Steven Mugglestone

The more I learn, the less I know

Top Tax Tips for 2012, without moving to Switzerland

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Top Tax Tips for 2012, without moving to Switzerland

We often get asked, “How can we save tax, without looking at any complicated stuff, and we do not want to move to Switzerland.”  We have, therefore, put a short but perfectly constructed list together of easy and straightforward things for all SME business to consider before 31 March 2012, and maybe beyond, depending on George Osborne.  It is not easy to say, but these are our top tax tips for 2012.

We, of course, can help you with any of these areas:

 “The tax relief that time forgot”: We have said it before, Click:, Research & Development Tax Credit Relief is potentially available to businesses involved in most technological or scientific advancements. This is a 200% relief, with SMEs getting £2 tax relief for every £1 spent on qualifying R&D spend.  This is, therefore, one of the most valuable tax reliefs available to businesses today.

“The Return of Entrepreneurs Relief”: another valuable tax relief which can save entrepreneurs up to £1.8m of tax as part of the sale of a qualifying business or asset. Business owners should check with their advisers whether they can claim for any of the many reliefs that are available to them.

“How green is your transport”: We have said this before as well: Click:, using ‘green’ company cars with low CO² emissions as well as bikes, can result in a saving on tax. Many car manufacturers are now rising to the challenge of the increased demand for green cars and there are a variety of ‘executive’ and even ‘prestige’ cars which have low emissions.
“Trust the Carbon Trust”; the Carbon Trust oversees a list of ‘green’ equipment for which businesses can claim Enhanced Capital Allowances. This includes low CO² emissions machines, screens for refrigerated cabinets, solar collection systems to heat water, and more recently, washroom hand dryers. The advantage of buying this equipment is that, subject to limits on Capital Allowances, the cost qualifies for full tax deduction against profits.

“The Final Countdown for First Year Allowances”; Buy machinery before April so businesses can claim Capital Allowances when purchasing qualifying items of plant and machinery. Subject to certain conditions, full tax relief can be obtained on purchases up to £100,000. But watch out because from April this year, the allowance is to be reduced to £25,000, so business owners need to consider the timing and may need to buy now or pay more tax later.

Maximise property capital allowance claims: from April, new provisions will be introduced to restrict claiming Capital Allowances on the acquisition of second hand buildings. This means that property owners should consider whether they have claimed everything they can on property acquisitions prior to this date. Those considering purchasing a new property should seek advice regarding the timing of this.

VAT moves from paper to online: from April all businesses will have to submit their VAT returns online and pay their VAT liability electronically. Any businesses not yet filing their VAT returns will need to register for online filing as soon as possible. While we’re on the subject, don’t forget that from this year an automatic penalty of £100 will be automatically issued if a tax return is filed late, and this will apply regardless of whether there is tax to pay or the tax due has been paid on time. Swap salary for benefits and a bike: this is becoming increasingly attractive for the majority of businesses struggling to give their staff a pay rise.  Employees can look to exchange part of their salary in exchange for a benefit which can result in tax and NI savings. This arrangement is available for a wide range of benefits from pensions to cycle to work schemes, again mention at: Click:

The new kid on the block…. Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme – April 2012 sees the relaxation of the conditions for companies to qualify for Enterprise Investment Scheme EIS status as well as the introduction of the Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS).  Businesses should find it easier to raise finance in the future. Business owners can speak to us now to review their funding requirements and the qualifying criteria so that they are ready to act in April.

Watch this space as further things develop.  Also, if you do want to look at Switzerland …………

Steven Mugglestone BA FCA,
Finance Director Services
McGregors Corporate, Entrepreneurial Chartered Accountants and Business Advisers
…….Really good for your business

McGregors Corporate are a Member of Probiz Tax, providing Innovative Tax Solutions to Owner Managed Businesses.

T: 0845 519 5659                T: 0121 236 3317

Connect, call, talk, email, contact us, send a messenger pigeon and arrange a discussion, review and free meeting.


Written by Steven Mugglestone

January 23, 2012 at 7:59 pm

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