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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.

Late payers to lose out on government contracts

3 September 2019

Wooden alarm clock next to a glass jar overflowing with coinsNew prompt payment rules have been introduced by the government, excluding big businesses with poor payment practices from lucrative public sector contracts.

Organisations that want to do business with government departments will have to pay 95% of all supply chain invoices within 60 days, under new rules in the Prompt Payment Code introduced on 1 September 2019.

It means that any organisation bidding for a central government contract worth in excess of £5m a year will have to demonstrate it has an effective payment system. Suppliers that do not comply could be prevented from winning government contracts.

The move has been praised by business groups. "We welcome the new administration taking ownership of the late payment crisis with this crucial step, sending a message that late payments will not be tolerated within government contracts," said Mike Cherry, national chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB).

"We have worked very hard with the Cabinet Office to get to this moment. This will prevent another Carillion, where payment terms were lengthened as the company fell into difficulty, hoarded taxpayers' money and tried to improve its cash flow off the back of its small suppliers.

"This move sends a message to the wider business community that the government is taking this seriously and those found in breach of the Prompt Payment Code from 1 September will be excluded from bidding for lucrative contracts."

Cherry added: "Measures to open up public procurement will give taxpayers and our public services access to the innovation and value small firms bring, as well as helping our economy. This is a challenge, and there is, of course, more work to do, but [this] announcement is an important step."

The FSB has pledged to continue working with the government to "drive out late payments" in line with its Fair Pay Fair Play campaign . The Prompt Payment Code is administered by the Chartered Institute of Credit Management (CICM) on behalf of the department of Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy .

Written by Rachel Miller.

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