The 2023/24 tax year ends on 5th April 2024, so now is a good time for you to check that you’re not going to pay more tax than necessary this year and next year.

save tax
Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash


  • No changes to main tax and NIC allowances and thresholds.
  • Employee NIC reduced from 12% to 10% in January 2024 and reduces again to 8%.
  • Self employed NIC reduces from 9% to 6%
  • The tax-free dividend allowance reduces from £1,000pa to £500pa
  • The annual capital gains allowance reduces from £6,000 to £3,000
  • Self employed Class 2 NIC contributions will only be voluntary.
  • Directors should continue to take a salary of between £9,100 and £12,570, plus dividends.

Below are some suggestions to consider first for directors/shareholders only, then for everyone.


Background information

As a recap, it’s important to remember that your company is a completely separate entity from you. A company pays tax on its profits. You pay tax on the wages and dividends received from a company. However, the way you take money from your company may affect the company’s tax, so it is important to consider all taxes when you decide how to pay yourself. A company usually pays a salary to directors, and has the option of paying out its profit (as dividends) to its shareholders. Your company’s taxable profit includes a deduction for salaries and expenses but not for dividends. So a salary will reduce corporation tax but dividends don’t affect it.

Your company will pay corporation tax on the profit it makes in its accounting year, which is usually different to the tax year. The corporation tax rate is currently 19% and will remain at 19% for companies with annual taxable profits of £50,000 or less. Companies with annual taxable profits of over £250,000 will pay tax at 25% from April 2024. Companies between these thresholds will pay a tapered rate between 19% and 25%. These thresholds are divided by the number of associated companies. A company is associated with another company if they are both owned 50% or more by the same person, or the same group of people – read more.

You will pay income tax on your total income in the tax year, including any salary and dividends taken from your company, but not on expenses or loans. See below for the various tax bands and rates.

Even if your corporation tax rate increases to 25%, the most tax-efficient way to take money from your company is still with a small salary and then dividends. That’s because the income tax (20% then 40%), employees NIC  (10% or 8% then 2%), employers NIC (13.8%) minus corporation tax relief (19-25%) is still more than the tax on dividends (8.75% then 33.75%). Even in the higher rate band when the employees NIC drops to 2%, it’s not enough to claw back the savings made in the basic rate band.

What to do this month

Check that you’ve received trivial benefits from the company of up to £50, up to 6 times per tax year for directors. Trivial benefits can be gifts or vouchers but not cash. The cost of each trivial benefit must not exceed £50.

On or before 5th April make sure you’ve used up your tax-free personal allowance of £12,570 with salary/earnings/dividends.

Last year we advised a salary of between £9,100 and £12,570, depending on whether your company is profitable and whether you would benefit from the Employment Allowance. If you have sufficient profit reserves in the company, you should also pay yourself dividends covering:

  1. Any remaining personal allowance after your salary (£12,570 minus your salary);
  2. Your tax-free dividend allowance of £1,000, then;
  3. Your remaining basic rate band of up to £36,700, taxed at 8.75% (above this dividends are taxed at at least 33.75%).

It’s best to have a similar amount of total income from year to year, rather than not using up your basic rate band one year, then going into your higher rate band in the other year. You will save tax of about £9k by declaring total dividends of £35k this year and £35k next year, instead of none this year and £70k next year.

Any extra salary and dividends don’t have to be paid – they can be credited to your directors loan account to draw out tax-free at a later date, or to repay what you’ve already taken out.

The company must have net profit reserves remaining after any dividends are declared. You must approve the dividend and pay or credit the dividend by 5th April for it to be taxed in the current tax year. As always, you must also prepare the meeting minutes and dividend voucher to support the dividend.

The Changes

The main changes on 6th April 2024 are that:

  • the dividend allowance reduces from £1,000 to £500
  • National insurance rates for employees reduce a further 2% (4% since this time last year), however you will still pay less tax taking a small salary plus dividends.

What to do from next month

Our general advice on extracting funds from your own company is set out below. However, due to the numerous scenarios, which could also change during the year, we may advise you differently on an individual basis.

From 6th April 2024, our advice is that each director/shareholder should take money from the company in the following order:

  1. If the company is not profitable or if you have other income:
    • Salary of £9,100pa or £758pcm, tax-free
  2. If the company is profitable or the employers NIC on your salary is covered by the Employment Allowance:
    • Additional salary of £3,470pa (£12,570pa or £1,047.50pcm)
  3. Stop here if the company does not have sufficient profit reserves to pay dividends
  4. Dividends of £500, tax-free
  5. Dividends of £37,200, taxed at 8.75%
  6. Dividends of £49,730, taxed at 33.75%
  7. The next £25,140 of dividends are taxed at 60% (see ‘Avoid’ sections below)
  8. The remaining dividends are taxed at 39.35%

This assumes you have no other income and there are sufficient profit reserves in the company to take dividends. Profit reserves are the net profits/losses since the company started, less dividends since the company started. The relevant amounts can be found on the company’s balance sheet within the capital and reserves section.


Use up Income Tax allowances

To recap, everyone has a tax-free personal allowance. Income above that is taxed at different rates depending on the type of income it is and which band of your income (tax band) that income falls into. Earned income, such as a salary or self-employed profit, uses up your tax bands before investment income, such as interest and dividends. So if you have a £50,270 salary and £40,000 dividends, all of the salary exceeding your personal allowance uses up your basic (lower) rate band so will all be taxed at the basic (lower) rate of income tax  (except the first £12,570 which is tax-free). Consequently, all of the dividends fall into your higher rate band so will all be taxed at the higher tax rate for dividends (except the first £1,000 or £500 which is tax-free).

Unused personal allowances and tax bands are not available to be carried forward, so it is important to check that you are using them efficiently each year. If it’s possible to increase or decrease your income, it’s best to use up the lower rate bands and avoid the higher rate bands. Some tax planning can achieve this, such as changing ownership of assets (e.g. transferring shares of a company and therefore the amount of dividends paid out), or changing employment income or dividends. The bands and rates for Scottish residents are here, and for everyone else in the UK are currently as follows:

  • £0 – £12,570 Personal allowance
  • £12,571 – £50,270 Basic rate band
  • £50,271 – £125,140 Higher rate band
  • Over £125,140 Additional rate 

Other allowances and bands to consider:

  • £1,000 (reducing to £500 for 2024/25) tax-free dividend allowance per person per tax year. This still counts as income so also uses up your tax bands.
  • £50,000 – £60,000 for 2023/24: child benefit repaid – see Avoid over £50k below.
  • £60,000 – £80,000 for 2024/25: child benefit repaid – see Avoid over £50k below.
  • £100,000 – £125,140: personal allowance withdrawn – see Avoid over £100k below.

The different tax rates for Income and Dividends are as follows:

from 2022/23from 2022/23
Basic rate20%8.75%
Higher rate40%33.75%
Additional rate45%39.35%

Use up National Insurance allowances

National Insurance (NI) is payable by employers, employees, and the self-employed. Each of whom have different bands and rates to consider. As with income tax above, it’s best to use up lower bands and avoid higher bands. You need to have a salary or self-employed profits that exceed the lower earnings limit for the tax year, or voluntarily pay sufficient NI in the tax year, for it to be a qualifying year for your state pension. You need 35 qualifying years for a full state pension. If self-employed profits exceed the main threshold (was the lower earnings limit), a fixed amount of NI is payable at £179.40pafor 2023/24, but this will only be for voluntary payments from April 2024. Credits for the state pension will still be gained if profits exceed the lower earnings limit.

Below are the national insurance thresholds and rates for the 2022/23 and 2023/24 tax years. During 2022/23 the NIC rates were increased, then the NIC thresholds were increased, then the NIC rates were reduced! So there are slightly higher thresholds and slightly different rates of NIC as originally advised this time last year.

Lower earnings limit£6,725£6,725£6,396£6,396n/an/a
Main threshold£12,570£12,570£12,570£12,570£9,100£9,100
Main rate6%9%8%12%/10%13.8%13.8%
Upper limit£50,270£50,270£50,270£50,270n/an/a
Upper rate2%2%2%2%13.8%13.8%

Check your National Insurance history now

As mentioned above, for a full state pension you need 35 qualifying years of employment or credits. You can check how many qualifying years you have on your personal HMRC online account. If it looks like you will fall short before your statutory retirement age, you may be able to make voluntary NI contributions to add missing years if they are recent enough. From 6th April 2025 the rules are restricted so you can only top up any missing years from just the previous 6 years. See here for more details.

Avoid earning over £50k
You pay higher tax rates on income over £50,270 (£43,663 in Scotland). So if your total income is around this level and you are able to control it, try to avoid going over this threshold. For example, your lower tax rate paying spouse could receive some dividends instead of those dividends taking you into the higher tax rates.

Child Benefit

The High Income Child Benefit Charge (HICBC) means that any child benefit received needs to be partly paid back if a parent’s income exceeds a lower HICBC threshold which is £50,000 for 2023/24, and £60,000 from 2024/25. Child benefit needs to be fully repaid if a parent’s income exceeds a higher HICBC threshold of £60,000 for 2023/24 and £80,000 for 2024/25. So if one parent or the other receives child benefit, and if one parent or the other has an income over the lower HICBC threshold, the higher earner will need to repay at least some of the child benefit.

