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How profit extraction requires careful consideration by owner shareholders of SMEs

If you are an owner / shareholder of an SME (small and medium-sized enterprises) there could be a good argument in favour of making pension contributions in addition to or instead of drawing a dividend.

You will be familiar with the strategy of drawing a low salary of around £8,000 pa and paying additional income as dividends, however if you are in the financial position where you don’t need some or all of the income for day to day living costs extracting some business profits via pension contributions should be strongly considered. Pension contributions can be even more tax efficient than both salary and dividends. This is because an employer Pension Contribution is not subject to Employers and Employee NI and is usually treated as an allowable deduction for Corporation Tax.

“I have also advised on scenarios where the SME owner has been able to pay employer contributions in excess of the £40,000 annual allowance, using part or all of their unused carried forward annual allowance from the last 3 tax years.”

Modern pensions allow the fund value to be accessed flexibly with up to 25% of the pension fund value available tax free from age 55, under current rules. There is no immediate requirement to draw any taxable income from the fund and it could be left to grow until the individual is a basic rather than higher rate income tax payer in the future. Finally, a word of caution, taking drawdown income, in addition to the tax free lump sum, will trigger the Money Purchase Annual Allowance (MPAA), restricting future savings to a maximum of £4,000 per tax year currently.

If you are interested in exploring business profit extraction or any other area of financial advice please contact Ian Brookes.

ian.brookes@charles-stanley.co.uk | 01865 987 485 | www.charles-stanley.co.uk/oxford-office
Investment involves risk. Investors may get back less than invested.

Charles Stanley & Co. Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Charles Stanley is not a tax adviser. This information is based on our understanding of current HMRC legislation. Tax treatment depends on individual circumstances and may be subject to change in the future.