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Considering changing from self-employed sole trader status to limited company...
Thread poster: Marie-Celine Grech

Marie-Celine Grech  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 16:49
Member (2013)
English to Maltese
+ ...
Mar 6, 2017

Hello everybody,

I have been self-employed here in the UK as a freelance translator for the past 12 years. The end of the financial year is approaching and it always fills me with dread, due to the large tax bill which I generally have to pay, to include NI, Class IV contributions as well as Payments on Account.

Reading the papers this morning (06/03/2017), it is being stated that the NI contribution in the upcoming budget is set to increase from 9% to 12%. Also consider that corporation tax is going to go down to 17% by 2020.

In light of the above, has anyone considered or actually gone ahead converting from a Sole Trader self-employed status, to a Limited Company? At present the benefits of setting up a Ltd. company seem to outweigh any disadvantages.

Your thoughts on the matter would be appreciated.

Thanks,
Celine


 

Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Swedish to English
+ ...
I wouldn't Mar 6, 2017

I became a limited company in 1995, mainly because I was employing other translators and planning to grow the business to take over the world. I later decided I couldn't be bothered.

I haven't changed back because my accountant says I'd pay a bit more tax, but by the time you factor in his bill it's probably six of one and half a dozen of the other.

Disadvantages: Confuses clients who think you are an agency. You have to get an accountant to sign off your accounts. The tax is much more complex, and you're still paying income tax and NI on your salary. The benefits of lower tax on dividends are constantly under attack from the government. You can't just spend incoming money when you need to. Monthly PAYE calculations. Rent becomes more of an issue. Annual Companies House return is probably the most pointless and frustrating hour of your year.

Advantages:

Just saying.


 

Peter Shortall  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:49
Member
French to English
+ ...
I have Mar 6, 2017

I "went limited" four years ago, and haven't regretted it so far. I have saved a lot in NI contributions despite the significantly higher accounting charges, and it hasn't resulted in an increase in paperwork or hassle for me. In fact, I do no more paperwork than I did before, really. From the 2016-2017 financial year onwards, my tax bills will go up because of the new dividend tax (and possibly employers' NI contributions, I will only get a clearer idea when I see my next tax calculation) so I'm not sure how much I will save from now on. It's complicated and it will depend on my turnover, but my accountant reckons I'll still be a bit better off as a Ltd.

The limited liability is another advantage to consider, not that anyone has sued me (or is likely to, I hope!) So in other words, if I were to be sued, the claimant could only go after my company's assets. They couldn't take the shirt off my back, so to speak.

And not that it's an advantage as such, but there's also something rather nice about being able to say I am a company director!


 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 16:49
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Just to point out.... Mar 6, 2017

...that according to media reports, HMRC is going to be focussing much more on sole traders who set themselves up as limited companies not for any good reason but only as a way of legally avoiding tax. With the very significant increase in the number of individuals who are doing this, there is a concern that the overall tax take to the state will be considerably lower. Those who are running their one-man band as a limited company should take note.

[Edited at 2017-03-06 17:20 GMT]


 

Sonia Hill
United Kingdom
Local time: 16:49
Italian to English
I did, but switched back Mar 6, 2017

I became a limited company for a while, but I switched back to being a sole trader after a year. I pay more tax this way, but I think it's worth it for the simplicity. It's also worth bearing in mind that your accountant's bill is much higher when you become a limited company, so that eats in to a huge amount of the money you save. What's more, the introduction of the new dividend tax looked likely to do away with a large part of the tax savings.

I'm sure it can work for some people, but it wasn't for me, primarily because I couldn't spend my incoming money when I needed to. It also affected my ability to get a mortgage at the time.

[Edited at 2017-03-06 18:11 GMT]


 

IrimiConsulting  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 17:49
Member (2006)
English to Swedish
+ ...
Done it, won't turn back Mar 7, 2017

I made the switch a few years ago, it was my plan from the beginning. This is in Sweden however and the pros/cons may not be the same as in the UK.

Pros:
- Way easier to have employees (which I had until a few months ago).
- More tax deductions available in Sweden for e.g. healthcare, physical training, reading glasses and coffe/snacks.
- Lower taxes at income above certain limits.
- A lot easier to deal with authorities as a regular employee.
- Looks better on paper for some clients.
- Profit can be paid as dividend which is taxed lower than income in Sweden.