A proportion of the child benefit is repaid if his/her income is between the thresholds. This can result in marginal tax rates of 60% for 2 children and over 70% for 4 children (i.e. your tax bill increases by 60p or 70p for every £1 your income increases between the thresholds). If the repayment can’t be avoided, consider stopping the child benefit, as this may spare any need to file a tax return.

To calculate the amount of child benefit to be repaid, your income is adjusted down for any personal pension contributions and charity contributions. So you could pay more of these contributions to reduce your adjusted income within the thresholds in order to save tax at 60% or more. The plan is to base the HICBC on total family income from 2026 to make it fairer.

Any parent who asked HMRC to stop paying child benefit who would now qualify for some child benefit will need to ask HMRC to start paying it again.

Avoid earning over £100k

When your total income exceeds £100,000 the tax-free personal allowance is gradually removed until you get no personal allowance when your income reaches £125,140 or more. In this band of total income, you have a marginal tax rate of 60% (i.e. your tax bill increases by 60p for every £1 your total income increases between £100k and £125k). Also, more benefits are removed such as tax-free childcare. As with the child benefit above, you could pay personal pension or charitable contributions to reduce your adjusted total income within the £100k – £125k band and save tax at 60%.

Claim Marriage Allowance

A spouse or civil partner who does not pay income tax above the basic rate for a tax year, can transfer £1,260 of their personal allowance to their spouse or civil partner, provided that the recipient of the transfer does not pay income tax above the basic rate. This can potentially mean a reduction in tax liability of £252. 

Transfer assets to a spouse

If a spouse or civil partner pays tax at a different rate, consider transferring income-producing assets (e.g. savings, company shares, investment property) to give the income to the person paying at the lower rate. Ideally, both you and your spouse should aim to have a total income of £50,270 or less.

Check your bank

If you have large sums of cash in ordinary accounts paying very little interest, consider moving cash to other accounts earning a higher interest rate. An Individual Savings Account (ISA) is tax free so make sure that ISA allowances have been fully utilised for all the family, where applicable.

Pay into savings

Saving Allowances

£5,000pa of taxable interest received is tax-free if your total other income is £12,570pa or less. The £5,000pa is gradually reduced to £0 as your other income increases from £12,570pa to £17,570pa. There is also a personal savings allowance which means you don’t pay tax on taxable interest of £1,000pa for basic rate taxpayers, £500pa for higher rate taxpayers, and £0 for additional rate taxpayers.


The ISA maximum subscription limit is currently £20,000, which can be split across the different types of ISAs. These are: Cash, Stocks and Shares, Innovative Finance, and Lifetime ISAs. This investment limit will increase to £25,000 but £5,000 of this needs to be invested in a new British ISA that only invests in British companies. The overall investment limits on ISAs mean that a couple could save a substantial amount in tax-efficient savings accounts. Any adult under 40 will be able to open a new Lifetime ISA. Up to £4,000 can be saved each year (until 50) and savers will receive a 25% bonus from the government on this money. Broadly, money invested in this type of account can be saved until the investor is 60 and used as retirement income, or it can be withdrawn to help buy a first home.

Junior ISAs

Junior ISAs are available to UK resident children (under-18s). Junior ISAs are tax-relieved and have many features in common with existing ISA products. The maximum annual subscription is currently £9,000. Investments may be made in any combination of qualifying cash or stocks and shares investments. Withdrawals are not permitted until the named child has reached the age of 18, except in cases of terminal illness. It’s possible to transfer Child Trust Funds (CTFs) to Junior ISAs.

Other savings

Regular sums can be invested in National Savings (some products offer a tax-free return, which is particularly attractive to 40% and 45% taxpayers), banks and building societies. Those willing to accept the possibility of greater risk perhaps equaling greater reward might consider the stock market, stock market-linked investments or buy-to-let property.

Pay into pensions

Paying personal pension contributions can currently give tax relief at the individual’s highest income tax rate. Personal pension contributions are limited to your earnings. Employer pension contributions are not limited to earnings but give tax relief to the employer not the employee. Pension contributions are taxable if the total contributions into all of your pension schemes exceed an annual limit of £60,000 (or less if your total income exceeds £200,000). Unused allowances from the previous 3 years (at £60k, £40k and £40k) can be brought forward and used in the current year if required, which would give a total allowance of £200,000 in 2024/25. The lifetime pension limit of £1,073,100 was abolished from 6th April 2023.

Consider paying into pensions for family members. The introduction of stakeholder pensions allow contributions to be made for all UK residents, even children, as there is no requirement to have any earnings. Consider making payments of up to £3,600 for family members, as the fund will grow in a tax-free environment. The net cost is only £2,880.

Sell some chargeable assets – allowances are reducing

Everyone has an annual capital gains exemption. The exemption is currently £6,000 for 2023/24 and is reducing to £3,000 for 2024/25. You are only taxed on total capital gains that exceed the annual allowance. Taxpayers should therefore consider selling taxable assets to make a capital gain up to this figure. Gifts between spouses and civil partners are tax free, so it is possible to double the yearly exemptions available by giving shares or other investments to a spouse or civil partner.

Realise losses

If you have shares standing at a loss, you should consider selling them so that the loss can be set against any gains made over and above the capital gains annual exemption. If you want to retain the investment, it could be bought back by the spouse or partner, within an ISA. It will not be tax effective for them to buy back the investment within 30 days of you selling it. In addition, care must be taken not to fall foul of anti-avoidance legislation which prevents loss relief being claimed where certain arrangements exist, the main purpose, or one of the main purposes, of which is to secure a tax advantage.

Capital gains tax may be deferred through the use of an Enterprise Investment Scheme investment.

Give to charity

Making charitable donations via the Gift Aid scheme is an effective way to reduce taxable income. If donations have been made, it is important that you ticked Gift Aid so that the charity can benefit from the basic rate tax relief. Higher rate taxpayers should make the necessary claim on their tax return for further relief. If future donations are planned, you may wish to bring these forward to on or before 5th April to ensure the tax relief is obtained at an earlier date.

Check your PAYE code

Employees should check that their PAYE tax code is correct and contact HMRC if it needs to be amended. The standard PAYE tax code is 1257L which means you are receiving the full personal allowance of £12,570. If your PAYE tax code is different, you should receive a notice from HMRC to explain why.

Don’t get fined!

There are penalties and surcharges for submitting your tax returns late and for paying any tax due late. These penalties increase substantially over time so if you’re already late for the previous tax year, further delays will cost you more – see here

Your tax return for the year ending 5th April 2024 can usually be submitted from early in May 2024, and must be submitted by 31st January 2025. Look out for our Tax Return Due emails which will be sent late in April 2024. The balance of tax owed for the year ending 5th April 2024 will be due by 31st January 2025. If applicable, a 50% payment on account is also due by 31st January 2025. The other 50% payment on account will be due by 31st July 2025.

sustainable accountants

Going paperless is one of the biggest steps a company can take to help the environment. Cloudbook Online Accountants Ltd is a sustainable 100% online accountancy service and are firm advocates of the paperless office. Our goal is to provide an efficient and sustainable accountancy service that helps save clients money.

With the world experiencing its greatest climate challenge to date, we are all looking for ways to be more sustainable. Recycling and reusing goods and materials is now commonplace but moving towards a paperless office will help even more and can also save you time and money. 

Helping the Environment

Paper use is a major contributor to global warming. The effects of paper use on the climate are four-fold because the production of paper products:

  1. requires the felling of trees that are essential to store the excess carbon in the atmosphere and provide shelter to wildlife.1
  2. requires a vast amount of energy, much of which is from environmentally harmful fossil fuels.
  3. necessitates a huge amount of water (roughly 10 litres of water to produce a single piece of A4 paper) and is a major contributor to the depletion of our water reserves.
  4. leads to unnecessary waste that goes into landfill or requires recycling (which although useful, requires energy and resources). Almost a fifth of all the waste in England is generated by businesses, and 50% of business waste is paper.

The good news is that we can easily make a difference by adopting paperless processes in our businesses. There are now a multitude of Business Management Systems and tools that can replace almost every process in our day-to-day business that formerly relied on paper. For accounts, you can use CloudBook Online Accountants Ltd for your tasks like payroll, company accounts, tax returns and bookkeeping to keep your accounting sustainable.

Saving you Money

The benefits of a paperless office are not only limited to the environment. They will also save you money. UK News Group reported in 2021 that an astonishing 11% of revenue of the average company in the uk was spent on paper. It also found that printing costs were often the third highest operational expense after rent and payroll. When thinking about the costs you would save, you should consider the following:

  • The price of paper: The average UK office worker uses approximately 10,000 sheets a year. This is roughly four boxes of paper, costing £18 per box. Based on a company with 50 employees, just the sheets of paper alone can be costing up to £3600  per year.
  • The price of storage for the paper documents: Rents and mortgages for office and home office spaces are at an all-time high. Paper documentation needs to be stored somewhere and the more you have the bigger space you need and ultimately the more you will pay for your premises.
  • The price of printing: The price per page cost for printing can be anywhere between 10p and 30p depending on what kind of printer and cartridges you have. If you print 15 print 30 pages a week, this could cost you as much as nearly £500 in ink alone per year. Don’t forget about the cost of looking after the printer too;. all mechanical items incur maintenance costs.


