Our new clients usually come from personal recommendations - the best type.
We have a wide and varied client base, with turnovers ranging from a few thousand to a few million, generally with one thing in common... owners who are passionate about their business and keen to work together with a trusted advisor.
If you’d like to know what we are really like, come and talk to us and we will introduce you to some of our clients with businesses similar to yours.
Piper Hulse supports;
Under the self assessment regime an individual is responsible for ensuring that their tax liability is calculated and any tax owing is paid on time. HMRC issue tax returns to all individuals they are aware of who need a return, including all those who are self employed or company directors. However it is the individual's responsibility to complete a Self Assessment tax return (regardless of whether HMRC have issued one) if there is any tax owing which was not fully collected at source; typical examples includes capital gains, dividends and interest.
A Sole Trader is the simplest way of trading and there are fewer formalities to trading this way. The business of a sole trader is not distinguished from the proprietor's personal affairs so that if there are any debts, you are legally liable to pay those debts.
Sole Traders have a legal requirement to maintain accurate accounting records, collect taxes and file tax returns for income tax, National Insurance, VAT and Payroll where appropriate. It may not be a legal requirement to prepare and file formal year end accounts but it is certainly good practice to prepare year-end accounts and is likely to be a requirement for banks and other organisations (e.g. life insurance companies) where a record of income is required.
A limited company is a separate legal entity from its owners and as such provides the benefit of limited liability status, so that if there are any company debts, you the shareholder may not be legally liable to pay those debts.
If you also work for the company, you are both the owner (shareholder) and an employee of that company. When a company generates profits, they are the company's property. Should you wish to extract money from the company, you must either pay a dividend to the shareholders, or a salary as an employee. The advantage to you is that you can have a balance of these two to minimise your overall tax and national insurance liability. Companies themselves pay corporation tax on their profits after paying your salary but before your dividend distribution. Effective tax planning requires profits, salary and dividends to be considered together.
The Directors of Limited Companies have a legal requirement to maintain accurate accounting records, prepare annual accounts consistent with accounting standards and file with companies house, collect taxes and file tax returns for income tax, National Insurance, VAT and Payroll where appropriate.
A partnership is an extension of being a sole trader. Here, a group of two or more people will come together, pool their talents, clients and business contacts so that, collectively, they can build a more successful business than they would individually.
The partners will agree to share the joint profits in pre-determined percentages. It is advisable to draw up a Partnership Agreement which sets the rules of how the partners will work together.
Partners are taxed in the same way as sole traders, but only on their own share of the partnership profits. As with sole traders, the partners are legally liable to pay the debts of the business. Each partner is 'jointly and severally' liable for the partnership debts, so that if certain partners are unable to pay their share of the partnership debts then those debts can fall on the other partners.
A limited liability partnership is legally similar to a company. It is administered like a company in all aspects except its taxation. In this, it is treated like a partnership. Therefore you have the limited liability, administrative and statutory obligations of a company but not the taxation and national insurance flexibility.
In today's employment market many people have set-up by themselves to provide professional services to clients on a Freelance basis.
Freelancers have a legal requirement to maintain accurate accounting records, collect taxes and file tax returns for income tax, National Insurance, VAT and Payroll where appropriate.
If you operate as a Limited Company it is also legal requirement to prepare and file formal year end accounts and pay corporation tax. If you operate as a Sole Trader it may not be a legal requirement to prepare and file formal year end accounts but it is certainly good practice to prepare year-end accounts and is likely to be a requirement for banks and other organisations (e.g. life insurance companies) where a record of income is required.
Trusts and Estates
Trusts are a long established mechanism which allows individuals to benefit from the assets without assuming the legal ownership of those assets so that others (the trustees) have day to day control over the assets. A trust can be extremely flexible and have an existence totally independent of the person who established it and those who benefit from it. Trusts are separate persons for UK tax purposes and have specific rules for all the main taxes. There are also a range of anti-avoidance measures aimed at preventing exploitation of potential tax benefits.
When a person dies Inheritance Tax (IHT) becomes due on their estate. Some lifetime gifts are treated as chargeable transfers but most are ignored providing the donor survives for seven years after the gift. There are numerous rules around assets within the estate and transfers made within the seven year period before the death including: nil rate band, annual exemption, business property relief, agricultural property relief, annual exemption to name a few.
Much estate planning involves making lifetime transfers to utilise exemptions and reliefs or to benefit from a lower rate of tax on lifetime transfers. However careful consideration needs to be given to other factors. For example a gift that saves IHT may unnecessarily create a capital gains tax (CGT) liability. Furthermore the prospect of saving IHT should not be allowed to jeopardise the financial security of those involved.
Whilst some generalisations can be made about IHT planning and Trusts it is always necessary to tailor the strategy to fit your situation. Any plan must take account of your circumstances and aspirations. The need to ensure your financial security (and your family's) cannot be ignored. If you propose to make gifts the interaction of IHT with other taxes needs to be considered carefully.
However there can be scope for substantial savings which may be missed unless professional advice is sought as to the appropriate course of action.