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Taxable income - Switching to the cash basis 

Many small, unincorporated businesses choose to use the 'cash basis' for working out taxable income. Under this method, participants will be taxed on the basis of the cash that passes through their books rather than having to undertake complex and time consuming calculations designed for larger businesses (who generally have to use 'traditional' methods for tax purposes). Whilst easing the administrative burdens of preparing 'traditional' accounts, using the cash basis can also help with cash flow. 

For the 2017/18 tax year onwards, the eligibility income threshold for using the cash basis has been significantly raised - it is now £150,000 (previously £83,000), meaning that many more small businesses can now use the scheme. The exit threshold, above which businesses must cease to use the cash basis, has also been raised from 6 April 2017 to £300,000. This means that many businesses will be able to continue using the scheme as they continue to grow.

Where it has been identified that an existing business would benefit from switching to the cash basis and it has been established that the eligibility criteria to do so has been satisfied. Various one-off adjustments may be required to work out the business's profit for the period of the switch. The following list summarises areas where adjustments may be required and if applicable, what action should be taken:

The business was owed money at the last year-end accounting date, tax was paid on that amount in that tax year and the monies owed were received in the current accounting period.
Action: Deduct the amounts owed to the business from the total cash basis turnover for the current accounting period.
The business owed money to its suppliers at last year-end accounting date and tax relief was claimed on that amount in that tax year but the suppliers were not paid until the current accounting period.
Action: Deduct the amounts owed to suppliers from total cash basis expenses for the current accounting period.
The business was carrying stock items at the end of the last accounting period but relief was not claimed for this cost.
Action: Add the cost of the stock to cash basis expenses for this accounting period.
The business received money from customers in the last accounting period (for example; payments made in advance of work done) upon which no tax was paid.
Action: Add the amounts that customers paid to total cash basis turnover for this accounting period.
The business paid in advance for certain items in the last accounting period (for example; a subscription or a deposit) for which no tax relief was claimed.
Action: Add the amounts paid to suppliers to total cash basis expenses for this accounting period.
Where, at the end of the last accounting period the equipment had been paid in full but there was still had a balance of capital allowances to claim.

Action: Add the balance of capital allowances still to claim to total cash basis expenses for this accounting period.
Where, at the end of the last accounting period the equipment had been partly paid for (eg. by instalments) and the capital allowance claim was different.

 

 Action: If the amount partly paid was more than the capital allowances claimed, HMRC treat the difference as an expense (increasing total cash basis expenses) as a transitional adjustment for this accounting period. If the amount partly paid was less than the capital allowances claimed, HMRC treat the difference as turnover (increasing total cash basis turnover) as a transitional adjustment for this accounting period.

If the business is a new business in its first period of account, no adjustments will be necessary.

Further guidance on calculating taxable profits can be found in HMRC's help sheet HS222: How to calculate your taxable profits.

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Added By: Sue Taylor on 10th Aug 2017 - 14:12
Last Updated: 10th Aug 2017 - 14:33

Number of Views: 574
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