The savings made on banishing paper should far outweigh the cost of implementing a paperless Business Management System in the long run. Cloudbook Online Accountants Ltd use PandaDoc, Google Drive and Iris Openspace for our document sharing and collaboration. These are excellent paperless services that help us keep our fixed accountancy fees low. You can check out our pricing structure here.

Of course, there are times when printing cannot be avoided. You can however keep track of how much you’re printing by using print auditing software and by setting departmental printing budgets. Ask your employees to use the printer only when absolutely necessary and perhaps incentivise limited use. You could also consider investing in additional monitors for staff that may use paper documents as a point of reference.

Maximising Efficiency

As if saving money and the environment weren’t enough, going paperless can also make your business more efficient.


Services like Google Drive allow for easy access and simultaneous document sharing. It’s a great tool for collaboration and uses cloud-based storage, which is undoubtedly the go-to method of the future. Google Drive, PandaDoc and Iris Openspace are really useful tools for CloudBook Online Accountants Ltd. They make it so much quicker, easier and more efficient to provide online accountancy services to our clients. By using them, we avoid the need to print, post, and e-mail documents like accounts and tax returns, back and forth to clients; Using those outdated methods would be a huge waste of time, energy and costs. As far as we’re concerned it’s a no-brainer. You can check out our reviews os different accounting packages here.

The take-away…

Every business should try to go paperless. It will allow you to do your bit for the environment whilst saving you money and improving efficiency. If you don’t already use one, check out online Business Management systems to replace paper-based processes. Train your staff to be mindful of their paper use and help them get the most out of your business management tools. Contact us to find out the difference that CloudBook Online Accountants can make to you as part of your transformation into a paperless business.


  1.  Over 6 million hectares of forest have already been cut down this year and we’re on an upward trend.

As a business owner, managing your responsibilities towards your employees goes beyond just payroll. Maximizing the benefits of various tax schemes can lead to improved employee morale, optimized finances, and streamlined operations. In this fourth instalment of our Tax Tips Series, we delve into a comprehensive range of employer tax tips that can elevate your business while keeping your workforce content. Let’s explore these expert insights to make the most of your employee-related tax opportunities.

employer tax tips
Photo by Jonathan Borba

1. Encourage Creativity with Staff Suggestion Scheme

Boost employee engagement by implementing a staff suggestion scheme. Recognize and reward innovative ideas with tax-free payments up to £5,000, fostering a culture of continuous improvement.

2. Reward Loyalty with Long Service Awards

Celebrate your long-serving employees with tax-free long service awards. For every year an employee has dedicated over two decades to your business, you can provide them with a tax-free award worth £50 for each year of service, enhancing their dedication.

3. Streamline PAYE Payments

Manage cash flow efficiently by opting for quarterly PAYE payments if your monthly payments to the revenue are below £1,500. This tactic can provide a timely financial advantage.

4. Self-Employment Classification

Ensure correct classification of self-employed workers. Misclassification can result in substantial financial liabilities, making it imperative to assess employment status accurately.

5. Efficient New Employee Onboarding

When hiring new employees, prioritize accurate tax allocation by obtaining a P45 or completed Starter Checklist from HMRC. This crucial step ensures accurate tax allowances and deductions, particularly vital for part-time or family employees.

6. Professional Subscriptions Relief

Support your employees’ professional growth by allowing them to claim tax relief on approved professional organization subscriptions. Alternatively, you can pay these subscriptions directly on their behalf.

7. Smart Bonus Timing

Optimize your National Insurance contributions by considering half-yearly or yearly bonus payments instead of monthly, offering potential savings (except for directors).

8. Benefits of Company Pension Contributions

Both you and your company can save on National Insurance contributions by contributing to a registered pension scheme for yourself instead of making contributions from your net income.

9. Relocation Expenses Assistance

Attract new employees by offering to pay their relocation expenses. The first £8,000 provided for a move is tax-free, provided valid receipts are provided.

10. Tax-Free Termination Payments

In specific circumstances, tax-free termination payments of up to £30,000 can be made when ending an employment contract, presenting a valuable financial option.

11. Empower with Approved Share Schemes

Encourage employee engagement by creating approved share schemes. This allows employees to buy company shares at favorable prices, fostering alignment and financial benefits.

12. Strategic Vehicle Ownership

Evaluate vehicle ownership strategies to minimize tax implications. Determine whether personal or company ownership of business vehicles is more tax-efficient based on factors like usage and type.

13. Mileage Allowance Shortfall Relief

If an employee’s mileage allowance falls short of approved rates, they can claim tax relief on the difference, supporting their business-related travel.

14. P11D Compliance for Benefits

Meet HMRC compliance by submitting P11D forms for benefits in kind and expenses by the 6th of July annually, ensuring accurate records and avoiding penalties.

15. Interest-Free Employee Loans

Support employees with interest-free loans of up to £10,000 without triggering a benefit in kind assessment. Directors and shareholders may need to repay loans to avoid the company being taxed on the loan.

16. Eye Tests and Computer Lenses

Enhance employee well-being by covering eye tests and lenses for those using computers extensively, without incurring tax liability for them.

17. Tax-Free Bicycles for Commuting

Promote eco-friendly commutes by providing tax-free bicycles and safety equipment, encouraging a healthy and sustainable lifestyle for your employees.

18. Thoughtful Trivial Gifts

Gifts are one of the easiest but often missed employer tax tips. Share festive spirit with tax-free trivial gifts, like a Christmas turkey, to show appreciation without triggering tax liabilities. Trivial non-cash gifts costing the employer £50 or less are tax-free. These are limited to 6 per tax year for directors.

19. Annual Medical Check-Ups

One of the most misunderstood employer tax tips is that medical insurance is tax free. While the employer gets tax relief on the cost, it is not tax-free for the employee. However, you could prioritize employee health with tax-deductible annual medical check-ups, offering financial benefits for both the business and employees.

20. Efficient Works Bus Services

Support your employees’ transportation needs by providing works buses or subsidizing local bus services, benefiting both convenience and morale.

21. Carpooling Incentives

Encourage carpooling among employees by rewarding drivers with a tax-free 5p per mile for each fellow employee they transport, promoting sustainable transportation.

22. Tax-Free Mobile Phones

Enhance employee connectivity with tax-free mobile phones. As long as the company owns the contract and handset, employees can enjoy tax-free private usage. One phone is allowed per employee.

23. Festive Celebrations

Show appreciation for your employees with tax-free annual parties or events. When the cost per head remains under £150, employees can enjoy the festivities without tax implications.

24. Claim The £5k Employment Allowance

Certain employers don’t have to pay the first £5,000 of Employer’s National Insurance Contributions (NIC). However, it has to be claimed by submitting a payroll report to HMRC. It can’t be claimed by larger employers or if the only employee earning over £9,100pa is a sole director.

By integrating these carefully crafted employer tax tips into your business approach, you can foster a positive workplace culture, boost employee satisfaction, and optimize financial efficiency. Each strategy addresses unique facets of your employer-employee relationship, ensuring compliance while maximizing available tax benefits. This Employment Tax Tips article concludes our Tax Tips Series, which also covered Business Tax, Personal Tax, and VAT.

On 06 March 2024 the chancellor, Jeremy Hunt, announced the Spring Budget 2024. Read how the 2024 Spring Budget affects you and your taxes. Our clients can ask us what it means to them, all included in our low fixed-fees.

Highlights of the Spring Budget 2024


  • Employees NIC reduces further to 8%.
  • Self employed NIC reduces from 9% to 6%
  • The tax-free dividend allowance reduces from £1,000pa to £500pa
  • The annual capital gains allowance reduces from £6,000 to £3,000
  • Self employed Class 2 NIC contributions will only be voluntary.
  • Directors should continue to take a salary of between £9,100 and £12,570, plus dividends.
  • VAT registration threshold to increase from £85,000 to £90,000 on April 1st. 
  • VAT deregistration threshold to increase from £83,000 to £88,000 on April 1st.


  • Multiple Dwellings Relief will be abolished from 1 June 2024.
  • The current tax regime for non-domiciled individuals will be abolished from 6 April 2025 and eventually replaced with a new residence-based system, known as the Foreign Income and Gains (FIG) regime.
  • The higher rate of Capital Gains Tax for residential property disposals by individuals, trustees and personal representatives, where Private Residence Relief is not available, to be cut from 28 percent to 24 percent from 6 April 2024. The lower rate will remain at 18 percent for any gains that fall within the basic rate band.
  • The Furnished Home Lettings tax regime is to be abolished from April 2025.
  • The Agricultural Property Relief (APR) will on 6th April be extended to non-agricultural environmental land management.
  • The High Income Child Benefit Charge (HICBC) threshold to be increased from £50,000 to £60,000 from April 2024. Child Benefit is also now not fully withdrawn until individuals earn £80,000 or more.

And for the creative industry:

  • The Introduction of an independent Film Tax Credit for UK independent films with a production budget of less than £15 million.
  • Permanent rates of relief for Theatre Tax Relief, Orchestra Relief, and Museums and Galleries Exhibition Tax Relief (MGETR) at 45 percent for touring productions and 40 percent for non-touring productions and all orchestral productions.
  • An additional tax relief credit of 5 percent available for visual effects costs in film and high-end TV, and the current 80 percent cap on qualifying expenditure will be removed.

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To Spring Statement 2024, our newsletter designed to bring you tax tips and news to keep you one step ahead of the taxman.

If you need further assistance just let us know or you can send us a question for our Question and Answer Section.

