Rocketing business costs – your survival guide

It’s no secret that costs are rising rapidly in the UK and the wider world, not least with the pressure of soaring oil prices, energy bills, increasing wages and the cost of materials.

Research by The British Chambers of Commerce found earlier this year that 73% of UK firms are planning to raise prices.  62% said rocketing energy bills are a driving factor behind the need to increase costs, and this figure rises to 75% for manufacturers.

Small business owners are feeling the pain of these rising costs, compounded by rate rises that are mean debt repayments are also increasing. But what can you do to mitigate the impact of this worrying trend?

1.    Increase your prices

If you haven’t already responded with a price rise, it’s likely to be the most effective solution. As we’ve seen above, almost three quarters of UK businesses are planning to put prices up.

Some estimates anticipate that inflation will hit 8% this year. Restaurants and hotel prices rose steeply in March and are expected to increase again now that the hospitality VAT cut has now expired as we recover from the pandemic.

All businesses are understandably nervous about putting prices up, but your profit margin is crucial to success.

2.    Introduce new price-efficient products and services

If you’re in a particularly price-sensitive market, a further solution is to introduce keenly priced offers for your customers. The aim is to offer customers a less-expensive way to retain your services that preserves your profit margin. Think of a supermarket own brand – it provides the same product but saves on brand reputation, packaging and marketing costs.

You might achieve this be sourcing cheaper resources, transport options or by scaling back what you offer.

3.    Review your spending

To reduce the impact of costs, you need to be clear about how much you’re spending and on what. Reviewing your monthly and annual outgoings often highlights that you are paying for services and products that are not essential. Now is the ideal time to cut back on unnecessary payments.

An important part of this is reviewing and benchmarking your suppliers – whether that be your energy provider, IT service or cleaning services. It’s likely these costs will increase too in the coming months, so shop around to make sure you’re getting the most effective deal.

4.    Look for efficiencies

There will always be ways that your business can operate more efficiently. With fuel costs at a premium, can you reduce your transport costs? Replace face to face meetings with online appointments; make fewer trips to your supplier; group your deliveries by location.

There may be an option to downsize your premises or sublet your space for an extra income. Look too at reducing your energy consumption. Turn equipment off overnight, lower the thermostat, even sell business equipment that is rarely used.

5.    Seek advice

Don’t suffer in silence. If you’re unsure of the right course for your business in the current economic environment, seek help. Talk to other business owners, contact the government’s business support helpline or talk to your accountant.

Accountants like us can be a big help in helping you prioritise what’s important, seeking out possible options for funding, find ways to reduce your tax and suggest other ideas that you may not have considered. We work with many small businesses and have a great deal of experience to draw upon.

Find out how we can help as accountants in the Lune Valley. We provide everything from bookkeeping services and payroll to tax returns. Get in touch.

Sole Trader Or Landlord? Here’s How To Handle Making Tax Digital

UPDATE: MTD deadlines have now changed. See this blog for the latest information

From April 2024, sole traders and landlords will need to join the Making Tax Digital programme. The deadline has been moved back from 2023 due to the pandemic.

This government programme is designed to move the UK towards a fully digital tax system. The aim is to reduce errors and give HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) more information and visibility.

The benefit to businesses and landlords is that they will have easy access to digital records and be able report their tax liabilities and make payments in real time.

Limited companies began moving to Making Tax Digital from 2019, and the government has reported that 69% of them have found at least one benefit to the new system.

What will I need to do?

Individuals with business income over £10,000 per annum will need to make quarterly reports under Making Tax Digital for income tax. This will include many sole traders and landlords, but partnerships aren’t required to adopt it until 2025.

You will need to keep your accounting records electronically (either on a spreadsheet or with suitable accounting software). You will file quarterly returns to HMRC with details of income and expenditure. You will also need to submit a final end-of-period statement after the tax year ends.

While reporting frequency will change, tax payment timing will not. The current system of payments on account, and balancing payment by 31 January following the end of the tax year, is staying in place for the foreseeable future.

Deadlines for the quarterly payments will be:

 Period coveredFiling deadline
Quarterly update 11 April to 30 June5 August
Quarterly update 21 July to 30 September5 November
Quarterly update 31 October to 31 December5 February
Quarterly update 41 January to 31 March5 May

Can I sign up early?

