Your spouse/civil partner may not have any income at all, and almost certainly your children don’t. This means their personal allowance is being wasted every year. Even children are entitled to a personal allowance.
If the amount up the level at which national insurance becomes payable of £5,715 in 2010/11 was paid to them as wage, they would pay no tax on it and your business profits could be reduced.
Please note that children under the minimum school leaving age can only work a limited number of hours per week and local by-laws may restrict their working hours further.
If you pay just 20% income tax and 8% Class 4 National Insurance this would save you £1600 every year on each salary. And how many children do you have?
STOP! It’s not quite that simple. To pay wages like this you need to follow the following rules:
- It must be for work actually done. Now it’s going to be tough to argue your 2-year-old son is working for you but many wives/husbands do work and mature children may also help out.May be they do the books, answer the phone, stuff envelopes, etc. Keeping out of your way so you can get on doesn’t count, as valuable as it may be. Draw up a list of their responsibilities to help your case.
- At present they do it for free because it’s a family business but they should and can be paid for it. If you make your spouse a director, all the responsibilities of this imposed by Company Law must be worth something.
- You can also do this where you have property that you rent out and the spouse manages the properties.
- If this is the case, it’s reasonable to pay them a salary commensurate with what they actually do. How much would it cost to get someone in to do that job? The minimum wage level is at least a good place to start but more if you can justify it.
- The amount must actually be paid. It’s no good the accountant just putting it through the accounts at the end of the year.Pay it, ideally through the bank rather than cash so that it’s easy to prove it’s been paid and record it in your accounting records.
- Comply with any PAYE procedures such as getting a P46 signed, completing an end of year PAYE forms as you would do for normal staff. Remember, it may also help keep up their National Insurance contribution record even if they don’t pay any National Insurance on the salary.