We are committed to ensuring none of our clients pay a penny more in tax than is necessary and they receive useful tax and business advice and support throughout the year.

Please contact us for advice on your own specific circumstances. We’re here to help!

Spring Statement 2024
· Introduction
· National Insurance contributions (NICs) to be cut
· Non-dom tax breaks to be abolished
· VAT registration threshold increase
· Cut to property capital gains tax
· New British ISA and British Savings Bonds
· Chancellor takes ‘further steps’ on Full Expensing
· Furnished Holiday Lettings regime scrapped
· Oil companies windfall tax extended
· Raising child benefit threshold
· Childcare support expanded
· Fuel duty freeze extended
· Alcohol duty frozen until next year
· Pension pots for life
· Tax credits for film industry to rise
· Research and Development funding
· New tax on vaping and tobacco duty rise
· Updates on the economy and Government spending
Cuts to National Insurance contributions and the abolition of so-called ‘non-dom’ tax breaks were among the headline announcements in Wednesday’s Budget.

The Chancellor delivered his speech in the House of Commons, unveiling a range of tax and spending measures.

However, there was no cut to income tax, despite much speculation in recent weeks that one might come due to the General Election, set to be held this year.

Aside from the headlines mentioned above, some of the other most significant announcements included:

–     Cut to property capital gains tax
–     Rise in VAT registration threshold
–     Full expensing to apply to leased assets
–     New British ISA
–     Rise in child benefit threshold
–     Freeze on fuel duty

Below, we delve into more of the details and summarise the biggest changes that were unveiled this afternoon.

National Insurance contributions (NICs) to be cuttop
As expected, Mr Hunt’s main announcement surrounded NICs. In line with prior media reports, he went even further than the changes he made on NICs in the Autumn Statement last November.

He announced a 2p cut in NICs. From April 6 employee NICS will be cut from 10% to 8%. Meanwhile, self-employed NICS will go from 8% to 6% (a 1% cut from 9% to 8% was already announced last year).

Mr Hunt said: “It means an additional £450 a year for the average employee or £350 for someone self-employed. When combined with the autumn reductions, it means 27 million employees will get an average tax cut of £900 a year and 2 million self-employed will get a tax cut averaging £650.”

The move is estimated to be worth over £10 billion a year for workers across the UK. Combined with the abolition of the requirement to pay Class 2 NICs, an average self-employed person on £28,000 will save £650 a year from April 6, the Treasury estimated.

Mr Hunt had already announced a reduction in employees’ National Insurance (NI) by two percentage points from 12% to 10% (for Primary Class 1 contributions) in November – a change affecting an estimated 27 million people.

Non-dom tax breaks to be abolishedtop
As had been trailed in many of the newspapers in the week leading up to the Budget, the contentious ‘non-dom’ scheme will be scrapped.

Mirroring what has been one of the higher profile policies of the Labour Party, Mr Hunt said the tax breaks for wealthy foreign residents in the UK will be abolished and replaced with a new scheme.

So-called non-doms are UK residents but not domiciled here for tax purposes.

Mr Hunt said the Government would “introduce a system which is both fairer and remains competitive with other countries.”

“The Government will abolish the current tax system for non-doms, get rid of the outdated concept of domicile and the remittance basis in the tax system, and replace it with a modern, simpler and fairer residency-based system,” he told Parliament.

The plan is that, from April 2025, new arrivals to the UK will not be required to pay any tax on foreign income and gains for their first four years of UK residency. Those who stay after four years will then pay the same tax as other UK residents.

The Treasury described the new scheme as the 4-year foreign income and gains (FIG) regime.

The Treasury stated: “Individuals who on 6 April 2025 have been tax resident in the UK for less than 4 years (after 10 years of non-UK tax residence) will be able to use this new regime for any tax year of UK residence in the remainder of those 4 years.”

Officials also revealed (in the documents released after the Budget speech) that Overseas Workday Relief for the first 3 tax years of UK residence will be “retained and simplified”.

VAT registration threshold increasetop
In a move designed to cut the burden of admin and the financial impact of VAT, the VAT registration threshold is to increase from £85,000 to £90,000 from April. Although this was not as high as some commentators had hoped, it is the first increase in 7 years and will bring “tens of thousands of businesses out of paying VAT altogether and encourage many more to invest and grow”, Mr Hunt told MPs.
Cut to property capital gains taxtop
The higher rate of property capital gains tax is to be reduced from 28% to 24%.

The Government said that it had concluded, following a review of costs by the Treasury and the OBR, the change would increase revenues because there would be more transactions.

However, the lower rate will remain at 18% for any gains that fall within an individual’s basic rate band.

On that point, the official Budget papers stated: “This will encourage landlords and second homeowners to sell their properties, making more available for a variety of buyers including those looking to get on the housing ladder for the first time, while also raising revenue over the forecast period.”

New British ISA and British Savings Bondstop
The Government will create a “British ISA” to encourage the public to invest exclusively in the UK. This will allow people to save an extra £5,000 tax-free per year by investing in UK equity. It will carry “all the tax advantages of other ISAs”.

This would be in addition to the £20,000 that can be subscribed into an ISA. The government will consult on the details.

Some commentators immediately raised doubts on the merits of the new ISA. They say that geographic diversity is key for having a diversified portfolio – being invested in a variety of markets around the world in case one falls short or even crashes. However, Mr Hunt said he had listened to calls from 200 professionals in the British stock market, who will see this as good news.

He also trailed a new British Savings Bonds. Watch this space for more news on that.

Chancellor takes ‘further steps’ on Full Expensingtop
In a move he described as a tax cut for businesses, Mr Hunt confirmed the Government will introduce permanent Full Expensing. He said it was worth £10bn a year for companies.

A capital allowance tax scheme, the move enables businesses to write off 100% of the cost of investment on qualifying items such as new or improved technology, equipment, machinery or buildings.

Having announced it as a temporary measure in March 2023, the Treasury will shortly publish draft legislation for Full Expensing to apply to leased assets. This will be implemented “when fiscal conditions allow”, the Treasury said.

Furnished Holiday Lettings regime scrappedtop
Tax breaks for second homeowners letting to holiday makers are to be axed. The Furnished Holiday Lettings regime is to be disbanded, Mr Hunt revealed. Currently, the tax breaks make it more profitable for second homeowners to let out their properties to holiday makers rather than to residential tenants to rent, raising concerns over the availability of long-term rental housing for local people. Multiple Dwellings Relief is also being abolished.
Oil companies windfall tax extendedtop
The UK’s windfall tax on the profits of oil and gas companies will be extended to 2029. Officially titled The Energy Profits Levy, it was introduced in 2022 to ensure that oil and gas producers in the UK “pay their fair share of tax from extraordinary profits”. The Government said the extension was motivated by the forecasts of gas prices to “remain abnormally high until at least 2028-29”. Mr Hunt told MPs it would raise a further £1.5bn.
Raising child benefit thresholdtop
The Chancellor revealed the High Income Child Benefit Charge (HICBC) threshold will rise. Instead of kicking in at a total adjusted income of £50,000, from April 2024 it will move up to £60,000. Also, the HICBC will increase at a lower rate, so instead of it being fully repaid at £60,000, from April 2024 it will be fully repaid at £80,000.

And a consultation is set to get underway on moving the charge to a household-based system in time to start by April 2026.

The Government said there was an unfairness in the current system – the fact it’s charged on an individual basis. The example it gave was two parents earning £49,000 each (with a household income of £98,000) wouldn’t reach the threshold, but a single parent earning over £50,000 would.

Childcare support expandedtop
Further information was set out on plans to extend the 30-hour free childcare offer to all children of working parents from 9 months. Mr Hunt gave more details today, saying he would be guaranteeing rates paid to childcare providers. The impact of the plans overall will mean an extra 60,000 parents entering the workforce in the next four years, Mr Hunt said.
Fuel duty freeze extendedtop
A 5p cut to fuel duty will be maintained – with a freeze extended for another 12 months until February 2025. Mr Hunt said this will save the average motorist around £50 next year. It will also “bring total savings since the 5p cut was introduced to around £250”, Mr Hunt added.
Alcohol duty frozen until next yeartop
The Government will freeze alcohol duty from 1 August 2024 until 1 February 2025, lengthening the six-month freeze announced at Autumn Statement 2023, with the intention to “support the hospitality sector and help consumers with the cost of living”.
Pension pots for lifetop
There was a brief mention for the idea of giving people one ‘pension pot for life’. The Chancellor said the Government will continue to explore previously trailed plans, with a consultation already underway.

The reforms would give workers the right to nominate the pension scheme they want their employer to pay into, which it’s claimed could help solve the problem of lost pension pots as workers move jobs. He announced the plan in the Autumn Statement.

Tax credits for film industry to risetop
Some film studios are set to benefit from 40% gross business rates relief until 2034. The UK has become “Europe’s largest film and TV production centre”, Mr Hunt said, before announcing the rate of tax credit available to the industry will rise by 5%. Furthermore, an 80% cap for visual effects costs will be removed.

Orchestras, museums, galleries and theatres will also benefit from a permanent 45% tax relief for touring productions and 40% relief for non-touring productions. The UK’s creative industries will be backed by over £1 billion overall, the Treasury said.

Research and Development fundingtop
The Budget includes an additional £45 million to “accelerate medical research” into common diseases like cancer, dementia and epilepsy. It’s part of a £360 million package to support innovative R&D and manufacturing projects across the life sciences, automotive and aerospace sectors.