Cons:
- Bookkeeping is more complex. Not a problem since I've outsourced this part.
- Higher costs for e.g. telephone subscriptions since they belong to a company and not an individual.


 

Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 17:49
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Check with HMRC about the forthcoming Making Tax Digital plans Mar 7, 2017

Sonia Hill wrote:

...What's more, the introduction of the new dividend tax looked likely to do away with a large part of the tax savings.
...


I don't know the details, as I live in Denmark and the rules are different. The threshold for registering is much lower, so I only have one option, but the procedures for very small companies are reasonably simple.

I do know, however, that some colleagues in the UK are not entirely happy about HMRC's plans for Making Tax Digital, or are discussing how it will affect them. Think post-Brexit too, if possible.
Look ahead before you make any decisions!

If you are VAT-registered, it makes life easier for clients in the EU, but that may change after Brexit.


 

Marie-Celine Grech  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 16:49
Member (2013)
English to Maltese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Mar 7, 2017

Thank you all for your input. I think I will wait it out for the next year or so, to see what the forthcoming budgets bring about and more importantly what will be outcome of the Brexit negotiations...

I find the payments on account rather frustrating as being freelancers, you can never know how work will fluctuate, so you can have a good year one year, and a rubbish one the next....

Once again, thanks for taking the time to comment.

Celine


 

sam@fr-uk
United Kingdom
Local time: 16:49
French to English
Reduce your payments on account Mar 7, 2017

Marie-Celine Grech wrote:

I find the payments on account rather frustrating as being freelancers, you can never know how work will fluctuate, so you can have a good year one year, and a rubbish one the next....



Hi. You can ask HMRC to reduce your payments on account, whenever you think your tax bill is going to be lower than last year's.
You just need to complete form SA303.

See these links: https://www.gov.uk/understand-self-assessment-bill/payments-on-account
http://www.theaccountancy.co.uk/articles/form-types/why-complete-form-sa303-952.html


 

Dan Lucas  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 16:49
Member (2014)
Japanese to English
Many benefits, but emphatically not for everybody Mar 7, 2017

Marie-Celine Grech wrote:
The end of the financial year is approaching and it always fills me with dread, due to the large tax bill which I generally have to pay, to include NI, Class IV contributions as well as Payments on Account.

I may be able to help as I have gone through all this quite recently. I created a limited company in 2013 and since that time my business has always been conducted through this company. It is hard for me to imagine conducting that same business as a sole trader at this point in my career. Nevertheless, it is emphatically not for everybody.

One major motivation for me to establish a limited company was to signal to potential clients that the business is established, transparent and committed. It DOES take more work to set up and run a limited company, and so it should. The result is that anybody can find out where my company is located, who is managing it and even take a look at the balance sheet if they want to. I have nothing to hide. This appeals to a certain kind of client, the kind that places value on knowing exactly who they are dealing with.

As I've repeatedly argued in this forum, if you want to differentiate yourself, then perceptions of professionalism are important to new clients. With a limited company, certain actions must by law be taken every quarter or every year and the consequences of non-compliance within the permitted timescale can be serious. It does indeed take more organization and more professionalism to run a limited company.

A common straw man argument advanced by detractors of the limited company route is that none of the above means you will be a better translator. They are correct; there is no direct connection. If you're not a good translator, then operating out of a limited company will do nothing for you. (Often the same people make similar arguments about certification.)

However, if you are a competent translator, and you wish to differentiate yourself from others who are also competent, then working through a properly managed limited company with all that implies for commitment and professionalism can often - I believe - be helpful. Simply put, the baseline is higher. You are demonstrating that you can jump higher hurdles than other people. It's the same story with certification.

When I made the decision to set up a company, there were several other considerations, such as whether I wanted to employ people in the future, or develop the business in a different direction that would require more scale. I did not have a clear idea of exactly what I wanted to do, but the limited company route give me options I thought would be useful, and in that I was entirely correct.

One such benefit is being able to reclaim VAT, which was something I had in mind from the start but did not expect to implement as early as I did. Reclaiming VAT has been useful, because I have for various reasons had to buy spend quite a bit on company-related items over the past year and not paying VAT really helps, as does the capital allowance. I also travel to at least a couple of conferences every year, and the company covers my expenses for that.

