The budget, you and business planning for the future
March 2021 marks one year since the first lockdown. What does this mean for you and business planning for the future?
March 2021 marks one year since the first lockdown measures were introduced and small business owners like you were faced with often difficult decisions and unexpected change. The time for business planning for the future is now.
After months of being at home, time to think and the constant nag of what is yet to come, 2021 offers new hope. With Rishi Sunak’s new budget come claims of a clear path to economic recovery ….
…but what about you, the business owner and employer?
For a year, you have faced unprecedented pressure, impositions, and uncertainty. Now, as we emerge, are your plans for future-proofing the business and growth in place? Do you have the cash flow required to keep elevating your enterprise at a pace to ensure a robust future? If your business needs cash to continue to grow, where will it come from and will you be in a good place later down the line to repay any debts that might arise in your quest to continue growing?
What 2020 taught us is that innovation, entrepreneurship and flexibility are key to coping with this forced change that surrounds us.
Like you, TLP has had to adapt to changes, both within our own company and also in support of our many loyal customers. We have readily embraced the opportunity to help our existing clients in creating new and inventive strategies, moulded to coordinate with the change in direction their businesses have seen. Turning a negative into a positive has been rewarding and fulfilling and we can proudly commend our whole team for rising to the challenges.
We are lucky in our business and our product, to be able to employ flexibility and innovation to create great solutions. We have the expertise, tools and knowledge to understand your situation and apply strategies to solve the problems you are being faced with.
Many business owners today are hard-pressed to tune out concerns of future corporate tax increases and diminished cash-flow. This week’s budget has suggested an end date for the furlough scheme and financial support due to Coronavirus. Covid-19 has had huge impact upon the business landscape and coming out the other side is not a case of simply picking up where we left off. The implications of this for small businesses run deep and for many, present difficult decisions and choices. Corporation tax is set to rise in the near future and balancing year-end profits with tax liability is going to be a tough ask for those sat on the precipice between growth and being kicked out into the long grass!
So what strategies can be employed to start the new financial year running?
Paying taxing is unavoidable but paying too much tax, is not. By building a new strategy to solve the problems of sustainability and continued growth, mitigating tax can be a game-changer. What consistently surprises us at TLP is how few company directors realise that they can align their pensions to act as a vehicle to ultimate tax efficiency for their business.
By taking control of your pension funds, as permitted by HMRC for directors of limited trading companies, you are able to implement some fantastic strategies to provide cash-flow to grow your business and also, reduce tax.
Firstly, let’s look at your pension as a savings and investments account, similar to your business and personal back accounts. That is your money, sat there waiting to be used. At the moment, it is being invested by your current pension provider, totally separately and outside of your control. However, by taking back control, you can invest the funds as you wish. Having moved from company to company, many have more than one pension sat dormant. By combining them into one Self-Administered fund, you are instantly increasing investment power. In addition, you are not paying separate sets of fees to each different pension provider.
Next, your investments. We all know that stocks and shares can be unpredictable and downright scary at times, but by taking control, you can greatly increase your investment options and, for example, invest in more tangible and reliable assets such as property.
Did you know that if you start a Self-Administered Scheme, as a company director, you can take a loan from your pension fund to grow your company? Now this really does offer great potential for those looking for cash-flow!
If the tax optimisation aspect has grabbed your attention, then the Small Self-Administered Scheme really could be the ideal solution for you. There are many effective strategies that can be employed to mitigate tax using your pension. For one, the aforementioned loan!
Let’s look at some examples:
The pension to business loan for many is a great way to achieve essential cash-flow at low cost. It cuts out the arduous and expensive process of applying for, and paying back, bank loans. As long as you set an interest rate of at least 1% above market base rate and pay the loan back to the pension within five years, it is within HMRC rules.
However, and here’s the exciting part…..what you could do, and many do, is to set the interest rate much higher. That way, you reduce year end profits, and in turn the tax bill. Payments back to the pension fund are an allowed business expense, and so afforded additional tax benefits. The pension grows even more quickly, due to the additional funds and after the loan is paid back, you have an even larger pot to repeat the process with.
Or, how about using your Self-Administered pension scheme to purchase your business trading premises? Again, this is something company directors simply don’t realise is an option. It is! The advantage here is that you provide instant cash-flow your business, you then become your own landlord and rent is paid back into the pension scheme. Again, you reduce your year-end tax bill, due to the rent you are paying out. The rent is an allowed business expense and you are again, growing the pot for future strategies and investments.
The Self-Administered scheme used to achieve all of the above, plus much more, is the SSAS. That stands for Small, Self-Administered Scheme pension. To find out more about the SSAS and just learn how it could work for your business and whether it is for you, please click here to download a guide.
So, the budget may offer a road to economic recovery but at whose expense? Don’t let it be yours. As the owner of a limited company, you are in control of your own recovery and growth. 2021 is set to be a year of potential, great change, evolution and innovation. Make sure you are a part of it!