The most common problems for smaller companies who do not have an Finance Director are created usually by the complete lack of any structure to the dividend taking process itself. For example most directors dividends are taken monthly without a thought for entering into a register or issuing a voucher/certificate. These are real issues if HMRC investigates the payments and may conclude in actual fact the dividends are actually salary and back date tax and national insurance.
They could also conclude that the payments are loans and in which case are owed back to the company. There must sufficient documentation to support the dividend payment. If no documentation exists and HMRC rule the dividend was incorrectly processed it is technically possible to pay corporation tax and income tax on the amount taken at a marginal rate of 60% including N.I.
When the unexpected happens this is invariably when I get called in to rescue the director and or the business:
These are the most common unexpected happenings.
A stock market flotation is a costly way of raising new capital which involves selling a percentage of a company's on a stock market for the first time. In reality, a stock market flotation is only an option for businesses with a value usually over £50 million, given the costs involved. In recent years, the number of flotations has declined. It is a lot easier for larger private companies to achieve an "exit" for their shareholders or raise substantial finance by selling some or all of the business to venture capital funds.
The major change that arises from a flotation is that the shareholder base of the company becomes much wider; potentially many thousands of private shareholders invest in the business alongside the larger "institutional" investors such as pension and insurance scheme funds.
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