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How to keep your business out of hot water this tax year

The start of a new tax year is the optimal time to assess your business finances, and put in place the systems that will ensure stability for another year.

Accounting systemswoman hand filling in invoice paper

Brian Palmer, Tax Policy Adviser at the Association of Accounting Technicians, and Emily Coltman, Chief Accountant to FreeAgent, both recommend taking the time to assess your accounting system.

Whether you've outgrown Excel spreadsheets and you're ready to invest in some Sage accounting software, or you want to bring in full or part-time qualified accounting staff to ensure your business is tax efficient, the start of the tax year is the best time to do so. It'll make next year's financial reports much smoother.

Changing thresholds

If you haven't already explored tax changes for extra advantages and obligations coming into effect in FY 2015/16, it's wise to do so as soon as possible. They may affect how you choose to invest or save in the year ahead.

You can find a full list of tax thresholds on one page at Gov.uk, but SmallBusiness.co.uk flags several changes in particular that employers should be aware of:

  • Personal tax allowance has increased to £10,600
  • The Employee National Insurance (NI) threshold is now £155/week
  • Employees under 21 now have an NI threshold of £815/week
  • Class 2 NI hasn't been abolished yet, it's been increased to £2.80/week
  • The VAT registration threshold is now £82,000 per year
Managing debts

Last year, a BACS Payments study found that SMEs were stuck with an average of £38,186 of unpaid invoices. Now we're in a new tax year, and past the point of usefully writing off debts, the most productive course of action is a debt management strategy.

Addressing how to approach debtors, creating letters and clear timelines with which to deal with outstanding debts is an excellent way to take control. You may also want to create alternative payment plans you can offer to customers and clients who are struggling financially.

As with your accounts, it may be more cost effective to bring in experts who can recoup your debts while retaining your business values. If you believe such a service could benefit you, contact a Dukes Bailiffs advisor today.

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