You can sign up voluntarily now and start using the service if you’re:

  • a UK resident
  • registered for Self Assessment with returns and payments that are up to date
  • a sole trader with income from one business, or a landlord who rents out UK property

What’s in it for me?

While it’s never fun to be set a deadline to adopt something new, Making Tax Digital has the potential to make your life easier.

Moving to a cloud accounting system is a fairly straightforward way give you the necessary digital records for tax purposes. It could also make your accounting simpler and less time-consuming.

Various accounting tools allow you to match up payments going in and out of your bank account, scanning and uploading business receipts and give you sight of unpaid invoices, making it easier to chase them up. You can also gain useful analysis and projections.

Need some help exploring the options? We can help you find an appropriate accounting package and prepare for the MTD changes.

Are there any exemptions?

As per the exemptions for MTD on VAT, individuals won’t have to adopt MTD for Income Tax if:

  • It’s not reasonably practical to use digital tools due to age, disability, remoteness of location or any other reason (often referred to as ‘digital exclusion’).
  • You are subject to an insolvency procedure.
  • The business is run entirely by practising members of a religious society or order whose beliefs are incompatible with using electronic tools.

If any of the above apply, you must apply to HMRC to claim an exemption. If you have already qualified for an exemption from MTD for VAT, you will also be exempt from MTD for ITSA.

The following are also exempt from MTD for ITSA: Non-resident companies; Trustees, executors and administrators; Foreign businesses of non-UK domiciled individuals.

Want to explore Making Tax Digital and what’s involved in more detail? Just get in touch. As accountants for Sole Traders and landlords in Lancashire we’re here to help. We also manage payroll services and corporate accounts. Contact us

Five ways your tax bill could increase this year

Most British taxpayers will see their tax bills rise in the coming tax year, as measures announced in the 2021 autumn budget come into play.

Here’s a quick rundown of the changes that could affect you.

1. National Insurance rates

On April 6 2022, National Insurance rates will rise by 1.25% points under the government’s new health and social care levy. The stated aim for this rise is to improve social care nationwide.

This April, the additional rate will be taken as part of your National Insurance payment, but from April 2023 it will be charged as a separate levy.

Minimum earnings limits will go up by 3.1% in line with inflation, while the higher rate threshold remains £50,270.

What this means in practice is:

  • Employees earning less than £9,880 will not pay NIC.
  • Employees earning £9,880 to £50,270 will pay Class 1 rates at 13.25%
  • Employees earning more than £50,270 will pay class 1 rates at 3.25%

If you’re self-employed, you may pay Class 2 and 4 contributions depending on your earnings. From April these rates will be:

  • Zero if you earn less than £6,725
  • £3.15 per week if you earn between £6,725 and £9,880
  • 10.25% plus £3.15 per week if you earn between £9,880 and £50,270
  • 3.25% plus £3.15 per week if you earn more than £50,270

2. Higher dividend tax

If you earn money via dividends, you will be charged 1.25% more on this income from April. The rate you will pay depends on your income tax band. Basic rate taxpayers will be taxed on dividends at 8.75%; higher rate taxpayers at 33.75% and additional rate taxpayers at 39.35%.

There is a minimum threshold for this tax of £2,000. You won’t pay dividend tax on investments held in a stocks and shares ISA.

3. Car tax increases

Car tax (vehicle excise duty) will also increase from April 1 2022. The amount you will pay depends on the emission levels of your car.

If you have a zero-emission vehicle such as an electric car, the tax remains zero. Generally, other car owners will see their tax increase by up to £10 per year.

4. Fiscal Freeze

The 2021 budget placed a freeze on a number of rates and reliefs including personal tax thresholds, pensions allowances and the exemption for Capital Gains Tax. These rates are expected to remain static until 2026.

There is some concern that the current rapid rate of inflation could have significantly effects as a result, potentially pushing people into higher tax brackets and increasing the amount they need to pay to the government.

5. Capital Gains Tax extension

New rules also affect anyone who makes a capital gain after selling a property. There was previously a window of just 30 days for taxpayers to report the sale and pay the tax owed. At the Budget on 27 October 2021 this was immediately increased to 60 days.

