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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.

Half of small business owners struggle with finances

11 June 2019

A new poll has found that 51% of UK small business owners need help managing their finances.

The survey, conducted by Opinium on behalf of Funding Options, interviewed 500 people of middle management level and above within UK SMEs. The results show that one in two small firms is struggling with its finances - which means that 2.86 million of the UK's 5.6 SMEs are affected.

The findings come at a time when the number of companies entering administration has hit its highest level in five years. The poll shows that:

  • 23% of small businesses owners are unaware of their financial troubles until their bank account is in the red (rising to 46% for business owners aged under 35);
  • 33% of small business owners have previously found themselves in financial difficulty;
  • 32% say they have lost sleep worrying about their business finances;
  • Just 7% of small businesses review their finances more than once a month; 23% do so once a quarter;
  • 17% don't have any formal reviews of their business finances at all;
  • Only 53% regularly forecast their finances to keep track of cashflow.

"The primary focus of any small business should be on its product and customers and so it's easy for financial operations to take a back seat," said Ryan Edwards-Pritchard, managing director of Funding Options. "Along with day-to-day challenges, additional factors such as the huge uncertainty around the outcomes of Brexit only add more pressure."

Funding Options and Experian are partnering to develop a new cashflow management tool to help small business owners get a clearer picture of their financial situation. The tool - called Totem - will be available for free and will allow small firms to get on top of VAT bills, manage invoices, check and understand how to improve credit scores, and identify upcoming dips in cashflow.

Edwards-Pritchard said: "New tools entering the market are giving entrepreneurs the power to take full charge of their finances, simplifying everything from tax returns to cashflow projections and, if utilised, we will hopefully see more organisations survive and thrive - putting an end to sleepless nights."

Written by Rachel Miller.

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