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Reducing Corporation Tax Liability

As a business owner, managing your corporation tax liability is crucial for maintaining healthy financial health. While paying taxes is a necessary part of operating a business, there are legitimate strategies to reduce your corporation tax bill. In this blog, we’ll explore several methods that UK businesses can employ to minimise their corporation tax liability legally and efficiently.

1. Claim All Available Deductions

One of the simplest ways to reduce your corporation tax bill is to ensure you claim all available deductions. These deductions can significantly lower your taxable income, and hence, your tax liability. Here are some key areas to focus on:

  • Business Expenses: Ensure that all business-related expenses are properly documented and claimed. This includes office supplies, travel expenses, and utility bills.
  • Employee Costs: Salaries, pension contributions, and training costs for your employees are deductible. Make sure these are all accounted for.
  • Bad Debts: If you have any debts that are unlikely to be recovered, you can claim these as deductions.

2. Utilise Capital Allowances

Capital allowances provide tax relief for businesses investing in certain assets. This can include machinery, equipment, and even certain types of buildings. Here’s how you can make the most of capital allowances:

  • Annual Investment Allowance (AIA): The AIA allows businesses to claim 100% of the cost of qualifying assets up to a certain limit. As of the latest updates, this limit is £1 million.
  • First-Year Allowances: Certain environmentally beneficial or energy-saving equipment qualifies for a 100% first-year allowance, meaning you can deduct the full cost in the year of purchase.
  • Writing Down Allowances (WDA): For assets not covered by AIA or first-year allowances, you can claim a percentage of the cost each year through WDAs.

3. Tax-Efficient Profit Extraction Methods

Extracting profits from your business in a tax-efficient manner can also help reduce your corporation tax liability. Here are a few methods:

  • Dividends: Dividends are often taxed at a lower rate than salaries. By paying yourself through dividends, you can potentially reduce your overall tax bill.
  • Pension Contributions: Contributions to a pension plan are tax-deductible for the business and are not subject to National Insurance contributions.
  • Salary Sacrifice Schemes: These schemes allow employees to give up part of their salary in exchange for non-cash benefits, such as additional pension contributions or childcare vouchers, which can be more tax-efficient.

4. R&D Tax Credits

If your business is involved in research and development (R&D), you may be eligible for R&D tax credits. These credits are designed to encourage innovation and can provide significant tax relief. Even small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) can benefit:

  • SME R&D Relief: SMEs can deduct an extra 130% of their qualifying costs from their yearly profit, as well as the normal 100% deduction, making a total 230% deduction.
  • Research and Development Expenditure Credit (RDEC): Large companies and SMEs that have been subcontracted by a large company can claim a tax credit worth 13% of their qualifying R&D expenditure.

5. Loss Relief

If your business makes a loss, you can use this to reduce your corporation tax bill in several ways:

  • Carry Forward Losses: Losses can be carried forward to offset against future profits.
  • Carry Back Losses: In some cases, losses can be carried back to offset profits from the previous year, potentially resulting in a tax refund.


Reducing your corporation tax liability legally involves thorough planning and a deep understanding of the tax system. By claiming all available deductions, utilising capital allowances, employing tax-efficient profit extraction methods, taking advantage of R&D tax credits, and effectively using loss relief, you can significantly lower your corporation tax bill. For tailored advice and assistance, consider consulting with an experienced accountancy firm to ensure you’re making the most of these strategies.

For more information on how our firm can assist you in reducing your corporation tax liability, feel free to contact us today. Our team of experts is here to help you navigate the complexities of the UK tax system and ensure your business thrives financially.

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