase up to £10,000 in the next few years. Keep in mind however that if your annual salary is £5,715 or more you will incur some national insurance contribution costs. This is why most directors extract just that amount every year: no tax, no NI and allowable expense for the company.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Am I insolvent?

The economy has been tough those last few years. Many businesses have gone under. You might have a hard time as well. Whatever your situation, it is important to understand what your options are. While no one likes to talk about insolvency it's better to face problems early on than wait until all your options have been exhausted. And if you have a limited company you have quite a few options are your disposal.

What is insolvency?

There are 2 kinds of insolvency. The first one is cash-flow insolvency and it happens when a company can no longer pay its bills and other obligations on time. The second one is called balance-sheet insolvency and and it occurs whenever liabilities exceed assets, i.e stockholder equity (capital plus accumulated losses) becomes negative. The second one is the one you have to be careful about, because it's possible to continue trading while in that state and the consequences can be dramatic.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

What tax relief for use of home?

This is a common question and unfortunately, it's a bit more complex than most people think.

Depending on your legal setup, the steps to take to recover some of your personal expenses on use of home are different. For a sole trader, the process is quite straightforward but for a limited company there is a bit more work and paperwork required:

You are a sole trader


You can just deduct a portion of the home cost. The calculation is done as a two step process. First you calculate the total running cost of your home:
  • Utilities (Water, Gas, Electricity)
  • Insurance
  • Rent or Mortgage Interest
  • Council Tax
  • Maintenance
  • Internet and Phone