This means anyone who makes a capital gain after selling a second home or buy-to-let property has 60 days to submit a residential property return to HMRC and pay the estimated tax owed.

We’re here to help both businesses and individuals navigate their tax responsibilities. Contact us to discuss what the NIC increase will mean for you personally and for your company. As Business Accountants we offer payroll services, personal and business tax planning in the Lune Valley and Lancashire – we would be pleased to advise you.

Take advantage of extra time to file your Self-Assessment

No penalties for late filing or payment, says HMRC

HMRC has announced that it will waive its usual penalties for late Self Assessment filing and payments for a month. This gives taxpayers extra time to complete their 2020 to 2021 tax returns and pay any tax due. The move is a response to the latest COVID-19 wave, which has impacted both businesses and accountants.

Despite this, more than 50% of taxpayers have already submitted their tax returns, ahead of the official deadline of 31 January 2022.

When do you need to file and pay by?

While the deadline to file and pay is still 31 January 2022, the penalty waivers mean that:

  • You won’t receive a late filing penalty as long as you file online by 28 February
  • You won’t receive a late payment penalty as long as you pay in full or set up a Time to Pay arrangement by 1 April – but you will start paying interest at a rate of 2.75% from 1 February.

A 5% late payment penalty will be charged if tax remains outstanding by midnight on 1 April 2022.

How does a Time to Pay arrangement work?

The Time to Pay service lets individuals or businesses spread tax payments over time. If you have under £30,000 of tax debt you can set this up online after filing your return.  

Since 5 April 2021, more than 30,000 taxpayers have used the Time to Pay service, managing tax totalling around £75 million.

Don’t forget to declare COVID-19 support

You must declare any grants or payments you have received from COVID-19 support schemes up to 5 April 2021 on your Self-Assessment, as these are taxable.

These include:

  • Self-Employment Income Support Scheme
  • Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
  • Eat Out to Help Out scheme

Other COVID-19 grants and support payments such as self-isolation payments and local authority grants.

Points to note

You can reduce your Payment on Account if you know your bill is going to be lower than the previous tax year – perhaps due to loss of earnings caused by COVID-19. Find out more about Reducing Payments on Account.

Self-employed taxpayers should ensure their annual Class 2 National Insurance contributions (NICs) are paid on time to make sure their claims are unaffected. Class 2 NICs are included in the 2020 to 2021 Balancing Payment due to be paid by 31 January 2022.  Your benefit entitlements may be affected if you:

  • can’t pay your Balancing Payment by 31 January 2022
  • have set up a Time to Pay arrangement to pay off the Balancing Payment in instalments

Filing facts

33,467 tax returns were filed on New Year’s Eve, and 14,231 on New Year’s Day.

12.2 million tax returns are due by the 2022 deadline. Of these, 6.5 million have already been filed.

Help with your tax returns

We help lots of small businesses by managing their tax returns for them. As small business accountants in the Lune Valley, we’re here to take the stress out of Self-Assessment, tax returns, accounting payroll services and much more. Contact us to find out how we can help.

It’s The Final Countdown… For Your Self Assessment Tax Return

The deadline for online tax returns for the 2020/2021 tax year is 31 January 2022.  But don’t wait until the last minute. If you haven’t completed Self Assessment and submitted your return yet, make time to do it as soon as possible.

Did you know that more than 63,000 people filed their tax return on 6 April 2021, the very first day of the tax year? There’s no need to wait until the deadline to get things in order, and the longer you leave it, the more stressful it can become.

Here are our top tips to make filing your tax return simple and stress-free.

1. Check that you need to file a return

There are lots of situations where you will be required to file a tax return, but the main ones are:

  • your total self-employment income was more than £1,000
  • your income from renting out property was more than £2,500
  • you earned more than £2,500 in untaxed income, for example from tips or commission
  • your income from savings or investments was £10,000 or more before tax
  • you’re a director of a company (unless it was a non-profit organisation, such as a charity)
  • you, or your partner’s, income was over £50,000 and you’re claiming Child Benefit
  • your taxable income was over £100,000
  • your State Pension was more than your personal allowance, and your only source of income
  • you received a P800 from HMRC saying you didn’t pay enough tax last year.

