Whether you are learning for a specific goal or simply to broaden your knowledge, you can find a wealth of expertise in books. From Guides and Memoirs to Philosophy and Law, information is available on a wide variety of topics.
Although World Book Day has just passed, that doesn’t mean we should stop learning. And with the end of the fiscal year fast approaching, this is the perfect opportunity to brush up on the UK tax system by looking at some of the best taxation books out there.
Filing your taxes can be, well, taxing. Not only is there a lot of paperwork to sift through, but with all the updates and changes to the tax code and tax policy every year, it’s critical that you are well-informed on the latest tax rules to avoid penalties.
Whether you are a freelancer, sole trader, or business owner, these taxation books can help you to maximise your returns. They will assist you by outlining which pitfalls to avoid, how to take advantage of the tax system, list numerous purchases that might qualify for a tax deduction, teach you how to survive an audit, and break down other crucial tax rules.
Our top 10 list of tax books cover a range of literary styles. From engaging professional guides such as What Everyone Needs to Know About Tax by James Hannam to comprehensive university textbooks like Taxation policy and Practice by Andy Lymer & Lynne Oates, this list is compiled of tax books that will ensure you learn and master the UK tax system, either for your academic pursuits or for your professional endeavours.
Of course, this list is far from definitive. But the tax books selected in this list will provide you with a solid foundation for all your professional and personal needs, and should be the perfect starting point on your journey to learn more about tax. So let's jump in and take a look at the 10 best books on tax.
1. Tax Guide 2021, by The Daily Telegraph
This master tax guide is the UK’s bestselling tax handbook. Published annually by The Telegraph, it is an all-encompassing guide that carefully explains everything you would need to know about completing a self-assessment tax return for the fiscal year.
Often considered the Bible of personal tax, this indispensable book covers topics such as key changes in budget and treasury policies, detailed illustrations on how to complete your tax return, how being an expat in a foreign country will affect the tax you pay, and how to save on income tax.
Regardless of your personal circumstances, if you pay tax, this Daily Telegraph tax guide is vital. It will provide you with detailed practical advice and examples, making tax returns more digestible and easier to understand.
2. Practical Tax Planning for Business, by Alan Pink
In all likelihood, small business owners don’t have time to sort through chapters of a textbook on the UK tax system in order to understand the fundamental knowledge of what they need to pay, and what they don’t. Specialist tax adviser Alan Pink - who has 30 years of experience in the field and is one of the nation’s most experienced tax advisers for Owner-managed Businesses (OMB) - makes this easy with his latest tax guide, Practical Tax Planning for Business 2020/2021.
Packed with plenty of detail in user-friendly language, this taxation book sets out simple strategies on how small business owners can minimise their corporation tax along with other business taxes in a sensible and ethically acceptable way.
3. Taxation Policy and Practice, by Andy Lymer & Lynne Oats
For those aspiring professionals who want in-depth detail on tax policy, Taxation Policy and Practice is the quintessential textbook. Written by university professors Andy Lymer and Lynne Oats, it is the most widely used university textbook in the UK. Updated annually to cover all the latest changes to tax rules, this book is a great general introduction to the topic, or as a reference guide for all tax/accounting students and professionals learning the trade.
With an accessible style of writing and a variety of examples, activities, and questions throughout, this taxation book will give you a thorough understanding of the UK tax system. In addition, to test your knowledge further, the companion website will provide you with many more test questions and answers, including past professional exam questions, as well as links to other online materials.
4. What Everyone Needs to Know About Tax: An Introduction To The UK Tax System, by James Hannam
What Everyone Needs to Know About Tax takes an informative, yet light-hearted and entertaining, look at the complex world of the UK tax system. Dr James Hannam - who has a PhD in the History and Philosophy of Science - has spent 20 years working as a tax adviser, and in this captivating tax book designed for the casual reader, explains intricate financial and political issues effortlessly.
This book is divided into easy-to-follow chapters and covers all facets of tax, from income tax and PAYE to tax avoidance and tax havens. Additionally, exploring the context behind recent controversies such as Brexit, Panama Papers, and tax avoidance by multinational enterprises, this book provides a simple explanation of corporate taxation and tax policy for non-specialists and explains why it is that ultimately, it’s the average person, who suffers the most.
It isn't often that a subject like tax is presented with such wit and humour. It's readable, it's insightful, and it's entertaining.
