Corporate Tax

There is more than one way to calculate your corporation tax bill and we understand that minimising a company’s tax over time is key to generating internal investment and growth. With corporation tax rates and reliefs ever-changing in an increasingly unpredictable macro-economic climate, it’s crucial for your tax adviser to stay well-read and well-versed in the application of new finance acts.

With almost 40 years’ experience navigating the UK corporation tax landscape we offer robust solutions for:

Consultation on Optimal Business Structure

There are pros and cons to operating as an unincorporated business versus a company, with varying degrees of administrative compliance, loss reliefs, disposal reliefs and of course taxation on profits. Tax efficient profit extraction encompasses salary, dividends, loans and pension contributions and the optimal mix of these will depend on your personal circumstances and liquidity needs. Our clients include company directors, healthcare professionals, legal professionals, contractors and financial advisers.

Corporate tax planning

  • International expansions
  • Corporation tax loss planning
  • Structuring of groups and consortia
  • Special situations such as share repurchases, administrations and liquidations
  • Incorporation and disincorporation
  • Corporate reorganisations, including sale of shares and sale of trade and assets
  • Matters of anti-avoidance for owner-managed businesses
  • Tax planning for Entrepreneurs Relief at 10%

VAT

Our dedicated VAT team helps business owners plan ahead, improve cashflow, save money and stay compliant. Aside from registering your business, ensuring that VAT is correctly accounted for and submitting your returns, we can carry out a VAT health check to give you the assurance that your business is efficient or to reveal cost-saving opportunities. We regularly advise clients on:

  • property transactions
  • transfer of a VAT-registered business
  • overseas trading
  • transactions which fall outside the normal trading activities for a business
  • litigation cases, acting for your business in tax disputes and reviewing documentation

Research and Development (R&D) Corporation Tax Relief

If your company incurs R&D expenditure on a project which contains technical uncertainty, your R&D costs (both labour and consumables) will attract especially generous tax relief. R&D Corporation Tax Relief is a tax break introduced by the government in order to make the UK more competitive on a global playing field and to incentivise technical firms to invest in developing their own innovative products.

The scheme has been expanded in recent years and you may be able to claim 15-32% of R&D costs as a refund of Corporation Tax or, if the company is loss-making, as a cash credit. What’s more in November 2015 HMRC launched an Advance Assurance program for companies who are making their first R&D relief claim, which is essentially an agreement by HMRC to provide (eligible companies with) R&D tax relief for the first three accounting periods of claiming, without any further enquiries. We know that this added security is often invaluable in capital budgeting and forecasting for many of our small- to medium-sized clients.

For all matters R&D, including if you are unsure about your eligibility, if you are considering the tax implications of undertaking R&D projects in the UK versus other countries or for help on filing tax credits with HMRC, get in touch and one of our R&D corporation tax relief accountants will be happy to help.

Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) & Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS)

The Enterprise Investment Scheme is designed to help unquoted companies attract equity investment by offering investors a range of tax incentives.

On the buy side EIS and SEIS are particularly popular investment strategies with a number of very generous reliefs available to individuals, including income tax relief, capital gains tax exemption/deferral, loss relief and IHT relief.

On the sell side, we can help companies ensure that you meet all the EIS or SEIS qualifying conditions for raising capital and seek advance assurance that HMRC will regard the shares to be issued as satisfying the requirements of the scheme. The vast majority of investors will request that advance assurance is obtained before making an investment, and your EIS or SEIS compliance statement will have the effect of lowering your cost of equity finance when raising capital.

We will:

  • Check that your trade qualifies for EIS or SEIS
  • Prepare the HMRC application
  • Liaise directly with HMRC regarding any questions they may have
  • Work in collaboration with you and HMRC to get any issues resolved
  • Obtain your EIS or SEIS advance assurance
  • Assist with business plan and cash flows and help draft the Information Memorandum
  • Obtain your certificate of compliance (SEIS2) together with supply claim forms (SEIS3s) to send to investors so they can claim tax relief

HMRC tax investigations

A company’s tax affairs may be checked to make sure that it’s paying the right amount, for example via a VAT compliance check. Tax investigations can be stressful if you are going it alone and you are often distracted from focusing on your business. Whether you have been approached for a record check, compliance visit, intervention disclosure, or another aptly-named investigation, our team is here to help.

Our professionals know what HMRC are looking for and we are in dialogue with HMRC officers across London offices. We can often get to the bottom of issues and get cases resolved with minimal disruption to you. Working in cooperation with the client, our approach is to:

  • Gain a comprehensive understanding of the tax position relative to both current and historical financial performance
  • Prepare a strategy report on the best way to cooperate with HMRC, evidence you will need to produce, mistakes to avoid and records that you do not need to disclose
  • Argue your case, represent your rights, draft responses and make sure you are treated fairly
  • Provide regular updates on progress and the likely duration of your tax investigation
  • Estimate tax due (or tax due back), plus interest and likely penalties early on, so you can budget accordingly
  • Always negotiate to reduce any tax liabilities as far as possible, quite often to nil, before then negotiating to ensure you pay penalties at the lower rate
  • Prepare submissions and provide representation at tribunal appeals
  • Represent you as your accountant during any HMRC visit

Tax Protection

The cost of a tax investigation can quickly add up and with the risk of such investigations increasing in recent years, we provide a Fee Protection Scheme to protect you and your business from unexpected costs in defending your case.

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