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2020-21 Tax planning for Limited Companies

So what needs to be considered?

How can owner managers plan the most tax efficient strategy?

Sole director companies 

Companies owned by  multiple directors

For companies owned by two or more directors, the more complex income tax system for Scotland now means tax planning must be done specific to their particular personal circumstances.

Where a company is owned and managed by more than one director, existing sources of income (e.g. rental property, investment income) need to be considered for each specific director and, if relevant, their spouse and this may have an influence on how to set salary and dividend payments for the company for 2020-21.

Basic Scenario

I have modelled a scenario for a Limited company, with both directors owning a 50% share of the company each.   Based on two different operating profit levels of £30,000 and £70,000, the optimum tax/ dividend split is to pay a £12,500 annual salary to both directors out of the Limited company and extract any further cash out of the company as dividend which will be split equally.

The UK basic rate threshold (as opposed to the Scottish threshold) of £50,000 (£37,500 + £12,500 personal allowance) will apply because dividend income is savings income.

In this scenario, £100,000 profits can be extracted out of the company at basic rate and the corporation tax liability will be reduced by £2,375 per individual salary.  The employee National Insurance payment due will be £360 each i.e. £720 in total, payable over January and April 2021 (employment allowance is available for Employer National Insurance).

A summary of relevant tax rates for Scottish registered companies in 2020-21 is shown below:

Personal allowance12,500
Scottish intermediate rate threshold (for earned income not savings income)30,930
UK-wide basic rate threshold (for savings income e.g. dividends)37,500
Class 1 National Insurance rate – employee12%
Class 1 & 4 National Insurance secondary threshold (no employer National Insurance payable below this threshold)£8,788
Dividend tax rate –basic7.5%
Dividend tax rate –higher rate32.5%
Dividend allowance –nil rate£2,000
Scottish starter tax rate (earnings up to £2,085)19%
Scottish basic tax rate (earnings from £2,086 to £12,657)20%
Scottish intermediate tax rate (earnings from £12,658 to £30,930)21%
Scottish higher tax rate (earnings from £30,931 to £150,000)41%
Scottish top tax rate46%

If you would like to talk more in more depth about tax planning for your own limited company  please call or drop me an email.