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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.

FSB calls for export vouchers for small firms

8 October 2019

Export stampThe Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) is asking the government to do more to support struggling small firms by giving them export vouchers.

The FSB is calling on the Department for International Trade and the Treasury to give small firms a pre-Brexit injection of support to promote exporting by introducing export vouchers. According to FSB data, 21% of small firms currently export and 40% of those say that uncertainty over Brexit is having a negative impact on their exporting ambitions.

These vouchers, up to the value of £3,000, would help small firms with a range of costs, such as investments in translation services, market research and finding new clients through overseas trade fairs. The support, says the FSB, would help the economy as a whole as well as individual businesses.

FSB research has found that the positive impact of the depreciation in Sterling on exporters has been offset by the volatility in Sterling and the uncertainty created as a result of the current failure to secure a Brexit deal.

Over half (53%) of smaller business exporters to the EU believe their business continuity and growth will be negatively impacted by a no-deal Brexit on 31 October.

Of those smaller businesses that export that have prepared for a no-deal scenario, the average cost of preparations is £2,880, rising to around £3,000 for those smaller businesses that import and/or export.

"It's time that the government stepped in and gave small firms the help that they need in order to realise their exporting ambitions," said Mike Cherry, FSB national chairman. "The introduction of export vouchers up to the value of £3,000 will alleviate some of the strains that exporting firms are facing at the current time.

"Around 21% of small firms currently export, but with additional assistance from the government, FSB believes that those numbers could double … These financial incentives are a great way to support our small firms that want to begin their exporting journey as well as those looking for ways to increase their exporting potential.

"Close to half (46%) of smaller businesses that think they will be negatively impacted by a no-deal scenario would welcome some form of financial assistance in the form of either Brexit vouchers or tax credits/breaks."

Also this week, the UK's temporary tariff regime in the event of no-deal has been updated. However, Dr Adam Marshall, director general of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) said: "The latest temporary tariff regime only contains three changes, so businesses will be frustrated that it took government so long to publish the updates - needlessly extending uncertainty around the entire future tariff schedule."

He added: "The government must also publish a Market Access Database comparable to the one British traders can currently use as part of the EU. This would bring together in one place the information on tariffs and quotas that traders need. We're been assured it's under development, but its delivery by Brexit day is critical for businesses to plan ahead."

Written by Rachel Miller.

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