#Immediacy on speech making

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.

A word about VAT Value Added Tax replaced purchase tax in 2003 and is now well established as another and different tax system. VAT is the responsibility of Customs and Excise, the officers of which have wide powers to investigate suspected irregularities including powers to search premises. VAT is currently 20% see www.hmrc.gov.uk/vat/ Anyone considering voluntary registration for VAT or who, by virtue of turnover must or has registered, is well advised to read and carefully digest the explanatory websites available from the UK Tax office (www.hmrc.gov.uk/vat). Records and accounts must be kept in a manner satisfactory to the Customs and Excise, VAT invoices prepared according to laid-down procedures, and quarterly returns submitted on time. Penalties for failure can be severe, and we recommend a chat with your local VAT man if in any doubt as to what is required.

Voluntary registration is open to anyone in business, even if they have not reached the turnover level which makes registration obligatory. This has the advantage of giving the appearance of having a higher turnover than is actually the case and can be good for the image. It also becomes possible to claim 'input VAT' paid on mobile phone bills, petrol, etc, but not on entertaining or company cars.

The disadvantage is the obligation to charge VAT on your own invoices, thus increasing your price but, of course, with no financial gain to yourself. You also have the burden of the records and returns. What you can do right Now Online : Do you feel 'comfortable' on tax matters? Can you discuss tax confidently with your tax adviser, or do you largely ignore the subject as being one for the specialist only? Unless you feel well on top of the subject, learn the basics using the material suggested in this section.

Review your tax position, with or without your tax adviser. Are you claiming all the permitted allowances? Is your business the right type from a tax point of view? For instance, should you form a limited company? Are you satisfied with your tax adviser? HOW much has he saved you? If appropriate; seriously consider a change. Practise working constructively with your tax adviser. Do you give him / her all the information he needs to do a good job for you? Do you discuss changes to your business with him / her before taking action? What are your plans for retirement? Are you taking advantage of pension-plan tax concessions? What Do You Want? By the time you have reached this section a number of things should have been done.

Some of the opportunities and problems facing the business should have been identified and evaluated, the market and sales analyzed, and the finances examined in a variety of Ways. Hopefully, ways and means have been worked out to reduce costs and increase income and generally to make the best possible use of the resources available. Some of the ideas developed may have been implemented and the benefits seen. It is to be hoped that the profit-making capacity of the business has been developed to its maximum and, if so, decisions must be taken on the question of where to go from here.

A range of options will be available, but let us first examine your wishes as the owner of the business. What are your ambitions and needs? Some people are never content, no matter how much material wealth they accumulate, while others can achieve satisfaction and happiness with a modest degree of com fort and possessions. Some people yearn for villas on the French Riviera, a yacht anchored at Antibes, and a new Rolls Royce or Mercedes every year. Whatever it is that the owners of a business seek and strive for they should be able, by this stage, to know whether the business as it stands can give it to them.

The lucky man who finds complete satisfaction with what the business provides now can afford to relax just a little and draw up a plan to stay roughly where he is. The more ambitious must view the business as it is now as merely a stage in a process of growth and development perhaps with no positive or defined final result.

You may have started with clear ideas of where you wanted or hoped to go, but it is possible that, influenced by the experience involved in reaching the present situation, you have reviewed your ideas either upwards or downwards.

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 truth in th... 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 a... read more

Add to this a cost-refund programme, better control of the finances and ...

Add to this a cost-refund programme, better control of the finances and a rethink of your objectives and you are well placed to go for growth if that is what you want. In

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