The Green Industries Growth Accelerator will be allocated an extra £120 million to build supply chains for offshore wind and carbon capture and storage, officials added.

New tax on vaping and tobacco duty risetop
A duty on vapes will be introduced from October 2026. Officials said the move was designed to “protect young people and children from the harm of vaping”. The existing tax on tobacco will increase, to maintain the “financial incentive to choose vaping over smoking”. This will raise a combined £1.3 billion by 2028/29.
Updates on the economy and Government spendingtop
Inflation should fall below the 2% target set by the Government in a few months, according to the Office for Budget Responsibility report, Mr Hunt announced. When he came to office inflation was at 11%, he said, whilst the latest figures show that it is now at 4%. Mr Hunt told MPs: “We have turned the corner on inflation.”

Debt and borrowing figures announced
Following OBR forecasts back in 2022 that headline debt would rise to above 100% of GDP, the Chancellor updated the Commons on projections for the next five years.

The OBR now says it will fall in every year to just 94.3% by 2028-29.

Mr Hunt said: “Underlying debt, which excludes Bank of England debt, will be 91.7% in 2024-25 according to the OBR, then 92.8%, 93.2%, 93.2% before falling to 92.9% in 2028-29 with final year headroom against debt falling of £8.9bn.”

Growth figures revealed
MPs also heard the latest forecasts from the OBR on economic growth. These were:

2024 – 0.8%
2025 – 1.9%
2026 – 2%
2027 – 1.8%

Government spending
Day-to-day public spending will stay at 1% growth in real terms but “we are going to spend it better,” Mr Hunt pledged.

He added: “It’s not fair to ask taxpayers to pay for more when public service productivity has fallen. Nor would it be wise to reduce that funding given the pressures that public services face.”

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New Clients Welcometop
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Welcome to the latest instalment of our Tax Tips Series, where we delve into the world of (Value Added Tax) VAT Tips. Whether you’re a business owner or an individual navigating VAT intricacies, these expert VAT tips are designed to enhance your understanding and optimize your financial strategies. Let’s dive into our carefully curated VAT insights that can help you stay ahead of the game.

Photo by Nataliya Vaitkevich

1. Strategic VAT Registration

The most important VAT tip is to know when you have to register. Missing the compulsory registration date could be extremely costly. Especially if you can’t go back and ask your customers for the VAT that should have been charged. A proactive approach to VAT registration can save you time and streamline your financial operations. Maintain a record of your total sales over a rolling 12-month period, and when you foresee your sales exceeding £85,000, consider applying for VAT registration. Keep in mind that the registration process takes several months, so plan ahead to avoid any disruptions.

2. Reclaiming VAT on Past Purchases

VAT registration doesn’t mean you miss out on past opportunities. Even after registering for VAT, you can reclaim VAT on goods purchased before registration if they’re tied to sales made post-registration and are still in your possession at the registration date. Items like resale stock, computers, and office equipment often fall into this category.

3. Reclaiming VAT on Post-Deregistration Invoices

If you’ve deregistered for VAT but still receive suppliers’ invoices pertaining to purchases made before deregistration, you can reclaim the VAT on these invoices. This practice ensures you’re not missing out on valuable VAT reclaims.

4. Efficient VAT Return Management

Embrace technology to optimize your VAT return process. Consider completing your VAT returns using online accounting software and making VAT payments via direct debit. This approach grants you a few extra days to settle your VAT liabilities, contributing to smoother cash flow management.

5. Reclaiming VAT on Bad Debts

Financial setbacks are inevitable, but VAT reclaims can help alleviate some of the burden. You can reclaim VAT on bad debts that have been outstanding for more than six months. This practice can provide a valuable cushion during challenging times.

6. Unlocking the Benefits of the Flat Rate Scheme

Businesses with an annual turnover below £150,000 can leverage the advantages of the Flat Rate scheme for small businesses. This scheme simplifies VAT return completion and, in some cases, reduces the VAT payable. Importantly, it doesn’t impact the VAT charged to your customers, ensuring a seamless experience.

7. Enhancing Cash Flow with VAT Cash Accounting

For businesses with an annual turnover below £1,350,000, the VAT cash accounting scheme offers an effective cash flow strategy. Under this scheme, you only pay VAT when you receive payment from customers, rather than when issuing sales invoices. This approach can have a significant positive impact on your cash flow dynamics.

8. Voluntarily Registering for VAT

Although you don’t have to register for VAT until sales in any 12 month period exceed £85,000, it could be worth registering earlier. That’s because customers who are VAT registered don’t mind being charged VAT because they can claim it back. So if most of your customers are VAT registered, consider voluntarily registering so that you can claim back VAT on your costs.

9. Reduce Prices After Registering for VAT

For your customers who are not registered for VAT, it is an added cost. So when you add VAT to your usual prices, it’s a 20% increase to their cost. However, you will be saving some money by claiming back VAT on your costs, so consider reducing the sales price to keep your customers.

10. Include VAT Before You Can Charge VAT

There may be a period of time between the date you need to start charging VAT and the date you receive your VAT number. During this period, you can’t show that VAT has been charged because you’re not officially registered yet. However, you can increase your prices by 20% to allow for VAT. You can also state that your VAT registration is pending. Once you have received your VAT number, you can then show that VAT has been charged. This will save you from going back to the customer and asking for the extra 20% for VAT.

By implementing these VAT tips into your financial strategy, you can navigate the complexities of VAT more effectively and make informed decisions that benefit your bottom line. As always, it’s recommended to consult with your tax advisor to tailor these insights to your specific circumstances. Stay tuned for our next Tax Tips Series instalment, where we explore invaluable insights into optimizing your employer tax strategy.

In the realm of personal tax, mastering the nuances of income tax tips can significantly impact your financial health. As we continue our Tax Tips Series, this edition is tailored to enlighten you with a comprehensive array of personal tax tips, each designed to optimize your income and minimize your tax liabilities. Let’s delve into these expert insights to empower you on your journey towards financial efficiency.

Personal tax tips
Photo by Nataliya Vaitkevich

1. Maximize Pension Contributions

One of the best personal tax tips involves keeping your money! Seize the benefits of tax relief when contributing to a registered pension scheme. Automatically receive basic rate tax relief, and if you’re a 40% taxpayer, claim an additional 20% relief via your tax return. Consider this: contributing £4,000 (net of 20% tax) to your pension scheme translates to a further tax reduction of £1,000, resulting in a total contribution of £5,000.

2. Secure the Future for Your Young Ones

Explore the option of contributing up to £2,880 net (£3,600 gross) annually into a pension on behalf of your children or grandchildren. These funds remain protected from tax charges and cannot be accessed until the child/grandchild reaches the age of 55.

3. Unleash Investment Potential

A potentially significant income tax tip is to take advantage of greater flexibility for pension contributions. If you experience a large lottery win or possess surplus cash for retirement investments, there’s no longer a restriction on contribution amounts. While contributions up to the annual allowance (£60,000) can attract tax relief, you’re free to invest any amount.

4. Prioritize an Updated Will

Ensure your Will is current and valid, especially after marriage. A Will becomes void upon marriage, potentially impacting the inheritance rights of your spouse/partner.

5. Navigate Tax Implications of Gifts

If you plan to leave assets to a non-spouse partner, be aware that inheritance tax will be due on the gift. To ensure exemption from inheritance tax, formalize your relationship through marriage or civil partnership before making the gift.

6. Tax-Free Wedding and Partnership Gifts

Take advantage of tax-free wedding or civil partnership gifts to extended family members. Gifts up to £1,000 are exempt, with parents able to gift up to £5,000 tax-free.

7. Optimize Inheritance Tax Planning

Craft a tax-efficient Will to pass on value equal to the inheritance tax nil rate band (£325,000) and designate the remaining amount to your spouse/civil partner without incurring tax. If you are not married to your partner, get married to effectively double your nil rate band.

8. Ensure Business Continuity

Plan for business continuity in case of illness or death. Explore policies like life assurance and critical illness cover, often referred to as key-man insurance.

9. Make Gifts from Income

Gifts made from your income are inheritance tax-free once a consistent pattern is established, provided they do not negatively affect your standard of living or capital assets.

10. Utilize Gift Allowances

Capitalize on gift allowances: Up to £3,000 per tax year is exempt from inheritance tax, which can be carried forward if unused, enabling you to gift up to £6,000 in the following tax year.

11. Strategic Large Gifts

If considering substantial gifts to loved ones, do so as early as possible. Gifts are excluded from inheritance tax calculations if you survive for 7 years post-gift date.

12. Leverage Charitable Giving

Make a gift aid declaration when giving to charities, enabling the charity to reclaim basic rate tax relief while you claim higher/additional rate tax relief.

13. Optimize Child Tax Credits

For those with children under 16 or in full-time education, consider making a provisional claim for Child Tax Credit. If your taxable income drops unexpectedly due to losses or deductions, you can adjust your claim.

14. Navigate Child Benefit Restrictions

If you earn between £50,000 and £60,000 as a higher rate taxpayer, Child Benefit amounts will be restricted. Earnings over £60,000 render Child Benefit nil. Not really a personal tax tip, but you could stop receiving child benefit to potentially avoid having to submit a tax return.

