Practical and intelligent tax saving solutions for you and your business

Tax Solutions

Whether personal or business, tax affects our everyday lives and never stands still.

In the current climate clients expect their advisers to help them make more savings each year through careful tax planning.

Shipleys have a team of knowledgeable tax and accountancy experts who constantly look at ways to add value and provide practical effective solutions whether it’s an owner-managed business or a multi-national group. Our clients know that we genuinely value their custom and ensure that they are always more than satisfied with our work and costs.


Structuring your Business

Most people know that the way their business is structured could affect how much tax you pay. What they don’t usually know is how to get the best advice on this.

Operating through the appropriate legal entity is vital but can often be neglected if a business has grown organically.

We can provide advice on the most suitable business structure – sole trader, partnership, company, limited liability partnership.

We can help you to structure your business in the most tax efficient way, saving you tax and improving the efficiency of the business.
We also have the expertise to advise on all areas of corporate structuring issues such as:

• Reorganisations and mergers
• De-mergers
• Company Purchase of Own Shares
• Reductions in share capital
• Planning with share rights
• Group tax planning

The taxation issues can be complex, but with our expertise we can guide you through, helping you meet your commercial objectives in a tax efficient way.

One of the most common questions we hear is “how do I get my profits out of the company paying as little tax as possible?”

We work with our clients to consider the tax picture as a whole – getting an understanding of both personal and corporate, short term and long term goals.

Because we take into account the whole picture, we can ensure that when it comes to tax, you won’t miss a trick and that all avenues of tax relief are explored.

We know that working with us, through careful planning, you can extract tax from the business without facing a hefty tax bill.

We can also help you to calculate the taxation impact of extraction policies by dividend or salary/bonus; provide advice in relation to pension contributions and also have particular expertise in tax planning using different classes of share capital.

If you like the sound of working with people who have your goals and aspirations at the heart contact us now.

Property Tax

Shipleys are experts when it comes to property tax matters, advising you on how to arrange your property transaction in the most tax efficient manner. With effective strategies, we can significantly reduce the exposure on property transactions.

Speak to us about:

  • Services for developers
  • Services for investors
  • Professionals working in the property sector
  • Services for property agents

Capital Allowances

When you buy, lease or improve a commercial property, HMRC allows you to offset some of that expenditure for tax purposes. Your advisors have probably claimed for the more obvious features, but as capital allowance specialists we dig much deeper to make significant additional claims on your behalf.

Typically, we identify Capital Allowances of between 10% and 30% of the commercial property purchase price.

We use specialist surveyors with tax expertise, to visit your property to uncover this extra layer of allowable items. This service is relevant for two types of clients:

1. Commercial property owners and investors who can retrospectively claim for unused allowances, (going back many years in some cases), for alterations, extensions and upgrades to their buildings.

2. Buyers and sellers of commercial property who need to agree a value for plant and machinery as part of the purchase process.

Inheritance Tax Planning

IHT has been commonly described as a ‘voluntary tax’ and with good reason. It can usually be reduced with proper and often simple planning, ranging from lifetime planning, will planning or even after death variation or disclaimer can mitigate tax.

IHT planning will assist in preserving family wealth and will reduce tax bills for your heirs, With careful lifetime planning, you can even reduce your exposure to IHT whilst retaining the asset and income.

Asset Protection and Preservation

Asset Protection Essential for protecting and preserving company and family assets from third party claims, divorce, bankruptcy, spendthrift spouses, and youthful improvidence. Asset Protection has a number of forms, including:

Company Asset Protection – The valuable assets in a company, namely property, cash and brand, may in certain circumstances be protected by a restructuring exercise, using group structures, all without triggering taxes on the restructure whilst affording protection.

Family Asset/Wealth Protection – Family assets/wealth can be protected and preserved from claims, bankruptcy and divorce. Typically assets are placed into a properly constituted trust within certain limits with the result that the preservation and protection of the family assets is achieved without adverse tax consequences.

Non UK Resident Domicile & Property Holding Structures

This topic always seems to raise the most debate about the fairness of the UK tax system. And this topic has been caused much controversy over the over the years. Certainly, if you are in the somewhat tax privileged position to be either non UK Domiciled or non-UK Resident, the tax benefits are still extraordinarily valuable in the right circumstances, to say the least. However, this valuable status is generally under used – except by the super rich and famous.

A key area of tax planning is property holding structures for non-UK resident and non-UK domiciled individuals, properly structured solutions achieve significant UK tax savings.

Tax & VAT Investigations

Tax investigations by HMRC often come as an unpleasant shock to individuals or businesses and can be very stressful. Those under enquiry often feel targeted and victimised.

