One of the great irony’s of running your own business is that when you congratulate yourself on a good trading year, the realisation can dawn that it is the taxman who ends up the main beneficiary.
Business owners are so busy with the day job that they overlook necessary financial planning.
Three commonly missed opportunities are:
Firstly, buy premises rather than rent – borrow against the purchase of business assets.
Writing off the interest payments on a commercial mortgage against your trading profits is a massively efficient way of reducing tax.
Secondly, hold cash efficiently – if nothing else, ensure that you are benefiting from the best possible interest rate on the company’s cash at bank. Inertia will often mean that business owners keep cash deposits with the same institution that provides the company’s current account. High Street banks almost always pay less than the new, often internet-based, entrants to the savings markets.
Longer-term cash reserves can be held tax efficiently within an offshore insurance bond. Any money held in the bond will benefit from what is known as ‘gross roll up’ and no tax will be payable on the interest until the funds are repatriated. With careful planning the eventual repatriation of the monies can be made at a time when the company is making little or no profit and, effectively, interest will have been earned tax free.
And lastly, business owners can save personal and company tax by funding pensions and should encourage employees to take benefits this way too to help reduce employers’ National Insurance.
Time taken out of your busy day-to-day responsibilities to help plan a tax efficient business strategy is never wasted.