A significant task for the new business owner is ensuring that the business is properly complying with the extensive tax and information filing requirements imposed by the various authorities. Problems and penalties could arise if the new business is not registered with the appropriate tax authorities in a timely fashion. While this post is not intended to be an all-inclusive list of filing requirements, it summarises some of the more prominent requirements common to most businesses.
HM Revenue & Customs It is necessary to notify HM Revenue & Customs of your existence by completing forms CT41G (companies) or CWF1 (sole traders/ partnerships). The form notifies HM Revenue & Customs of your accounting date, your accountant, and also enables a PAYE (Pay As You Earn Scheme) to be set up, which is a requirement if you are to be an employer. If you fail to register within the first three full months of commencing business a penalty of £100 may be levied.
H M Revenue & Customs – NI Contributions Office
Depending on the level of profit, sole traders and partners have a liability to Class 2 NIC, and these are payable either quarterly or monthly by direct debit. Class 2 contributions are at a weekly level of £2.40 (where annual earnings are £5,075 or more for 2010/11) and the necessary form to collect Class 2 contributions should be completed at the same time as the form CWF1. Leaflet CA02 ‘National Insurance contributions for self-employed people with small earnings’ gives full details and an application form for exemption from liability.
H M Revenue & Customs – VAT
You need to consider if it is beneficial to be VAT registered from the outset. If you are registering for VAT, form VAT 1 needs completing, and if you are a partnership, form VAT 2 needs to be completed, in addition to the VAT 1, giving details of all the partners. Alternatively, an online registration process is available on HMRC’s website. If turnover exceeds the compulsory registration limit, £70,000 at 1 April 2010, in any period of 12 months or less Customs must be notified within 30 days of the end of the month in which the threshold was exceeded.