2. Find your UTR

The first thing you will need is your Unique Taxpayer Reference. Any customer who is new to Self-Assessment receives once they register via GOV.UK.

Check you can get into your Government Gateway account as soon as possible, to avoid a last-minute panic.

3. Get all your details together

Before you start your tax return, gather all the information you will need:

  • Your Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR)
  • Your National Insurance Number
  • Details of your income throughout the year
  • A list of your business expenses
  • Details of charity donations or pension payments that may be eligible for tax relief
  • P60 or other records of income that you have paid tax on.

This year you will also need details of grants or payments you received from COVID-19 support schemes up to 5 April 2021. These are taxable and include the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme, the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and other COVID-19 grants and support payments such as self-isolation payments, local authority grants and support for the Eat Out to Help Out scheme.

4. Find the right form

All Self-Assessments start with the S100 form, which asks you about taxed and untaxed income, pension contributions, charity donations and state benefits. You may also need to fill in additional forms depending on how your business is set up.

If you’re self-employed, you should also use:

form SA103S – the short version if your tax affairs are simple and your turnover was below the VAT threshold (£85,000) for the tax year

form SA103F – the full version – if your annual turnover was above the VAT threshold for the tax year

If you’re in a partnership, you should use:

form SA104S – the short version if you’re only declaring partnership trading income

form SA104F – the full version to record all the possible types of partnership income you might receive

5. Take a break if you need to

The tax return system allows you to save your progress to date, so if you need to stop completing the details for any reason, you don’t need to worry about all your work being lost.

6. Seek advice if you’re uncertain

If you’re unsure about whether something is an allowable expense, or have any other queries, it’s important to check. Either read through the guidance on the government site or get in touch with us for advice and support.

Remember that we can manage the Self Assessment process for you if you would rather not tackle it yourself!

7. Beware of fraud

HMRC urges everyone to be alert if they are contacted out of the blue by someone asking for money or personal information.

There are many fraudsters emailing, calling or texting people claiming to be from HMRC. If in doubt, don’t reply directly, but contact HMRC straight away. You can also find information on the government website.

Worried about Self-Assessment Tax Returns? We can help. As small business accountants in the Lune Vyalle, we’re here to support you with tax returns, accounting payroll services and much more. Get in touch today.

What Does The 2021 Autumn Budget Mean For You?

While many of us were poised for big news about tax increases to cover pandemic spending, the Autumn Budget was not as dramatic as anticipated.

Here’s a round up of the most important points for UK taxpayers and small business owners.

1. The National Living Wage (NLW) is increasing

From 01 April 2022 the NLW will increase to £9.50 per hour for employees aged 23 or over.

2. No change to rates of income tax

The basic rate of income tax will remain at 20% for income over £12,570 and higher rate tax stays at 40% above £50,270.   The 45% additional rate will continue to apply to income over £150,000.

These rates will be frozen until 2025/26.

Something to note here is that the freezing of the thresholds may mean that if your income keeps pace with inflation, you may move into a higher tax band and pay tax at a higher marginal rate.

3. No change to Pension Tax Relief

The annual limit for pension input stays at £40,000 – both for individual and employer contributions.

The lifetime pension allowance remains at £1,073,100. This is the maximum total value of your pensions to enjoy tax-free benefits. If you exceed this amount you may need to pay a tax charge.

Note too, that the National Minimum Pension Age will move from 55 to 57 from 6 April 2028. This will affect you if you were born on or after 6 April 1973.

4. Increase to National Insurance

Touted as a measure to support the NHS and social care, from 06 April 2022 employees and the self-employed will start paying National Insurance Contributions on earnings over £9,880 at the following rates:-

Employees          13.25%

Self-employed    10.25%

The Upper Limit is frozen in line with the income tax higher rate threshold.  The new 3.25% rate will apply to earnings or self-employed profits above £50,270.

Employer contributions at 15.05% will apply to earnings above £9,100 a year for 2022/23.

