When a client sets up a business, the two simple choices available are either set up a limited company or a sole trader unincorporated business.

Let us assume the first period is 1.1.21-30.4.22 and the profits are £160,000.

Option 1: Company

For companies, everything is actual, but the company’s accounting period cannot exceed 12 months.

First period (first 12 months) 1.1.21-31.12.21 Profits £120,000

Second period (remainder) 1.1.22-30.4.22 Profits £40,000

Option 2: Sole Trader

Single 16-month period with profits of £160,000

First tax year 20/21 Actual 1.1.21-5.4.21 160,000 x 3/16 = £30,000

Second Tax year 21/22 No accounting period ends in second tax year so tax actual 6.4.21-5.4.22 160,000 x 12/16 =£120,000

Third Tax Year 22/23 Period ending in the third tax year is 16 months in length (long) so tax the last 12 months 160,000x 12/16= £120,000

What you can see is we have taxed 27 months of profit instead of 16 months. These extra profits 11/16 x £160,000 =£110,000 are overlap profits and are carried forward to be relieved on cessation or a change of accounting date.

Hope your revision is going well. Tax is technical but great fun