15. Harness ISA Investment Potential

Maximize your ISA investment limit, currently set at £20,000. Income and capital growth on savings in an ISA remain tax-free.

16. Junior ISAs for Young Beneficiaries

Explore junior ISAs for those under 18, offering a tax-efficient savings option for the younger generation.

17. Optimize Income Tax Through Joint Investments

Minimize income tax by optimizing joint investments with your spouse/civil partner. Consider transferring income-producing investments to the partner with a lower tax rate.

18. Capital Gains Annual Exemption

Utilize your annual Capital Gains exemption, currently set at £6,000, to optimize your investments.

19. Gross Bank and Building Society Interest

Ensure you receive bank or building society interest gross, without any tax deductions, if you’re a non-taxpayer.

20. Embrace Investment Reliefs

Investing in small unquoted trading companies can yield tax reliefs. Under the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) and Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS), enjoy income tax relief and capital gains tax exemptions on qualifying investments.

21. Venture into Venture Capital Trusts (VCTs)

Invest up to £200,000 per tax year indirectly in small companies through a VCT, and receive a 30% tax reduction on the invested amount.

22. Avoid Going Into Higher Tax Bands

Be aware of the tax bands and how it affects the rate of tax you pay. Higher rate tax is applied to income exceeding £50,270. The tax-free personal allowance is gradually withdrawn as your total income exceeds £100,000. Then the additional tax rates apply to income over £125,140. Pension and charity contributions can mitigate the effect of going over these thresholds.

23. Flexible Pension Withdrawals

Capitalizing on modern pension policies, you can begin drawing your pension while still working. Blend pension benefits and contributions to optimize financial flexibility until age 75.

24. Capitalize on Premium Bonds

Invest up to £50,000 in premium bonds for a chance at tax-free prizes. These prizes offer potential rewards without sacrificing your initial investment. Although this isn’t really an income tax tip, any winnings are tax free!

25. Tax-Optimized Property Ownership

When purchasing buy-to-let property, consider joint ownership with your spouse/civil partner as tenants-in-common. This can help reduce tax liabilities by dividing rental income proportionally.

26. Let Your Property Instead of Selling

When moving homes, contemplate letting your old property instead of selling it. Upon eventual sale, the majority of the gain can be protected from capital gains tax.

27. Rental Income Tax Break

If renting out a room in your home, take advantage of the £7,500 tax-free allowance for rental income received annually.

28. Insulation Tax Allowance

When installing insulation in your let residential properties, check for the special tax allowance available to cover costs. While the allowance is up to £1,500, any excess costs are not tax-deductible.

29. Strategic Property Financing

Consider borrowing funds for property investment, even if not required, to capitalize on tax relief on loan interest.

30. Timely Tax Return Submission

We’re moving slightly away from personal tax tips to admin tips now. When it comes to filing your tax return, timing is crucial. To have the Taxman calculate your tax bill automatically, submit your tax return by 31st October for paper filings or opt for online submission by 31st January. This digital route employs a computer program to compute your tax obligations efficiently.

31. Strategically Utilize PAYE Code Collection

For those seeking a more manageable tax payment timeline, consider having the Taxman collect owed taxes through your PAYE code. To make this happen, ensure you submit your tax return online by 30th December or via paper by 31st October. This arrangement grants you extended time to settle your dues, with the Taxman agreeing to collect up to £3,000 of tax through this mechanism.

32. Adjusting Tax Payments on Account

Life’s circumstances are dynamic, and so are your income levels. If your taxable income decreases, resulting in a lower tax bill, seize the opportunity to adjust your income tax payments on account. These payments are typically due on 31st January during the tax year and 31st July after the tax year concludes.

33. Vigilant Business Recordkeeping

Whether you’re a sole trader or a business owner, meticulous recordkeeping is paramount. Maintaining comprehensive and accurate business records not only facilitates smooth tax compliance but also reduces the risk of errors, extra tax payments, and penalties that might arise during a tax audit.

34. Consultation Before Responding

Should you find yourself facing inquiries from the Taxman—be it in writing, over the phone, or during an on-site visit—prioritize consultation with your accountant. Seeking professional advice ensures that your responses are accurate and well-informed. If needed, request written queries to allow for thorough research before answering.

35. Vigilance Against Errors

It’s crucial to remember that even the Taxman can make mistakes. If you’re accused of underpaying taxes, engage your accountant to review the calculations before agreeing to any payments. This precaution can save you from potential financial setbacks caused by inaccuracies.

Incorporating these personal income tax tips into your financial strategy can lead to greater efficiency, increased savings, and a stronger financial future. Remember, every individual’s financial circumstances are unique, so consult with your dedicated tax advisor to tailor these personal tax tips to your specific needs. Stay tuned for the next instalment of our Tax Tips Series, where we’ll delve into expert insights on VAT savings.

Navigating the intricate world of business taxation requires a savvy approach to optimize your financial standing and compliance. As a business owner, mastering the art of tax management is essential for sustained growth and profitability. In this first instalment of our Tax Tips Series, we unveil a range of business tax tips that can make a significant impact on your bottom line. Let’s delve into the expert advice tailored to elevate your business and corporate tax game.

Business tax tips
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio

1. Optimize Family Involvement

Leverage familial connections to your advantage by employing strategic salary payments. If your spouse or civil partner earns below the annual personal allowance of £12,570 and contributes to your business, consider remunerating them. This practice not only lowers your taxable profits but also fosters pension and state benefits credits for them. A weekly wage between £120 and £183, exempt from national insurance, can prove valuable.

2. Harness Youthful Assistance

Employing your children, aged 13 or older, to contribute to your business presents a golden opportunity. Their income below £12,570 can be transformed into a wage, effectively reducing your taxable profits.

3. Plan Pre-Year-End Tax Meetings

Secure your financial success with proactive planning. Arrange a pre-year-end tax planning meeting with your accountant to ensure timely execution of essential actions. Waiting until year-end might hinder your ability to optimize tax strategies effectively.

4. Strategic Partnership

For sole traders facing 40% tax and whose spouse or civil partner is a lower-rate taxpayer, consider partnership arrangements. Shifting a portion of profits to them reduces tax liability. Limited Company structures offer the alternative of gifting them shares to distribute dividend income efficiently.

5. Optimal National Insurance Contributions

Sole traders earning less than £6,725 yearly can skip Class 2 national insurance but consider voluntary payments for state pension entitlement. Smart financial planning can lead to a secured retirement.

6. Ideal Business Structure

One of the most important business tax tips is to evaluate your business structure carefully. Sole traders and high-rate taxpayers should explore Limited Company options. Consider the benefits of Limited Liability Partnership structures for enhanced financial security.

7. Strategic Asset Acquisition

Timing matters when purchasing assets like equipment and vehicles. Procure these assets just before your year-end to accelerate capital allowance tax relief, often at 100% of their cost in the first year.

8. Business Financing Advantage

Align personal and business loans strategically. Convert personal loans into business loans to enjoy tax relief on interest payments, enhancing your financial efficiency.

9. Ownership Distribution

Minimize future Capital Gains Tax by spreading business ownership among family members. Ensuring a reduced tax burden upon the eventual sale of your business.

10. Maximizing Loss Relief

Claim relief for business losses by setting them off against prior-year profits and other income before carrying the balance forward.

11. Unquoted Company Loss Relief

Under specific conditions, you can claim tax relief for losses incurred in unquoted company investments by offsetting them against trade profits.

12. Business Tax Tips for Boats

An unusual business tax tip unless you are planning on owning a boat! Unlock potential tax benefits by claiming capital allowances for boats owned by the business and occasionally chartered out.

13. Home Office Deductions

Working from home? Claim a portion of mortgage interest, utilities, and other related expenses as tax deductions.

14. Recordkeeping Essentials

Maintain comprehensive records of expenses even without receipts, ensuring accurate business deductions.

15. Private Use Allocations

Review expenditure allocated for private use annually with your accountant to remain compliant and transparent.

16. Legitimate Business Promotion

Demonstrate genuine intent to benefit your business when engaging in activities like sponsoring events for tax-deductible expenses.

17. Effective Stock Valuation

Lower your tax liability by accurately valuing stock. If its market value is below purchase or production cost, adjusting stock value reduces taxable profits.

18. Capital Gains Tax Advantage

For trading businesses held for at least 1 year, selling qualifies for a 10% Capital Gains Tax rate on the first £1 million of gains, subject to review of trading duration.

19. Tax-Efficient Dividend Extraction

Employ a balanced approach of low PAYE salary and dividends for optimal extraction of funds from a limited company.

20. Dividend Compliance Assurance

Ensure dividends are properly documented with board resolutions and dividend vouchers to prevent reclassification issues.

21. Goodwill Tax Relief Strategy

To access tax relief for purchased goodwill, operate through a limited company, not as a sole trader or partnership.

22. Employee Partnership Benefits

Transform senior employees into partners to reduce employers’ national insurance liabilities and boost employee engagement.

23. Creative Company Fund Extraction

Extract funds efficiently through royalties, interest payments, or asset sales, capitalizing on annual exemptions.

24. Property Ownership Evaluation

Analyze the merits of personal vs. company ownership for your business property to maximize tax efficiency.

25. Navigating IR35

Mitigate IR35 implications by adopting the necessary measures to avoid national insurance and PAYE obligations on a substantial portion of earnings.

