Topical Tax Tips for Business Owners
Facilitated by Stuart Dey and Cliff Hunter
Entertaining. Lively. Thought provoking. Informative. Brilliant. These are just some of the words that attendees used to describe the evening seminar taught by tax experts Stuart Dey and Cliff Hunter from Shipleys LLP on 10 May.
Sat in three teams, we were given a scenario to work through that uncovered key aspects of business and personal tax planning. The scenario described the financial affairs of ‘Victor Green’ who owned a local events company. We were given facts about his business profits, salary, family members who worked for the business, his elderly company Range Rover, his treatment of client entertaining as well as the bonus he paid himself. Other information included Victor’s personal savings, potential investments and his infirm mother’s savings, pension and estate. From this information, each team was encouraged to list potential questions they thought Victor should raise with his accountant.
Stuart and Cliff then answered these questions and gave us a host of further information. Some ideas included paying £8,000pa each to his wife, son and daughter who all worked part time in the business. These salaries would be below the tax and NI thresholds. Company car drivers are taxed each year as though they have received additional salary – and the amount of this ‘benefit in kind’ is normally determined by the original cost of the car when it was new, and its CO2 emissions. Victors Range Rover fell into the highest band where he’s taxed on 37% of the original cost each year, so he is personally paying about £1,000 a month in tax! We also reviewed the impact of Victor taking a salary and a bonus versus a salary and drawing dividends from his limited company. The tax rules regarding client entertaining and other disallowable expenses were also explained – both from the perspective of employees, sole traders / partnerships and limited companies.
We also learnt about benefiting from Seed Enterprise Investment Schemes, Research and Development allowances, Capital Gains exemptions, Inheritance Tax Taper Relief, Pension contributions and other allowable expenses. We all left with a deeper insight into what was, and what was not, tax deductible in our own businesses. Very practical day to day issues. All of this in the space of two hours that allowed us to socialise while networking with each other.
One participant, Cobham businessman Sunder Annamraju, described the evening this way: The presenters from Shipleys were well prepared and knowledgeable on the topic and I picked up several useful points on optimising taxes. The case study was well constructed and contained aspects that touch our everyday lives – interweaving business and personal topics to create situations where a decision in one sphere could lead to an impact in another.
Thank you Stuart and Cliff.
3 Godalming Business Centre, Woolsack Way, Godalming GU7 1XW
T: 01483 423607