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.

Is HMRC's IR35 tax tool up to the job?

5 February 2019

Is HMRC's IR35 tax tool up to the job?A Freedom of Information request has revealed that the controversial Check Employment Status for Tax (CEST) tool has not been formally tested by HMRC.

The FOI request has been made by contracting expert ContractorCalculator. It has learned that the CEST tool has not undergone any formal testing to check its accuracy even though it was introduced almost two years ago. HMRC and the Treasury have said that the tool has been under constant review.

HMRC has also admitted that CEST has not even undergone an informal assessment to ensure that it meets the government's Digital Service Standards, used "to check whether a service is good enough for public use".

The CEST tool decides whether a contractor working for a public sector client should be taxed as a freelancer or as an employee. It is part of the government's off-payroll working (IR35) rules. Since the introduction of the CEST tool, many self-employed workers have seen their tax status change. The government intends to apply the new rules to private sector contractors in 2020.

HMRC is facing increasing scrutiny over the design and development of the tool, which is believed to have already forced thousands of public sector contractors into "false employment", says ContractorCalculator.

Last week, BBC heads revealed that 95% of freelancers were deemed employed following a CEST assessment - despite the fact that 90% of those same workers had been deemed self-employed in a previous employment status test developed in conjunction with HMRC.

Dave Chaplin, ceo and founder of ContractorCalculator, said: "HMRC imposed CEST upon the public sector and by doing so has cheated many honest taxpayers out of thousands of pounds in the process with a tool that is not fit for purpose and does not work.

"HMRC has pledged to work with stakeholders to improve CEST but the reality is that it has not been working on the tool and has continued to issue tax bills off the back of faulty results. It will be interesting to see what enhancements HMRC is planning to make in preparation for rolling out Off-Payroll into the private sector. HMRC is setting itself up for a colossal fall and more worryingly will be playing havoc with the livelihoods of thousands of hard-working freelance professionals."

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