Tips to avoid paying too much tax if you’re self employed
According to Which.co.uk, we paid an estimate of £12.6 billion in unnecessary tax in 2012. People who are self-employed or have their own businesses are particularly prone to overpaying tax. But by doing a bit of research and accessing your tax options, you can maximise your income and safeguard your finances for the future.
Spreading income tax payments among the family
Every individual that is able to work has a personal allowance of £9,440 for the financial year 2013/14. If you are earning over the 20% rate band for income tax, it may be wise to employ a family member to share a part of your workload. Income up to £9,440 would be free of income tax for him or her, and an allowable expense for you. This is especially ideal for any children you have over 16 that can work over the holidays as their wages are also tax deductible. Furthermore, no national insurance is payable if they earn less than £149 per week. Additionally, members earning between £109-148 are entitled to certain state benefits such as building towards the state pension.
Using the personal allowance to its maximum
Rather than one individual holding the bulk of the income and facing a higher rate of income tax, it is of best interest to arrange the finances in a way that lessens the tax burden. This can be achieved by building up a state pension for your partner and/or make pension payments to build up a retirement pot. These contributions are tax relievable at the marginal rate of the payer. On a further note, £3,600 can be contributed per year irrespective of earnings so consider pensioning for any of your children helping out at the business.
Taking advantage of tax free opportunities
Use up you and your partner’s cash ISA limit of £5,760. Gift any surplus funds to your partner if he/she is a lower tax payer than you. Be careful of the liquidity position of the business, it may be troubling to recall back the funds.
The £100,000 ceiling
Try not to exceed earnings of £100,000. For every £2 of income over £100,000, your personal allowance falls by £1. This means that at an income of £118,880 you will have lost all your personal allowance of £9,440. The £9,440 is then taxed at a rate of 20%, and the £18,800 over £100,000 is taxed at a rate of 40%, meaning that your marginal rate of tax on this slice of income is a whopping 60%. You can consider increasing your pension contribution to preserve your personal allowance. Note that the maximum annual allowance is £50,000 but you can use any unused annual allowances dating back three tax years to increase your contribution.
Maximising your tax allowances
Each person has an annual capital gains tax allowance that can be reached before the gain is taxed. This figure amounts to £10,900 for the financial tax year 2013/2014. With sound financial planning, you can get up to £20,340 tax free each year (£9,440 for personal allowance and £10,900 for Capital Gains Tax).
Be well organised and keep good records
The deadline for the online tax return is 31st January (31st October for the paper tax return). Failure to commit to the deadline may result in penalties. Keeping your records in an organised manner can make your life a lot easier especially if HMRC decides to investigate.
Good forward financial planning can maximise successful tax strategies. That’s why at Tax Affinity Accountants we make sure to sit with all our clients and run through the options for good financial planning.
By Wilson Law
Tax Affinity Accountants are considered in the market to be experts in Tax and Accountancy in the UK. Based in Kingston upon Thames they have clients right across the UK as well as Europe, Middle East and North America.
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