4. New Dividend Income Tax rates

From 06 April 2022 the first £2,000 of dividend income will remain tax-free. Beyond that, new dividend tax rates will apply as follows:-

Basic Rate Tax Payer: 8.75%

Higher Rate Tax Payer: 33.75%

Additional Rate Tax Payer: 39.35%

This increase is a way of making sure that people in small businesses who pay themselves a low salary and minimal national insurance, still contribute to the aforementioned health and social care levy.

5. Changes to Business Rates

Rishi Sunak announced a 50% discount on business rates up to a limit of £110,000 for the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors.

He also proposed an Online Sales Tax to balance out the advantage that online retailers have over their counterparts on the high street.  Further details on this will be confirmed at a later date.

6. More time to pay Capital Gains Tax

From October 2021, property owners now have 60 days to report and pay any capital gains tax due when selling residential property. 

With Business Asset Disposal Relief there remains a 10% rate of Capital Gains Tax on the first £1 million of lifetime gains.

7. Recovery loan scheme

The recovery loan scheme, originally due to end on 31 December 2021, has been extended by six months to 30 June 2022.

If you need funding to help you recover from the impact of the pandemic, this may help.

Need a bit more clarity about what the Budget means for you as an individual or as a small business owner? Just get in touch. As small business accountants in the Lune Valley, we provide tax advice, payroll services and much more. Contact us.

Making Tax Digital for Income Tax now delayed to 2024

… and what it will mean for Sole Traders and Landlords

The government’s ongoing programme to make the tax system fully digital has been delayed for 12 months. HMRC announced the delay in October in recognition of the impact that the pandemic has had on British businesses.

Making Tax Digital for Income Tax self assessment will now be introduced in the tax year beginning in April 2024.

Making self assessment digital will predominantly affect people who are Sole Traders and Landlords.

What will sole traders and landlords have to do?

From April 2024, individuals currently using self assessment for their income tax will need to use digital methods for their income tax accounting and reporting. This involves:

  • Registering for Making Tax Digital for Income Tax by 6 April 2024
  • Adopting an accounting software system that is compatible with Marking Tax Digital for Income Tax.
  • Providing HMRC with quarterly updates using your software.
  • Submitting an End of Period Statement by the end of January and a final declaration of all your income.
  • Paying the balance of any tax and National Insurance contributions due.

Does this affect all landlords and sole traders?

Landlords only need to follow the Making Tax Digital rules if the rent they receive is more than £10,000 per year..

It will not affect landlords who set up a limited company for their property business, as these will pay corporation tax. Making Tax Digital for corporation tax will not arrive until at least 2026.

On a similar note, Making Tax Digital will apply to any sole traders whose income is more than £10,000 per year. If you are under the £10,000 threshold you will be able to continue to file your tax return in the normal way.

Are there any exceptions?

There is an option to apply to be ‘digitally excluded’ if it is not practical or possible for you to use a compliant software system. This might be due to disability or a lack of cloud connectivity where your business is based. You will need to evidence your reasons to HMRC.

Is there a way to make this simpler?

If you don’t already have an accountant, now may be a good time to appoint one. We will recommend a suitable accounting system that is compatible with Making Tax Digital.

While you will need to input your income and expenses into the system, your accountant can work out your quarterly updates, End of Period Statement and final declaration. We will also make sure you keep to all the deadlines.

Although there is no rush to move to a cloud based system just yet, the sooner you get used to a new accounting system, the more confident you will feel by the time the new requirements become law.

We’re happy to talk you through Making Tax Digital and what’s involved. We’re accountants for Sole Traders and landlords across the Lune Valley area. We also manage payroll services and corporate accounts. Just get in touch!

How will the new 1.25% health and social care tax affect you?

Earlier this month, Boris Johnson announced a new health and social care tax to fund reforms to the care sector and NHS funding. It is set to raise £36bn for front line services over the next three years. 

The tax will begin as a 1.25% rise in National Insurance from April 2022. It will be paid by both employers and employees. From 2023 it will become a separate tax on earned income, calculated in the same way as National Insurance and appearing on an employee’s payslip. 

The Prime Minister also announced an equivalent increase to dividend tax to help cover social care costs.

What’s the purpose of the new tax?

