Our highly experienced team of tax lawyers and advisors can ably assist you with all of your tax planning matters. From savings advice to forward-thinking inheritance tax planning, we have helped thousands of businesses and private individuals make the most of their money.
We understand that a ‘one size fits all’ approach is not what our customers want. Instead, our team of chartered tax advisors, technicians and solicitors will spend time getting to know you so that they completely understand your personal circumstances and priorities.
As a result, we can provide you with advice and solutions tailored to your particular needs and goals, including:
- Inheritance tax planning (IHT)
- Capital gains tax advice (CGT)
- Succession strategies
- Business issues for owner-managers including Enterprise Investment Schemes (EIS) and Enterprise Management Incentives (EMI).
Inheritance Tax Planning
Estate and inheritance planning is unique to the individual and their family. No two solutions are ever the same. With tax laws being so complicated and full of pitfalls and traps, it is essential to obtain inheritance tax advice from an expert qualified in the field.
Wills, with trusts drafted into them, often form a critical part of estate planning. Deeds of Variation can also be used to significantly reduce the burden of inheritance tax (IHT) on later generations who are due to inherit from relatives by avoiding aggregation with their own IHT estate.
How our inheritance tax solicitors and advisors can help
- Advice on passing assets down to the next generation or to grandchildren
- Maximising all the IHT reliefs available, both in lifetime and on death
- Minimising immediate IHT or CGT consequences of making lifetime gifts
- Advising on Deeds of Variation
What is the process for inheritance planning?
The first step is a meeting with you to discuss your ideas. Using our knowledge and experience, we advise and direct you to a few simple options. Once objectives are agreed, we draft all necessary forms and documents to put the plan not effect. Our inheritance tax solicitors and advisors will liaise with your financial advisors and accountants when necessary. We provide detailed advice before putting the proposals into action. We can fulfil all or any HMRC reporting requirements where necessary
How long does inheritance tax planning take?
Depending on the scope and depth of your objectives, the IHT planning can be completed in a few weeks or may take a few months to complete. We can give you time estimates at the time of clarifying your instructions.
Capital Gains Tax Advice
When buying and selling assets, capital gains tax (CGT) should always be considered. The tax legislation is complex and this means that there are specific ways in which the gains are calculated, certain reliefs’ may be available and the tax rates vary depending upon the type of asset and the way in which it is owned.
How our capital gains tax advisors can help
- CGT position – We can advise upon the position including the best way in which the transaction is structured in order to mitigate the tax payable.
- Advice on capital gains tax and property – Where an individual owns more than one residence, there is planning that can be undertaken by making certain elections that can exempt the gain from CGT.
- Capital gains tax on shares – When buying and selling listed shares, there are specific rules for matching the sale of the shares with the acquisition so forward planning is advisable.
When selling shares in your own business, considerable care is required so that the most favourable rate of tax is achieved. Anti-avoidance tax legislation can apply, which means that the proceeds can be taxed as a dividend at an effective tax rate of 38%. It is also possible that the proceeds will be subject to income tax with a marginal rate of 45%. This should be contrasted with a situation whereby Entrepreneurs’ Relief applies and the tax rates is just 10%.
What is the process for capital gains tax planning?
Once instructed by you we will then review the position and then deliver our advice so that you can mitigate the CGT position.
We can provide advice upon your CGT position when owning more than one residence and then and draft the necessary elections and file these with HMRC.
We always recommend that you seek our capital gains tax advice prior to buying or selling an asset so that we can review the position for you. We can work with your financial adviser in order to achieve the best outcome when there is a transaction on one of your investments.
As far as the sale of the shares in your business is concerned, we should be instructed before the sale process starts. We can then advise on all of the tax aspects of the sale and provide you with a calculation of the tax payable based upon a certain sale price. We usually find that this can help with the negotiations with the purchaser. We can also draft and submit to HMRC certain tax clearance applications. We have an excellent awareness of the commercial issues that arise during a sale process and we can work alongside the other professional advisers so that the transaction is structured to achieve the best outcome from both a commercial and tax perspective.
Once the transaction has taken place, we can then assist with the reporting of this on your tax return.
We recommend to all clients that they should make a full disclosure of their tax affairs to HMRC. This is relevant when filing a tax return. Similarly, if it becomes apparent that an error has been made in previous filings with HMRC, then we recommend that a voluntary disclosure is made to HMRC. By taking this approach, it can limit the window during which HMRC can make an enquiry into your tax affairs.
How can we help with tax disclosure
Even though the tax legislation is extensive, it can sometimes be difficult to interpret the legislation against a particular set of circumstances. We have a very experienced team of tax advisers who can help with this interpretation. Even then, a view will have to be taken as to whether a particular part of the tax legislation will apply. In our experience, it is best to make a full disclosure of the facts on the tax return and the reason why a certain interpretation of the tax legislation has been applied. By making a disclosure it can restrict a challenge from HMRC to just a 12-month window. It can also be helpful in a situation where HMRC insist that there is a tax liability as in such situations they can charge a penalty. This penalty can be mitigated where it can be shown that a full disclosure has been made and that the interpretation taken when filing the tax return was reasonable.
There are occasions where there is an historical issue that gives rise to a tax liability that was not previously reported to HMRC. We have many years of experience in assisting with this type of disclosure to HMRC. By making an unprompted voluntary disclosure this can limit the penalties that HMRC can charge. It can also narrow the scope of the enquiry that HMRC will make.
How does tax disclosure work?
We will need from you the full facts so that we can advise accordingly. If it is an issue of disclosure on a tax return, then once we have reviewed the issue we will incorporate the disclosure on the “white space” of the tax return. Where it is an historical issue we can review the tax legislation and then draft the necessary disclosure letter to send to HMRC. At that stage, we will also provide you with an estimate of the tax liability and we may recommend making an interim tax payment to HMRC.
How long will it take?
This will depend upon the scope of the work required. We will provide you with an estimate of our fees for this work. We will work as efficiently as possible in order to fulfil your tax obligations. It is sometimes difficult to predict the timing and way in which HMRC will respond but we will keep you fully updated.
Self-Assessment Tax Returns
When HMRC issue a notice to file a tax return it must be completed and filed with HMRC by 31st January following the end of the tax year i.e. the tax return for the year ended 5 April 2019 must be filed with HMRC by 31st January 2020.
Given the very considerable penalties that HMRC can levy it is important that an accurate tax return is completed and the right tax is paid.
How can we help with your tax return?
Staying on top of the complexities of tax legislation can be frustrating and time-consuming. Our specialist solicitors and tax advisors can help you complete your tax returns and meet your financial reporting obligations.
We have many years of experience in our team in helping our clients with their tax affairs. As well as preparing the tax return and calculating the tax position, we also provide advice on the allowances and reliefs’ that can be claimed.
At the outset, we will provide you with a quote for this work. We will then register with HMRC as your agent. You will then need to provide us with the information to prepare your return. Typically, this will be full details of your income, details of the purchase and sale of any assets and any allowable outgoings such as pension contributions or payments to charity. Once we have this information we will then prepare the tax return and calculate the tax liability. We will then send the draft tax return and tax calculation to you for your review and approval. Once approved we will then file the return online with HMRC. As part of our work, we also send reminders to our clients of their forthcoming tax payments and the differing ways in which payment can be made to HMRC.
How long will it take to complete the tax return?
This will depend upon both the complexity of the tax return and when you provide us with the supporting information. We advise our clients to send to us their tax return information as soon as possible, as we tend to be busier in both December and January as we approach the filing deadline.