How to significantly reduce your tax bill by selling shares to your partner

Looking to become more tax efficient this year? Gifting shares of your business to your spouse is often recommended by small business accountants and tax advisors, in order to make use of both you and your partner’s tax-free allowances, and ultimately minimise the tax on dividends the company pays. This is a great move to make, however if you’re looking for ways to save even more and you also happen to have a mortgage, your accounting firm may not have told you to consider selling shares instead of gifting them. Here’s what you need to know:

Firstly, why is joint ownership best?

Instead of owning your business alone, it is widely considered good practice to own it jointly with your spouse whenever one of you is paying a higher rate of tax than the other. When you both own shares in the company, you are both entitled to use your tax-free allowances, dividend nil rate band, and other rate bands, in order to reduce the tax paid on your company dividends. Owning with your partner is a great way to become more tax efficient.

Should I have made my spouse a shareholder when I formed the company?

If you’re thinking it’s too late to make your spouse a shareholder in your company, it’s definitely not. Even if your spouse was not made a shareholder in the beginning, HMRC will still allow you to transfer ordinary shares to them as a gift in order to reduce your tax bill. No matter how long ago you formed your business, you can start the process of making your spouse a shareholder at any time.

How does this help reduce my tax bill?

Here’s an example of this tax-saving plan in action:

Joe started his company (Joe Bloggs Ltd.) over ten years ago. It has grown considerably since then, and is now being valued at around £600,000. Joe Bloggs Ltd. pays Joe £100,000 per year in dividends, of which almost £50,000 is taxed at the higher rate, and naturally, Joe would like to save on tax wherever possible.

Joe’s wife, Jane, brings in less income, and so Joe’s accountant suggests that he gift half of the shares of Joe Bloggs Ltd. to Jane, in order to make the most of her tax-free allowances and basic rate band.

Tax savings comparison

If you believe you could qualify for tax relief by implementing the plan above, you can discover the savings you could make in your business by filling in your details on our quick form at the link below, and we’ll send you a free, simple table to help calculate.

You can also get in touch by emailing us to info@priceandaccountants.com or call us 020 3735 5119 at Price & Accountants to discuss how we can help you save on your tax this year. We are committed to helping small businesses in London and around the UK with their accounting needs, using Xero online accounting software and our expert team of advisors, all dedicated to helping your business flourish.

 

Limited companies filing deadline

Limited companies filing deadlines.

Limited companies have filing deadlines for accounts and tax returns.

Penalties (for private limited companies) for late filing with HMRC are summarised below:

ACTION                                                                  DEADLINE

  • First accounts with Companies House       21 months after date incorporated
  • Annual accounts with Companies House   9 months after year end date
  • File company tax return with HMRC          12 months after end of accounting

Period

  • Pay Corporation Tax or                             9 months and 1 day after Corporation
  • Tell HMRC that no corp tax is payable     Tax accounting period ends

The penalties (for private limited companies) for late filing of limited company accounts with Companies House are summarised as follows:

TIME AFTER DEADLINE                             PENALTY

  • Up to 1 month                                               £150
  • 1 to 3 months                                                £375
  • 3 to 6 months                                                £750
  • More than six months                                 £1,500

The penalty is doubled if annual accounts are late two years in a row.

Limited companies are required to file a confirmation statement (previously an annual return) with Companies House once a year. The company should receive an email alert or a reminder letter when the confirmation statement is due. The due date is usually a year after either:

  • the date the company was incorporated
  • the date the company filed its previous annual return of confirmation statement.

The company can file the confirmation statement up to 14 days after the due date, with no penalty.

It can be very difficult for a small business owner to understand several deadlines, Price & Accountants can help you to understand of these deadlines. Feel free to book an appointment with us today by completing contact us form or email: info@priceandaccountants.com or call 020 3735 5119

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