The Post Office, an icon of British life has over the recent years seen a dramatic transformation from a parastatal giant to a business model that includes franchising. With a guaranteed goodwill and an established customer base, a well managed Post Office franchise can provide a generous income for its owners; hence accounting and tax planning for post offices is a crucial subject.
Post Office franchises are commonly combined with a primary business such as newsagent, convenience store, bookshop or stationery outlet although in some instances operates as a standalone business.
Often the Post Office is the central point of activity in villages and small towns and forms an essential service within the communities that it serves.
However, as with most businesses, franchisees that run post offices also have to pay tax and the paperwork, not only in becoming correctly registered with all the correct departments but in maintaining accurate records and submitting the correct information can become overwhelming.
After all most business owners prefer to get on with running their business rather than having to wade through the complicated jargon-filled and often a complex minefield of tax planning and management.
Identify your needs
Newsagents and sub-postmasters will have very specific needs when it comes to managing their tax affairs and whether they need to find a reliable firm of tax accountants in Birmingham, accountants in London or anywhere else in the UK, it is imperative that they appoint someone who is knowledgeable about their business.
Tax affairs are from simple for individuals, how much more so for the small businessman running a Post Office. Whether a business is a sole proprietorship, a partnership or a limited company choosing the right tax accountant can be the difference between the life and death of your business.
Accountants for Post Offices are uniquely equipped to assist with tax matters involving both income and corporate tax, dividends, PAYE and of course the complexities of VAT, where vendors may have to account for different rates on different products.
Of course, business owners have personal tax affairs too and with adequate support from a competent tax accountant, the complex boundaries between business tax obligations and personal tax obligations are easier dealt with. This is particularly true for people in self-employment.
There are no simple formulae for deductible expenses but we will be able to spot where savings can be made especially when a franchise has recently opened as a start-up business.
With knowledge about tax credits – yes, they exist for businesses too; as tax accountants, we will be able to help you shave off substantial amounts from your tax bill. In fact, by using an expert tax accountant you will find that the savings you will enjoy in taxes will be substantially mitigated by the cost of accountancy fees.
The benefits of running a Post Office can also bring some invisible tax advantages with them. The business involves a majority cash turnover, so year to year accounting means that the possibility of a surprise tax bill from one year to the next is unlikely. That is of course as long as you follow all the rules.
So, whether you run a small one man business or have several employees, things can become complicated especially since HMRC are bringing all tax accounts online from 2018. This alone is a daunting thought especially for the mature population who quite often invest in Post Offices as part of their retirement.
At The Accountancy Solutions agree to fees with you in advance especially when it comes to a business that may experience changes with growth in its early stages. Tax accountants sometimes pull their hair out at all the rules and regulations and it’s important to remember that your accountant will be up to date with the ever evolving changes in tax law, both personal and business.
Often, it’s a good idea to appoint an accountant to cover all aspects of your accounting, because the time used to try and keep your books together, is often better invested in your business, building positive relationships with your customer base and managing the day to day problems that occur as a natural course of life.
Find an Expert
Financial tasks that are done well, on time and efficiently save businesses a lot of money. When the dreaded tax inspectors turn up to effect an audit, it’s the state of your accounting that will determine how stressful the experience is.
Accountants do a lot more than what seems to be mindless number crunching; they look after your interests. Apart from keeping your business safe in terms of ensuring that you have complied with all the regulations, they will also ensure that you gain from tax relief where it is at all possible.
Few people would try to rewire their home on their own or connect new plumbing to the mains with no prior knowledge, so the idea that you can simply maintain a double sided cashbook to keep the taxman happy would be an equally large mistake.
The objective behind running a successful news agency and post office business would undoubtedly be to make a profit. How much easier that is when not only are you paying the correct taxes but in fact generating savings from allowable expenses and tax credits that you didn’t even know were available.
Probably the best upside of having appointed The Accountancy Solutions, as accountants for post offices is that you will be able to access support and advice quickly if there are any changes in your business or the way it is being conducted.
Remember that accountant is as important as your solicitor in the life of your business. Your relationship is unique and by building a relationship of trust, we will do everything possible to help you with other aspects outside of your tax affairs. A good tax accountant should be able to spot where you may need help especially with areas such as inheritance tax and long-term financial planning in complicated family situations.
Every business is different and even every newsagent and post office is different because location, relevance to the local community, and other factors will determine what your needs are. When seeking out an accountant and more so one that is local to you, finding one that is familiar with your type of business is important.
Not only word of mouth, but references from other business are a good starting point. Ensure that your accountant is properly qualified and registered with the necessary professional bodies in order to conduct their business. The Accountancy Solutions specialise in accounting and tax planning for post offices and personal tax affairs of postmasters. Let us know how can we help you minimising your tax liabilities.