Timing in business is everything

In a previous blog post we outlined the importance of reviewing your income before the end of the current tax year. The message was a simple one, any meaningful planning has to be implemented – for 2023-24 – before 6 April 2024, the end of the tax year.

A similar deadline applies to business planning, but the deadline is not focussed on the 6 April – unless your accounts year end is the end of March or the 5 April – but on the last day of your accounting year end.

Action, you take (or do not take) before the end of your accounting year end can have dramatic effects on your published accounts and any resulting tax liability.

For example, imagine you are a building tradesperson and need to buy a replacement van. Do you buy before the end of your accounts year, which is the 31 March 2024, or afterwards? Some of the issues you should be considering are:

  • If you are self-employed, will you be able to offset the full cost of the van, say £20,000, if you buy before the 31 March 2024 or would you be advised to defer the expenditure to April 2024 as you estimate that the 2024-25 trading year will be more profitable?

Incorporated businesses, where the owners are paid directors and receive the bulk of their earnings as salaries and dividends, face more planning choices. For example:

  • What options are on the table regarding the payment of year end bonuses? Should they be paid before or after the year end and as salary, dividends or some form of salary sacrifice (including pension top-ups)?

And don’t forget your bank manager. How will business funders react to your planning arrangements?

If your business year end is 31 March 2024 or during the spring/summer 2024, now is the time to consider your options. Pick up the phone. We can help you consider your options and arrive at a business plan for the current and following trading years.

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