The lower rate of corporate tax and NI do help when you are starting up, but if you are successful and profits hit a certain absolute level then the effect is diluted. So the tax gains are really only effective if you're "not making that much money". As I planned to be successful, I appreciated that the limited company would not have a major effect on my tax arrangements once it grew to a certain size.

Now that I'm used to it, I find that the much-bruited administration work is not such a big deal, partly because outsource the most difficult bit. As an example, I did the annual company return a few days ago and it took me literally 10 minutes, maybe less, all online. However, you will have to keep accounts, though you can do that in anything from an Excel file to an accounting package.

My company uses an online service called AccountsPortal that costs me about £10 a month. I enter all my transactions from the company bank account into this. This is made easier by being able to export transactions from the account and import them and have them automatically sorted in AccountsPortal. On the positive side, once the transactions are in the accounts, my VAT report becomes trivially easy to implement. This

I mentioned outsourcing above. I use a professional accountant, who also does my payroll and tax returns, and I probably pay her about £1000 a year. For some people that's a lot of money. I think you could certainly pay less or simply learn what you need to do in terms of bookkeeping and do it all yourself, but of course it depends how much time you want to spend on a non-core function.

If you are a full-time professional translator, and you're busy enough that you have difficulty dealing with demand, does it really make sense to take several hours a month out of your timetable to perform, perhaps ineptly, accounting work that a specialist will be able to do competently in a fraction of the time?

I think about this every few months and every time I come to the conclusion that it's better for me to pay the accountant the equivalent of a couple of hours of my time to do it for me and to get it right. I also email her accounting and finance questions whenever I feel like it and there is a definite "comfort blanket" factor at work. If you're only earning a couple of thousand pounds a month from translation, then clearly it's going to be difficult to justify paying much money for professional service suppliers. If your monthly revenue is, say, £5,000 or £10,000 a month, then it's no longer such a big deal. Horses for courses.

As to the legitimacy of sole traders setting up limited companies, the concerns that HMRC has (and has had for many years, by the way - this is nothing new) concern mostly people who work for one client by whom they are effectively controlled, and also control when and how they work. This is quite a common situation with IT industry contractors, and has been seen by HMRC, understandably, as a way of illegitimately lowering the tax burden of the client. Most freelance translators are genuinely independent, work as and when they wish and have multiple clients who have no say in how the translation is performed other than to evaluate the result, so this is unlikely to be a problem.

[Just as an aside, there are very few countries anywhere in the world that are as friendly to small business as the UK. It is indeed a nation of shopkeepers and others on the same economic scale. The current government (which, given the current and lamentable absence of a strong Opposition, is likely to remain the government for some time) has no interest in squishing the little guys. As you yourself point out, corporate income tax rates are trending down, which will take some of the sting out of any additional regulatory requirements. If anything, the policy pendulum seems to be swinging towards greater and (to my mind) entirely justified scrutiny of the larger multinational players.]

Nevertheless Marie-Celine, given your original post I suspect that a limited company may not be the right choice for you. You seem to be considering a limited company as a kind of defensive measure to make your life simpler. I don't think it will achieve that for you.

Ask yourself the following questions.
  • Is your business is thriving and turning a decent profit every month?
  • Are you still growing and acquiring new clients?
  • Do you invest money back in the business in the form of purchases of equipment, professional subscriptions, conferences and travel?
  • Do you have plans to maybe take on bigger projects and grow further?
  • Do you, and this is perhaps the most important of all, have a certain mindset that derives satisfaction from the business side of translation?

If you answered mostly "no" to the above, it is likely that the benefits of running as a limited company would be more than offset by the disadvantages alreadyenumerated by several people in this thread. They changed back from limited company to sole trader status for sensible reasons. It is not the right route for everybody. Personally, I quite enjoy it all and it makes sense for the kind of business I want to run.

