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Capital Allowances – Some Useful Information for Commercial Property Owners

Capital allowances enable commercial property owners to obtain tax relief related to capital expenditure. Properties with these allowances tend to be more valuable then identical properties.

These allowances are available when a commercial property is purchased, constructed, fitted out, refurbished, or extended. Even if these events happened a number of years ago, it may still be possible to go back and revisit the potential for a capital allowances claim.

Qualifying commercial property includes:

Care Homes
Industrial units
Student Flats Communal Areas

Here are some practical steps for you….

Identify any commercial properties you have bought or improved where you have not claimed capital allowances.

Ascertain whether you have profits to offset the allowances against.

Capital allowances are a tax relief. It is important to ascertain whether you are paying tax or are expecting to do so.

Undertake a site survey to take an inventory of everything in, on and around the premises. Some things may qualify for this tax relief. Desktop reviews can be performed in certain circumstances.

Produce a HMRC friendly report and apply to HMRC for the relevant refund.

In consultation with our Business Friends ‘Yes Tax’ we have produced a great Fact Sheet. This will answer most initial questions about Capital Allowances for you as a Commercial Property owner. Click HERE to download your FREE fact sheet.

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R&D Tax Credits – Your Questions Answered

Introducing the most underclaimed company tax credit available.

Research and Development (R&D) Tax Relief rewards companies for innovation. It is an unmissable opportunity to claim either a reduction in corporation tax or, for loss making companies, a payable tax credit.

Most claims are for companies operating in the ordinary course of their business. This may include developing new products, processes or services or duplicating existing products and processes in an appreciably improved way. The development does not have to be blue sky innovation, as long
as the work being undertaken attempts to resolve some form of technical or scientific uncertainty.

Here we have tried to answer some of the questions you may have, please do not hestitate to Contact Us Here for more assistance

If you’ve got a query that’s not addressed here or anything isn’t
clear, please feel free to contact us! There isn’t a question about R&D tax relief we can’t answer!

What counts as qualifying R&D activity?
HMRC’s definition of R&D is purposefully broad. Regardless of size or sector, if a company is taking a risk by attempting to “resolve scientific or technological uncertainties” then it may be carrying out qualifying activity. This could include:
• Creating new products, processes or services.
• Changing or modifying an existing product, process or service.

Can I claim for aborted R&D projects?
Yes! R&D doesn’t have to have been successful to qualify.
The fact that a project has been aborted is often a good indicator that R&D has taken place.

How will I know if I qualify for R&D tax relief?
If you’re asking yourself this question, take comfort in the fact that most of the companies we deal with find themselves in this position. This is where a conversation with us is essential. If some kind of improvement has been attempted and a technical uncertainty can be demonstrated then there is a good chance the company will qualify. One point to note which often comes up in conversation with clients is whether simply improving the state of knowledge within the business qualifies for R&D tax relief. It’s important to note that the company has to be furthering the knowledge in a field of
science or technology and not just it’s own knowledge.

Can I claim if I’m a sole trader?
Unfortunately, R&D tax relief only applies to companies

What do HMRC need to approve a tax claim?
We have developed a reliable reporting strategy that provides HMRC with everything they need to approve a claim.This involves a comprehensive technical report outlining the projects which meet the qualifying criteria for relief as well as a detailed financial report which offers a breakdown of the costs included in the claim.

I’ve never claimed R&D tax relief before. Can I claim retrospectively?
Making a retrospective R&D tax claim follows the normal rules for amending any corporation tax return. Companies can claim up to two years previous

As an SME we’ve have received grant funding – can I still claim R&D tax relief?
The simple answer to this question is Yes! The interaction of grants and R&D tax relief can be complicated, but we’ve summarised the most common
situations below. I’ve received a grant which is notified state aid Common grants which fall under this category are Smart

I’ve never claimed R&D tax relief before. Can I claim retrospectively?
Making a retrospective R&D tax claim follows the normal rules for amending any corporation tax return. Companies can claim up to two years previous.

I am an SME and have received grant funding – can I still claim R&D tax relief?
The simple answer to this question is Yes! The interaction of grants and R&D tax relief can be complicated, but we’ve summarised the most common
situations below.

