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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.

UK SMEs expand their horizons as Brexit looms

10 September 2019

A person looking at a world map in warehouse settingMore than one in five UK small business owners are looking to expand into new markets overseas in order to achieve business growth.

The latest findings from the quarterly Business Barometer research by Hitachi Capital Business Finance comes as the 31 October Brexit deadline looms.

Overall, 64% of small business owners polled said they are considering new initiatives to help boost their growth prospects; for 22% that includes exporting. And those businesses with a growth plan are significantly more likely to have an upbeat business outlook.

Sectors where small businesses are most likely to be working on specific new plans include real estate (74%), IT/telecoms (71%) and manufacturing (70%). Seasonal businesses, such as agriculture (60%), construction (59%) and hospitality (45%), are among the least likely to be working on new initiatives to achieve growth.

For the majority of small businesses, controlling costs and cashflow is a critical priority. For those looking to expand, the top consideration was looking at new markets overseas - described as a "clear sign that small businesses are already adjusting to a worldview beyond the EU and the need to forge new business alliances".

A financial makeover is also a priority for many. Some business owners want to re-assess their current finance commitments while others are looking for suitable finance partners beyond their high street bank. Investing in new equipment is a priority for around one in seven respondents and a top consideration in agriculture (35%), media (21%), hospitality (21%) and construction (19%).

Media, IT/telecoms and manufacturing are the sectors where small business owners are most likely to be considering overseas expansion.

"The relative size and agility of Britain's smaller businesses positions them well to react quickly to the post-Brexit landscape and adjust their plans to compete and grow," said Gavin Wraith-Carter, managing director at Hitachi Capital Business Finance"The relatively high number of business owners that is looking abroad to identify opportunities presents grounds for confidence and optimism."

Written by Rachel Miller.

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