Accountants for Traders Articles

The articles shown below give a flavour of some of the issues that affect the trading community from an accountancy and tax perspective, and further updates can be found on the discussions page of our LinkedIn Group

However, please note that the articles published both on this website and in the email newsletter are not intended to be an effective replacement for sound professional advice geared to your own particular circumstances. As such, A4G cannot accept any responsibility for any losses following either the action or inaction of activities discussed in the articles. Of course, should you wish to discuss any of the issues with one of our accounting and tax planning specialists, why not contact us?

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What structure should I use for trading?

If you are UK based and trading in any of the financial markets, you have effectively two main vehicles options through which you may run your trading activities, Self-Employment or Limited Company. Read more...

Heavier fines for late tax returns!

With much heavier fines for late or non-submission of Self-Assessment Tax Returns taking effect from January, don't leave your tax return to the last minute!

As well as risking an enhanced penalty, the earlier your tax return is completed, the more notice you will have of any approaching liabilities. Find our more about this at our Don't forget your tax return article, and for further advice call a member of our specialist team on (01474) 853 856.

A simple tax tip for investments

Have you ever considered whether you are the best person to hold on to all of your investments within your household?

Did you know that by transferring some of these investments (particularly the income producing assets) to your spouse of another family member, you may be able to make instant tax savings?

Find out more by reading our A simple tax tip for investments article 

Investments which can bring 30% tax relief

If you are a higher or additional rate tax payer, have you considered making investments that could provide you with tax relief of 30% on the amount invested?

By using the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) or Venture Capital Trust (VCT) investments, you may claim this tax relief in the year of investment, receive tax free proceeds in the event of selling these shares and in the case of VCT investments, receive tax-free income during the time you hold the shares.

To find out more read our Investments with up front tax relief article

Trade or spread betting?

Have you ever questioned whether you are a financial trader or a spread better?

Whilst the HM Revenue and Customs guidance on the issue is decidedly grey, dependent upon your circumstances, you may find that you could be better off by either using a trading or a spread betting platform.

However, you should also consider non-tax related issues, such as the ability to obtain finance and the relative costs and speed of changing platforms, before making any more..

Claiming your household expenses

If you work from home either on a part-time or full-time basis, are you claiming for all of your expenses possible?

You may claim for a proportional amount of your household expenses dependent upon the time and space that your trading activities use, but be careful not to fall foul of the potential capital gains tax and business rates more..

Using offshore companies

If you are considering attempting to move some of your trading activity offshore, you should consider the potential pitfalls as this is an area closely monitored by HM Revenue & Customs.

However, if you are able to ensure that the offshore trading is controlled and managed offshore, and you are considering relocating away from the UK in the future, then such a structure may be a useful addition to your financial more..

Residence and domicile update

Following on from our article in April 2010, the legislation surrounding the ‘remittance basis charge’ has changed with effect from 6th April 2011 and will affect any long-term resident, non-domiciled individuals in the UK.

In addition, further consultations are currently taking place with regards to further planned adjustments to the legislation to introduce a "Statutory Residence Test’ from April 2012 which could affect any regular visitors to, or temporary residents in, the more..

Simple tax planning tip for non-doms

If you are not originally from the UK, but are currently resident or are thinking of becoming a resident in the UK and your stay is likely to be less than seven years, you will be subject to tax in the UK based on any remittances that you make from overseas in addition to any income you actually earn in the UK. Read more..

Are you missing out on tax allowances for holiday accommodation?

If you own (or plan to own) a second (third, fourth, etc) property in the UK or within the boundaries of the EU, which is let furnished as holiday accommodation, you could be missing out on additional allowances available against your tax bill, and may even be eligible for a beneficial rate of tax upon sale. Read more..

HM Revenue and Customs targeting multiple property owners

If you do own more than one property (whether it is let or not), you should be aware that HM Revenue and Customs have made recent announcements that they are setting up a special taskforce to investigate individuals who appear to own more than one property, their reasoning being that they suspect some taxpayers are not declaring income received on let investment properties. Read more..


Planning your Family’s Wealth

Writing a will is often one of those things that everyone says they will get around to doing, but often never becomes a top priority.

However, keeping an up to date will could be incredibly valuable to your surviving family. When it is drawn up properly, it will not only ensure that your family will receive the assets that you wish for them to receive, but can also help to minimise any Inheritance Tax that the government may try to claw from your estate. Read more..

Investing for your Children

If you have children, grandchildren or even younger siblings such as nephews or nieces, you may consider making small investments for them so that they are more financially prepared in the future for school or university fees, or even for buying their first home.

There are many ways in which you can invest on their behalf. In some cases, income arising which would have been taxable to you may also directly benefit you in the form of tax savings. Read more..

Making Tax-Efficient Investments

If you are looking to build an investment portfolio as a result of monies that you have built up through your trading activities, then it is vitally important to do this in the most efficient method possible.

By investing in a certain way, you can ensure that you retain as much of your initial profits whilst also minimising any tax that may become due upon any eventual sale. Read more..

A Clearer Future Pension Scheme

As you may be aware in the current tax year 2010/11, the rules and tax reliefs surrounding pension contribution are a little bit difficult to explain quickly due to their horrendous complexity, although in short most people should be able to contribute at least £20,000 into a pension scheme and receive full tax relief on this at their prevailing rate of tax. Read more...

Did you know that you could trade through your pension fund?

Often we find that traders are not particularly interested in using pension schemes to invest for their retirement and many would rather remain as liquid as possible in order to fund either current trading activities or to cover any particular lean periods that they may have. Read more...

Claim Your Expenses!

One of the most regular questions that we are asked from traders is about the expenses that they can claim against taxable income? Read more...

Tax-wise, which is best - trading or investing?

Unfortunately, there is no clear answer to this question and differing personal circumstances will inevitably make one route more attractive than the other, although of course ultimately, it may not necessarily be your decision if you are subject to an HM Revenue & Customs enquiry! Read more...

Am I a Trader or an Investor?

One of most common questions that we are asked as advisors is whether an individual is trading or investing. In order to provide an answer to this question, it is necessary to look at the 'badges of trade' to determine whether the activity is trading or investment in nature. Read more...

Residence and Domicile Issues

In the last couple of years, the tax rules surrounding residency and domicile have been altered particularly with regards to income tax, meaning that you may be unknowingly taxable in the UK on overseas income. Read more...

Start as you mean to go on

A new tax year is here once more, and with the recent budget has shown no major changes to any of the main taxes, there is no reason why you should not get your house in order from a tax planning perspective. Read more...

Using Family Members To Reduce Tax

A common form of tax planning if you are self employed is to employ family members effectively shifting some of the profits from you to them and potentially paying a lower rate of tax on this proportion. Read more...

The Problem with Dividends

If you trade through a limited company (or you have one as part of your structure) and your taxable profits are less than £300,000, dividends tend to be one of the more tax-efficient routes of drawing income from your trading structure, as they do not attract National Insurance. Read more...

Calculating your Taxable Profits

Whilst we would always recommend that you should obtain professional advice in preparing your accounts and calculating your taxes, we are aware of several occasions where the taxable profits have been misstated. Read more...