Tax Advice

What is it & how do you know what you need?

Something we can be guilty of as professional advisors is assuming how much our clients know about the services we offer. This is particularly true with tax services. Tax is incredibly vast and complicated. It interconnects with so many different aspects of business and life.

What you might not know is that Chartered Tax Advisers have a completely separate qualification from accountants. The subject is that extensive, it is a specialist area in its own right, and accountants will range from general tax knowledge to niche in areas of tax, through to Chartered Tax Advisor.

However, most – if not all – accountants provide tax compliance services. These are the services you need to ensure you pay the right amount of tax your business owes. It’s the bare minimum of tax services that you will need. But what about tax advice?

Read on to find out what exactly tax advice is and how to access the tax advice you need.

What exactly is Tax Advice?

Advice generally falls into one of two categories: corporate (for businesses) or individual (for personal). But put simply, tax advice is the delivery of some work or planning to help improve a client’s tax position; to make a future saving, or get cash back into their business.

You’ll often see accountants specialising in certain areas that are more likely to be relevant to their customers, for example, VAT, R&D Tax Relief, or International tax.

Our Areas of Tax Advice

At Tennick, we can handle your specialist tax advice needs and issues, no matter the subject or complexity. Here’s a quick look at the top-level categories of tax advice we provide:

  • Capital Investments
  • Director & Employee Incentives
  • Business Structure
  • Business Sale, Cessation & Shareholder Exit
  • VAT
  • Income Tax
  • Fundraising
  • Succession & Retirement Planning
  • HMRC, Tax Disputes & Investigations
  • Business Activities
  • Investments
  • Inheritance Tax
  • Trading Activities & Taxable Profits
  • Capital Disposals
  • International Tax
  • Pensions

Getting the Tax Advice you need

When it comes to getting the tax advice you need, this is where it starts to get complicated. You may have a good idea of what you are looking for, and feel confident simply telling us the area of tax you need support with. However, this isn’t common, when a client identifies a problem they want help with, it tends to look something like this, in order to find the solution.

To find an appropriate solution, we’ll need to go through at least one, or potentially all four of the above steps.

Which route we take will depend on:

  • How the issue was identified
  • The complexity of the planning needed  
  • Timescales  
  • And many other variables 

It’s rare for us to jump straight to a specific piece of single tax advice. We always start by undertaking a thorough piece of diagnosis and review, to determine exactly what is required. For us, we believe this is vital to ensure you arrive at the correct course of action.  

It’s important to us you feel empowered to make the right decision, for such an important and complex topic – and diagnostic consultancy is the only way to achieve this. It’s a bit like seeking private medical help. The consultant may need to carry out a series of diagnostics and scans prior to clearly setting out three remedial courses of action for the patient to consider, recommending the alternative merits of each. The consultant may then reach a conclusion because of other motives.

Different levels of Tax Advice Complexity

When you approach us with a tax issue or goal, we have developed a system for categorising the complexity of the case. This helps to set expectations, giving you an idea of the timescales in play and the next steps.

We’ve found that for most scenarios there are three levels of complexity:

Each complexity level varies when it comes to the fact-finding, diagnosis, and recommendation of appropriate tax planning to address a client’s problem or scenario.

Expert Tax Advice when you need it

There’s no getting away from the complexity of tax, but it can be managed. We’ve launched a new service to handle our client specialist tax advisory needs and issues, no matter how complex.

Our alternative approach to Tax Advice and Consultancy means we can accurately identify the advice you need, giving you the results you wanted.

You can find out more about our Tax Advice & Consultancy service here.

Need Tax Advice?

If you think might need tax advice, get in touch here, and let’s get you and your business the tax advice you need.

A new approach to Tax Advice

If you approached us to ask about our bookkeeping services; by simply asking a couple of questions we would be able to determine very quickly the services you need. This is because bookkeeping is a service that has been industry-defined, making it very easy to find the service you need.

But what about when it comes to tax advice? Tax is an incredibly complex subject that is intertwined into so many different aspects of business and life. It can be extremely difficult to explain what it is you need help with and equally hard to determine the right course of action. You’re not a tax expert, so how do you know what you are looking for? And the truth is most accountants aren’t tax specialists either, as specialist tax advice is an entirely separate field from accountancy.

This can cause big problems both for you as a client and us as your advisor.

