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Tax Senior Wanted. Develop your career at Alexander Knight & Co.

We’re growing our practice in Hale, Cheshire. If you’re an experienced tax professional and you’d like to join our team, send a confidential email to Alison Spier to arrange an informal chat about the role.

We have an exceptional list of loyal clients with multi-million turnover businesses. The majority of these companies have been working us for many years and we are highly focused on building long term, meaningful relationships.

We are now looking to grow our practice. We have vacancies for a Tax Manager, Tax Senior, Tax Semi-Senior and candidates with Audit experience.

Suitable candidates will be experienced working in a fast-paced accountancy practice, dealing with clients both face to face and over the phone, advising them on a variety of tax issues, including corporation tax, including R&D, & CGT. A mixed tax background would also be of interest. You must be able to demonstrate exceptional client relationship skills, and have an approachable, professional manner.

We will consider full time or part time, (including term time contracts), and would consider a hybrid working model for the right candidate.

If you feel that your experience is a fit and would like to know more please apply with your updated CV and details of your current package.

PS – no agencies, thank you.

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Alexander Knight & Co forms strategic alliance with specialist tax advisory firm

We are pleased to have extended our specialist tax advisory service by forming a strategic alliance with a fellow MGI Worldwide member firm.

Freestone Jacobs is a leading specialist tax advisory firm founded by Paul Taylor together with Allison Walker. Paul in particular has over 35 years of experience as a Chartered Accountant and a Chartered Tax Advisor and will enhance the strategic planning for clients in a range of scenarios including mergers, acquisitions and restructuring.

Murray Patt, founder of Alexander Knight & Co, said:

“There is a natural fit between our two practices as a result of us both being member firms of MGI Worldwide, the global network of accountants. It means that as our client base grows, both in terms of size and sophistication, we can be confident that we are continuing to provide the appropriate level of tax specialism that our clients both need and expect from us.

“We’re being innovative and ambitious with our growth and development in 2022 and we’re dedicated to working with and hiring the best people in the accountancy marketplace. We’re enjoying working with Paul and Allison and we’re looking forward to building on this relationship to bring the benefits of their experience to our range of entrepreneurial clients.”

Paul Taylor, founder of Freestone Jacobs, said:

“Allison and I are delighted to be working with Murray and his colleagues and look forward to providing a bespoke solution to the particular requirements of the Alexander Knight & Co clients, as they undertake significant business transactions or transformation. We’ve already formed a good working relationship and it helps that we have the same vision for providing the accountancy expertise required by the modern business owner.”

If you – or your client – requires specialist tax advice involving a merger, acquisition or restructure or other significant business transaction – contact us now on (0161) 980 8788 or email murray@alexanderknightacountants.co.uk

Murray Patt of Alexander Knight & Co

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Coronavirus tax credits for your business?

Coronavirus tax credits for business

Coronavirus tax credits should be introduced for businesses that suffer from the impact of coronavirus – as well as more measures to assist SMEs.

The Italian government has introduced tax credits for businesses effected by coronavirus and tax experts say the UK should follow suit to lessen the impact for SMEs.

The Government has now announced an action plan which includes help for businesses. In our view, this should include tax credits for firms who have been hit especially hard like in Italy where firms who see a 25% drop in revenue as a result of the virus can secure further tax breaks.

Impact on business

We are in uncharted waters with regards to the impact of the virus on UK businesses. We know that the FTSE100 has been volatile but we also need to look at the impact on SMEs who are the backbone of the economy.

Tax credits should be introduced for firms who get hit hard and they should be announced in the Budget next week. With companies doing their very best to take precautions to protect their staff we must give SMEs all the support and confidence they need.

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Electric Car Tax Service launched by Alexander Knight & Co Accountants

electric car tax guide accountants uk

We are really proud to launch a new service for our clients as we continue to innovate in the accountancy marketplace.

Rising demand for electric cars amongst our business owner client base – coupled with new tax breaks means we have launched the UK’s first dedicated electric car tax accountancy service.

Our new electric car service is perfectly timed as increasing numbers of our clients enjoy the generous tax breaks offered to company owners who use electric vehicles on the road.

From 6 April 2020 company car owners will pay zero benefit-in-kind on certain fully-electric vehicles, compared to as much as 37 percent on vehicles with high CO2 emissions.

Electric Car Tax Savings

As a result of this premium electric vehicles could save business owners £1000s – compared to traditional vehicles – as the new regime kicks in.

The launch of new luxury models such as the Mercedes-Benz EQC, Audi E-Tron, together with Porsche and Range Rover hybrid vehicles follow the success of the Tesla Model 3 which is already considered to be a cult company car for British sales executives

Company cars have been deeply unfashionable for more than a decade now. In that time, most business owners have understood that they were better off buying a car personally and then claiming the associated expenses.

