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Tax Planning

From early stage entrepreneurs, owner managed businesses to complex international groups, our business tax team will support you to achieve your goals by providing intelligent, common sense solutions, both locally and globally.

We understand that each business is unique, both in terms of requirements and circumstances, so we focus on tailored advice and solutions rather than adopting a one size fits all approach.

Follow the links below for more information on how we can support you.

Business structuring & transactions

Tax structuring is vital and can have a fundamental impact on both your future plans and your tax liability. Whether youre buying or setting up a business operation, restructuring or refinancing existing businesses, disposing of entities or operations or simply want to make sure your existing structure is fit for purpose, First Accountant can help. Ensuring you have the structure which meets your commercial needs is paramount; we will ensure that the right consideration is also given to mitigating your tax exposure.

Our business structuring & transaction services include:

·         choosing the right business vehicle for new ventures;

·         structuring businesses to save tax;

·         preparing businesses for sale;

·         company sales, mergers and acquisitions;

·         planning for future management succession;

·         Planning for family succession.

Capital allowances

Many UK businesses pay too much tax because they underestimate the proportion of their capital expenditure which qualifies for capital allowances. These readily available reliefs come in many forms primarily to encourage investment in plant and equipment.

Sometimes identifying qualifying expenditure is straightforward, but for expenditure on buildings and building  works, it can be less than straightforward not only to identify qualifying items, but also to quantify the full cost, including a proportion of overheads. This can require the application of not only tax but also surveying skills. It is therefore often difficult for businesses to work out the full relief due to them.

Similar identification issues arise with expenditure on certain of the categories qualifying for enhanced reliefs (for example, Land Remediation Relief and green plant etc.) 

In times when both government and HMRC are forever closing perceived tax loopholes and putting pressure on businesses to pay the right amount of tax, businesses will fall behind if they fail to take full advantage of government sponsored incentives such as capital allowances.

Allowances can generally be claimed retrospectively and without time limit although there are restrictions in certain cases such as on second hand fixtures. 

Employment tax advisory & compliance

Employment costs often represent a substantial investment in a business. We help you gain the maximum benefit through a range of advisory services. We also help our clients identify and manage many risks associated with employee remuneration:

·         implementing salary sacrifice arrangements;

·         PAYE & NIC planning including employee restricted securities;

·         EBTs and disguised remuneration;

·         avoiding PAYE  & NIC pitfalls on share schemes;

·         Designing or updating expenses & benefits policies.

    Provide detailed help on key risk areas including:

·         employed v self-employed;

·         termination payments;

·         agency rules and temporary workers including IR35, managed service and umbrella companies;

·         construction industry scheme (CIS);

·         troncs & tips.

We recognize that, for many businesses, complying with all HMRCs requirements is a strain. We can assist with:

·         annual returns of forms P11D and PAYE settlement agreements;

·         Annual Share scheme reporting to HMRC.

Our team of employment tax specialists prides itself on its advisory services.  We provide prompt and comprehensive advice to a large number of clients on a daily basis as well as dealing with regular queries through our international network.

International & transfer pricing

The growth in the global economy means an increase in cross-border transactions. With foreign tax legislation comes a wealth of opportunities and pitfalls in structuring your supply lines and operating structure around the globe. International tax solutions go far deeper than merely direct tax, with issues such as foreign custom duties, VAT and transfer pricing also requiring attention.

First Accountant Internationals association of member firms provides access to a comprehensive international tax planning service and all the international tax and commercial information you need to enable you to grow your global business successfully. This includes advice on:

·         international group and financing structures;

·         cross-border transactions and transfer pricing;

·         corporate residence;

·         branches, agencies and service companies;

·         inward and outward investment;

·         protection of assets, income and capital gains using overseas structures and trusts;

·         international employment arrangements;

·         intellectual property;

·         international private client services;

·         Detailed local advice and support.

Partnership tax

Partnerships are used in many business arrangements, including straightforward situations where individuals carry on a trade together, and more complex structures involving companies and individuals, such as private equity groups and other investment vehicles.

First Accountant has extensive experience in advising on partnership taxation for clients in a large variety of sectors, ranging from international professional practices, such as lawyers, architects and surveyors, to private equity groups and property investment partnerships.

First Accountant has experience in providing compliance and advisory services to all legal forms of partnerships, including: general partnerships, limited partnerships and limited liability partnerships. We can also provide advice to the individual and corporate members of these entities.

