Business tax planning
We have an excellent reputation for innovative and reliable tax planning. Businesses can benefit from our practical and proactive approach at all stages of their development.
Starting up in business
The primary aim of nearly every business is to make profits for its owners. Sometimes, however, the intention is to build up the business so that it can be sold for a capital gain.
Our tax specialists can help you to identify the best structure for your start-up business to minimise the tax, both on trading profits and on the sale of the whole or part of, the business. The business structures include sole traders, partnerships, limited liability partnerships and limited companies (including plcs).
Our advice also covers different classes of shares and profit-sharing arrangements.
If you are entering into a business venture with other companies or individuals, we can help you structure the joint venture tax efficiently.
Company shares and Venture Capital Tax Reliefs
If you are involved with a trading limited company which issues shares to other investors, you may need to ensure that the company meets HM Revenue & Customs' (HMRC) criteria for the investors to be eligible for various income tax reliefs, and that their investments in your business enable them to shelter their capital gains. We can advise you on this and obtain Advance Assurances from HMRC, where applicable.
We work very closely with our clients so that, once your business is up and running, tax saving opportunities can be identified when they arise. This is a more strategic alternative to merely entering the previous year's results on the tax return and working out when any liability must be paid.
Payroll and benefits
How your staff and stakeholders are paid is very important, so we help you ensure that your strategies are tax efficient. This includes, pension contributions and schemes, share options, allowances, benefits in kind (including cars) and trusts.
A particular tax efficient option for smaller trading businesses is EMI share options, and we can:
- structure these option schemes
- obtain Advance Assurances from HMRC that a company qualifies to issue EMI options, and
- agree share valuations for the purposes of an EMI scheme with HMRC.
We can also run or review your PAYE scheme to make sure that it is being operated correctly, and that you are not building up a big liability which comes to light at an HMRC PAYE inspection, or by failing to take account of new rules and incoming legislation.
VAT is, in theory, a cost only to a business which is not VAT registered or is making VAT exempt supplies. If a business can maximise the VAT recovered on its purchases, and minimise the VAT on sales, then this can significantly increase profits.
VAT rules are complicated. often changing and there are penalties for failing to comply. An unforeseen liability following a VAT inspection can also have a detrimental effect on cash flow.
There are a number of special VAT schemes which can simplify compliance and may also offer a VAT saving for your business.
Our team of VAT specialists can review your business and its systems to ensure that VAT planning opportunities are considered, and the risk of non-compliance is minimised.
Acquisitions and disposals
We have considerable experience of advising on the buying and selling of businesses. This includes not just the sale of a whole business but also the disposal of a division or subsidiary, or the retirement of a partner or shareholder.
Larger groups of companies may need to undergo a reconstruction prior to a sale, and the reconstruction is likely to need an advance clearance from HMRC
We will help you negotiate and agree all terms, including the:
- nature of undertakings and guarantees, and
- form and timing of the consideration.
It is often advantageous for each party to consider the tax position of the other, since any savings to the other party can be reflected in the price.
For those buying businesses we can carry out due diligence for tax purposes on the proposed purchase, to ensure that no previously unforeseen liabilities come to light after the acquisition.
We specialise in handling complicated purchase and sale issues. Our clients appreciate our hands-on approach and our ability to drive the transaction, if required.
Our team have an excellent network of contacts in the funding industry and may be able to make an introduction that helps you secure the funding needed for your transaction.
Making the most of tax credits, incentives and allowances
As specialists in the Film, TV and Animation Production, Video Games Development, Renewable Energy and other relevant industries we have built up a long-track record of helping companies successfully apply for the relevant R&D and other tax credits in those areas. We also regularly advise on tax incentives being offered by the Government to encourage businesses to be more eco-friendly.
Overseas businesses setting up in the UK will need to make some major decisions affecting the form of their presence in the UK, and will also be faced with a potentially unfamiliar compliance procedure.
At the corporate level, businesses will need to choose between options including incorporation of a new UK subsidiary company and registration of a UK branch or agency of the overseas business.
We can help assess whether VAT registration is required or desirable, and deal with the registration application, and help with VAT returns.
Many overseas companies prefer to send existing staff to the UK to help get things up and running and properly integrated. Our expertise covers the structure of remuneration packages and the payroll tax obligations, taking into account the UK rules and working with other AGN International members, the overseas rules as well.
We also advise on other UK personal taxes such as inheritance tax and capital gains tax.
Doing business overseas
Working with our AGN members, we can help you with corporate and personal tax issues to ensure you avoid double taxation where possible, and take advantage of any opportunities to reduce your tax and social security bills. It is also important to make sure your overseas structure is easy to run.
Can we help?
Not all tax planning ideas are suitable for everyone, but we believe it is important that our clients are given the opportunity to understand all their options. We ensure that tax planning is integrated with other commercial considerations such as banking and finance facilities.
Our specialist tax planning team comprises private practice experts, as well as former HMRC staff who all take pride in recognising tax-saving opportunities for clients.
To learn more about how we can help a specific tax issue you're facing, please contact one of the specialists shown on this page - or speak with your usual Shipleys' contact.
Specific advice should be obtained before taking action, or refraining from taking action, on any of the subjects covered above.