As the director and shareholder of your own company you can decide how much salary to pay yourself each month, in order to use your personal allowance in the most tax efficient way. As a director of your personal company you do not have to pay yourself the national minimum wage unless you have an employment contract with your company.
From 6 April 2012 the tax free personal allowance is £675 per month (£8,105 per year), so you could take a salary at that level and pay no income tax. However, the monthly thresholds for paying class 1 national insurance (NI) are: £634 for employees and £624 for employers. If your salary is £675 gross per month, your company needs to deduct NI of £4.92 and pay employer's NI of £7.04 on top.
If you take a lower salary of just over the NI lower earnings threshold of £464 per month you will get the NI credit, so your wages count towards your state pension entitlement, but you don't pay any tax or NI and neither does the company. However, at that annual salary level (£5,568) you will be 'wasting' £2,537 of your tax free personal allowance. At £624 per month there will be no NI to pay and you only have £617 of unused personal allowance, so this is likely to be more beneficial.
As a director's salary is an allowable expense for Corporation Tax purposes it is always beneficial to pay yourself a salary but talk to us first about the best salary level for you. The correct procedures also need to be in place when paying a salary and we will also need to take into account your other sources of income, as you may be using your personal allowance elsewhere.
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