Electric cars are a game changer for the humble company car. The new tax breaks laid out by the Government have reversed this trend and we predict there will be an upward swing in demand for electric vehicles, not least from business owners but also socially responsible fleet managers in the business world.

murray patt electric car tax accountant

Murray Patt of Alexander Knight & Co charges up his own electric car.

Huge tax savings

One client of ours saw more than £10,000 knocked off his tax bill because he plumped for the Range Rover hybrid model over the diesel version.

With these tax breaks about to kick in, more e-charging points being installed across the country, improvements to the range of electric engines and a steady fall in the price we are predicting a renaissance of the company car.

Consideration needs to be given to purchasing a hybrid model. Although they still offer a great tax break under this new rule, it’s not zero percent as with fully-electric vehicles. Another issue to think about is that hybrids now feature in the Government’s hit list for cars that will be banned from 2035 – we’d really advise going for that pure electric model.

Get your FREE electric car tax guide:


Watch our video about electric car tax breaks for company directors:

If you are a business owner and you want to get a tax-free electric car – speak to us first and we will help you. Call us on 0161 980 8788 or email cars@alexanderknightaccountants.co.uk  


Making tax digital

From 1st April 2019, if you are VAT registered and have a turnover of more than £85,000 then the making tax digital (MTD) scheme for VAT will be mandatory.

If you are eligible you must join the scheme and if, for whatever reason, your turnover falls below the £85,000 threshold you must stay on the scheme and cannot revert to the old way of submitting returns – unless you deregister or become exempt for MTD.

If you qualify then you will need to change the way you file your VAT return with HMRC starting for your VAT period starting after the 1st April 2019:

  • If your VAT quarter end is March then your first MTD submission will be June 19
  • If your VAT quarter end is April then your first MTD submission will be July 19
  • If your VAT quarter end is May then your first MTD submission will be Aug 19

The new regime means that HMRC will receive the same VAT return information as before, but it needs to be sent by an API (electronic) link to HMRC and can’t be typed in manually via online services.

VAT frequency and payment deadlines will remain the same as will eligibility for VAT special schemes.

When filing your return, the transactions that make up the return need to be kept digitally, this can be done using an accounting software package or by using spreadsheets.

Some software accounting packages that are up to date will have the API link required already in (SAGE ONE for example) so you will just need to send your return via the software package.

However, some older versions and spreadsheets won’t have this capability and therefore two options are available:

  • Upgrade your software for the latest version with the API link. This may not be practical, or possibly cost prohibitive.
  • Use our software to send the data to HMRC. We have already invested in the new software to enable our clients to maintain their existing VAT return process in a compliant way.

If you have any questions about ‘making tax digital’ and what it means for your business, speak to Jane Marquez in our team and she will help you make the transition.


Tax specialist Clare Bradbury joins Alexander Knight & Co

Clare Bradbury and Murray Patt of Alexander Knight & Co accountants

We are delighted to have boosted our team of accountants in Hale with the appointment of experienced tax specialist Clare Bradbury.

Clare is an experienced tax specialist and will advise our SME clients on tax planning issues as well as guiding company directors on tax issues during and after a corporate transaction. During her career she has worked at EY, KPMG and Mazars in Manchester.

There is high demand for specialist tax advice in the region and we are delighted to have appointed Clare to our team. We are confident that our clients, who range from fast-growth businesses to seasoned entrepreneurs will be well served by her specialist tax skills.

Clare Bradbury (pictured above with our founder Murray Patt) said:

I’m delighted to join the team and I’m looking forward to working with our clients to make sure their tax position works effectively for their business at whatever stage it is at in its lifecycle.

Clare Bradbury, tax specialist at Alexander Knight & Co.

Welcome to the team Clare!


Another tax break for investors

Investors’ Relief (‘IR’) is a relatively new tax relief available to investors who sell shares in unlisted trading companies.

This tax relief shares many similarities with Entrepreneurs’ Relief (‘ER’) – under both reliefs there is a 10% capital gains tax rate available (as opposed to 20% for higher rate taxpayers) & both have a lifetime limit of up to £10 million.

On the basis of the above then there doesn’t appear to be a need for IR!

However, we have recently advised on a number of transactions where the shareholder group included a number of investors who held less than 5% of the company  – making them ineligible for ER. This is where IR comes in.

Investors’ relief doesn’t require a minimum shareholding, & therefore a 10% capital gains tax relief is still possible, with the appropriate planning & advice.