The Prime Minister says that part of the £12bn a year will support the NHS to catch up on the backlog created by COVID-19, increasing hospital capacity for appointments, scans, and operations. The money will also go towards changes to the social care system. A new cap to care costs is to be introduced from October 2023. The maximum any individual will pay in care costs will be £86,000 over their lifetime.  

Everyone with assets worth less than £20,000 will then have their care fully covered by the state. People with between £20,000 and £100,000 in assets will see their care costs subsidised. 

What does the increase mean to working individuals?

As shown in the diagram below, taken from the BBC website, an individual earning £20,000 will now pay an additional £130 per year in National Insurance. Someone on a £50,000 salary will pay a further £505 per year.

What does it mean to employers?

Employers will need to re-budget to allow for these additional employer’s National Insurance costs. Note that existing reliefs on NICs, including the employment allowance, will also apply to the levy. 

Some options to consider include:

  • Exploring share option schemes rather than bonuses for higher earning employees.
  • Salary sacrifice as an even more efficient way of making pension contributions – this reduces the salary on which employer and employee NICs are paid.

What does it mean to shareholders?

The equivalent increase to Dividend Tax will mean a similar impact to limited company owners and savers.

To mitigate this increase, small business owners could declare increased Dividends before April 2022.

To discuss how this change could impact you or your business, get in touch with us today. 

Electric vehicles and tax – a look at the benefits

An electric car being charged on a leafy street

The switch to electric vehicles is well underway, which spells good news for CO2 reduction and pollution in the UK. There are now more than 260,000 electric cars and 535,000 hybrid models on our roads.

The UK government is actively promoting the purchase of electric vehicles as part of its commitment to reach Net Zero by 2050. It has already announced that new petrol and diesel cars will no longer be sold in the UK by 2030.

In addition, the government has introduced incentives for both businesses and individuals to adopt electric cars and commercial vehicles.

Plug In Grants

A government scheme allows individuals to buy low-emission vehicles with a plug-in grant. The grant covers up to 35% of the purchase price for various vehicles, up to a maximum of £2,500. A list of the vehicles involved is available on this page. The grant is automatically applied to the purchase price when you visit a car dealer.

Vehicle tax breaks

Vehicle Excise Duty is calculated based on CO2 emissions, which makes electric vehicles exempt as they produce zero CO2.

For plug-in hybrid vehicles, owners pay tax in line with the level of CO2 produced – all the details are listed on the government website.

Electric vehicles are currently exempt from the additional £335 in vehicle tax for cars with a list price exceeding £40,000.

Company car tax breaks

A well-known drawback to company cars is that they often create more personal tax liability than they save in corporation tax. Employees who have company cars pay tax on company benefits (Benefit in Kind) of up to 37%.

But if the employee uses a purely electric company car, the Benefit in Kind rate is set at 1% in 2021/22, rising to 2% in 2022/23. This tax rate offers major savings compared with standard vehicles. To calculate your company car/fuel benefit, visit the HMRC website.

Electric Vans

There is also a 1% Benefit in Kind charge for employees who drive fully electric vans and use them privately. The road tax on electric vans is zero.

If you’re looking into electric vans, tread carefully, as not all ‘vans’ qualify as such. Make sure that the vehicle you choose is eligible for tax breaks.

Benefits when driving in Central London

Electric vehicles are an attractive option for those who regularly drive in London, as zero-emission vehicles that meet specific criteria gain a 100% discount on the Congestion Charge. Clean Air zones are also in place in Bath, Birmingham and, from late 2021, Portsmouth. Some London boroughs free parking or discounted parking for electric vehicles.

To discuss ways you can benefit from tax cuts on electric vehicles, get in touch. Our accountancy services in the Lune Valley include personal and business tax planning. We’re trusted accountants for small businesses and individuals, and will be pleased to advise you.

Corporation Tax explained… and what is the Super Deduction?

All limited companies pay Corporation Tax on an annual basis. How does it work, and how will the new Super Deduction offer benefits for UK businesses?

What is Corporation Tax?

Corporation tax is paid by UK limited companies and is based on annual profits. Certain expenses can be deducted, and various allowances can help reduce your tax liability.

Corporation tax applies to:

  • Trading profits – the earnings from doing business
  • Investments
  • Selling assets such as land, property, shares, and machinery

Who pays corporation tax?

