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Specialist Tax Services

Tax is complicated; there’s no way of getting away from that. It is our role to use our years of experience as tax advisors to navigate through the tax minefield and provide practical, commercial and tax-efficient solutions. We do not hide behind technical jargon (it is our role to understand and apply the legislation) but to explain the possible options and recommend which we think is best for you. Whilst covering all areas of corporate and personal taxation, we provide specialist expertise in certain areas.

Research and Development (R&D) tax credits

Andrew is regarded as one of the UK’s leading experts in this area. Backed up by his PhD in science he is able to ask the right questions to maximise the quantum of the R&D claim. He is also able to identify eligible expenditure in many companies which do not realise that they might qualify under the regime. Many companies think that making an R&D claim can be daunting, and not worth the effort. This is far from the truth. We will talk to you about the possibility of making a claim, and carry out a brief feasibility study. There is no charge for this. If we consider that an R&D claim might be valid, we would agree an appropriate fee structure (often fully or partly contingent) with you at this stage. We will prepare a suitable report to supplement the financial information, agree this with you, submit it to HM Revenue and Customs and deal with any queries raised.

Our success is not limited to companies in the technology sector; other sectors that may qualify include:

Engineering
Automotive
Software development
Manufacturing
Pharmaceuticals

An additional 130% of relevant expenditure can now be claimed by SMEs (or if loss-making an actual repayment of tax as a cash credit), and there is a separate scheme for large companies.[/symple_toggle]

The Government has recently launched a two year plan to increase the number of SMEs securing Research & Development (R&D) tax relief. By raising awareness and simplifying application procedures, the Government hopes to encourage more businesses to invest in R&D and benefit from the relief.

Many businesses have been unaware of the scope of what qualifies for R&D. The plan, ‘Making R&D Easier: HMRC’s plan for small business R&D tax relief’, will look to address any misconceptions and encourage more investment in R&D which the Government believes is essential for the long term growth of the economy.

In the plan, the Government has provided greater certainty to companies with a turnover under £2 million and fewer than 50 employees by allowing them to seek advance assurance on R&D tax relief. The plan also outlines the Government’s intention to use data from other Government agencies to identify companies who have invested in R&D but not claimed the relief.

However, the best way to explore whether any of your expenditure qualifies is to discuss it with us. With a PhD in scientific research, and 15 years’ experience in maximising claims, Andrew is one of the country’s leading specialists in this area. The types of companies he has made successful claims for have varied from a firm of actuarial consultants, a blacksmith, and a train company. There are many more obviously innovative companies too!

We’re happy to do the work on a contingent basis and do not ask for any ongoing commitment.

The Patent Box regime introduced in April 2013 provides tax relief for UK companies exploiting certain qualifying intellectual property (IP) rights. The regime effectively provides for a 10 per cent tax rate on qualifying profits derived from UK or EU patents. The regime was substantially amended with effect from 1 July 2016.

Under the ‘new’ regime, the profits of a particular ‘stream’ of IP subject to the reduced rate will decrease where the qualifying R&D sub-contracted to connected persons and other expenditure on qualifying IP rights is more than 30 per cent of the cost of R&D (including that subcontracted to third parties) contributed by the company claiming Patent Box treatment. This result is achieved by the introduction of a ‘nexus fraction’ and is clearly designed to stop multinational groups ‘moving’ overseas IP into the UK to benefit from the reduced tax rate.

The 10% rate applies to profits earned after 1 April 2013 from a company’s patented and other innovations. The relief is being phased in over four years, so full relief at 10% on all patent box profits will not apply until 2017.

Under the measures a company will qualify for relief if it:

  • Owns patent licences in qualifying intellectual property (IP) rights, or owns an exclusive licence in respect of those rights at any time during an accounting period
  • It will be necessary to stream every individual IP right, patented product or product family. This means that a company with five patented products will need to carry out five separate calculations with income and expenses allocated to each
  • As an extra step in the calculation the ‘nexus fraction’ is applied to link the patent box benefit more closely to the R&D activities carried out by the company.

The good news is that the patent box appears to be here to stay and companies can obtain significant savings over an extended period.

Advice to companies as to how best to structure overseas operations to satisfy commercial objectives whilst minimising overseas taxes. There are a number of business structures that may be relevant and we can help you to identify the one that best fits your commercial objectives whilst minimising the burden of overseas taxation.

We can also help determine appropriate transfer pricing policies to comply with the rules in various countries. Factors to consider when moving into new territories include:

  • Branch (permanent establishment) or subsidiary
  • The use of early years’ losses
  • Transfer pricing
  • Profit repatriation to the UK
  • Structures to minimise higher rates of overseas taxation and to avoid any risk of double taxation

We can help with the raising of finance from Business Angels, Crowd Funding, Venture Capital and Private Equity houses, traditional banks, various growth funds and grant agencies, and through an Initial Public Operation on one of the Stock Markets.

