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There's a lot to think about when starting a new business, most importantly the company structure. Whether to be a sole trader, or perhaps a partnership or a limited company. Each has specific HMRC reporting requirements, a greater or lesser administrative overhead and varying tax treatment. Do you have to be VAT registered – and even if you don't, might it be to your advantage? These are important decisions. We have lots of experience of guiding new businesses through this maze and would be delighted to share this experience with you. Please call us for a free consultation without any commitment on your part.
Under the Companies Act 2006 a limited company is no longer required to have a company secretary, but the position is still a useful one in as much as the company secretary can provide a named point of contact, undertake many tasks at Companies House and directly discuss the company's affairs with HMRC. We are happy to provide a company secretary service to your limited company and additionally, to provide your registered office address. This means that most communications from HMRC and Companies House come direct to us for action and allows us to file key documents e.g. your annual return on your behalf. You may also prefer for your home address to remain private, in which case you can also use our office address as your service address at Companies House.
Experience shows us that good record keeping goes hand in hand with accurate accounts and the minimisation of tax liability. It also gives us an insight into how your business is performing so we can discuss any issues with you in a timely fashion. Whilst some accountants seek to avoid routine book keeping and VAT work, we welcome the opportunity it offers for a continuous relationship with our clients - and our fees are very competitive. The complexity of VAT is often underestimated and there are a number of special schemes available for small businesses including cash accounting, flat rate VAT and annual payment schemes which might be of benefit to your business. You may even benefit from registering for VAT even though you are not required to do so. Allowing us to take on your day to day book keeping and VAT gives you the reassurance that everything will be filed accurately and on time and give you more time to focus on meeting the needs of your customers.
Our modern payroll software means that we can productively run payrolls for small businesses even if there are only one or two employees involved as is often the case with small limited companies where the director(s) are the only employee(s). We offer a full payroll service including the administration of CIS and the filing of all returns on line with HMRC
Accurate accounts are an essential tool for running your business. They are also the basis of calculating your personal and / or company tax liability. Your suppliers or bank may also ask to see them to judge your business's credit worthiness. But accurate accounts are only possible if they are based on accurate records, which is why we encourage our customers to let us take on their routine book keeping, VAT and PAYE work as well as the year end accounts. We take the meeting of filing deadlines very seriously and have an excellent track record in this respect.
Nobody wants to pay more tax than they should and there are many ways in which tax liability can be minimised. Choosing the right business structure e.g. sole trader or limited company is the first step in this process, but there are other things to consider including pension contributions, capital purchases, charitable donations and where appropriate and justifiable, the employment of family members in the business. We would never advise clients to spend money with the sole objective of reducing tax, but if the money is spent on something they genuinely need, the timing of this expenditure may be important from a tax perspective. We are happy to discuss these issues in general terms at our initial consultation and more specifically as and when you have spending decisions to make.
All self employed individuals, partners and company directors and anyone with income from property (e.g. buy to let properties) are required to complete a tax return and once you are required to submit a tax return, you must declare all sources of income even if tax has already been deducted e.g. saving interest or income under PAYE. For the self employed there is the additional complication of calculating payments on account. We can complete your Self Assessment Tax Return for you (supported by property letting accounts, if required), calculate your tax liability and once you have approved it, file your return with HMRC on line.
Tax return paperwork is often rather intimidating and none more so that the CT600 Corporation Tax Return. In fact, corporation tax is quite straightforward although the introduction of mandatory iXBRL reporting has been an issue for some accountants and software providers. We adopted this filing format before it became mandatory and have encountered very few issues. All our software is HMRC approved and fully iXBRL compatible.
As part of our company secretary service we can file standard documents such as your annual return at Companies House. In many cases Companies House do not charge for this service, but where a fee is involved, we will normally pay this on your behalf and recharge you on our next invoice.
We hope it never happens of course, but from time to time, HMRC will initiate a routine enquiry in to a company or individual's tax affairs, which could also include your business's VAT or PAYE records. If your record keeping is in good order – and if we complete your book keeping / VAT / PAYE for you, it will be – then a routine enquiry need not be a cause for undue concern. We can act as your representative with HMRC and help conclude such enquiries as quickly and fairly as possible.
As well as undertaking your routine book keeping and VAT work, you might also want us to complete a regular review of your company's performance during the year. We can produce monthly or quarterly management accounts and analyses to your specification and are happy to meet with you to discuss the business issues that this work may bring to light.