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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.

Business theft on the rise

13 August 2019

Man taking laptops from an office during the nightThe UK has seen a 9% increase in business theft over the past three years but some parts of the country are seeing much bigger rises, according to new research.

Business theft is on the rise across the UK and the value of goods stolen from businesses has increased by over £2m since 2015, according to new data published by Ebuyer, following Freedom of Information requests being sent to police constabularies across the country.

The figures have revealed significant differences across the UK, with some areas seeing huge rises in business crime. Since 2015 there has been a 9% increase in the number of reported thefts affecting businesses across the UK as a whole. However, Cleveland police force, in north east England, has seen a staggering 3,292% increase over the three-year period, with 1,323 reported thefts in 2018 compared to 39 in 2015.

Out of 23 police constabularies that responded to the data request, 19 (83%) experienced increases in business-related thefts between 2015 and 2018. The top five constabularies which have seen the largest increases in business theft are:

  • Cleveland Police (3,292%);
  • Dorset Police (1,757%);
  • Durham Police (1,640%);
  • Dyfed-Powys Police (704%);
  • Surrey Police (659%).

Bucking this national trend are the police authorities in Bedfordshire and Derbyshire, which have both seen a decrease in business thefts since 2015. Bedfordshire has seen such reports drop by 54%, while in Wiltshire the number of thefts has fallen by 48%.

Meanwhile, London has reported by far the highest number of thefts. In 2018, businesses in this area contacted the police 339,337 times about stolen goods - 14 times more than the national average (24,058).

"The significant increase in the number of business thefts indicates that the risk to business security is higher and more unpredictable than ever," said Lee Weymouth, commercial director at Ebuyer. "As concerning as this is for businesses, there are now a number of ways that firms can protect themselves, including CCTV and thermal sensors."

Written by Rachel Miller.

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