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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.

Self-employed get rescue package but it won't pay out until June

26 March 2020

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has given details of a new scheme to help self-employed people that are losing work due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Millions of self-employed workers will get direct cash grants though the UK-wide Self-Employed Income Support Scheme. Eligible applicants will receive a cash grant worth 80% of their average monthly trading profit over the last three years. These payments will be paid for at least three months and will be capped at £2,500 per month.

According to the government, the new scheme covers 95% of people who receive the majority of their income from self-employment. However, chancellor Rishi Sunak admitted that the payments will not be made until the beginning of June - with grants being paid then in a single lump sum covering all three months.

Self-employed people will be able to apply directly to HMRC for the taxable grant, using an online form, with the cash being paid directly into their bank account.

However, the government says individuals should not contact HMRC now; it says HMRC will identify eligible taxpayers and contact them directly. HMRC will use existing information to check potential eligibility and invite applications once the scheme is operational.

"Self-employed people are a crucial part of the UK's workforce who've understandably been looking for reassurance and support during this national emergency," said chancellor Rishi Sunak.

"The package for the self-employed I've outlined today … targets support to those who need help most, offering the self-employed the same level of support as those in work."

The scheme will be open to those with a trading profit of less than £50,000 in 2018-19 or an average trading profit of less than £50,000 from 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19. To qualify, more than half of their income in these periods must come from self-employment.

Those who pay themselves a salary and dividends through their own company are not covered by the scheme but will be covered for their salary by the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme if they are operating PAYE schemes.

The scheme has been designed after extensive engagement with stakeholders including the TUC, the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) and The Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed (IPSE).

In a sign of changes to come, the chancellor also said that tax rules for employees and the self-employed should be brought into line at some point in the future.

Written by Rachel Miller.

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