Our services include the following:

·         preparation and submission of partnership tax returns and computations to HMRC;

·         preparation of partners personal and company tax returns;

·         tax and NIC registration for new partners;

·         corporate restructuring of partnerships and LLPs;

·         taxation advice in relation to partner appointments and retirements;

·         advice on profit extraction for partners;

·         capital gains tax guidance on the disposal of partnership assets;

·         advice on technical matters, such as the anti-avoidance legislation;

·         VAT and other relevant advice.

Property tax

Property acquisition
Tax issues arising on a property acquisition, whether for trade or investment can be complex. We can provide a single point of delivery on due diligence and acquisition structures as well as offering advice on VAT, stamp duty land tax, capital allowances and tax efficient financing, where withholding taxes and thin capitalization can be a key risks for overseas investors.  

Opco/Propco Structures
Property critical businesses such as hotels, care-homes and data centers typically mix trading with property investment. We have an established track record advising on structures using separate operating and property companies for activities with greatly differing risk profiles, increasing both business and tax efficiency as well as providing transparency for funders and potential acquirers, possibly increasing returns.

Residential Developments
Profitable development requires success in all key areas from securing an opportunity, planning permission, finance, procurement, cost control and the ultimate disposal. This can be challenging, particularly for smaller businesses. We advise developers of all sizes on selecting the most effective and cost efficient tax structure.    

Selling a property
considering tax implications in advance of transactions can increase return and save costs for sellers thanks to recent law changes, including those concerning capital allowances. We can assist with VAT matters, capital allowances elections and liaise with solicitors and other advisers to helps achieve a swift and cost effective transaction.

Are you jeopardizing your tax reliefs?
Entrepreneurs usually expect to pay only 10% capital gains tax when they sell shares in their trading business as a result of Entrepreneurs Relief. Alternatively if they want to pass them on to the next generation they might expect 100% Business Property Relief to prevent a 40% inheritance tax bill.

All this could be put at risk if the company holds rental properties or other investments.  The ideal solution may be a tax-free property extraction which may also be required if a purchaser wants to buy your shares but not the property Each solution is different but our property tax team will guide you through the minefield to achieve your goals. 

R&D and grants

R&D can be costly, not only in itself but also in the fact that payback can take months if not years, but it needs financing. The UK has some of the most effective tax reliefs available for this type of expenditure in the form of R&D tax credits – under approved Government legislation.

The firms specialist Innovation & Technology Group comprises engineers, software programmers and scientists as well as specialist finance professionals such as auditors and tax accountants all of whom are experienced in claiming R&D tax relief.

Tax compliance

Compliance with constantly changing tax legislation places an increasingly heavy burden on business owners.

Our teams work in conjunction with our audit and accounting teams, enabling the  provision of our compliance services to be as seamless as possible. 

This ensures that all tax computations, returns and reporting requirements are dealt with accurately, on time, and that you are kept fully appraised.
Our teams typically provide the following compliance services and can provide these whether or not we act as your auditor or as your trusted adviser:
 Corporation Tax

·         preparation and submission of Corporation Tax returns and associated tax computations;

·         drafting or reviewing tax disclosures in statutory accounts;

·         optimizing available reliefs and/ or claims;

·         advising on payment of tax liabilities, including quarterly instalments;

·         complying with mandatory iXBRL electronic filing requirements;

·         Reviewing prior year tax returns for optimization of tax reliefs.

Other tax compliance services

·         VAT and PAYE returns and reporting;

·         Non-resident landlord returns and tax computations;

·         Annual Tax on Enveloped Dwellings (“ATED”) Returns;

·         Senior accounting officer (“SAO”) reviews and reporting;

·         HMRC enquiries and investigations;

·         International corporate tax compliance services via our member network First Accountant International.

Our objective is to provide assurance to the business, its managers and its owners that its tax affairs have been looked after.

Tax valuations

There are many scenarios where taxpayers are required by legislation to determine the market value of an asset for tax purposes. In these circumstances, it is often necessary to have an independent valuation carried out, as part of the requirement to self-assess ones liability to tax.

Our dedicated team has many years worth of experience in preparing valuations for tax purposes, and of working with HMRCs Share and Asset Valuation Team. The tax valuation services we offer include: