Tax tips for Family Businesses

Family Businesses

Find out how family businesses can reduce their tax burden with some practical forward thinking

Owners and managers of family-owned businesses rightfully spend the vast majority of their time ensuring that the business runs well and generates profits. In the midst of such a demanding task, it can be easy to overlook some tax considerations that can potentially be significant.

The topic of tax in the context of family-owned businesses is a large one – however, there are a few key considerations to bear in mind:

Sections


How is your business set up?

Most family-owned businesses are set up as companies, but some do run as partnerships. These two structures differ in terms of tax, and it is worthwhile for business owners to consider which structure could be most beneficial for their business.

Companies may pay lower rates of tax initially, but further tax (including National Insurance Contributions in the case of salary/bonuses) is often due when higher profits are extracted. Partnerships however are tax transparent, so profits are taxed as they arise, even if they are not extracted (but are taxed only once). It is generally easier to convert a partnership into a company than the other way around.


How are you extracting funds?

The business has a choice, broadly speaking, of paying dividends or paying salary/ bonuses. However, recent legislation has attempted to narrow the tax difference between companies and sole trader/partnerships.


Dividends

The Finance Bill 2016, published on 24 March 2016, contains the new rules for dividends.

Summary:

  • From 6 April 2016, the notional 10% tax credit on dividends will be abolished
  • A £5,000 tax free dividend allowance will be introduced
  • Dividends above this level will be taxed at 7.5% (basic rate), 32.5% (higher rate), and 38.1% (additional rate)
  • Dividends received by pensions and ISAs will be unaffected
  • Dividend income will be treated as the top band of income
  • Individuals who are basic rate payers who receive dividends of more than £5,001 will need to complete self assessment returns from 6 April 2016
  • The change is expected to have little impact upon non-UK residents

Impact

The proposed changes raise revenue despite the so-called “triple lock” on income tax. Perhaps aimed to tax small companies who pay a small salary designed to preserve entitlement to the State Pension, followed by a much larger dividend payment in order to reduce National Insurance costs. It appears that the government is anti-small companies, preferring workers to be self-employed.

These changes will affect anyone in receipt of dividends: most taxpayers will be paying tax at an extra 7.5% p.a. Although the first £5,000 of any dividend is tax free, in 2016/17:

  • Upper rate taxpayers will pay tax at 38.1% instead of an effective rate of 30.55% in 2015/16
  • Higher rate taxpayers will pay tax at 32.5% instead of an effective rate of 25% in 2015/16
  • Basic rate taxpayers will pay tax at 7.5% instead of 0% in 2015/16

This measure will have a very harsh effect on those who work with spouses in very small family companies. For example, a couple splitting income of £100,000 p.a. could be over £5,000 p.a. worse off.

Businesses should therefore consider these tax issues when using either of these methods to extract funds.

There can be benefits in various family members being involved in the business, particularly if they, for example, perform smaller roles and are not paying taxes at the higher rates. Care is always required here to ensure that any salaries are commensurate with the job performed.

There can also be complexities in giving away shares to spouses to enable them to capture dividends at the lower rates.


How are you incentivising your staff?

Clearly, the retention of key staff is of critical consideration for businesses of any size. With cash flows being restricted in these difficult times, consideration can usually be given to granting share options to employees. Certain tax-approved options schemes (such as Enterprise Management Incentives) are potentially very tax-efficient and a good incentive for key workers.


Are you thinking of an exit?

It is never too early to contemplate what would happen if the business were sold. The headline rate of capital gains tax is not good as it once was but there are potentially reliefs available which may minimise the tax burden on exit. With the right structuring, valuable relief can potentially be opened up to various family members through tax planning.


Tax Planning with pensions

Pensions are all the rage now, given the recent changes.

In certain instances, an appropriate pension plan for a family-owned business can lead to substantial tax efficiencies. Also the use of SIPPs and SASSs can be used a valuable tax planning tool to extract funds from otherwise taxable business profits.


What about the next generation?

Succession planning is a key strategic matter for any family-owned business. Where the business is a trading concern, it is often possible (depending on the particular circumstances) to give away shares without adverse tax consequences.

But care is required here to avoid certain pitfalls that can exist if even a few investment assets are located somewhere within the business.

It may also be the case that a trading business qualifies for inheritance tax relief (under the business property relief regime); therefore, founders may not be worried about inheritance tax now. If the business is sold however, this relief will be lost, potentially generating a significant inheritance tax bill in the future. Fortunately, planning options do exist here, such as transferring the business into a trust before an exit.

Needless to say, the above gives only a taste of some of the relevant tax considerations where family-owned businesses are concerned. The important point is to remember the significant impact that tax can make, and to take advice early and regularly.

Latest news & blogs…

Super-deduction for tax – the basics you need to know

Family Business Shipleys Tax Advisors

THE GOVERNMENT’S ‘Super-deduction’ tax relief hopes to boost business investment and productivity.

In today’s Shipleys Tax brief we look at the basics of this new temporary deduction regime and why timing and good record-keeping are essential for businesses to take full advantage.

What is the 130% super-deduction?

From 1 April 2021 to 31 March 2023 expenditure on qualifying on “new and unused” plant and machinery will get an enhanced temporary 130% “first-year allowance” for main rate assets, and a 50% first-year allowance for special rate assets. This means for the 130% tax deduction every £1 spend on qualifying items will get you 25p off your corporation tax bill.

What are the conditions?

  • Only plant and machinery qualifying as “main pool” expenditure will be eligible for the 130% super-deduction.  Other plant and machinery qualifying as special rate pool expenditure will be eligible for the 50% “Special Rate” allowance.
  • These new allowances are only available to companies subject to corporation tax (not individuals, partnerships or LLPs) and only where the contract for the plant and machinery (including fixtures installed under a construction contract) was entered into after 3 March 2021.
  • These allowances are uncapped and are in addition to the Annual Investment Allowance (‘AIA’) which is still also available to businesses and groups until 31 December 2021.
  • Second-hand assets, even if expenditure is incurred after 1 April 2021, will be excluded.
  • Plant and machinery expenditure which is incurred under a Hire Purchase or similar contract must meet additional conditions to qualify for the super-deduction and special rate relief.
  • These new allowances do not apply to expenditure on long life assets, cars or for plant and machinery acquired for leasing, including plant and machinery leased with property.
  • Companies using finance/hire-purchase type arrangements to invest in plant and machinery would be able to access the super-deduction, provided payments are being made to acquire the asset and there is an expectation that legal ownership will pass at some point to the lessee on it exercising an option or another event occurring. 
  • Software developed in-house that has been treated as an intangible fixed asset in the accounts could potentially qualify.

What should you do?

The new allowances could provide a big cash flow incentive for investment, if claimed correctly. Given the limited lifespan of the tax break and the timings involved in decisions on expenditure on plant and machinery, businesses should start planning now. If you’re thinking of making any investments in plant and machinery, think about bringing it forward or delaying until after 1 April 2021 to take advantage of this regime.

If you are affected by any of the issues above and would like more information, please call 0114 272 4984 or email info@shipleystax.com.

Please note that Shipleys Tax do not give free advice by email or telephone.

BUDGET 2021: KEY HIGHLIGHTS

Family Business Shipleys Tax Advisors

AS THE ROLL out of the vaccine continues apace, UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak held back on the promised heavy taxation changes but instead opted for a light touch.

In today’s Shipleys Tax note we look at the highlights and what it means for you.

At a glance Budget 2021 announcements:

  • Furlough extended until September 2021 and extra Self Employment Support grants made available with potentially more qualifying.
  • Personal Allowance frozen for 5 years – this means that for tax years ended 5 April 2022 until 5 April 2026, you will be able to have an annual income of £12,570 before paying any tax, and you will be taxed at the higher 40% rate (32.5% for dividends) once your income exceeds £50,270. This will effectively push more and people into the higher tax rates as earnings increase.
  • Corporation tax increase from 19% to 25% – the 25% rate will apply to companies whose profits are above £250,000. Where a company’s profits falls between £50,000 and £250,000, a (complex) tapering calculation will apply, thereby allowing companies to grow gradually without paying at the top rate.
  • 2 Year “Super Tax Deduction” on business investments – a new “super deduction” of 130% of capital expenditure on new qualifying plant and machinery will apply from 1 April 2021 to 31 March 2023 (when the 25% rate of CT starts). The 130% deduction applies to business assets which would be eligible for the main capital allowances. Businesses which are able to invest heavily in plant and machinery within the next two years will benefit from the business tax cut before the increased corporation tax rate of 25% kicks in. 
  • Extension of losses being carried back against tax – many companies will have made losses during the Covid-19 pandemic, therefore relief is provided for loss-making business to carry back losses by up to 3 years for up to £2m of losses per group in each of the financial years 2020/21 and 2021/22.  This £2m cap applies only to the extended carry back, so there is no change to the unlimited carry back of losses to the previous 12 month accounting period. 
  • Stamp Duty holiday extended – the current Stamp Duty nil rate band of £500,000 for residential property acquisitions in England and Northern Ireland will be extended from 31 March to 30 June 2021, with a reduced nil rate band of £250,000 for acquisitions between 1 July and 30 September, after which it will revert to £125,000.
  • Restart grants – https://www.shipleystax.com/2021/03/restart-new-grants-for-small-businesses/
  • VAT 5% extended for 6 months then 12.5% thereafter – an extension to the temporary 5% rate of VAT until 30 September 2021. A new reduced rate of VAT of 12.5% will then be introduced from 1 October 2021 until 31 March 2022 after which the standard rate of VAT (20%) will apply
  • Freeports – eight new freeport sites have been announced. Expenditure within designated freeports will attract the following reliefs:
  1. Enhanced Structures and Building Allowances at 10% for buildings brought into use by 30 September 2026;
  2. 100% enhanced capital allowances for companies incurring qualifying expenditure on plant and machinery within Freeport sites until 30 September 2026.

If you are affected by any of the issues above and would like more information, please call 0114 272 4984 or email info@shipleystax.com.

Please note that Shipleys Tax do not give free advice by email or telephone.

RESTART – New grants for small businesses

Family Business Shipleys Tax Advisors

IN THE BUDGET 2021 the Chancellor will unveil £5bn support package to help small businesses stay afloat until restrictions are lifted.

Under the scheme it is thought that non-essential retail businesses will be able to apply for grants of up to £6,000; while pubs, restaurants, hotels and leisure businesses will be able to apply for grants up to the full amount of £18,000.

Where can you get your Restart Grant?

The Restart Grant scheme, administered by local councils, will help most small business owners including those running shops, pubs, clubs, hotels restaurants, gyms and hair salons.

Non-essential retail businesses will get up to £6,000 per premises through the Restart Grant scheme to help them reopen. Shops will reopen no earlier than April 12, according to the Government’s Covid-19 roadmap.

More Restart Grant money will be available for any small business in hospitality, accommodation, leisure, personal care and gyms, which will reopen later and will be more affected by restrictions. They can receive up to £18,000, depending on their rateable value.

The Restart Grant scheme will replace the monthly Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed) and Local Restrictions Support Grant (Open), which will both close at the end of March.

If you are affected by any of the issues above and would like more information, please call 0114 272 4984 or email info@shipleystax.com.

Please note that Shipleys Tax do not give free advice by email or telephone.

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