I’ve received a grant which is notified state aid
Common grants which fall under this category are Smart Grants and any grants which fall under the General Block Exemption Regulations (GBER). If you have received a notified state aid grant which is either specific to the project you want to claim R&D tax relief on or is non-specific (i.e. it covers
your general R&D activity), then any claim for R&D tax relief will have to be made under the less generous large scheme. However, if your grant is project specific, it’s important to note that other R&D projects which have been exclusively funded by the company will be eligible for the SME rate

What costs can be claimed?
HMRC have six clearly defined categories of qualifying expenditure. These are: staff costs, subcontracted R&D costs, Externally Provided Workers, consumables, software and certain energy costs

Can my claim trigger an enquiry by HMRC?
The R&D tax claim is just another part of your corporation tax return and normal enquiry window rules apply. We have extensive experience in dealing with enquiries concerning R&D tax claims. This gives you peace of mind, knowing that your claim will be handled by advisers with years of experience in dealing with HMRC

I’ve made a claim and I’m expecting money back. How long will it take?
If your claim is for an SME R&D tax credit, HMRC aim to repay monies due within 28 days. However, this is not a statutory requirement and many factors result in this target being missed. HMRC’s R&D units are extremely busy, particularly in December, March and September. Often, claims can take 3 or 4 months to process

What is the definition for an SME or large company?
There are two schemes. One scheme is for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and the other scheme is for large companies. Generally speaking, an SME is a company with:

  1. Fewer than 500 employees AND
  2. Annual turnover less than €100 million Euros OR
  3. Total assets on the balance sheet totalling less than €86 million Euros
  4. A large company is one that does not meet the definition of an SME.

Our experts Alison Lynch and Natalia Shaw are on hand to give as much advice as you need. See their profiles on Our Team Page Here.

They would love to help you with your R&D claim, you may be surprised, so get in touch on 0208 686 7756 or

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Tax Changes for Pensioner Couples

From 15 May, the rules for couples claiming pension will alter, in other words there will be tax changes for pensioner couples.

The Department for Work and Pensions has announced that from mid-May, couples will only be able to claim pension credit when both are over the State Pension age.

In the midst of the sea of Brexit news, it can be easy for other newsworthy announcements to quietly slip under the headlines and go unnoticed. Is this the Government “burying” bad news at the time of the Brexit hub bub ?

Previously, a mixed-age couple could claim the benefits when the oldest of the pair reached State Pension age, which is currently 65 for both men and women. Those currently in receipt of the credits will not be affected, but new claimants after this date could lose out on up to £7,000 a year in benefits.

This announcement will affect all those people entitled to receive benefits and who reach state retirement age on or after 16 May this year and who are in a relationship where their partner is younger than themselves
defined as “mixed age couples” by the Government.

At present, when state retirement age is reached, if on a low income and eligible, entitled to claim Pension Credit. Pension Credit is an income-related benefit that guarantees most people of state retirement age a minimum income. It is believed that at present around four million people are entitled to claim this benefit.

However, what the Government announcement means is that from May this year, if you reach state pension age and you were previously entitled to claim Pension Credit you will no longer be able to do so. These tax changes for pensioner couples will force some people to claim Universal Credit instead until such time as a partner also reaches state retirement age; this could leave people much worse off as a result.

This could clearly be quite worrying for some people ! Get in touch HERE is you have any questions about making tax provisions in yout retirement.

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New Tax Rates Reminder

The new tax year has started. Here’s a brief summary of the new tax rates in the tax system you need to be aware of.

The National Living Wage is going up to £8.21 an hour
Anyone aged 25 and over, and not in their first year of an apprenticeship, is legally entitled to at least the National Living Wage. Those under 25 and apprentices also benefit from rises in the Minimum Wage. The National Living Wage and National Minimum Wage rates apply across the UK.

The Personal Allowance is going up to £12,500
You don’t have to pay income tax on the income you earn below this amount. As a result of the change, a typical basic-rate taxpayer will take home £130 more than in 2018-19.

Fuel duty will remain frozen for the ninth year in a row
It will remain at 57.95 pence per litre across the UK. Fuel duty has been frozen for the ninth successive year, saving the average car driver £1,000.

Small retailers will get business rates relief
Small retailers will get one third off their business rates bills, this is part of more than £13 billion of rates relief since 2016.

New Enterprise Allowance has been extended
The New Enterprise Allowance provides mentoring, support and
funding for benefit claimants to get their business ideas off the ground.
Over 120,000 businesses have been launched though the NEA since 2011
and from April funding will continue for another 2 years with
30,000 new mentoring places available.

Access to Work is increasing by an extra £2,000 per year
From 1 April 2019 people will be able to claim up to £59,200 annually
through the Access to Work scheme to help pay for additional support
that they may need in the workplace. This can include workplace adaptations, assistive technology, transport and interpreters

For more advice and information about the new tax rates, get in touch with us at or call 0208 686 7756 today