Mastering these diverse business tax tips strategies arms you with the knowledge to navigate the intricate world of corporate taxation effectively. The implementation of these insights can yield substantial savings, enhanced financial security, and compliance. Stay tuned for our upcoming Tax Tips Series articles, where we’ll delve into more tailored advice to further elevate your financial acumen. Next up will be our personal tax tips, followed by VAT tips, and then employer tax tips. Consult with your trusted tax professional to tailor these strategies to your unique circumstances and embark on a journey toward financial prosperity and peace of mind.

Here we explain the 2023 Xero Price Increase. How much Xero’s Prices are increasing. Why Xero’s prices are increasing. Also, the alternatives to Xero. With CloudBook Online Accountants, you can choose whichever software suits you the best.

Xero Price Increase 2023

The Xero Price Increase

Here are the Xero Price increases over the past two years:

2020 price pcm£10£24£30
2021 price pcm£12£26£33
2021 increase20%8%10%
2022 price pcm£14£28£36
2022 increase17%8%9%
2 Year increase40%17%20%
2023 price pcm£15£30£42
2023 increase7%7%17%
3 Year increase50%25%40%

Why are Xero’s Prices Increasing Again?

Xero state that they are continuing to invest in their platform to deliver more efficient tools, powerful insights and access to faster payments. The only noticeable change over the past year is that all of the reports have changed to allow you to edit them. They have now removed the old reports.

Has Xero improved?

In our opinion, Xero is certainly improving all of the time, however those changes are small. Where the changes are not small, they usually come at an extra cost, such as the Expenses or Projects add-ons. The core platform, in our opinion, has not improved enough over the past two years to justify up to a 50% increase in the Xero price over the past three years. Having said that, it is still the best online accounting software for small businesses. So if you can afford to continue using it, you should.

Alternatives to Xero Price Increase

Use CloudBook Online Accountants

With CloudBook Online Accountants, unlike other accountants, you can use whichever software you prefer. We don’t make you use Xero software, so you don’t have to pay their high prices. As well as that, you’ll probably save on accountancy fees too, with our low fixed monthly fees.

Downgrade Xero Plan

To avoid the price increase, could you downgrade your Xero plan? The Starter plan now has unlimited bank transactions and allows up to 20 sales invoices and 5 bills per month. Instead of using bills you could just attach them to the bank transaction. The Standard plan is only missing multi-currency which is only essential if you have foreign bank accounts. If you have few foreign currency transactions you could convert them manually.

Use Move My Books

Move My Books is a free service that helps you move your accounting data to Xero, QuickBooks or Sage Accounting. This could be useful if you are thinking of moving from Xero to QuickBooks or Sage.


Pandle is unlimited and comes with multi-currency and bank feeds for £5pcm. We can get it for £2.50pcm. It’s relatively new, sometimes slow, and takes a while to get used to. However, it should cope with most things you use Xero for.


QuickBooks is our next most popular software after Xero. It does most things that Xero can do and is quite easy to use. Their Self-Employed package is £10pcm, Simple is £14pcm, Essentials £24pcm, Plus is £34pcm.


FreeAgent is geared towards small business and freelancers. Natwest, RBS and Mettle bank customers can get it for free. We can get it for our clients for £17.50pcm.


Kashflow is less popular than it used to be. However, if you have straightforward accounting transactions, it can work well for you. Starter is £10.50pcm, Business is £22pcm or with payroll is £29pcm.


Quickfile is used by a few of our clients. It’s less easy to use but it can be free if you have less than 1000 entries per year, otherwise it’s just £60pa. If you want automated bank feeds, that’s an extra £15pa.


MyT accounting is a new software with a built-in receipt reader using AI to categorise your costs automatically. The Standard subscription is £5pcm, Plus is £15pcm and Pro is £30pcm.

Sage Accounting

From our experience Sage have struggled to keep up with their online competition. As such, we still don’t have any clients using Sage at the time of writing but we’d be happy to help you use it. However, it’s not much cheaper than Xero. The Start price is £14pcm. Standard is £28pcm and Plus is £36pcm.


If you’re not VAT registered, you could use a spreadsheet (e.g. Excel, Google Sheets, Numbers) to do your accounting. While we prefer online accounting software, if your accounting transactions are straightforward, a tidy spreadsheet would be ok. All transactions need to be categorised. Read more on our bookkeeping using a spreadsheet page.

Our Own Software

We have our own free software which very basically allows you to list your sales and expenditure. It can also submit MTD VAT returns.

Other Online Accounting Software

There are many other online accounting software platforms available. We’ll consider doing your accounts etc using any online accounting software. Look out for ones that can link to UK bank accounts and are MTD compliant. Unfortunately, this excludes Wave accounting which is a free alternative if you don’t need those things.

As businesses continue to embrace digital transformation, the role of online accounting software has become paramount in ensuring streamlined financial management. Whether you’re a small startup or an established enterprise, the right online accounting software can make a significant impact on your efficiency, accuracy, and overall success. In this article, we will delve into the 15 specific features in online accounting software that should be on your radar when selecting online accounting software tailored to your business needs.

Features in Online Accounting Software
Photo by Lukas Blazek on Unsplash

User-Friendly Interface

The foundation of any effective online accounting software is a user-friendly interface. Intuitive navigation, clear labeling, and organised dashboards ensure that users can quickly access the tools they need, reducing the learning curve and increasing overall productivity.

Cloud-Based Accessibility

Cloud-based accounting software enables users to access their financial data from anywhere, at any time, fostering collaboration and flexibility. Cloud solutions also eliminate the hassle of manual backups and offer enhanced security measures to safeguard sensitive financial information.

Automated Bookkeeping

Time-consuming manual data entry and tedious reconciliation processes become things of the past with automated bookkeeping features. These capabilities include bank feed integration, transaction categorization, and automatic reconciliation, saving valuable hours and reducing the risk of errors.

Invoicing and Billing

Efficient invoicing and billing tools allow businesses to create, send, and track invoices seamlessly. Customizable templates, automatic reminders, and integrated payment gateways improve cash flow and enhance the customer experience. Choose software that allows you to personalize your invoice templates to reflect your brand.

Expense Tracking

Managing expenses becomes effortless with software that intelligently categorizes and tracks your business expenditures. Detailed expense tracking features enable users to monitor business expenditures and easily allocate costs to appropriate categories. This data helps in budgeting, expense analysis, and tax preparation.

Financial Reporting

Make data-driven decisions with up-to-the-minute financial reports. Seek software that generates real-time reports. Comprehensive financial reporting capabilities provide insights into the health of the business. Balance sheets, income statements, cash flow reports, and customisable analytics empower informed decision-making.

Project or Inventory Accounting

Ideal for service-based businesses, project-based accounting allows you to track income and expenses for specific projects or clients. This feature provides insights into project profitability and resource allocation.

For businesses dealing with physical products, inventory management is crucial. Opt for software that tracks inventory levels, alerts you when it’s time to reorder, and integrates seamlessly with your sales and purchasing processes.

Integration Capabilities

In a connected business ecosystem, integration is key. Seamless integration with other business tools, such as CRM systems, e-commerce platforms, and payroll software, ensures a unified and holistic approach to financial management.

Multi-Currency Support

For businesses operating in the global market, multi-currency support is essential. The ability to handle transactions and conversions in various currencies simplifies international operations.

Security Measures

Top-tier security features, including data encryption, two-factor authentication, and regular software updates, protect sensitive financial data from unauthorized access and cyber threats. Choose software that employs bank-level security measures, including data encryption and secure servers, to ensure the confidentiality of your information.

Payroll Integration

Seamless integration with payroll processing ensures that employee salaries, taxes, and deductions are accurately calculated and recorded, saving you from the complexities of manual payroll management.

Collaboration Tools and Controls

Collaboration tools allow multiple users, such as accountants, bookkeepers, and business owners, to work together in real time, facilitating efficient teamwork and ensuring accurate financial records. Maintain control over who can access and modify your financial data. Opt for software that offers customizable user permissions and access controls to prevent unauthorized changes.

Mobile Accessibility

In an increasingly mobile world, mobile accessibility ensures that users can manage their finances on the go. Mobile apps with essential features make it convenient to stay connected and informed. This allows you to manage invoices, track expenses, and access financial reports from your smartphone or tablet.

Audit Trail

Ensure accountability and transparency by using software that maintains a comprehensive audit trail. An audit trail feature provides a detailed history of all financial transactions and changes, enhancing transparency, accountability, and compliance.

Customer Support

Responsive customer support, including live chat, email, and phone assistance, ensures that users receive timely help with any issues or questions that may arise during their software usage. When you have questions or run into issues, timely customer support can make all the difference. Choose software providers that offer responsive customer support channels, as well as training resources to help you maximize the software’s potential.


Selecting the right online accounting software is a crucial decision for businesses aiming to optimize their financial management processes. The 15 must-have features in online accounting software outlined in this article serve as a comprehensive guide to help businesses make informed choices that align with their unique needs and objectives. By embracing these features, businesses can navigate the complexities of modern finance with confidence, efficiency, and accuracy.

Are you tired of feeling overwhelmed when it comes to understanding and calculating your income tax in the UK? You’re not alone. The world of taxes can be complex and confusing, leaving many individuals scratching their heads and dreading tax season. But fear not, because we’re here to demystify the process and make it as simple as possible. In this step-by-step guide, we’ll walk you through the ins and outs of UK income tax, breaking it down into easy-to-understand terms and providing you with practical tips for calculating your taxes accurately. From understanding the different tax bands and allowances to knowing what deductions you can claim, this guide has got you covered. Say goodbye to confusion and hello to clarity as we empower you to take control of your tax obligations. So, let’s dive in and unravel the mysteries of UK income tax together!

