We have noted below a number of tax issues that you may like to review prior to the end of the current tax year, 5 April 2008.

  1. Capital Allowances. Clients may be advised to seek our advice before committing to any further capital expenditure before 5 April 2008. As from 6 April 2008 it is likely that new rules will apply to the way in which you are able to claim capital allowances for the purchase of certain qualifying assets. The Government has said it will introduce a new Annual Investment allowance. Essentially from the end of this tax year businesses will be able to write off 100% of their expenditure on plant and other equipment (excluding most cars) up to an annual limit of £50,000. This Annual Investment Allowance will apportioned in the first year if your year end is not 31 March. For instance if you spend £24,000 on a qualifying asset in April 2008 and your year end is June 2008; one-quarter of the £24,000, £6,000 will qualify for the 100% write down; any balance will be carried forward. This will only affect businesses whose accounting year end straddles 5 April 2008. Because of these changes businesses may be disadvantaged if they commit to capital expenditure before 6 April 2008. If you have plans to acquire assets you may be advised to check out the pros and cons of delaying the expenditure until after 5 April 2008.
  2. Benefits in Kind. Don’t forget that if your employees reimburse you for the use of a company asset, or to cover other personal payments that have been made on their behalf, no benefit in kind will arise, and therefore no tax will be due. In most cases reducing taxable benefits in this way will also reduce the National Insurance Class 1A contributions for the business.
  3. Corporation Tax Rates. If your taxable profits are likely to take you over the small companies rate, (currently your company can earn up to £300,000 at the small companies rate of 20%, unless you have associated companies which can reduce this entitlement), you could consider bringing forward expenditure to keep your profits under the threshold. The expenditure could be a business expense or capital expenditure.
  4. Pension contributions. Tax relief on pension contributions made by the company is only available in the period in which the contributions are actually paid, so if it is planned to increase contributions in respect of the current year, these need to be paid out during the period.
  5. Directors’ bonuses year to 31 March 2008.  Where it is planned to pay directors bonuses out of current profits it is necessary to hold a directors’ meeting confirming the decision to do so. This should then be minuted, even if the exact amount of the bonus is to be determined later. In this way the liability for the bonus is created in the current period, and it will be acceptable to provide for the bonus in the accounts. The bonus should then be finalised and paid out within 9 months of the year end to secure a corporation tax deduction for the payment.