Individual Savings Accounts

Successive governments, concerned at the relatively low level of savings in the UK economy have over the years introduced various means by which individuals can save through a tax-free environment. ISAs are tax-exempt savings accounts available to individuals aged 18 or over who are resident and ordinarily resident in the UK. ISAs are only available to individual investors and cannot be held jointly.

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Incorporation

The issue of whether to run your business as a company or a sole trader or partnership is an important one. In this factsheet, we summarise the potential tax savings available from operating as a company. In our view it is generally beneficial, in tax terms, to trade as a limited company as there are annual tax savings.

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Inheritance Tax – a Summary

Inheritance tax (IHT) is levied on a person’s estate when they die, and certain gifts made during an individual’s lifetime. Gifts between UK-domiciled spouses during their lifetime or on death are exempt from IHT. In this factsheet spouse includes married couples and registered civil partners. Most gifts made more than seven years before death will escape tax. Therefore, if you plan in advance, gifts can be made tax-free and result in a substantial tax saving.

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Inheritance Tax Avoidance – Pre-Owned Assets

Inheritance tax (IHT) was introduced approximately 30 years ago and broadly charges to tax certain lifetime gifts of capital and estates on death. With IHT came the concept of ‘potentially exempt transfers’ (PETs): make a lifetime gift of capital to an individual and, so long as you live for seven years from making the gift, there can be no possible IHT charge on it whatever the value of the gift. The rules create uncertainty until the seven year period has elapsed but, at the same time, opportunity to pass significant capital value down the generations without an IHT charge.

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Insuring Your Business

When starting a new business, you will no doubt recognise the need for insurance. It can provide compensation and peace of mind should things go wrong but can also represent a significant cost. In this factsheet we consider the different types of insurance you need to consider.

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UK Payroll Guide

Having the right payroll system is imperative to ensure you are paying your staff accurately, on time, and in-keeping with the law. The law states how things like national insurance must be deducted, how payslips are issued, and records kept/returns to the tax man. These things all come under ‘payroll’ and must be taken care of for the million or so UK businesses that employ staff.

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Internet and Email Access Policy

In order to protect the firm, its employees, customers and suppliers, all members of staff should be given a copy of the firm’s policy regarding acceptable use of IT resources – particularly internet, email access, and data protection policies. It may also be necessary to have a separate Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy covering the use of personal devices and to what extent (if any) these are permitted to connect to corporate information systems.

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Land and Buildings Transaction Tax

Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT) is payable by the purchaser in a land transaction which occurs in Scotland. These types of transaction would include a simple conveyance of land such as buying a house but also creating a lease or assigning a lease. LBTT is payable by the purchaser in a land transaction occurring in Scotland.

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Legal Working in the UK

In line with the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006, it is a criminal offence to employ anyone who does not have an entitlement to work in the UK, or undertake the type of work you are offering. Any employer who does not comply with the law may face a fine of up to £20,000 per offence. Further, if employers knowingly use illegal migrant labour it could carry a maximum five year prison sentence and/or an unlimited fine.

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Limited Liability Partnerships

The key advantage of a LLP compared with a traditional partnership is that the members of the LLP (it is very important that they should not be called partners but members) are able to limit their personal liability if something goes wrong with the business, in much the same way as shareholders in a company have always been able to do. Of course anyone lending money to the LLP such as a bank may still require personal guarantees from the members, as they frequently do with directors/shareholders in a company.

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