We're here with practical tax information for your business. Find out about business taxes, tax planning and more.

We've scoured the web to get you the most up-to-date advice which includes the most useful tools on offer from the officials themselves.

Effective tax planning is essential if you are to minimise your tax bills. Simple tax planning can significantly reduce your tax liabilities.

The self-assessment tax return is an unavoidable burden if you are liable for self-employed tax or have complicated income tax affairs.

Corporation tax is charged on a company's profits. If you trade as a limited company, ensure that paying this tax is as painless as possible.

National Insurance Contributions (NICs) are payable whether you are self-employed or employed by your own company, although different rates apply.

As well as your legal obligations, you’ll want to ensure that payroll is painless and that you use any opportunities to improve your tax-efficiency.

VAT

Effective VAT planning aims to ensure that VAT is relatively painless, and that you are reclaiming as much as possible of the VAT you pay.

Capital gains are made when you sell something for more money than you paid for it. As a result, you can be subject to tax. Take professional advice.

Business property taxes apply to businesses with commercial premises.There are two commercial property taxes: business rates and stamp duty land tax.

If you have tax problems or face a tax investigation, it pays to seek professional advice and you must act rather than just hoping for the best.

Pensions dashboards to launch in 2019

4 December 2018

Pensions dashboards to launch in 2019Proposals to give millions of people online access to their pension information have been unveiled by the government.

New free, user-friendly "pensions dashboards" would allow people to access the information from their pension schemes in one place for the first time. The online tools are intended to help people make informed choices and to better plan for retirement.

The dashboards will be developed by the pension industry and it is expected that the first pensions dashboard will go live in 2019, with more dashboards to be introduced in the following years.

However, there are concerns that information about the state pension will not be included in these dashboards. The government says it will work with the pensions industry to include state pension information "at some stage".

According to the government, the tools will:

  • Give people accurate, easy to understand, secure information;
  • Show people clearly how much they have in their pension pots and what they can expect to have to live on in retirement;
  • Put people in control of when and how they check their data and who has access to it;
  • Help people to find 'lost' pension pots.

"Plain pensions information at the touch of a screen will ensure better-informed, more engaged savers and help many more people to plan effectively for retirement," said Guy Opperman, minister for pensions and financial inclusion.

"Bringing pensions information into the digital age has the potential to revolutionise the way we all think about and plan for later life," he said. "People, young and old, should have all the help they need to get ready for retirement and maximise their pension incomes and, working with industry, we will ensure they do. Now the government is seeking views about what the new services will look like and how they will work. Consumer protection and safeguarding data will be top priorities."

Commenting on the announcement, Jenni Allen, managing director at Which? Money, said: "We welcome today's steps towards achieving what could be a game-changing improvement to the way people manage their pensions … It's crucial that all schemes are included, alongside the state pension, so that savers are able to make informed decisions about their retirement savings and plan their lives accordingly."

However, the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has raised concerns about the dashboards and their suitability for self-employed workers. Mike Cherry, FSB national chairman, said: "The DWP's decision to hand responsibility for delivering pensions dashboards to industry will have alarm bells ringing among the self-employed.

"Fewer than one in three sole traders currently save into a private pension. The danger is - without government pulling out all the stops to deliver these dashboards - the incredibly drawn out process of making them a reality will yield little impact. We need to see the new DWP secretary Amber Rudd inject some leadership and drive into this long-delayed initiative."

Cherry also said that pensions dashboards could do more to encourage sole traders to build up savings. "The rollout of pensions dashboards should be coupled with proactive saving prompts from the government," he said. "Self-assessment tax return reminders could, for example, lay the foundations for nudges which encourage small business owners to save more for the future."

News type:

Stay up-to-date with business advice and news

Sign up to this lively and colourful newsletter for new and more established small businesses.