If you take more money out of a company than you’ve put in – and it isn’t salary or dividend – it’s called a director’s loan.
A director’s loan account cannot be used by sole traders. It is, as the name suggests, a loan account for company directors.
It is important to note that a director’s loan account is not the same as your business bank account or your personal bank account. Instead, it is a “virtual” account that only exists as a means of keeping track of the money that flows between you and your company. This is because, unlike sole traders, your limited company is separate from you.
What this means is that the money your limited company earns belongs to the company, not to you. Of course, there are ways for you to withdraw money from the company, and the director’s loan account keeps track of the interactions between you and the company.
You will owe any money you took from the company at the year end, as you will pay dividends after tax. So many people get caught out by this and end up without enough profit left over after tax to fully clear the director’s loan account with dividends. If you have an overdrawn director’s loan account you must declare this on your Corporation Tax return and pay even more tax. The current rate of tax on the director’s loan is 32.5%.
However – it’s important to note that if you are able to repay your overdrawn amount within nine months and one day of your accounting year end, then you will have no additional tax to pay. Even though you will still have to declare the loan on your Corporation Tax return, you will get tax relief on the amount. HMRC have ensured that directors cannot circumvent this measure by taking the money out again as soon as they have paid it. If you withdraw the amount you repaid within 30 days, the loan counts as unpaid.
If you overdraw your director’s loan account by more than £10,000 (HMRC can change this amount) then it can be classed as a benefit as you are getting a loan from your company without paying any interest. This means you must declare it on your personal tax return and pay income tax. You can avoid this by paying interest in your director’s loan equal to or in excess of the rate demanded by HMRC.
This is particularly important to bear in mind if you use your director’s loan account to lend to others as well, such as your spouse, relative or anyone else closely connected to you.
If you’d like to know how we can help you with all of this, or with anything else, feel free to give us a call on 01366 858538 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.