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NEW VACANCY: TAX SENIOR MANAGER

Our practice in Hale, Cheshire is expanding. If you are an experienced tax professional and you’d like to join our team  – or you know someone suitable – please send a confidential email to Alison Spier in the first instance.

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

We are growing our team and have created this new Tax Senior Manager role. Part-time will also be considered for the right candidate. 

Suitable candidates will have experience 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. You must be able to demonstrate exceptional client relationship skills, and have an approachable, professional manner. Experience with income tax, IHT & SDLT would also be extremely useful.

As part of MGI Worldwide, the global accounting network, you will also join the Tax Forum, enabling you to network with peers from other practices across the UK and worldwide. International tax conferences are also organised by MGI Worldwide and you will join delegations to these when they occur.

If you feel that your experience is a good fit and you are looking for a modern accountancy practice – based in Grade A offices in the heart of Hale – to develop your career, and you would like to find out more, please email Alison Spier with your updated CV and details of your current package.

Disclaimer 

Alexander Knight & Co is an equal opportunities employer and no terminology in this advert is intended to discriminate on the grounds of a person’s gender, marital status, race, religion, colour, age, disability or sexual orientation.

All candidates will only be assessed in accordance with their merits, qualifications and abilities to perform the role expected. Only successful applicants will be invited to the next stage consisting of an interview and assessment.

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R&D Tax credits…a reminder!

R&D Tax Credits update for entrepreneurs in 2023

Murray Patt, founder of accountants Alexander Knight & Co says changes made by HMRC to the popular ‘R&D Tax Credits’ scheme are a reminder to check if your own business qualifies.

R&D Tax Credits are designed to encourage UK companies to invest in ‘research and development’. Correctly administered they can reduce your tax bill or you can claim payable cash credits as a proportion of your R&D expenditure.

Since the scheme was launched, our team has claimed back thousands of pounds for clients. The successful claims we’ve made on their behalf range from £5,000 to hundreds of thousands of pounds.

In my experience, too many businesses across the UK are missing out on this valuable tax break worth hundreds of millions of pounds.

Shifting criteria

The R&D scheme is part of the Government’s drive to boost innovation. It means that businesses investing in the research and development of new products and processes get a tax deduction on qualifying expenditure, including staff wages, materials, overheads, software and utility bills, as well as the ability to claim cash back from HMRC.

The scheme is under continuous review and significant changes were recently introduced – and there are more changes to come.

The rules and qualifying criteria for the scheme can be complex for inexperienced claimants in terms of identifying what kind of business expenditure actually qualifies. This is particularly true in cases where clients employ or subcontract work overseas.

For example, the Government soon intends to implement a new change whereby only R&D activity being performed in the UK (subject to specific exemptions) will qualify. This will come into effect from 1 April 2024.

A new digital application process became mandatory this summer where project and expenditure details need to be supplied in a specific format as well as a variety of other administrative changes.

The government have helpfully extended the scope of what costs can be claimed as qualifying R&D expenditure and this includes artificial intelligence (AI) an area in which more of our clients are investing and exploring the possibilities.

Do it properly… and professionally!

The key to making a successful claim is to correctly identify what expenditure qualifies, when it was spent and record it accurately for HMRC in the newly updated prescribed manner.

The process can be complex which is why we have a specialist R&D tax credits team managing the claims to a successful conclusion on behalf of our clients. You can read more on the official guidance issued by the Government here.

If you want to understand more about how your business can claim ‘R&D tax credits’ email Murray Patt (murray@alexanderknightaccountants.co.uk) or call me on 0161 980 8788.  

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3 things you need to know about #Budget2020

budget 2020 for entrepreneurs

We were looking for a budget to support businesses – jobs – and help entrepreneurs during unprecedented times.

Today’s statement by the Chancellor  goes some way towards that goal – but we will be analysing the details over the next few days and weeks to see how it impacts our clients who are running businesses in the real world where existing conditions remain challenging.

Key highlights:

£1,000 Job Retention Bonus

If you have furloughed staff – and you bring them back into the workforce through to January, you’ll be entitled to £1,000 per employee. This is badged as an ‘incentive’ for employers to re-introduce furloughed workers to their business. You should only re-introduce employees to your business when it makes commercial sense to do so.

It was confirmed today that the furlough scheme will not be extended after October.

VAT rate cut

The VAT rate cut launches next Wednesday (15 July). This rate cut from 20% to 5% on food, hospitality and tourism is welcome. The key to its success for these sectors (apart from making bills slightly cheaper) is a positive reaction from consumers. If you need guidance on the VAT rate cut please contact our tax team now.

Trainees 

In a further initiative to boost employment, the Chancellor announced a new trainee scheme for people aged 16-24 which may be of interest to some businesses. The new traineeships will provide classroom-based lessons in maths, English and CV writing, as well as up to 90 hours of unpaid work experience. Employers will be given £1,000 for each new work experience place they offer.

And finally…

There will be a new ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ scheme launched – which offers diners, through the scheme, 50% off their meals out (up to £10 per person) during August. Those hospitality businesses which offer this scheme can claim the lost revenue from the Government.

If you need advice about how today’s announcements affect your business – talk to us now.

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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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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.

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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!

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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.

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Alexander Knight & Co advises on tax as Travis Perkins acquires Stockport business

TFS acquired by Travis Perkins

We were pleased to advise the owners of a successful Stockport-based business when it was acquired by a major PLC on their tax liabilities.

TF Solutions, (TFS) is one of the UK’s leading air conditioning and refrigeration distributors and was recently acquired by the country’s largest builders’ merchants, Travis Perkins.

The purchase enables Travis Perkins to expand its offering through the sale and supply of air conditioning units. Our specialist tax role on the deal was highlighted by North West Business Adviser magazine – you can read all about the deal here.

Tax advice on deal

TFS was founded in 2001 and distributes a range of refrigeration and air conditioning products from three sites in Stockport, Burton on Trent and Dunstable. It will continue to trade as TF Solutions following completion of the deal.

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

We were delighted to provide our client with the tax advice on this transaction and expect them to go from strength to strength as part of one of the most trusted brands in the building materials marketplace.

Andrew Cherrill has been confirmed as the new managing director at TF Solutions. He said:

We fully intend to continue operating as we have always done giving our customers a service level which is second to none in the industry. The acquisition deal will allow us to grow as a company and expand that service.

Frank Elkins, CEO of Travis Perkins’ Contracts division, added:

“TF Solutions have an extremely strong identity within the air conditioning and refrigeration market.”

The business currently employs 48 people at its three branches trading across the whole of the UK.

Speak to us to get specific tax advice before you agree any kind of deal. You need to know how to minimise the level of tax you will pay when you sell your business.