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Many businesses start slowly. At first there are a few occasional sales, and only after the individual has convinced themselves they can effectively deliver the product or service will the entrepreneur enthusiastically launch their business.

You should tell HMRC about the start of your new business within six months of the end of the tax year in which it started. To do this you need to decide exactly when the new business commenced. Is it when the first sale was made, or was it much later when a viable business seemed possible?

If you have had a stop-start business launch, the Trading and Miscellaneous Income Allowance (TMIA) can help you out.

The TMIA can cover up to £1,000 of trading or other sundry income per tax year. It doesn’t matter when the sales were made within the tax year, if the total is less than £1,000 the TMIA will cover them, and the allowance doesn’t have to be claimed on the tax return.

Example
Liam quit his job to launch his baking business in June 2019, having made a few test sales in January to March 2019 which amounted to £300.

The sales before 6 April 2019 can be covered by the TMIA of £1,000, so the real business can be said to start in June 2019 within the tax year 2019/20. Liam has until 5 October 2020 to tell HMRC about his new business and register for self-assessment.

Liam won’t have to complete a self-assessment tax return for 2018/19 as his taxable income was fully reported and taxed under PAYE for that year.

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Clarke Nicklin House, Brooks Drive, Cheadle Royal Business Park, Cheadle, Cheshire, SK8 3TD. Registered Number OC309225.
The firm is registered to carry on audit work in the UK & Ireland. Details about our audit registration can be viewed at www.auditregister.org.uk under reference number C001178544. The professional rules applicable are the Audit Regulations and Guidance which can be found at www.icaew.com/regulations, and the International Standards on Auditing (UK and Ireland) which can be found at www.frc.org.uk/apb/publications/isa.cfm.