Calculating your income tax

Understanding the UK income tax system

The UK income tax system is based on the principle of progressive taxation, which means that the more you earn, the higher the percentage of tax you pay. It is important to understand the different tax bands and allowances to accurately calculate your income tax.

In the UK, there are three main tax bands: the basic rate, the higher rate, and the additional rate. The basic rate is currently set at 20% and applies to income up to a certain threshold. The higher rate is set at 40% and applies to income above the basic rate threshold. The additional rate is set at 45% and applies to income above a higher threshold. The respective rate for dividends are 8.75%, 33.75% and 39.35%.

To determine your tax liability, you need to know your total income for the tax year, which includes your salary, rental income, dividends, and any other taxable income sources. It is important to keep track of all your income throughout the year to ensure accurate calculations.

Different types of income that are taxable

In the UK, most types of income are subject to taxation. This includes income from employment, self-employment, rental income, dividends, and interest on savings. It is important to understand which types of income are taxable to ensure accurate calculations.

Income from employment is taxable and includes salary, bonuses, commissions, tips, and benefits in kind. Self-employment income is also taxable, and you are required to report your income and expenses on a self-assessment tax return. Rental income from properties is taxable, and you need to report it on your tax return as well.

Dividends received from UK companies are also subject to taxation. The amount of tax you pay on dividends depends on your income tax band. Interest on savings above a certain threshold is also taxable. It is important to keep track of all your income sources and report them accurately to avoid any penalties or fines.

Personal allowance and tax bands in the UK

Understanding personal allowance and tax bands is crucial when calculating your income tax in the UK. Personal allowance is the amount of income you can earn tax-free each year. It is currently set at £12,570 for the tax year 2023/2024.

If your income is below the personal allowance, you do not need to pay any income tax. However, if your income exceeds the personal allowance, it will be subject to taxation at the applicable tax rate.

As mentioned earlier, the UK has three main tax bands: the basic rate, the higher rate, and the additional rate. The basic rate applies to income between £12,571 and £50,270. The higher rate applies to income between £50,271 and £125,140 (was £150,000). The additional rate applies to income above £125,140 (was £150,000). These bands are effective from 2023-24.

It is important to note that the tax bands and personal allowance may change each tax year, so it’s crucial to stay updated with the latest information.

Calculating income tax: Step-by-step guide

Calculating your income tax in the UK can be a daunting task, but with a step-by-step approach, it becomes much more manageable. Here’s a guide to help you calculate your income tax accurately:

1. Determine your total income for the tax year: Add up all your income from employment, self-employment, rental income, dividends, and any other taxable income sources.

2. Subtract your personal allowance: If your total income is below the personal allowance, you do not need to pay any income tax. Subtract the personal allowance from your total income.

3. Calculate the tax on your taxable income: Once you have subtracted the personal allowance, you will have your taxable income. Apply the relevant tax rate to calculate the tax due. For example, if your taxable income falls within the basic rate band, apply the basic rate of 20%. The first £1,000 of dividends are taxed at 0%. The first £1,000 (£500 for higher rate tax payers) of interest received is taxed at 0%.

4. Consider any tax reliefs or deductions: There are certain tax reliefs and deductions that you may be eligible for. These include contributions to pension schemes, charitable donations, and certain business expenses. Make sure to claim any applicable deductions to reduce your overall tax liability.

5. Calculate the total tax due: Add up the tax due from each tax band to calculate your total tax liability for the year.

By following these steps, you can calculate your income tax accurately and ensure compliance with the UK tax laws.

Deductible expenses and tax reliefs

When calculating your income tax in the UK, it’s important to take advantage of any deductible expenses and tax reliefs that you are eligible for. These can help reduce your overall tax liability and maximize your tax savings.

Some common deductible expenses include:

– Business expenses: If you are self-employed, you can deduct certain business expenses such as office rent, utilities, travel expenses, and professional fees.

– Pension contributions: Contributions to registered pension schemes are eligible for tax relief. This means that you can deduct the amount of your pension contributions from your taxable income, reducing your overall tax liability.

– Charitable donations: Donations to registered charities are also eligible for tax relief. You can claim tax relief on the amount of your charitable donations, reducing your overall tax liability.

It’s important to keep accurate records of your deductible expenses and claim them on your tax return. This will help ensure that you are not paying more tax than necessary and that you are taking advantage of all available tax reliefs.

National Insurance contributions

In addition to income tax, individuals in the UK are also required to pay National Insurance contributions (NICs). NICs are used to fund state benefits and the National Health Service (NHS).

There are different classes of NICs depending on your employment status and level of income. Class 1 NICs are paid by employees. While class 2 and class 4 NICs are paid by self-employed individuals based on their profit.

The amount of NICs you pay depends on your earnings and the specific class of NICs you are liable for. It is important to be aware of your NICs obligations and ensure that you are paying the correct amount.

For example class 1 NIC is 12% and class 4 NIC is 9% on income in the basic rate band. The rate decreases to 2% on income above the basic rate band for both class 1 and class 4. Class 2 is a flat rate of £3.45 per week if profits exceed the personal allowance.

Self-assessment and filing your tax return

If you are self-employed or have income that is not taxed through the PAYE (Pay As You Earn) system, you will need to file a self-assessment tax return. Self-assessment is the process of reporting your income and expenses to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and calculating your own tax liability.

Filing a self-assessment tax return can be complex, but it’s crucial to ensure accurate reporting and compliance with the UK tax laws. You can file your tax return online using HMRC’s online self-assessment service or by using commercial software.

When filing your tax return, make sure to include all your income sources, deductible expenses, and any tax reliefs or deductions you are eligible for. It’s important to keep accurate records and retain supporting documents in case of an audit or query from HMRC.

The deadline for filing your self-assessment tax return is 31st January following the end of the tax year (5th April). Failure to file your tax return on time can result in penalties and fines, so make sure to mark the deadline in your calendar and allow enough time to complete your tax return accurately.

Paying income tax

The tax payable for a tax year ending 5th April is payable to HMRC by the following 31st January. Depending on how much tax is owed, and how much is collected by PAYE, you may also have to make payments on account. These are payments in advance towards the following tax year’s amount owed. A first 50% payment on account is payable by 31st January. A second 50% payment on account is payable by the following 31st July. These payments on account are deducted from the tax you owe in the following year. The easiest way to pay your income tax is using online banking – see here.

Common mistakes to avoid when calculating income tax

When calculating your income tax in the UK, it’s important to avoid common mistakes that can lead to inaccurate calculations and potential penalties. Here are some common mistakes to watch out for:

1. Not keeping accurate records: It’s crucial to keep accurate records of all your income, expenses, and other relevant financial information. This will help ensure that your calculations are accurate and that you can provide supporting evidence if required.

2. Forgetting to claim all eligible deductions: There are various tax reliefs and deductions available in the UK tax system. Make sure to claim all eligible deductions to reduce your overall tax liability.

3. Not staying updated with the latest tax rates and allowances: The tax rates and allowances can change each tax year. It’s important to stay updated with the latest information to ensure accurate calculations.

4. Filing your tax return late: Failing to file your tax return by the deadline can result in penalties and fines. Make sure to mark the deadline in your calendar and allow enough time to complete your tax return accurately.

5. Not seeking professional help when needed: Calculating your income tax can be complex, especially if you have multiple income sources or complicated financial situations. If you are unsure about any aspect of your tax calculations, it’s advisable to seek professional help from a tax advisor or accountant.

6. Not registering for a tax return on time: If you owe tax for a tax year ending 5th April and you don’t have a personal unique tax reference (UTR), you need to register for self assessment by the following 5th October. It can take several weeks to receive your UTR which is needed to submit a tax return.

By avoiding these common mistakes, you can ensure accurate calculations and compliance with the UK tax laws.

Seeking professional help with your taxes

While it’s possible to calculate your income tax on your own, seeking professional help can provide peace of mind and ensure accurate calculations. A tax advisor or accountant can help you navigate the complexities of the UK tax system, maximize your tax savings, and ensure compliance with the tax laws.

A tax professional can help you with various aspects of your taxes, including:

– Calculating your income tax accurately, taking into account all income sources, deductions, and tax reliefs.

– Ensuring compliance with the UK tax laws and avoiding penalties or fines.

– Providing advice on tax planning and strategies to minimize your tax liability.

– Assisting with the preparation and filing of your tax return, including dealing with any queries or audits from HMRC.

If you have a complicated financial situation or multiple income sources, it’s advisable to seek professional help to ensure accurate calculations and compliance with the tax laws.


Understanding and calculating your income tax in the UK doesn’t have to be overwhelming. By following this step-by-step guide, you can demystify the process and take control of your tax obligations. From understanding the different tax bands and allowances to knowing what deductions you can claim, this guide has provided you with the knowledge and tools to calculate your income tax accurately. Remember to stay updated with the latest tax rates and allowances, keep accurate records, and seek professional help when needed. With a little bit of knowledge and careful planning, you can navigate the world of UK income tax with confidence. Take charge of your taxes and enjoy the peace of mind that comes with accurate calculations and compliance with the tax laws.