IR applies to new ordinary shares issued on or after 17 March 2016. The relief requires that shares are held continuously for three years – in other words the first IR claim will be made in the 2019/20 tax year…..so now is the time to plan for this, given that it’s only a few months away.

There are a few other simple rules to follow on IR – the most notable one being that the investor should not be a paid employee of the investing company, although they can act as a director of the company.

IR may also provide a ‘next best alternative’ to the other excellent tax reliefs available: Enterprise Investment Scheme (‘EIS’) and Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (‘SEIS’).

Whilst EIS/SEIS may offer more tax benefits, there are several conditions which must be met in order to qualify, & as a result these options may be too cumbersome for some investors.

IR can also be treated as a top-up to ER i.e. having 2 x £10 million of gains by utilising both tax reliefs.

The team at Alexander Knight & Co is hugely experienced in advising on capital gains tax cases.

If you’d like a second opinion, or just some idea of which options could work for you then contact Murray Patt.


Time for a treat?

Gift cards tax break for directors

Want to be nominated for loveliest employer of the year? With the Trivial Benefits in Kind Exemption (we know…hardly a smooth trip off the tongue phrase) that emerged from the Finance Bill 2016, you can now treat your employees without them facing any tax hassles. So what kind of treats apply?

  • Gift vouchers (up to the value per head – see “small print” below)
  • Taking a group of employees out for a celebratory birthday meal
  • Flowers on the birth of a new baby
  • A summer garden party for employees

And it gets better……you can also treat yourself!

If you are the director of a Limited Company, then you, too can receive up to £300 per tax year -which will not be subject to tax or NI – in the form of gift vouchers from your favourite retail or on-line store. A director of multiple companies can take advantage of this opportunity for each company! But be quick, as great tax breaks like this often disappear just as quickly as they appear!

You can get £300 of gift cards (in £50 tranches) on or before the 5th April – and then another £300 (in £50 tranches) on or after the 6th April 2019 – giving you £600. 

There are obviously a number of conditions that a trivial benefit for an employee has to satisfy in order for it to qualify for the new exemption & these are outlined below in some detail. However, the basic lowdown is that it has to be a freely given gift related to employee welfare & goodwill, not employment service or performance.

The small print…

  • No more than £50 per benefit (or average of £50 if the benefit is provided to a group of employees, & it is not possible to work out the exact cost for each individual). The £50 limit (fortunately) does not apply to company directors.
  • If the employee exceeds this amount then the whole lot becomes a benefit in kind & therefore the normal tax rules apply.
  • Cash or a cash voucher are not eligible but gift vouchers eg for a shop, are acceptable
  • There must be no entitlement to the benefit as part of the employee’s contract (including salary sacrifice schemes).
  • The benefit is not provided in recognition of a work related service or employment duty.

For additional information, tailored to your company, please contact a member of the Alexander Knight & Co team.

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Don’t be an easy target for HMRC in 2019

Get insured against the costs of a tax investigation by HMRC

We are seeing more and more professional services firms – and their clients being investigated by HMRC for tax evasion. HMRC issued 1,414 production orders to accountancy, law and other professional services firms in relation to investigations into tax evasion according to this report by economia.

At least two Manchester United stars were reported to have been investigated by HMRC over alleged image rights tax evasion as the authorities opened new cases against top footballers in the Premier League.

As enquiries escalate amongst top flight footballers, tax investigations into the affairs of small business are also on the increase and we say it is because both groups are easy targets for HMRC.

Are you under investigation by HMRC?

Murray Patt, founder of Manchester-based accountants Alexander Knight & Co, said:

“It increasingly feels as if small and medium-sized businesses and Premier League footballers are two of the most targeted groups for tax investigations by HMRC.

“In the case of footballers, forming an image rights company to receive payments of up to one fifth of a player’s salary is actually a legitimate tax strategy approved by the authorities if set up appropriately.

“However, it’s logical for the authorities to launch investigations into high profile players who earn their wealth via multiple sources because it can be a rich source of extra income, particularly for players who are new to the Premier League from other countries where tax rules are different.

Get insurance for HMRC investigations 

“Let’s not forget that small and medium sized businesses are an even easier target. If you don’t take care as a small business owner you’re at risk of being pulled up over minor mistakes or small disparities, which could incur disproportionately heavy fines and penalties imposed by HMRC.

“It’s important to have insurance in place to cover the cost of an investigation if you are a small or medium sized business, since in most cases you won’t have the funds of a top-flight footballer. Don’t get caught offside by HMRC.”

Alexander Knight & Co will arrange insurance for you and your business against the costs of an expensive HMRC investigation. Don’t get caught offside by HMRC. Speak to our specialist tax team now on (0161) 980 8788.