5. Legally Avoid Property Taxes, by Iain Wallis
Legally Avoid Property Taxes is far from your typical tax book; it is engaging, user-friendly, jargon-free, bringing fun to the world of real estate and property taxation. Iain Wallis, someone with over 30 years of tax experience, packs this entertaining book with real-life and practical examples of where you could end up paying more tax than necessary, and how you can legally avoid doing so.
This handy book will help you avoid the ‘Big Five’ in property taxation: income tax, inheritance tax, capital gains tax, stamp duty land tax, and corporation tax. Whether you are a seasoned property investor, just starting out with real estate, or simply want to preserve your family wealth, this book is packed with 51 top tips to ensure you keep more of your real estate and property income, without having to pay more tax than necessary.
6. Tiley's Revenue Law, by Glen Loutzenhiser
Tiley’s classic textbook on revenue law encompasses all things regarding the UK tax system. For those who want to take a deep dive into topics such as income tax and inheritance tax, as well as explore domestic tax rules and international and European tax systems, then this is the book for you. This textbook is primarily designed for advanced law students looking to expand their tax law knowledge, however, it is also a valuable resource for professionals and academics alike.
The companion website also supplies annual updates to the print edition and bonus chapters on pensions, VAT, and stamp duties, alongside study questions to help students understand these complex concepts. These complimentary resources are tailor-made to support teaching and learning when using this textbook, at no extra cost.
7. Salary versus Dividends & Other Tax Efficient Profit Extraction Strategies 2021/2022, by Nick Braun
Dr Nick Braun, a Research Fellow at the University of Glasgow, has been a specialist writer and tax expert since 1989 and is one of the best-known tax publishers in the UK. His latest edition of Salary versus Dividends, has been fully updated and shows you how to save tax when you take money out of your company during the current 2021/22 tax year.
The tax book explores how company owners and directors can save thousands of pounds in income tax every year by choosing the optimal mix of salary versus dividend payouts, reducing your tax bill further by paying yourself rent and interest and using company pension contributions, directors’ loans, and using other profit extraction strategies.
Company owners can take advantage of additional tax savings by varying their income from year to year (‘roller-coaster income’), and this guide shows you exactly how to implement these strategies to avoid paying more tax each year.
8. How to Save Inheritance Tax 2021/22, by Carl Bayley
This comprehensive and up-to-date book will describe how thorough financial planning could result in saving your family hundreds of thousands of pounds. Carl Bayley, former chairman of the tax faculty at the Institute of Chartered Accountants (ICAEW), takes a detailed look at both simple and sophisticated tax planning strategies you and your family can take in order to save on inheritance tax.
Dozens of clear examples are used throughout to explain fundamental points such as how the UK tax system works, how to calculate inheritance tax, a tax planning timetable for different stages of your life, but also in-depth concepts like using trusts, how to use business property relief to pass an unlimited number of assets to your family, and how to gift assets over your lifetime without straining you or your spouse. If you want to increase your tax-free wealth, then all things inheritance tax can be found in this short, succinct book.
9. Taxation, by Alan Combs et al.
This annual publication in its 39th edition, Taxation by Alan Combs et al. is the sister textbook to Taxation: Policy and Practice by Andy Lymer & Lynne Oats. They are both aimed at students who are studying the UK tax system for their university degree programmes, or students studying tax courses for professional qualifications in banking, accounting, taxation, and management.
In addition, this textbook provides numerous practical and illustrative examples of statute and case law, as well as a wide variety of end-of-chapter questions for self-learning and past exam questions and solutions from the ACCA, CIMA, and CIOT examinations.
10. Alan Melville: Taxation Finance Act 2021, by Alan Melville
Taxation Finance Act 2021 is a market-leading textbook on the UK tax system. Written by Alan Melville, best-selling author and ex-senior lecturer at Nottingham Trent University, he has a wealth of experience teaching and researching accounting and tax planning.
Updated each year to cover changes introduced by the annual Budget, this text is known for its clean and well-structured composition and an abundance of practical examples. This tax guide can serve either as a core textbook for students or as a reference text that explains the UK tax system and regulations for professionals.
There you have it, our top 10 best books to read about tax. Having covered everything from extensive university textbooks that explore the nuances in tax policy, to entertaining and informative guides that describe the topic with humour and wit, this list will have a book for your tax-related needs.