HelloAs a company limited in the UK - to avoid paying UK tax legally - I transfer all of the profits to the US via PayPal USA business account where the US company name is XXXXX XXXXX XXXXXX and then withdraw into my personal US bank account - is that allowed? e.g Will I be liable to pay US tax when withdrawing into my personal US bank account?
If the Limited company is registered in the UK, then it will have to pay Corporation Tax on its profits, even if you transfer them via Paypal.
In transferring the profits via Paypal, you are only transferring money and not profits.
If the sales in the UK are between the UK company and its customers, then any profit would be subject to UK Corporation Tax.
There is the option of raising a management charge from the US company to the UK company to reduce the profits to £Nil. This would then create a gain in the US Company. You would need to be careful not to fall foul of transfer pricing rules
Transfer pricing is to stop transfer of profits to a county which has lower tax rates. Transferring goods and services must be at 'arms length'
Providing you can justify to HMRC that the charges from the US company are at 'arms length' then it should be fine.
HMRC will look at 'arms length' by weighing up should the companies involved be different - i.e. not controlled by yourself, then would they expect the same charge from a US company
Arms length is essentially full market value - agreement made by two parties freely and independently of each other, and without some special relationship, such as being a relative, having another deal on the side or one party having complete control of the other.
The UK could buy shares in the US company which would enable you to transfer money to the US
However this would be a capital transaction and not affect the profit for the UK company
Therefore the UK company would still pay tax on the profits.
What rate of Corporate Tax would the US company have to pay on its profits?
Do you currently operate as a sole trader in the UK?
The transfer pricing issue isn't a complete barrier, you just need to be confident you can argue that the consultancy charge from the US is a justified expense
I don't see an issue from the UK side in your US company charging the sole trader business for costs. I presume you are resident in the US and don't live in the UK?
So you are subject to UK income tax as a sole trader.
You are also at risk of transfer pricing rules even operating as a sole trader. Whether the US company charges the sole trader or the Ltd company - risk transfer is a risk. If the business expenses from the US company are considered genuine in your view, then worth doing charge from US
Out of interest, what is the reason behind the US company - lower tax rates in US ?
Have you considered incorporating? I.e. selling your sole trader business to a Ltd company and only paying 10% tax on the goodwill?
Does very much depend on whether there is any goodwill
Doesn't need to be done as cash. Ltd company buys the sole trader - rather than paying cash upfront, the Ltd company creates a loan which is due to you. You then draw down on this loan tax free as and when you want when cash flow dictates
Before leading you down this path - do you employ anyone / can the business run without you
Goodwill can be attached to an individual but applies to the business itslef. I.e. a surgeon can not sell his sole trader as he is the only one who can do that work
What line of work is it?
Should be fine. If you take my surgeon scenerio - a surgeon is the only person to do the work. You can just swap him with someone else as there is no business as such. Your business, while you are the boss and pretty much run it, you could be swapped (no offence!) by someone else and the business name you operate under will continue as normal
Do you supply goods as the online company or services?
Do your 5 staff also carry out work similar to you? If someone bought your business and removed you from the business, could the new onwer carry on the business with the staff you employ?
Essentially there should be goodwill then which whilst you have built it up, you can step away from the business and it carry on as normal. I'll explain the incorporation idea:-
The sole trader sells the business to the Ltd company. The assets get transferred over at book value as do the liabilities
Then the goodwill gets transferred and the calculation for this can vary - most common multiple is 3 times profit. So say profits are £50k - goodwill could be valued at £150k.
The transaction for tax purposes is deemed to be a capital disposal for Capital Gains Tax and you would only get assessed on the £150k goodwill.
Entrepeneurs Relief should then apply which means you pay 10% tax on the £150k - tax bill is £15k.
Whilst that is high, but can be paid by the business. The Ltd company will owe you £150k (goodwill) plus the balance of the assets and liabilities transferred.
Sticking with the £150k - the Ltd company will pay your Capital Gains Tax for you - £15k so the net amount you can draw down is £135k. You can then draw this down as and when you want tax free
The company would owe you £150k but it would pay your personal tax on your behalf so would deduct the tax from the £150k it owes you
Yes - you will have a balance due to you from the Ltd company. You can draw this down tax free
The only tax you pay is 10% on the £150k
Best way to think about it is if you have some shares which you paid nothing for, but sell them for £150k cash - you have a gain of £150k. You pay 10% tax on this which you pay out of the £150k you've been given. Net amount you have to do what you want with is £135k.
No further tax to pay
The 10% tax applies to the goodwill transfer only and is a one-off payment.
So the goodwill if valued at £150k. This is a Capital Gains Tax disposal. 10% applies to this transaction only.
Okay. You can google Entrepeneurs Relief or Incorporation of Sole Traders.
If you have an accountant, you could mention it to them.
Hi againWhat is your opinion on this? http://www.justanswer.com/uk-law/6psp3-avoid-paying-tax-biz-profits.html
The expert you dealt with was along the right tracks.
Under a Limited company, you can draw dividends which are taxed at a lower rate than as a sole trader or as taken through salary.
Dividends are tax free up to a certain point (circa £35k). The expert you were dealing with referred to a 10% tax on dividends - this is a tax credit and I won't go into depth in it as it can cause confusion, but essentially dividends drawn up to £35k are tax free,
Dividends over this level are taxed at 25% up to a fairly high level - about £150k.
There is also no National Insurance to pay on dividend income.
Contrast this to income tax at 40% for earnings over > £42,400 and there is National Insurance to pay.
The expert was right about the profits in the Limited company are taxed at Corporation Tax (CT) levels of 20% for profits up to £300k. Dividends drawn are not deemed an allowable cost for CT so the profits for CT are irrespective of amount of dividends you have drawn.
I always advise clients that if they have no other income (other than the dividend from the Ltd company), you can take a 'salary' in the Ltd company of £7k to use up your personal allowance. This salary is an allowable cost for CT purposes and you will not have to pay any tax on this.
What I was referring to yesterday regarding the sale of the sole trader to the Ltd company is an add-on to the dividend and minimal salary treatment outlined above.
You could just set up the Ltd company and start drawing dividends (per suggestion above) and would overall save tax. The sale of the sole trader is a way of getting more money at a tax efficient rate - you can also do the dividend route per above.
This should be relatively straightforward for your accountant and hopefully my points will give you a good understanding that you can talk to your accountant with some background knowledge.
Hi,I'm just following up with you to see how everything is going. Did my answer help?Best regards,Mark