PROS
- Enforces greater transparency on the business
- Implies and signals a higher baseline of commitment and organization than a sole trader
- Company can reclaim VAT on corporate purchases
- Potential for lower tax rates, at least when the business is not turning large profit
- Makes hiring people and premises simpler if the company gets larger
- Shields directors from personal prosecution provided that they have not been negligent
- Can be established and run very cheaply if you are prepared to do most of the work yourself

CONS
- The company must comply with numerous additional regulations
- Certain information about directors and people with significant control must be made public
- Abbreviated accounts must be made public
- Increases costs for services such as accounting, certification and IT if the firm takes a "big company" rather than a DIY approach to such matters

Regards,
Dan


 

Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Swedish to English
+ ...
VAT Mar 7, 2017

Dan Lucas wrote:
Lots of useful stuff as usual


But then Dan Lucas wrote:
One such benefit is being able to reclaim VAT, which was something I had in mind from the start but did not expect to implement as early as I did. Reclaiming VAT has been useful, because I have for various reasons had to buy spend quite a bit on company-related items over the past year and not paying VAT really helps, as does the capital allowance. I also travel to at least a couple of conferences every year, and the company covers my expenses for that.

- Company can reclaim VAT on corporate purchases


FTR... Sole traders can also reclaim VAT and expenses and capital allowances. It makes no difference whether or not you are a company.

However you trade, it's madness not to be VAT-registered. (Unless you work mostly for private individuals, which in many ways is madness in itself.)

Note also that the "more professional image" benefit will only cut it with direct customers. It can actually put agencies off because they think you're a competitor or are going to subcontract their jobs. And even with direct customers I don't think it's ever made any difference in 22 years...

To be honest, I also struggle with the ethics/morality of sheltering behind a limited company for tax reasons.


 

Dan Lucas  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 16:49
Member (2014)
Japanese to English
Morality comes in many different guises Mar 7, 2017

Chris S wrote:
To be honest, I also struggle with the ethics/morality of sheltering behind a limited company for tax reasons.

You have mentioned this before and it is a point of view for which I have some sympathy. The macro calculation is surely that making it easy for people to build businesses generates future tax revenues that outweigh any potential losses in revenue caused by the people who use a one-person company solely to reduce their tax burden.

I myself have gone from being a fervent supporter of high taxation in my (ignorant) youth to being somebody who believes that lower taxation is generally preferable to higher taxation, largely because that tax revenue is too often misused. Despite my drift towards minarchism, I still at this point recognise that a certain base level of taxation is probably required to maintain a society that allows us all opportunities to advance and prosper.

There are no easy answers to these issues, which of course have been debated for centuries, probably millennia. Although I don't go out of my way to do so, my personal view is that minimising my tax bill strictly within the framework laid down by law would be acceptable. Arguably it would even be moral, in a sense, because I do not accept that many of the uses to which government revenues are put are moral. Making child benefit freely available to middle-class families on comfortable incomes (who, in many cases, seem able to afford an overseas holiday every year) strikes me as intrinsically wrong, for example.

However, that is not the reason I work via a limited company. As others have already pointed out in this thread, the benefits of paying oneself in dividends and so on are being gradually eroded in any case. Certainly, the original poster should not hope to make significant financial gains by switching to a limited company structure.

Dan
PS thanks for putting me straight on the sole trader/VAT issue.


 

Merab Dekano  Identity Verified
Spain
Member (2014)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Seconded Mar 7, 2017

Dan Lucas wrote:

Marie-Celine Grech wrote:
The end of the financial year is approaching and it always fills me with dread, due to the large tax bill which I generally have to pay, to include NI, Class IV contributions as well as Payments on Account.

I may be able to help as I have gone through all this quite recently. I created a limited company in 2013 and since that time my business has always been conducted through this company. It is hard for me to imagine conducting that same business as a sole trader at this point in my career. Nevertheless, it is emphatically not for everybody.

One major motivation for me to establish a limited company was to signal to potential clients that the business is established, transparent and committed. It DOES take more work to set up and run a limited company, and so it should. The result is that anybody can find out where my company is located, who is managing it and even take a look at the balance sheet if they want to. I have nothing to hide. This appeals to a certain kind of client, the kind that places value on knowing exactly who they are dealing with.

As I've repeatedly argued in this forum, if you want to differentiate yourself, then perceptions of professionalism are important to new clients. With a limited company, certain actions must by law be taken every quarter or every year and the consequences of non-compliance within the permitted timescale can be serious. It does indeed take more organization and more professionalism to run a limited company.

