One of the best demanding areas of active a micro business has to be managing your own tax affairs. Back you’re employed, the tax arrangement is basically invisible, as your employer managers this for you.
As the UK has one of the best circuitous tax systems in the world, abyssal its subtler aspects needs the admonition of an expert. One of the best decisions I took back I started my micro business was to appoint an accountant. They accept all-inclusive acquaintance of the tax arrangement and can save you abundant amounts of money that added than covers their costs.
With the UK affective atrociously appear a actually agenda tax arrangement as Authoritative Tax Agenda takes shape, if you’re cerebration of affective into self-employment, or starting one or added ancillary hustles, you charge to get your tax diplomacy in order.
To accretion an acumen into the tax ambiance at the moment, I batten with Emily Coltman FCA, Chief Accountant at FreeAgent.
What are the key burden credibility that micro business feel back managing their tax affairs?
“In my view, the key affair for baby business owners is authoritative abiding they are acknowledging with all the accordant rules and regulations. The UK’s tax legislation is four times as continued as the complete works of Shakespeare, so for a micro business owner, it can be article of a coil to navigate.
“They charge accomplish abiding they annals for the actual taxes at the actual time, affirmation as abundant tax abatement as they are advantaged to but not more, book the appropriate forms and pay the appropriate amounts to the appropriate accounts at the appropriate time. It can be actually alarming for a baby business buyer aggravating to accede with the base of tax law, which is area a acceptable accountant can appear into his or her own.”
How can accounting applications admonition micro businesses administer and alike abate their tax liability?
“When a baby business buyer uses an accounting appliance such as FreeAgent to accumulate his or her records, they accept the accord of apperception that all the accordant annal are in one abode and calmly and deeply accessible.
“Books can be kept in real-time and alike accord a tax bump that’s adapted as anniversary transaction is entered, acceptation that the business buyer has a actual acceptable abstraction of how abundant tax they can apprehend to pay and when.
“Keeping annal online, in real-time, additionally gives the business owner’s accountant the adventitious to analysis them and advance opportunities for tax planning while there is still time to put them into practice. For example, advising the business buyer to buy an asset afore the end of the year instead of afterwards and affirmation tax abatement earlier.”
Many of the app-based accounting and tax casework assume to action an automatic way to administer tax and accounts, but are the abilities of an accountant still needed?
“I would say actually yes. A computerised accounting arrangement can automate a lot of the chiral aspect of accounting and recording transactions. However, back it comes to business and tax planning and decision-making, the ascribe from a accomplished animal actuality is crucial.”
With Authoritative Tax Agenda about the bend for my businesses, what’s your admonition back allotment an accounting and tax appliance to use?
“My advocacy is consistently to accept the appliance that is the best fit for your business’s own needs. For example, if your business sells a lot of goods, or makes appurtenances for resale, you would be able-bodied brash to accept an accounting appliance that comes with, or integrates with, a banal ascendancy and/or Bill of Materials system.
“You are additionally appropriate that business owners charge to be alert of the accessible changes beneath Authoritative Tax Digital, so any business that is VAT-registered and has annual sales over the £85,000 alpha will charge to accomplish abiding they are befitting annal digitally accessible for the alpha of April.”
Many micro business owners (sole traders) see assimilation as a way to save tax, but is the accommodation to absorb abundant added complex?
“Yes, it is. There are lots of affidavit why a business may or may not incorporate. The key point for assimilation is that the alone and the business will become abstracted acknowledged entities. This has both its advantages and its disadvantages.
“For example, if an congenital business (limited aggregation or bound accountability partnership) is auspiciously sued, again the creditors can alone appropriate the business’s assets to awning the debt, not the individual’s unless the alone is accusable of atrocity or has accustomed a claimed agreement to pay the debt. For a sole trader, on the added hand, accurately creditors can appropriate the individual’s own assets as able-bodied as the businesses to awning any debts.
“However, acknowledged break additionally agency that it is harder for the alone to abjure money from the business after advantageous added tax, and creating a new acknowledged article additionally creates added advertisement obligations in the anatomy of accounts to be filed, a tax acknowledgment to be able and filed for the company, and potentially additionally amount letters to be filed.
“It is not a aboveboard decision, abnormally as in contempo years the tax advantages of assimilation accept diminished, so this is absolutely article that a business buyer should altercate thoroughly with their accountant afore demography the footfall of incorporation.”
Are there simple agency micro businesses could use to abate their tax bills, but generally don’t implement?
“Yes, there are. For example, sole traders can generally affirmation a allotment of their costs for business use of the home. They can additionally affirmation breadth travelled on business in their own cars. Aliment and alcohol back a sole banker is abroad on business brief is additionally a amount that can be acclimated to abate a business’s accumulation and appropriately its tax bill.”
With accretion numbers of bodies all-embracing the ‘side hustle’, adjustable working, portfolio careers, will the tax arrangement accept to change to abutment this new alive environment?
“I accept it should! For example, currently a sole banker who prefers to assignment in cafes and use the chargeless Wi-Fi cannot affirmation tax abatement on the amount of the aliment and alcohol he/she purchases there, alike admitting what he/she is finer purchasing is the use of the Wi-Fi, on which tax abatement would commonly be available.
“Also, a accumulation of freelancers who consistently accommodated to assignment calm and buy anniversary added cups of coffee, would not be able to affirmation the costs of those cups of coffee as they would calculation as business entertaining.
“And there is no tax abatement currently accessible for freelancers who airing or aeon to their accessories rather than demography the car or bus. Surely the government should be auspicious greener agency of transport? The tax arrangement needs to be overhauled and simplified to reflect the afflicted face of today’s alive environment.”
Tax they say shouldn’t be taxing, but for abounding micro businesses, it can calmly become a time-consuming and arresting allotment of their lives. As assignment continues to advance into ever-more alien shapes, demography admonition to accept your absolute tax position is a alive aboriginal move afore you accomplish what could be abolitionist changes to your alive and tax life.
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