The website is intended for readers who are considering starting up their own business or who may already be running a small business.
The tax aspects of your business may remain a mystery by neglect. If this is so, then this is one area of your business that is out of control and may produce some unfortunate surprises. Your tax affairs may remain a mystery by your delegation of them to a professional adviser. In this case are you still going to receive surprises? Do you understand enough about the subject to be able to control that adviser or have you just abdicated responsibility?
Taxation in its various forms should be regarded as a business expense. In some cases or in a particular year that expense could be the majority of your own and/or the business’ expenditure. If you were buying a new car or even a coffee machine for your office you might spend some time and attention to making the best buy or achieving a 10% discount.
Surely, however busy you may be in running your own business, you should devote some time to understanding what types of tax you and your business have paid, are presently paying and, most important, are likely to pay in the future.
We have worked in the tax departments of accountant’s practices, in the tax department of an oil company and for the last five years we have been running our own business. Our business is a tax consultancy, which is not a high risk business but we have also ventured into the areas of computer software development and marketing software, which is high risk.
Therefore, in relation to taxation we have been advisers, both from outside and inside businesses. We also have the experience of running our own business and that we hope has provided us with a sense of proportion as to the importance of tax matters.
Your own particular tax problem will not necessarily be solved by reading this website but we hope the website will provide you with an understanding of the tax implications of your business. We also hope it will alert you as to when to find out more or when to seek professional advice. Overall we would like to think this website might dispel any fears you may have about tax and actually give you a positive interest in the subject as it affects yourself and your business.
It is a well-known saying that ‘the tax tail should not be allowed to wag the dog’. That is to say that tax advice should not be allowed to dictate personal or business decisions. However almost every business decision has some tax implication and those implications should be understood and taken into account as part of the decision-making process. It is surprising how, even in very large companies, business forecasts, on which decisions are based, are often prepared totally neglecting tax implications or effects.
You often hear in cases of businesses which fail that tax demands were the final blow that brought the business down. This is usually said as if it was totally unexpected to the businessman concerned that the Inland Revenue should ask for such tax payments as were due whereas in fact it should have been predictable and to some extent controllable.