A common straw man argument advanced by detractors of the limited company route is that none of the above means you will be a better translator. They are correct; there is no direct connection. If you're not a good translator, then operating out of a limited company will do nothing for you. (Often the same people make similar arguments about certification.)

However, if you are a competent translator, and you wish to differentiate yourself from others who are also competent, then working through a properly managed limited company with all that implies for commitment and professionalism can often - I believe - be helpful. Simply put, the baseline is higher. You are demonstrating that you can jump higher hurdles than other people. It's the same story with certification.

When I made the decision to set up a company, there were several other considerations, such as whether I wanted to employ people in the future, or develop the business in a different direction that would require more scale. I did not have a clear idea of exactly what I wanted to do, but the limited company route give me options I thought would be useful, and in that I was entirely correct.

One such benefit is being able to reclaim VAT, which was something I had in mind from the start but did not expect to implement as early as I did. Reclaiming VAT has been useful, because I have for various reasons had to buy spend quite a bit on company-related items over the past year and not paying VAT really helps, as does the capital allowance. I also travel to at least a couple of conferences every year, and the company covers my expenses for that.

The lower rate of corporate tax and NI do help when you are starting up, but if you are successful and profits hit a certain absolute level then the effect is diluted. So the tax gains are really only effective if you're "not making that much money". As I planned to be successful, I appreciated that the limited company would not have a major effect on my tax arrangements once it grew to a certain size.

Now that I'm used to it, I find that the much-bruited administration work is not such a big deal, partly because outsource the most difficult bit. As an example, I did the annual company return a few days ago and it took me literally 10 minutes, maybe less, all online. However, you will have to keep accounts, though you can do that in anything from an Excel file to an accounting package.

My company uses an online service called AccountsPortal that costs me about £10 a month. I enter all my transactions from the company bank account into this. This is made easier by being able to export transactions from the account and import them and have them automatically sorted in AccountsPortal. On the positive side, once the transactions are in the accounts, my VAT report becomes trivially easy to implement. This

I mentioned outsourcing above. I use a professional accountant, who also does my payroll and tax returns, and I probably pay her about £1000 a year. For some people that's a lot of money. I think you could certainly pay less or simply learn what you need to do in terms of bookkeeping and do it all yourself, but of course it depends how much time you want to spend on a non-core function.

If you are a full-time professional translator, and you're busy enough that you have difficulty dealing with demand, does it really make sense to take several hours a month out of your timetable to perform, perhaps ineptly, accounting work that a specialist will be able to do competently in a fraction of the time?

I think about this every few months and every time I come to the conclusion that it's better for me to pay the accountant the equivalent of a couple of hours of my time to do it for me and to get it right. I also email her accounting and finance questions whenever I feel like it and there is a definite "comfort blanket" factor at work. If you're only earning a couple of thousand pounds a month from translation, then clearly it's going to be difficult to justify paying much money for professional service suppliers. If your monthly revenue is, say, £5,000 or £10,000 a month, then it's no longer such a big deal. Horses for courses.

As to the legitimacy of sole traders setting up limited companies, the concerns that HMRC has (and has had for many years, by the way - this is nothing new) concern mostly people who work for one client by whom they are effectively controlled, and also control when and how they work. This is quite a common situation with IT industry contractors, and has been seen by HMRC, understandably, as a way of illegitimately lowering the tax burden of the client. Most freelance translators are genuinely independent, work as and when they wish and have multiple clients who have no say in how the translation is performed other than to evaluate the result, so this is unlikely to be a problem.

[Just as an aside, there are very few countries anywhere in the world that are as friendly to small business as the UK. It is indeed a nation of shopkeepers and others on the same economic scale. The current government (which, given the current and lamentable absence of a strong Opposition, is likely to remain the government for some time) has no interest in squishing the little guys. As you yourself point out, corporate income tax rates are trending down, which will take some of the sting out of any additional regulatory requirements. If anything, the policy pendulum seems to be swinging towards greater and (to my mind) entirely justified scrutiny of the larger multinational players.]

Nevertheless Marie-Celine, given your original post I suspect that a limited company may not be the right choice for you. You seem to be considering a limited company as a kind of defensive measure to make your life simpler. I don't think it will achieve that for you.

