Externally Provided Workers – Time for Change

I have argued for some time that the Externally Provided Worker (EPW) rules in the R&D legislation are flawed.  They result in many genuine EPW arrangements being excluded from R&D claims and are failing to achieve their stated objectives. In a recent article, published in Tax Adviser in July 2011, I explained how the rules [...]

By |September 6th, 2011|Uncategorized|

What is “production” for R&D purposes?

In fact, before looking at the question in the title, how about: why do we need to know? Well the reason is that a couple of years ago, someone at HMRC decided that an otherwise innocent sentence in the DTI (as it was originally, now BIS) Guidelines on the meaning of R&D would enable HMRC [...]

By |September 2nd, 2011|Uncategorized|

HMRC’s Tax Agent Strategy Consultation – My Response

Download my response to this consultation here. This is a very important consultation as it signals HMRC's clear desire to regulate and control the 'Tax Agent' community.  My sincerest hope at this stage is that as many advisers as possible have read this consultation and are responding.  I have absolutely no time for dishonest advisers [...]

By |September 1st, 2011|Uncategorized|

Patent Box – Consultation Response

My response to the latest patent box consultation is available to download on this link. I think that the Patent Box is a very good idea but I am rather concerned that the final product may provide insufficient benefit to actually encourage companies to locate their patent rights in the UK.  Competing regimes already well [...]

By |August 31st, 2011|Uncategorized|

Patent Box – Thoughts so far

I was invited to attend a workshop last Thursday morning at the Treasury to discuss the Patent Box proposals.  We were treated to presentations from the Treasury and HMRC officials responsible for the detailed design of the scheme followed by a useful Q&A session. There were no real surprises in what was said but, as [...]

By |July 11th, 2011|Uncategorized|

HMRC’s Proposed Tax Agent Strategy

On 31 May, HMRC published a consultation document entitled "Establishing the future relationship between the tax agent community and HM Revenue & Customs".  If you haven't already done so, could I suggest that you read it.  You may not be an "agent" in this context but you are almost certainly a taxpayer, so it will [...]

By |June 9th, 2011|Uncategorized|

Don’t forget the Business of Innovation

One question that seems to me to be coming up more and more from CFOs is "am I getting a good return on my investment in R&D?"  And to be honest, many of those CFOs who aren't asking the question, probably should be! When we talk about 'R&D' here, we're essentially talking about the innovation [...]

By |May 31st, 2011|Uncategorized|

Consultation on Abolition of Tax Reliefs

Following a review by the Office of Tax Simplification and their report published on 3 March 2011, the Government is now consulting on the proposal to abolish 36 tax reliefs. Now, before you get too excited - either at the thought of the benefits for simplification or at the thought of losing valuable reliefs - [...]

By |May 27th, 2011|Uncategorized|

One seemingly straightforward sub clause in the current Finance Bill shows just how little our politicians actually understand about the technical detail behind the words.  Clause 43(6) states: In section 1058 (amount of tax credit), in subsection (1)(a), for "14%" substitute "12.5%". What this will do is to reduce the rate of repayable R&D Credit [...]

By |May 25th, 2011|Uncategorized|

Policy Making and Implementation Should be Kept Separate

Last week (18 May 2011), representatives from ICAEW, ICAS and ACCA appeared before the House of Lords Select Committee on Economic Affairs, Finance Bill Sub-Committee to answer questions on (amongst other things) Tax Policy making. There was a general feeling that things need to improve - there is too much complex legislation being rushed out with poor [...]

By |May 24th, 2011|Uncategorized|