At Shipleys we are non-judgmental, vigorous in defending our clients and aim to resolve the investigation in the most efficient manner possible without compromising the quality of our work.

We have the experience and know how to handle local district cases to large tax fraud cases both in direct and indirect (VAT) tax.

VAT Planning

Our VAT experts trained with HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) and have a complete understanding not only of the legislation but of HMRC’s policies and procedures.

Our work extends to every aspect of VAT but some of the services we are most often asked to provide involve negotiation with HMRC on liability issues and agreeing partial exemption methods, providing VAT planning ideas for clients to improve cash flow, assisting clients through the maze of VAT property law, and advising them on EU and other international transactions.

Some of the areas we cover most include:

• VAT and property
• VAT and not-for-profit organisations
• VAT and offshore companies

Contact us now for a free no obligation consultation with a tax consultant.

Latest news & blogs…

Offshore Companies and Rental Income Tax

Tax Solutions Shipleys Tax Advisors

HMRC IS SENDING letters to some offshore (non-resident) companies that appear to have failed to notify that they own commercial property in the UK.

In today’s Shipleys Tax note we look at what this means for overseas landlords owning property in the UK and what you need to do to avoid falling foul of HMRC’s rules.

From Income Tax to Corporation Tax

Before 6 April 2020, rental income garnered by non-UK resident companies fell under the domain of income tax. However, post this date, these companies are required to adhere to corporation tax rules for any liability.

HMRC’s Requirement for Registration

HMRC is actively reaching out to companies that have so far missed registering under either of the tax rules. It appears that their knowledge about these companies and their property holdings originates from HM Land Registry or the newly established Register of Overseas Entities, which itself went live this year on 31 January 2023.

Before 6 April 2020, rental income garnered by non-UK resident companies fell under the domain of income tax. However, post this date, these companies are required to adhere to corporation tax rules…

In these letters, companies are prompted to fill out a certificate to ascertain if there’s a need to declare any unpaid tax on their rental income. Depending on the company’s declaration, they are guided either towards the voluntary disclosure procedure or, in cases of potential tax fraud, towards the contractual disclosure facility.

Additionally, the letters urge companies to evaluate if the UK’s complicated “transfer of assets abroad provisions” apply, especially concerning UK-resident individuals who might have an interest in the company’s income or capital.

Interestingly, this isn’t the first instance of such letters being dispatched. Similar letters were sent to offshore corporates owning UK properties in the past, chiefly concerning residential property income and potential tax liabilities under the annual tax on enveloped dwellings (ATED).

A Warning and the Potential Consequences

HMRC’s current communication comes with a clear warning: Companies are given a window of 40 days to either initiate the disclosure process or provide an explanation if they believe they’re exempt from disclosure. Failure to respond could see HMRC estimating what it believes the company owes, potentially sparking an investigation. This could further culminate in added penalties. The statement in the letter is quite straightforward, stating, “If we later find that you have not told us everything, we’ll view this very seriously.”

Alternative Disclosure Methods?

While the letters might sound imposing, recipients should note that they’re not legally bound to complete and return the certificates. As per the guidance from the Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT), there are other disclosure methods at their disposal, some of which might be more suitable than those delineated in HMRC’s letter.

Companies are given a window of 40 days to either initiate the disclosure process or provide an explanation if they believe they’re exempt from disclosure.

According to the CIOT, HMRC cannot compel a taxpayer to use any specific method for their disclosure. Depending on the situation, other methods may be more apt. Therefore, taxpayers and companies should be discerning, consider the unique facts of their situation, and seek advice on the best disclosure approach.


For non-UK resident companies with UK property assets, staying abreast of the latest tax regulations is paramount. With HMRC actively reaching out to those who haven’t registered under the updated tax rules, it’s crucial to understand one’s obligations and rights, ensuring compliance while also leveraging the most appropriate disclosure methods. If in doubt, always seek expert guidance to navigate these complex tax waters.

If you would like assistance, or would like more information, please call 0114 272 4984 or email

Please note that Shipleys Tax do not give free advice by email or telephone.

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Tax Planning with Beneficial Interest Company Trusts – the challenges for Landlords

Tax Solutions Shipleys Tax Advisors

THE EVER-CHANGING landscape of UK tax law has prompted landlords to explore alternative legal structures for tax efficient property ownership. One such structure gaining more attention recently is the Beneficial Interest Company Trust (BICT). However, as will be seem below this complex model is not without its challenges and debate.

In today’s Shipleys Tax brief we will look at the workings of a BICT, its potential benefits, drawbacks, and the key considerations for landlords considering this route.

