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Here are the 12 strategies our tax experts are sharing with you as part of your free trial: 

  • Dividends vs Salary In 2017/18 Explained
  • When it comes to tax, all extraction methods are not equal. Also, as the tax landscape shifts, what worked well lat year will not necessarily be the optimal strategy this year.

    Sarah Bradford explores whether, for 2017/18, it is better to extract profits from a personal or family company as salary or dividends or both...
  • Tax-Efficient Motoring: An Update
  • Running cars and vans on business is par excellence one of those areas where you have options with widely divergent tax effects. 

    Alan Pink points out that a company car can be tax-efficient in certain cases...
  • Research And Development: £2.5 Billion Claimed, Are You Missing Out?
  • In the 2014/15 fiscal year, government statistics show that a record breaking 20,935 companies made claims for some form of R&D tax relief, with 20,000 claims being made by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The value of claims in 2014/15 was £2.45 billion.

    Lindsey Wicks provides a reminder about the tax reliefs available for companies involved in research and development (R&D).
  • Traps With Directors’ Loan Accounts And How To Avoid Them
  • It’s fairly common practice, in owner managed limited companies, for the prime movers who control the business to draw out amounts of money in lump sums or regular monthly payments. These drawings are then formalised after the end of the year, by the company’s accountants, as either remuneration, dividends, or repayment of loans made by those individuals to the company.
    Alan Pink considers some common problems with drawings out of closely controlled companies – and possible solutions.
  • Suspended Penalties: You’ve Had Your Chance
  • Mark McLaughlin points out that appealing against HMRC assessments or notices to correct errors in tax returns might have an unfortunate knock-on effect.
  • NICs on Directors’ Loan Accounts
  • Some readers may wonder, what is the difference between a dividend and simply drawing down on the loan account? After all, a dividend entitlement can be drawn down from a director/shareholder’s account in pretty much the same way, practically speaking. 
    Lee Sharpe looks at a potential NIC tax trap for directors’ loan accounts.
  • Using The Family Company To Support A Student Through University
  • Being a student can be expensive for mum and dad, as well as for the student. Most students need to find a way to supplement their maintenance loan, as this is often not sufficient even to cover their accommodation costs. Often the student will take on a part-time job, but many seek help from the bank of mum and dad! Where there is a family company in the mix, this offers a vehicle for supporting the student through university.

    Sarah Bradford explores opportunities for using the family company to support a student through university...
  • Spouse’s Wages – Legitimate Expense Or Tax Dodge?
  • A common element in the accounts of many self-employed individuals (and partnerships) is a deduction for the wages of family members, particularly a spouse (or civil partner). For example, in over 30 years as a tax practitioner, I have seen countless claims for ‘wife’s wages’.

    Mark McLaughlin recommends that business owners think carefully before claiming deductions for salaries paid to their spouses or civil partners...
  • Can A Dividend Be Recategorised As Salary?
  • Many director shareholders will be well aware that dividends tend to be more tax-efficient than salaries; the main reason for this is not strictly tax but National Insurance contributions (NICs).
    Lee Sharpe looks at the worst possible scenario whereby dividends could be classed as salaries and thus the NIC-free status is lost...
  • No Sacrifice! The New ‘Optional Remuneration Arrangements’ Rules
  • An increasing number of employers have been offering ‘salary sacrifice’ arrangements as a way of incentivising their workforce in a cost-effective and flexible manner. Many offer a suite of benefits for their employees to pick and choose from, recognising that each employee has different needs and aspirations. 
    Lindsey Wicks looks at the changes to the tax treatment of ‘salary sacrifice’ from 6 April 2017...
  • Share Disposals And Anti-Avoidance
    When an individual shareholder sells shares in a ‘close’ family or owner-managed trading company, he or she will probably expect the proceeds to be treated as a capital receipt.  

    Mark McLaughlin looks at how HMRC enquires into share disposals under certain anti-avoidance rules...
  • The New Trading And Property Allowances: Be Careful!
    The new trading and property allowances were announced in Budget 2016; the legislation itself has only recently been drafted.

    The new £1,000 trading and property allowances are potentially useful to casual traders/landlords – but care is needed, warns Lee Sharpe...
    • Tax Insider: Tax Tips
    • Tax Insider: Your Property Tax Questions Answered by Arthur Weller 

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