lowering bucket into well

Profits for business owners and their families

Rebecca Durrant, Partner, National Head of Private Clients
lowering bucket into well
Ahead of the end of the tax year, business owners and entrepreneurs need to ensure that they are doing everything they can to help achieve their business and personal goals. The key to this is maximising the profits of the business so it can provide for the owners and their families.

 Act now: tax planning opportunities

  ►  Year-end tax planning opportunities for individuals
  ►  Tax planning for residential property owners
  ►  Tax planning for resident and non-domiciled individuals
  ►  Key tax considerations for Trustees
  ►  Radical changes to UK Inheritance Tax proposed
  ►  Concerns for the future of Entrepreneurs' Relief

We have outlined simple but effective ways to help business owners make the most of their hard earned profits.

For the business

Business owners should consider the timing for expenditure before the year-end of the business, particularly for things like capital expenditure and company pension contributions.

However if the tax year-end is used as trigger point, business owners can be ahead of the game and plan in advance. Points to think about are below.

  • Capital expenditure: has the business used its annual investment allowance? This was increased to £1 million per year from 1 January 2019 to 31 December 2020 and with a 100% tax deduction, this is very attractive. The rules can be complex so purchases should be timed carefully to make the most of it.
  • Pension contributions: directors and employees may be looking to top up their contributions pre-5 April and contributing via the company is an efficient way of doing this. Salary sacrifice can still be used for pension arrangements but remember they must be in place before the contribution is made.
  • Employee benefits: people are the main asset of any business. If business owners are thinking of incentivising their employees, pre-5 April may be a good time to do this ready for the new tax year.
  • Electric cars: it’s a good time to invest in an electric car in the business.  Benefit in kind rates for fully electric cars are reducing from 16% to 0% in the new tax year, and hybrid vehicles will also see a reduction depending on their electric range. 100% tax relief is available for electric cars, and cars that have CO2 emissions of 50g/km or less, until 31 March 2021.  Incentives are also available for electric charge points.

For the business owner

Once the business is in good working order, business owners should consider how they can extract their profits efficiently. This can be done in a number of ways.

  • Making use of the different rate bands: planning income withdrawal to make sure business owners are not falling within the more expensive tax bands is a simple way of saving tax. Remember the band between £100,000 and £125,000 has an effective tax rate of 60% so should be avoided if possible.
  • Balancing income between family members: if family members are shareholders or work in the business their allowances and reliefs can also be maximised.
  • Dividend vs salary: despite the increase in dividend tax rates it is still cheaper to draw profits via dividend rather than salary.
  • Using the dividend allowance: there is still a £2,000 tax free dividend allowance so make sure it is used.
  • Maximising pension contributions: employer contributions are very efficient and personal contributions can help mitigate the 60% band above.
  • Making tax efficient investments: mitigate liabilities still further by making tax efficient investments such as investing in companies via the Enterprise Investment Scheme.

Simple planning techniques can ensure you are able to enjoy the profits of the business now without the tax being too painful.

It is also important to plan ahead. Too often business owners have not thought about a succession plan and whether this involves their families, employees or sale it is crucial to have the structure of the business right to maximise any opportunity that may arise. With the position on Entrepreneurs Relief and Inheritance Tax very much in the headlines at the moment it is more important than ever to plan ahead.

If you would like to learn more about the planning opportunities available for entrepreneurs and business owners please contact your local Crowe contact.

Contact us

Our national private clients team provides specialist tax advice to some of the most successful individuals and families in the UK. We understand that absolute discretion is essential and take pride in building long-term relationships with our clients. Get in touch with us today.
Rebecca Durrant
Rebecca Durrant
National Head of Private Clients, Manchester