Corporation tax is paid by all UK limited companies, but not Sole Traders and partnerships. These fill out a tax return and apply income tax to their earnings. Some non-limited organisations do pay Corporation Tax, such as charities and associations.

How much is corporation tax in the UK?

The main rate is set at 19% for all business profits and will remain at this level until 2023.

From April 2023, if your taxable profits are above £250,000 then corporation tax will be payable at 25%. If your profits are £50,000 or less, they will remain at 19%. For profits between these limits, you’ll pay a marginal rate of effectively 26.5% – but with the benefit of marginal relief.

When does corporation tax have to be paid?

Your corporation tax is paid annually, before you file your company tax return. The date it is due therefore depends on your corporation tax accounting period.  

You must settle your corporation tax bill nine months and one day after the end of your accounting period from the previous financial year.

Corporation Tax Relief – Expenses

There are various business expenses that you can deduct from your company’s income before calculating the annual profit on which you will be taxed.

These include things like marketing costs, insurance, equipment, training, travel and pensions.

Corporation Tax Relief – The Super Deduction

In the Budget 2021, the Chancellor announced the Super Deduction, a new tax allowance to support business investment.

It was announced as ‘the biggest business tax cut in modern British history’. It is certainly a generous allowance, where a company can claim back 25p for every £1 invested in qualifying machinery and equipment.

It’s only a temporary measure, though, available from 1st April 2021 until 31 March 2023. If you are planning to invest in your business, it is worth prioritising these investments to take advantage of this new allowance.

How do I work out the Super Deduction?

Companies generally claim for assets at 100% of their value to get tax relief. So, with Corporation Tax at 19%, the tax relief on an asset worth £10,000 is 19% of its full value – or £1,900.

But the super deduction allows you to claim relief on 130% of the asset’s value. So, the tax relief of an asset worth £10,000 would be calculated on 130% of its value. From a tax perspective your asset is now worth £13,000, and you get tax relief of £2,470 (19% of £13,000 is £2,470).

The headline figure of 25p per £1 comes from the fact that 19% of 130% of an asset’s value is roughly the same as 25% of 100% of its value.

Who is eligible for the super-deduction?

Any business that pays Corporation Tax is eligible for the super-deduction. It’s seen as particularly appealing to companies in the manufacturing, farming and construction industries.

What qualifies as plant and machinery?

HMRC haven’t released a formal definition of the assets covered by the Super Deduction. But as most tangible assets for a business are considered ‘plant and machinery’ from a tax point of view, qualifying assets generally include:

  • IT equipment and servers
  • Office chairs and desks
  • Tractors, lorries, vans
  • Ladders, tools
  • Electric vehicle charge points
  • Cranes
  • Refrigeration units
  • Compressors

What assets don’t qualify?

You can’t claim for cars, shares, or residential property. You can only claim on assets purchased as part of a property if you buy the property brand new, direct from the developer.

You must not have entered the contract to purchase any asset before 31 March 2021.

Are second-hand or buy-to-rent assets included?

No – the Super Deduction only applies to new plant and machinery, and you cannot use it for equipment you’re planning to rent out.

HMRC has confirmed that the Super-Deduction can be used on equipment purchased via hire purchase finance, as long as you are given ownership of the assets under the agreement.

Does the Super Deduction help address the planned Corporation Tax rise?

The Super Deduction is essentially an incentive for businesses to invest in equipment, which in turn will help boost the economy.

Businesses that take advantage of the super deduction will essentially be able to get tax relief at the future 25% rate early, as shown in the table below.

With the super-deduction, before Corporation Tax increasesWithout the super-deduction, after Corporation Tax increases
Asset value£10,000£10,000
Claiming tax relief on130% of the assets value = £13,000100% of the assets value = £10,000
Corporation Tax19%25%
Corporation Tax relief19% of £13,000 = £2,47025% of £10,000 = £2,500

How to get corporate tax advice

Corporate tax planning can be complex, especially if you’re a small business owner without an extensive finance team. Here at Wootton Co in the Lune Valley, we’re highly experienced in providing corporation tax services as business accountants. Let us help you explore how you can plan business investments to take full advantage of the Super Deduction and other tax allowances. Contact us.