Archive for August, 2014

SITR, SEIS and EIS

Friday, August 1st, 2014

From April 2014 a new investment relief has been created, the Social Investment Tax Relief (SITR). Investments must be in a social enterprise, which means a community interest company, a community benefit society, or a charity. The money raised must be used for the enterprise’s chosen trade or charitable purpose.

In many ways SITR shares characteristics with the SEIS (Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme) and the EIS (Enterprise Investment Scheme). There are, however, some differences in the Income Tax, Capital Gains Tax and investment limits for each scheme.

Another important distinction is that SITR is the only scheme that can apply to certain debt instruments as well as shares.

A summary of the present tax reliefs available under the three schemes are set out below:

 Income Tax

 SITR – 30%, SEIS – 50%, and EIS -30%.

 Capital Gains Tax

 All three schemes provide potential CGT free gains on the growth in investments, if achieved, provided they are held for the minimum holding period.

 Additionally, gains on the disposal of any asset can be deferred into SITR and EIS (but not SEIS) investments.

 In place of the full deferral relief, investors in SEIS can claim a 50% exemption of the gains reinvested.

 At present the maximum amount that an individual can invest in SITR investments is £1m annually. The equivalent maximum amounts for SEIS are £100,000, and EIS £1m.

 Further, the maximum amounts that the entity can raise are: SITR Euros 200,000 over 3 years (including any other de minimis state aid received), SEIS £150,000 over 3 years, and EIS £5m in any 12 month period.

 Investors considering their investment options should seek professional advice as it may not be immediately clear which would be the best scheme to support their investment needs.

Companies House to increase free access to data

Friday, August 1st, 2014

In an effort to increase corporate transparency Companies House is to make all of its digital data available free of charge. This will make the UK the first country to establish a truly open register of business information.

As a result, it will be easier for businesses and members of the public to research and scrutinise the activities and ownership of companies and connected individuals. Last year (2013/14), customers searching the Companies House website spent £8.7 million accessing company information on the register.

The change will come into effect from the second quarter of 2015 (April – June).

Business Secretary Vince Cable said:

 “The Government firmly believes that the best way to maximise the value to the UK economy of the information which Companies House holds, is for it to be available as open data. By making its data freely available and free of charge, Companies House is making the UK a more transparent, efficient and effective place to do business.”

 It will be interesting to see how enterprising individuals and companies use the data for business development purposes.

Why management accounts are helpful

Friday, August 1st, 2014

Management accounts, produced on a regular basis, will give you and your professional advisor the information you need to manage your business and keep your planned profit growth on-track. They also provide the basic data that you will need to minimise your tax payments and keep your business on track to produce sustainable profits. Additionally, management accounts can be used to:

Keep your bank informed

If your business is constantly pushing towards the top end of its overdraft or loan facilities, your bank manager will be much more sympathetic to your requests for more support if you can provide regular up-to-date accounts.

Plan the purchase of new plant, equipment or vehicles

The tax allowances you can claim for capital purchases can vary significantly. In particular the date on which you buy and the specification of the vehicle or equipment will need to be taken into account. Well worth taking professional tax advice before you make any significant investment in this area.

Plan how you pay yourself

The options you have available to minimise tax and National Insurance on any income you draw from your business depends on the type of business structure you have opted to work with. Self-employed traders will pay tax on their profits regardless of the amount of cash they withdraw for personal needs; directors and shareholders of Limited Companies will pay tax on the amount of salary or dividends they take. Dividends, however, do not attract a National Insurance charge. Each business offers its own opportunities to minimise state deductions and maximise take home pay. You should certainly take advice prior to your year end to make sure you choose the right strategy; waiting until after the year end may close down beneficial options.

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