What business owners should know when preparing for the tax season


In the coming tax season, it is important that businesses keep up-to-date with everything they need to know about their obligations as well as plan in advance for the year ahead.

Planning for the next year for any business is always about planning early. When it comes to the end of October and tax deadlines in particular are looming, there can be a lot of stress when people leave their taxes to the last minute and everyone is extremely busy. At KBC, the sooner customers come to us with their requirements, the better. If a business prepares as early as possible the season will run more smoothly.
Every business sector is different but with SME’s, it is even more important to plan appropriately for taxes and savings. One size certainly does not fit all when it comes to preparing for the future. Every sector has different challenges and businesses themselves know only too well what these challenges are.
Business owners must tackle with employment law, property law and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Another area of great concern for businesses is Brexit and the uncertainty of what will happen on October 31st. While it’s difficult to prepare for uncertainty, businesses should plan for the worst-case scenario. If all things go wrong, you can put that plan in place and if it is better, you’re still prepared.

Tips for Taxes

Tax season can be a difficult time of a business’ year as deadlines approach and money must be paid. The most important thing a business can do is focus. When running a company, it can be easy to be stretched in many different directions. Business owners have to run the day-to-day of a business, and while the financial and taxation side is a big part of that, it can sometimes be pushed to the side until deadlines start approaching.
KBC Business Banking can add value to a business at this time of year—we look at an SME from the financial perspective and, for example, help a business apply for a loan early for taxes and pensions. On an on-going basis we can help with cash-flow loans or if a business is expanding and wants to upgrade or purchase a new premises. If customers contact us early, we can help them prepare and it does make a difference further down the line.
KBC’s  ‘Tax and Pensions Contribution’ is aimed at professionals in the medical, financial, legal, pharmacy and other professional sectors. It helps self-employed professionals with their payments either in taxes or pensions. If someone wants to put €20,000 into their pension this year, they will most likely find it hard to extract that from their business at once. However, they can get that €20,000 with a Tax and Pensions Contribution loan and spread the cost over a period of time. Their pension contribution is paid for without having to take a large amount out of the business at a time when there may be many other payments to make.
At KBC, we can finance tax payments that a business needs to pay right now and this can be paid back over 9, 10 or 11 months. This means that customers don’t have to take a big lump of cash out of their business to pay their tax bill. They can spread it out and then re-apply again next year if needed. It’s a very straight-forward cash flow loan to finance their taxes. We have done a lot of research on these areas and found that these products are of great help to our customers.

How to stay on top of everything in the year ahead

1. Focus on the business
The business you run dictates how you run it. Before setting out thinking you know every piece of legislation for your business, it’s best to research. Are you a sole trader or a limited company? How many employees do you have? Have you gone past the threshold of SME to become a large company? All these details are important to note and will have an effect on your Revenue payments, your legal commitments and how you act with customers.
2. Research your tax obligations
You might have to pay more or less taxes than you know. While PAYE/PRSI/USC/Corporation Tax are common among most businesses, if you supply certain services to the State you might have to pay professional services withholding tax.  If you have sold part of your business premises for a profit, you may have to pay capital gains tax on those profits. Always know your obligations or you may be fined and face penalties. If you are filing your taxes, you must make sure you have receipts for every single activity you spent money on. This is for proof of business expenditure and for VAT reasons. If you have proof of expenditure, you may be able to claim back your business expenses such as travel or stationary.
3. Look at diversifying your trade
If you are a SME, you might not have the finance available to truly become an international exporter. But, with the looming Brexit deadline, it is more important than ever to diversify in trade and not overly rely on particular markets in Ireland and the UK. Enterprise Ireland helps small- and medium-sized businesses to scale and expand to reach into new export markets.
4. Keep on top of GDPR
In order to keep on top of GDPR and avoid breaching legislation, hiring a team to deal with the company’s data could be the solution. A Data Protection Officer has the skills and updated knowledge required to keep customers’ data protected and avoid any breaches.
5. Seek help
If in doubt, reach out to a business advisor at KBC Bank who can assist with your banking requirements.
Call the business support team on 1800 804 414 or check out the KBC website on www.kbc.ie/business to find out more.
This article was taken from extracts used in KBC’s Tax and Pensions Supplement in the Irish Independent in October 2018