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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.

Record numbers file their tax returns on time

4 February 2019

Record numbers file their tax returns on timeOver 93% of taxpayers filed their self assessment tax returns by the deadline; however, 700,000 taxpayers have yet to comply.

More than 11.5 million taxpayers were required to file their 2017/18 tax returns by 11.59pm on 31 January. The majority filed on time, but 700,000 taxpayers missed the deadline, according to HMRC.

More than 700,000 taxpayers submitted their tax returns on deadline day; the peak hour for filing was between 4pm and 5pm when 60,000 filed. The number of taxpayers who filed online rose to more than 10.1 million for the first time.

Angela MacDonald, HMRC's director general for customer services, said: "Thank you to everyone who filed on time. This year, we had a record number of filers completing their tax returns by the deadline. And for any customers who are yet to file their returns, please contact HMRC - we are here to help."

HMRC says it will treat those with genuine excuses leniently, as it focuses penalties on deliberate tax evaders and those who persistently fail to complete their tax returns. However, any excuse given must be genuine and HMRC may ask for evidence.

The penalties for late tax returns start with an initial £100 fixed penalty, which applies even if there is no tax to pay, or if the tax due is paid on time. Penalties rise as time goes by.

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has urged HMRC to exercise leniency towards sole traders who submit returns late or incorrectly. Over the past year, it says, HMRC's engagement with the self-employed has been "dogged by inaccurate reminders and penalty notices, phishing emails, poor customer service and an unreliable tool for assessing employment status".

The latest HMRC statistics show that one in five callers to HMRC's helpline are left waiting more than ten minutes to speak to an advisor. "HMRC's performance over the past year has been nothing short of calamitous," said Mike Cherry, FSB national chairman.

"From premature late penalty notices, to misleading demands for payment, to increasing call waiting times, the self-employed are being let down time and again by this increasingly ill-equipped agency."

HMRC, he said "must remember that the self-employed are specialists injecting much-needed expertise and flexibility into our economy. The vast majority are not tax specialists - and they don't have time for hold music."

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