What is a Beneficial Interest Company Trust (BICT)?

A Beneficial Interest Company Trust (BICT) is a legal structure that has gained popularity among landlords in the UK, particularly following changes to the infamous Section 24 income tax relief in 2017 for rental income. BICTs seemingly allows landlords to strategically manage the economic value of their properties in a company, while retaining the “legal” title of the property, and thus the mortgage, in their personal name.

BICTs: The Appeal for Landlords

There are several key reasons why landlords are increasingly adopting BICTs. The trust structure purportedly enables landlords to enjoy personal mortgage rates on properties, while treating them as company assets from a tax perspective. In light of the restrictions on interest relief announced in 2015, landlords can put the rental income from personally held property (and related borrowing costs) through a Limited Company to help minimize their tax liability.

BICTs allows landlords to strategically manage the economic value of their properties in a company, while retaining the “legal” title of the property, and thus the mortgage, in their personal name.

Perceived Key Advantages of BICTs for Landlords

  • Mitigating the Impact of Section 24 Interest Relief Restriction: BICTs can help landlords offset mortgage interest against rental income, thus reducing their tax liability.
  • Preserving Personal Tax Allowances: BICTs allow landlords to ensure rental income falls within the corporation tax regime, not subject to personal income tax. This can maintain access to personal tax allowances, beneficial when rental income is taxed at higher individual tax rates.
  • Future Planning and Flexibility: BICTs offer flexibility for estate planning and asset transfer to future generations. The trust structure allows for the addition of beneficiaries or changing the ownership structure without transferring the property’s legal title.

The Risks and Challenges of BICTs

While BICTs might seem like a silver bullet, they are not without significant complexities and potential pitfalls. Landlords should exercise caution and thoroughly consider these key challenges:

  • Complex Legal and Tax Implications: BICTs involve intricate legal and tax arrangements. Ensuring compliance and avoiding unintended consequences requires advice from professionals well-versed in trust law and tax legislation. There is debate within the tax profession about this structure. Some have suggested potential mortgage fraud, mismatch of income and mortgage interest relief, and likely challenges from HMRC on the basis that such a structure is “tax-motivated” rather than commercially motivated and therefore subject to anti-avoidance legislation. HMRC will not provide approval for BICTs because these have nothing whatsoever to do with tax. This is because the company itself has no tax advantages over and above any other form of UK limited company.
  • Lender’s Reluctance: Some lenders are wary of BICTs, fearing they could be seen as contrived and fall foul of HMRC anti-avoidance legislation. This perception could impact a landlord’s ability to secure mortgage finance, and if the BICT is deemed a tax avoidance scheme, landlords could face a hefty tax bill.
  • Costs and Administrative Burden: Establishing and maintaining a BICT can be costly. The ongoing administrative responsibilities include filing annual accounts and tax returns for the SPV, which can be time-consuming.

There is debate within the tax profession about this structure. Some have suggested potential mortgage fraud, mismatch of income and mortgage interest relief, and likely challenges from HMRC…

  • Potential Future Legislative Changes: Tax laws and regulations evolve over time. There’s no guarantee that the current tax advantages linked with BICTs will persist. Future legislative changes could impact the viability of BICTs.
  • Financing Challenges: Transitioning properties into a BICT can create financing difficulties. Lenders often have different criteria and loan products for SPVs compared to individual landlords.

To BICT or Not to BICT

BICTs have provided some landlords with a strategy to navigate the tax challenges, but they are not a one-size-fits-all solution, nor are they a sure fit. Each landlord’s circumstances and objectives are unique, making it crucial to conduct a thorough assessment and seek professional advice tailored to your specific situation before considering such a legal structure.

Always remember that tax planning is not a short-term endeavour. Before moving forward with a BICT or any other tax planning strategy, taxpayers need to ensure that they are comfortable with the potential outcomes and have considered all available options.

Consulting with a qualified tax adviser and a mortgage consultant before making any decisions is crucial. As the tax difference between personal name and limited company rates continues to narrow, the cost-effectiveness of BICTs may also change.

In conclusion, while the BICT is an available solution for some landlords, understanding its pros and cons is essential to making an informed decision. Remember, effective tax planning is about strategy, not just short-term gains.

If you are affected by any of the issues above and would like more information, please call 0114 272 4984 or email

Please note that Shipleys Tax do not give free advice by email or telephone.

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Getting The Right Advice: Top 5 Reasons Why It Matters

Tax Solutions Shipleys Tax Advisors

FOR MANY in the UK, the tax and accounting landscape is seen as overly complicated and ever-changing, making it vital to choose a tax adviser who can effectively navigate this terrain.

