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Small businesses

Small businesses

Can anyone please advise a source of profit margins which would cover most of the businesses which a small practitioner would be likely to act for.?


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22nd Feb 2016 10:41


That's where I usually look. I'd generally take an average of the averages because they vary depending on source. HMRC would seem to have their own idea of the average gross margins for most types of business but I've never seen it published.

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22nd Feb 2016 10:59

HMRC has now archived

its Business Economic Notes (BENs) which you could view here

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22nd Feb 2016 11:04

Is that what they still use?

Most of those are over 20 years old, do they still use them?

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By mwngiol
22nd Feb 2016 11:43

New ones

Duggimon wrote:

Most of those are over 20 years old, do they still use them?

They did have some new ones a few a while back (5 years or so maybe?) which were on their website. They weren't called BENs though. I think they took them down a while later because they could have been used to aid tax dodging or some such reason.

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22nd Feb 2016 12:12

They were named -TIPs

Tactical Information Packages.

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By DMGbus
22nd Feb 2016 12:20

2008 source of TIPs

Here is an extract of a webpage that I downloaded in 2008 (I don't know if the links still work):

Tactical Information Packages (TIPs)

HMRC has removed its Tactical and Information Packages (TIPs) from its website. TIPs were HMRC’s own detailed guides to the economics of a range of businesses, and are essential reading for those acting for any of the trades and professions featured.

The TIPS can still be downloaded from:

1.Taxation website

More specifically

This website offers an archive of the economic guides for tax experts acting for clients in the following areas:

•    franchises
•    licensed trade
•    field sports
•    construction
•    waste disposal
•    confectionary
•    estate agents
•    bookmakers
•    mortgage brokers.

You can download each TIP as a Word document by clicking on the Related Links or by visiting their Free View section.

As it happens I had already downloaded the TIPs before HMRC removed them.

Another possible reason for removing the TIPs from public view might have been a commercial deal done with a commercial orghanisation who might have paid HMRC for rights to publish the publications then told HMRC to stop publishing them as this was financially detrimental to this commerciasl company (This echoes with iXBRL CT600 filing using HMRC software for small companies by advisors to be withdrawn later in 2016).

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By ruben
23rd Feb 2016 12:40

I am an old accountant and remember the days when there were local tax districts,district inspectors and inspectors of taxes.

I recall a conversation with one of the more senior inspectors re profit margins-it went something like this;

Can you let me have a list of margins?

Why would you want that?

Because I could sort the wheat from the chafe-that way it will save you time in your accounts examinations -more cases passed-it would give you more time to concentrate on the deadbeats

The chafe would be "tidied up" before they were submitted to you

I will refer it to the DI

I was not successful in my request

Nothing changes1





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