We specialise in tax-efficient financing including the SEED Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS)  and the Enterprise Investment Scheme EIS). We provide advice on whether the company will qualify under one of these regimes and obtain prior clearance/approval from HM Revenue & Customs.

Particularly when cash is tight, some form of equity participation is an excellent way of rewarding and retaining key management.

We advise on a number of statutory (e.g. the Enterprise Management Incentive Scheme) and non-statutory share schemes.

We design scheme rules, build in performance and vesting criteria, communicate the rationale and tax benefits to staff, and obtain valuation approval from HM Revenue and Customs.

Extracting profits from a business is no longer a simple choice between dividends or salary/bonus. There may be interaction with other issues such  as maximising the spend for R&D purposes.

Whilst it goes without saying that owner-managers need to extract cash in a tax-efficient way, companies need to retain funds for working capital, satisfying bank covenants and showing a strong balance sheet.

We work with our clients to help them achieve the right balance both in the short term and for the longer term in maximising the ultimate value for the business.

Many companies do not maximise their capital allowances claims. This is often the case where qualifying expenditure is “hidden” behind walls, in roof spaces and in ducts.

At the most extreme there can be qualifying expenditure beneath or running through a concrete flow. There are special and valuable reliefs available for certain types of energy-saving or eco-friendly components in a building.

Many companies do not realise that capital allowances can be claimed on second-hand buildings where full claims have not been made in the past. We have expertise in identifying relevant expenditure and maximising claims.

Where claims are particularly complex we can work with quantity surveyors to help us identify potentially qualifying expenditure. The best way to maximise a claim is to be involved from the outset of a project, working with design engineers to present the construction in the most favourable way to maximise a capital allowances claim.

Mergers, acquisitions, flotations, company reorganisations. Andrew has advised on over 200 corporate transactions and is experienced in structuring these in the most tax-efficient way.

This is key to maximising shareholder value. Andrew believes that shareholder and corporate taxation are inextricably linked and ultimately it is the burden of all taxation that needs to be considered in maximising ultimate shareholder value.

We have considerable experience in ensuring that Entrepreneurs’ Relief is maximised so as to pay tax at only 10% on the final sale proceeds.

For most groups of companies there comes a time when the current group structure may need revising. This may be as a result of commercial pressures (changes in products or services), planning for certain shareholders to exit the business, planning for a sale of one or more of the activities, or a total sale of the company. We have considerable experience in areas such as:

  • Demergers
  • Share reorganisations
  • Company repurchase of own shares
  • Substantial shareholding exemption
  • We negotiate advance clearances with HMRC and ensure that there are no unexpected tax surprises

Whether your family wealth has been earned as an entrepreneur, made through investments, or inherited from the family, the focus on effective and sensible tax planning has never been greater. In a fast moving world, it becomes ever more important to receive up to date pro-active advice to ensure you are managing your affairs as efficiently as possible to protect your wealth for you and your family.

We provide advice to a wide range of high net worth clients, including families, entrepreneurs, professionals, and non UK residents. We provide a complete solution, focusing on:

  • tax efficient structuring of your businesses, including consideration of profit extraction, inheritance tax protection and capital gains tax mitigation
  • family wealth structuring using trust, partnership and corporate holding vehicles
  • structuring for private equity interests, including tax-efficient investment of funds
  • structuring for property investments and development
    non domicile and residence planning
  • matrimonial tax planning (see also our Expert Witness services below)
  • tax investigations and disputes with HMRC
  • wealth management including advising on the appropriateness of pension and tax efficient investments
  • We cannot provide specific investment advice, but can work with FCA-regulated firms to provide this.

Our approach is very personal. Where you are trusting your wealth with your advisors, you need to have the same trust in them as you do your friends or partners. Therefore, the “chemistry” between you and us is paramount.

Our approach, having met you, is to ask you to construct a “personal statement” for which we provide a framework. This “fact find” helps us to establish what motivates you, what your attitude to risk is, and most importantly, what your goals and aspirations are. We then review your current income and assets, look at what you need for the future, and plan an appropriate strategy which is “fit for purpose” now, and provides flexibility for the future.

We can provide expert witness reports in support of various situations and have experience in representing our clients in Court. Our services include giving expert witness testimonies in areas such as valuations, the incidence of tax on various transactions, and matrimonial issues, where we work with family lawyers.

We also have an arrangement with a firm of accountants which specialises in divorce financial matters whereby we can jointly produce reports on a client’s financial affairs and calculate relevant tax liabilities.

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