In todays’ Shipleys Tax blog we look at the Top Five Reasons why selecting the right tax adviser is crucial for your overall financial health.

Does paying more save more? Let’s find out.

1. Tax Optimisation: Maximise Tax Savings

The UK tax code is a labyrinth of potential savings, but only a proficient tax adviser can unlock these opportunities. They can identify hidden deductions, credits, and exemptions tailored to your financial situation. An inexperienced adviser, on the other hand, may overlook these nuances, resulting in unnecessarily high tax liabilities. For instance, failing to utilise even simple tax reliefs such as Entrepreneur’s Relief or R&D Tax Credits can significantly inflate your tax bill.

2. Asset Protection: Safeguarding Your Wealth

Whether it’s real estate, business assets, or investments like gold and cryptocurrencies, the right tax adviser can help investors protect their wealth. They can devise strategies to shield these assets from creditors, legal disputes, and unexpected personal circumstances. They understand UK-specific legal structures and practices, like the use of LLPs, trusts or limited companies, which can effectively safeguard your wealth. However, an adviser with less experience or understanding of the UK market might lack the in-depth knowledge of these asset protection strategies, potentially leaving your assets vulnerable to financial risks.

For landlords and overseas investors in the UK property market, strategising asset protection through effective tax planning is a critical part of investment management. A seasoned tax adviser can provide invaluable guidance on utilising the UK’s tax legislation to your advantage. They can help design strategies such as setting up tax efficient structures for buy-to-let or development properties or making optimal use of tax reliefs which reduce tax exposure to taxes such VAT, SDLT, CGT or ATED. These tax planning strategies can minimise your tax liabilities and shield your investments from undue exposure. On the other hand, less experienced advisers might not have the breadth of knowledge to leverage these tax benefits effectively, which could result in higher tax payments and potential erosion of your investment returns.

3. Staying Ahead in the Crypto Game: Cryptocurrency Taxation Expertise

The new frontier of cryptocurrencies brings with it complex tax implications. A savvy tax adviser stays abreast of these changes, enabling you to comply with the law while maximising the benefits of your crypto investments. In contrast, an inexperienced adviser might not fully understand the intricacies of cryptocurrency taxation, potentially leading to compliance issues or overpayment of taxes.

4. Enhancing Stakeholder Confidence

Your financial statements are more than just numbers; they’re a reflection of your financial health and business acumen. A top-tier tax adviser will ensure your accounts are accurate, transparent, and compliant, enhancing the confidence of stakeholders like banks, HMRC, and potential buyers. In contrast, financial statements prepared by less experienced advisers may raise questions about their accuracy and reliability, potentially impacting your relationships with these crucial stakeholders.

In contrast, financial statements prepared by less experienced advisers may raise questions about their accuracy and reliability, which can have significant implications. For instance, banks may become hesitant in extending credit or approving loans if they perceive inconsistencies or inaccuracies in your financial statements. HMRC might increase scrutiny on your tax filings, possibly triggering audits and investigations. Potential buyers or investors may question the viability of your business based on these financial statements, which could affect your business’s valuation and sale prospects. Even your business partners and employees might lose confidence in the management and financial stability of the business. In essence, less precise and trustworthy financial statements can ripple through all aspects of your business, potentially affecting your reputation, financial stability, and growth opportunities.

5. Long-term Wealth Management: Planning for the Future

Effective wealth management and retirement planning require foresight and expertise. The right tax adviser can guide you towards tax-efficient investment strategies that will maximise your wealth in the long run. On the other hand, an adviser with less experience may lack the insight to effectively manage your long-term wealth, which could impact your financial comfort in retirement.

In conclusion, the importance of choosing the right tax adviser cannot be overstated. Far too often, individuals and businesses fall into the trap of seeking advice only when a problem arises, missing out on valuable opportunities for proactive financial planning and strategy.

Some may opt for inexperienced or less qualified advisers in an attempt to save costs, overlooking the fact that expert advice is an investment in itself. Like any good investment, a competent adviser can generate a healthy return in the form of tax savings, improved financial management, increased stakeholder confidence, and secured long-term wealth.

Others may hesitate to invest in high-quality advice, failing to understand that the costs of inadequate or incorrect advice can far outweigh the fees of a top-tier adviser. The risks range from missed tax savings and audit risks to reduced stakeholder confidence and compromised asset protection.

If you are affected by any of the issues above and would like more information, please call 0114 272 4984 or email

Please note that Shipleys Tax do not give free advice by email or telephone.

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