Ask yourself the following questions.
  • Is your business is thriving and turning a decent profit every month?
  • Are you still growing and acquiring new clients?
  • Do you invest money back in the business in the form of purchases of equipment, professional subscriptions, conferences and travel?
  • Do you have plans to maybe take on bigger projects and grow further?
  • Do you, and this is perhaps the most important of all, have a certain mindset that derives satisfaction from the business side of translation?

If you answered mostly "no" to the above, it is likely that the benefits of running as a limited company would be more than offset by the disadvantages alreadyenumerated by several people in this thread. They changed back from limited company to sole trader status for sensible reasons. It is not the right route for everybody. Personally, I quite enjoy it all and it makes sense for the kind of business I want to run.

PROS
- Enforces greater transparency on the business
- Implies and signals a higher baseline of commitment and organization than a sole trader
- Company can reclaim VAT on corporate purchases
- Potential for lower tax rates, at least when the business is not turning large profit
- Makes hiring people and premises simpler if the company gets larger
- Shields directors from personal prosecution provided that they have not been negligent
- Can be established and run very cheaply if you are prepared to do most of the work yourself

CONS
- The company must comply with numerous additional regulations
- Certain information about directors and people with significant control must be made public
- Abbreviated accounts must be made public
- Increases costs for services such as accounting, certification and IT if the firm takes a "big company" rather than a DIY approach to such matters

Regards,
Dan







I agree with Dan:

Transparency: He is right, you just Google “Carningli Partners Limited” and you will find all the information you might need about your prospective service provider, and more. Similarly, you can google “Dekano Translations LTD” and again, the CH will show you all you need to know, and more, about my business. No more “I need a copy of your ID” or “please prove you live at your address” thing.

Bookkeeping: Dan uses AccountsPortal, I use ClearBooks. He pays 10 pounds a month, I pay even less (through my accountant’s plan). Oh, yes, it is difficult to keep your books, etc….No, it isn’t. You just run every single translation through a piece of user-friendly software. The rest is done by your accountant, once a year (in my case, as my company isn't VAT-registered).

Accounting: I can do the accounts all by myself, but I wouldn’t like to find myself on the wrong side of the taxman. I can make mistakes. My accountant is much less likely to make mistakes as she’s been doing it for decades. I haven’t done it ever. On the other hand, I can ask her questions and will get a professional answer. Then some forms change time to time, I cannot keep track of that. Dan pays 1,000 pound a year. I pay less (he can contact me privately and I can put him through my accountant in case he considers saving some money).

Tax: Corporation Tax goes down and will reach 17% by 2020 (currently it’s 20%, I believe). Brexit won’t make it easier for the current UK government to raise Corporation Tax. Rather, on the contrary, they might even consider further lowering it (Irish Corporation Tax is 12%). The very name “corporation tax” is misleading. Micro businesses do business at micro scale. Large corporations do business at huge scale and somehow manage to pay 0% of taxes. I don’t think we should be “ashamed” to welcome the reduction of tax bill from 20% to 17%.


[Edited at 2017-03-07 14:22 GMT]


 

Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Swedish to English
+ ...
More pros and cons Mar 7, 2017

You may have to pay business rather than residential prices for phone/broadband/electricity etc.

You may have to pay business rates (normally reduced to 0%).

You may have to pay for waste disposal.

Insurance may go up.

The planning authorities might have things to say about operating a business from a residential address.

If you rent, your landlord might object.

And then there are the phone calls you get daily from people who find your transparent information on the Web and want to buy your company/lend you money/buy your debts/offer you free boilers/sell you everything under the sun.

On the bright side, like Francois Fillon, you can employ your spouse, your children and your cat to cut tax costs further. Especially useful if you might otherwise stray into higher-rate tax as we used to do when we outsourced.



[Edited at 2017-03-07 15:09 GMT]


 

Dan Lucas  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 16:49
Member (2014)
Japanese to English
How the other half live Mar 7, 2017

Chris S wrote:
On the bright side, like Francois Fillon, you can employ your spouse, your children and your cat to cut tax costs further. Especially useful if you might otherwise stray into higher-rate tax as we used to do when we outsourced.

I cannot imagine being able to pay any of my family members anything like the amount that he paid his wife and kids...!

Dan


 
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