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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.

Phone fear affects over half of UK office workers

14 May 2019

A young woman looks worried when she answers the phone in her officeA survey has found that UK office workers are becoming increasingly anxious about answering the phone at work.

Fear of making or taking calls is known as "telephobia". A new poll of 500 office workers, conducted by telephone answering service Face for Business, has focused on the fears employees have about answering the phone and the differences in attitude of specific age groups.

The findings show that 62% of office-based employees have experienced call-related anxiety before answering the phone. The top reasons workers gave for feeling fearful were:

  • Concerns about not knowing how to deal with a query (33%);
  • Anxiety about "freezing" on the phone (15%);
  • Worries about the impression they are making to the caller (9%);
  • Sounding "strange" when they speak (5%).

Other anxieties include: facing some kind of confrontation, being overheard, having no paper trail to back-up conversations and fears that they wouldn't be able to understand the caller.

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Sara Parker, marketing manager at Face for Business, said: "Businesses really need to make a human and emotional connection with their prospects. Ergo, employees shouldn't really hide behind technologies such as email - they need to start building relationships and trust."

However, phone anxiety seems to be getting worse in the millennial demographic. Those born between 1981-1996 are the most telephobic and go out of their way to avoid answering office phone calls, according to the study.

Three-quarters (76%) of millennials say they experience anxiety when they hear the phone ring, compared to 40% of their baby boomer colleagues. In addition, 72% of millennials say they feel anxious about answering a colleague's phone and 61% display physical, anxiety-induced behaviours when they're the only ones in the office and the phone rings.

Written by Rachel Miller.

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