• When do I need to file my tax returns?

        • It is essential to know whether your accountant is going to file your return via Paper Filing or using the on-line method, as both methods have different dates.

          If you wish to file your Tax Return by Paper, HM Revenue and Customs should receive it no later than 31st October. However, if you will be using the H.M Revenue and Customs on-line services you have until the 31st January of the following year to file the return as well as making the payment due on account.

          If in any case your return is sent late to HMRC you will automatically be liable to a fine of 100 plus any interest due on your account.

      • When do I have to register for VAT and how?

        • Registration is compulsory if your sales exceeds the band set by HMRC within the last 12 months (cumulative) otherwise you may be able to register voluntarily.

          Apply for VAT registration online and download the VAT registration forms from the HM Revenue & Customs website.

      • How often do I need to complete a VAT return?

        • Every quarter, a return is issued and must be submitted with any payment due to HM Revenue & Customs no later than thirty days from the end of the quarter.

          Making returns and payments on time is essential, this is due to the extensive legislation in place to levy penalties on defaulters.

          Businesses with regular repayments may make monthly returns or three monthly returns. Those using the Annual Accounting Scheme need make only one return per year, which has to be submitted two months after the end of the scheme year.

      • Can I deregister my business from VAT?

        • Deregistration from VAT is usually a fairly straightforward process. However, there are some important aspects to bear in mind which, if misunderstood, could prove costly.

          A business must deregister if:

          •       It ceases to make taxable supplies.
          •       The legal entity changes, e.g. from a sole trader to a company (although the         new entity could retain the existing VAT number)
          •       It is sold (although the owner could retain the VAT number)
          •       It registered because it intended to make taxable supplies but the intention •         no longer exists.
          •       It is a corporate body and wants to join a group registration, or
          •       It is the representative member of a group registration and the group is to be         disbanded.

          A business may deregister if it can satisfy HM Revenue & Customs that taxable turnover in the next 12 months will not exceed the deregistration threshold. Although supplies of capital assets can be ignored in applying this threshold, positive rated supplies of land and buildings must be included. Sometimes, satisfying HM Revenue & Customs of reduced turnover levels can be difficult.

      • What is PAYE?

        • PAYE (pay as you earn) is a withholding tax in the United Kingdom, Ireland, and certain other countries.

          It is an amount collected by employers on behalf of the government from employees as a provisional payment of tax on the employee's income.

      • When do you have to register for self - employment?

        • Usually you should register yourself as self-employed as soon as have started working for yourself, but you still have three months from the date you started to trading to inform HMRC of your business.

          If you fail to inform HMRC within in the first three months, you will again be liable to a late notice penalty of 100.

      • What are the current rates of the national minimum wage?

        • There are three levels of minimum wage, and the rates from 1 October 2009 are:

          •       5.80 per hour for workers aged 22 years and older
          •       a development rate of 4.83 per hour for workers aged 18-21 inclusive
          •       3.57 per hour for all workers under the age of 18, who are no longer of               compulsory school age

      • How long do I have to keep my business records?

        • There is no simple answer to this question because different types of record are covered by different types of legislation, as shown by the following summary:

          Value added tax
          By law, VAT records have to be kept for six years, unless Customs and Excise allows a shorter period. Any request you make to keep records for a shorter period must be accompanied by a full explanation of why it is considered impractical to keep the records.

          The Inland Revenue recommends that PAYE records be kept for at least three years after the income tax year to which they relate.

          Taxes Generally
          For periods before the start of self assessment the Inland Revenue can issue an assessment at any time up to six years after the end of the chargeable period to which the assessment relates. There is no limit in cases of fraud or wilful default. From April 1996, all business records must be retained for a period of (broadly) six years.

          Company records
          Under corporation tax self assessment, accounting records must be preserved for six years from the end of the accounting period.

          With regard to the statutory books, there are no specific requirements, but the Companies Act states that an entry relating to a former member of the company may be removed from the Register of Members 20 years from the day he or she ceased to be a member.

          Also, the Register of Directors and Secretary must include details of past directorships held within the preceding five years

      • How quickly can my company be formed?

        • If you have a name which you want to use for your company the normal procedure is to form a "custom-made" company. This normally takes six working days from receipt of your instructions (i.e. a company ordered on a Tuesday will normally be incorporated on the following Wednesday, subject to bank holidays etc.), and the company is formed to your own choice of name immediately.

          If time is of the essence then generally an "off-the-shelf" company is usually the answer. This is a company which is already formed, and we can provide you with a list of available names on request. This option means that you can have limited liability status within a matter of minutes.

          If the name is not to your liking then we can arrange to effect an immediate name change for you; this takes the usual seven working days, but the company already exists and can commence trading immediately (think of the name change as being similar to changing your name by deed pole; you are still the same individual before and after, but your name has been legally changed). We offer a "package" price for the purchase of an off-the-shelf company with an immediate name change.

      • How is the company set up?

        • To enable us to form your company as quickly as we possibly can, the company is set up with our "nominees" as director, secretary and shareholders, and with the Registered Office at our address.

          On the day the company is incorporated our nominees resign and transfer their shares to your choice of shareholders, and we file the relevant documentation to change the company's Registered Office to your choice of address.

      • What will the annual running costs be?

        • As with any business, the company will need to prepare annual accounts and present these to the Inland Revenue. However, in addition the company will also need to file a copy of its accounts with Companies House.

          For companies with a turnover (sales) below 1m per year no audit of the accounts by a qualified accountant is required unless the shareholders require one. For companies with turnovers below this limit an accountant is not a legal requirement, although as with any business we would always recommend that you seek advice from a suitably qualified accountant; they will prevent you from making costly errors and almost certainly reduce your tax charge. An audit is necessary for turnover above 1m per year.

          An Annual Return also needs to be filed with Companies House once a year. The filing fee for this is 15.00.

      • Do I have to trade immediately?

        • No. Your company can remain dormant (non-trading) for as long as you wish, subject to you filing dormant accounts with both the Inland Revenue and Companies House, and an Annual Return with Companies House.


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