#Immediacy on speech making

This may be all very well, but you are paying for it ...

This may be all very well, but you are paying for it and any resulting savings may be less than the cost of achieving them. If there is a point to be made with the inspector, it is sometimes better to ignore any past happenings and to aim to get things right in the next financial year Make sure also that your adviser tells you of any query that he receives from the tax inspector regarding your accounts, and that you understand what is going on Anything agreed between the inspector and the adviser is likely to have long-term effects, and you should be in a position to approve or disapprove. in advance. All of this adds up to you being in command of the situation, using the knowledge you have gained.

On the other hand, you must be absolutely fair to your tax adviser by giving him / her all the information he needs or is likely to need and, above all, being scrupulously honest with him / her. Tell him / her =what you are doing and what your objectives are, but don't be too dogmatic. Allow him / her room to advise you, rather than just complete your tax return, and once you are satisfied that he knows his stuff, show respect for his professional skills by letting him / her use them. Working together is the best method of finding ways to minimize your taxes.

Having achieved a good and effective relationship with your tax adviser you can, once again using your own acquired knowledge of the tax scene, plan your future in a more effective way. Future developments and tax In addition to the taxation involved in your regular business operations, there will be tax implications in every change you make. Should you decide to expand the business by acquisition, buy or rent an additional building, stockpile a raw material- of whatever, .the tax angle must be checked. In other words, your future plans must be checked out in terms of tax and any appropriate adjustments made.

Among the possible changes that you might be considering are the following. These could well have tax aspects which, when rooted out, might make all the difference between a 'go' or 'no go' decision: • Factoring your debts; • Purchase of capital items; • Leasing; • Raising finance; • Exporting; • New products.

As an example, suppose you were considering increasing your discount for prompt payment as a result of a cash-flow problem. You might then compare the cost of this i.e. the lost income with the after-tax interest costs of a loan to tide you over. Alternatively, you may be thinking about acquiring a small office building an asset which will probably increase in value over the years but which is not likely to qualify for capital allowances.

It may be possible to borrow the money personally from a bank or finance house and rent the building to the company. The loan interest can then be deducted from your personal rental income when calculating your personal tax note. Providing for retirement It may seem odd to include planning for your retirement in a section dealing with minimizing taxes.

In fact the two are closely linked, as there is a substantial tax incentive in providing yourself with a pension. This tax incentive has been with us for many years through successive governments and, although it was under attack in 2012, looks as though it will survive for some time yet hopefully indefinitely.

Before considering a pension plan it is necessary to decide what you wish to do with the business when you reach the end of your working days. Some businesses, such as one7person consultancies, will have virtually no sale value on the departure of the proprietor, and for such people a pension plan is probably essential.

The owner of a business with a sale value by virtue of assets and 'goodwill' has at least two other options: The business can be sold and the proceeds invested to provide a retirement income, eg by means of an annuity; The business can be 'kept in the family' with the original owner retaining a share and living on the dividends or a 'consultancy fee'. There are personal taxation angles to be considered carefully in respect of these options but, assuming that you decide on a pension, then the business taxation incentive can be exploited. The incentive lies in the fact that any money paid into an approved pension scheme is, within limits, allowed as a deductible expense. In addition, when the pension is eventually paid to you, part of it will be regarded as repayment of capital and will be free of tax.

Simply saving money to buy an annuity does not attract these tax benefits, and even if you invest the savings as you go along you will not do as well at the end of the day. An alternative to be looked at if you own a company, as opposed to being a sole proprietor or partner, is to set up a self-administered pension fund so that the company makes pension contributions for the directors. There are many schemes available and regularly advertised and, in addition to comparing one with another, it is strongly recommended that qualified professional advice is obtained before making a decision.

A solicitor can advise on this matter, and in view of the ...

A solicitor can advise on this matter, and in view of the potential tax saving, it is well worth the fee.

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Whatever the case, now is the time to do some self-questioning. Further ...

Whatever the case, now is the time to do some self-questioning. Further expansion is unlikely to be any less demanding of time, worry and sweat, and there is also some t... read more

An objective such as, 'To expand the business on the retail side ...

An objective such as, 'To expand the business on the retail side to obtain 50 per cent of the sales in the Manchester area by 2015 while maintaining gross profit at a minimum of 8