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Five Top Tax Reduction Tips For Your Business

Do you want your business to pay less tax this year?

Of course you do. It's a pretty silly question, right? No company wants to pay more tax than they absolutely have to - that's a given.

Nevertheless, many companies don't take advantage of the opportunities that are available. Luckily, with some fairly straightforward tax planning, you can significantly reduce your corporate tax this year.

Here are our five top tips that will help reduce your company's tax liability this year:

1) Bring Forward Long Put Off Expenditures :

Bring forward that long overdue office repair or redecoration project or that direct marketing campaign you were considering for next year. Any expenditure before the company year end will reduce the current year's tax liability and lets' face it, your office will look nicer.

2) Make The Most Of Your Capital Allowances :

You will certainly save your company some tax by bringing capital expenditures - such as machinery - forward. Some of the bigger savings can be found in the purchase of energy saving technologies and products which qualify for a 100% allowance.

Companies generally receive a 25% allowance on plant and machinery related capital expenses, but SMEs companies get a 40% allowance in their first year. So, if you are a small or medium sized company (as defined by company law), take advantage and make those types of purchases before the end of your first year trading.

Even better, for computers and telephone equipment, you can claim a 100% reduction against your profits in the first year.

The best bet of all is in research and development - a new R&D tax credit means you can claim 150% of what you spend, and if you are a loss-making company you have the option of taking a part of that as an immediate cash payment.

This is a little known and often misunderstood tax credit, but many companies can take advantage of it. Get some advice on what exactly qualifies as research and development first, just to be on the safe side.

3) Re-structure Your Dividends and Bonuses:

Smaller companies - in particular, owner-managed businesses, can save on National Insurance payments by taking dividends rather than paying themselves a salary. On average for a higher rate tax payer, the tax rate will be reduced to around 39% compared to 47%.

4) Minimize Capital Gains Costs:

One of the best ways to minimize capital gains is to reinvest the proceeds of a sale into buying a replacement asset. Be warned, though, that not all assets qualify for relief. Check first before utilizing this tip.

5) Get The Right Receipts

A useful tip is to make certain that your employees ask for VAT receipts whenever they make a purchase on behalf of the company. That will ensure you can claim back the VAT on all purchases that are VAT rated.

If your company reviews it's tax affairs between two and three months before the end of your financial year, then you can start planning how to effectively and, most of all, legally, minimize your tax liabilities.

About the Author:

Jim Haines works for Just Accountants, the UK website where businesses can get quotes from up to 4 local accountants. Visit www.justaccountants.co.uk for details.

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