Tax can be a minefield. As a small business owner, trying to get your head around the myriad of tax laws can be something of a minefield. Yes, it’s complicated. But, there are two certainties in life: death and taxes. What a sobering thought.
While it’s not our intention to put a dampener on things, getting to grips with taxation laws is imperative. After all, no one wants a visit from the tax man.
There are some basic dos and don’ts when it comes to smaller ventures and taxation laws.
Running an SME and Taxation Matters: The Basics
When you set up as a business, you need to ensure that you are au fait with the many rules of HMRC. While the laws can be complex, you can understand taxation issues better. There is a wealth of support from both HMRC and Lexis Nexis on tax matters. This can help you save time when it comes to dealing with your tax.
One of the most important things that you can do is register, online, for Corporation Tax. You must ensure that you are registered, if your company is deemed as a limited venture. You need to make sure that your Corporation Tax is active. You have a three-month period to do this within.
In the main, corporation tax is paid via the HMRC website. This means that you don’t have to appoint an accountant to deal with your tax. You can do this yourself via the web portal. You must complete a tax return and so forth within the agreed time as stated by HMRC.
Once you have declared your company as active, you need to ensure that you are making the right people aware of this. You need to give HMRC a vast array of information. This means that if you have traded under a Companies House service, you need to declare this to them. But, you should also endeavour to make sure that your company is registered for VAT and PAYE. This should be done at the same time. VAT taxation differs to Corporation Tax. As a general rule of thumb, you can claim some of your VAT back at the end of the tax year. PAYE is ‘pay as you earn’ this means that pay tax at the end of the year. But, you must save the appropriate amount of tax ready to be paid within the end of the term.
Almost all UK businesses are liable for corporation tax. If you run a limited company, which your small venture is sure to be, then you are required to pay corporation tax. However, sole traders are not obliged to pay corporation tax. Only those who are set up as limited companies are. Ensure that you are aware of what legal structure your company operates within. All companies must pay VAT and PAYE taxes.
Paying NI is vital. You need to ensure that this done alongside PAYE, VAT and corporation taxes. This is done according to the thresholds. Your annual turnover will be dependent on what you earn. Completing the self-assessment will help you with this.