You run the risk of:

  • an inaccurate quote, that takes longer to obtain,
  • the goal posts changing once engaged,
  • being asked for additional information in bits, leading to delays,
  • additional costs once the work begins.

The biggest risk is you don’t actually get the tax advice you wanted – which we would never want to happen.

Access Expert Tax Advice when you need it

To ensure this doesn’t happen and to make it easier for you to access, we’ve launched a new service to manage your specialist tax advisory needs and issues, no matter how complex.

We’ve learnt from experience that separating the consultancy steps is vital to ensure you receive the best service possible. Our alternative approach to Tax Advice and Consultancy means we can accurately identify the advice you need, giving you the results you wanted.

Here’s a step-by-step of what to expect when you reach out to us with a tax advice enquiry:

Why is this approach so much better?

It’s only by asking the right questions, and ensuring the process is carefully documented that your needs can be diagnosed accurately.

You see, by asking a specific set of consultative questions, bespoke to your circumstances, we can collate the facts and motives needed for a Tax Specialist to be able to give advice, for your specific tax enquiry.

This means an accurate proposal can be prepared clearly explaining the financial and non-financial benefits to you. It’s vital to us that you understand the proposed work and feel equipped to make an informed decision about whether you choose to take the advice forwards.

Need help with a Tax Issue?

Find out more about our Tax Advice & Consultancy service, or if you’ve been sitting on a tax issue or a complex situation for some time, we can help you access the expert advice you need.

Get in touch here, and let’s get you and your business the tax advice you need.

My Own…Maximising Extracting Value Tax Diagnostic

Meet Gwil, a business owner who’s received a tax diagnostic review. A service that’s available to you. Find out some of the tax-efficient things he’s doing to achieve his real-life number and take more value out of the business for himself and his family now and over the next 5-10 years.

For a number of years now I’ve been operating across a range of businesses. Therefore when I look at the 32 ways, I’m looking at it in that context.

For me, money management is not about the money you earn, but the money you keep. That’s why I love tax consultancy so much. It focuses on this mantra.

Household Income

It’s important to me that we maximise our household income in a tax efficient manner. The way we do that seems to have changed so much over the years as we’ve gone from care free pre-kids to responsible parents (ish) post-kids! Currently, this involves my Mrs being employed by the business, she’s an financial chartered accountant so we might as well use her! This suits the business as we have an important function covered. It suits my wife who wound down slightly from her career after we had kids. It also suits our household income because we are taxed across the two of us, not just me. This means we benefit from maximised personal allowances, lower level tax bands and the company can make a national insurance saving.

I needed a dividend for extra expenditure

Not the norm for me, but the current year was a bit of a spending year – ouch! Thankfully, they only seem to happen once every ten years as I’m such a tight arse! But this year we had some extensive work done our home…which seemed to go on forever! Plus, we had a few lovely holidays as me and the Mrs had been married for ten years. We took the family to Disneyland Florida over Xmas and New Year which is something I’d always wanted to do. Me and the Mrs went to Paris on our own, which we’d not done since before Oscar was born…now 8 long years ago! To do this, I took out a dividend, the £2K tax free amount, plus a little more to keep the clan in a happy home and enjoying our ten years married celebrations! 

Building retirement investments

My years of frugality in extracting money from the company paid dividends a few years back when I set up a SSAS which bought the office premises. Nice little arrangement which ensures the guaranteed rent is paid back into my pension tax free! Purchase of commercial property No 1 has wetted my appetite for more, so I’ll always invest as much as I’m able into this arrangement with a view to eventually planning the next investment. I’m a bit of a nerd so these kind of things excite me! I think it’s because I feel in control with it…firstly it’s a very tax efficient way to put money aside as you pay no income tax or national insurance when the money is paid in (subject to the limits). You also get a corporation tax deduction on the money paid in. Plus I get to dream…plan a future commercial property empire…long way off but hey, dream big! When I retire, which is probably never as I’ll get bored…so when I reach retirement age…I’ll take 25% tax free with the remainder being taxed but spread across multiple tax years, making the most of the personal allowances and tax rates. I want to live a highly active but extremely comfortable work / life retirement…I just can’t see myself retiring…but let’s see!

I’m not that into Cars, but…

I’m not massively into cars. I’ll be honest enough to say, I want something that looks decent, but not too flashy. One of the businesses had done really well so it was a bit of a no brainer to go for an electric vehicle when the time came around last year.  Reason being we got 100% corporation tax relief against profits in that year, plus there is no BIK on me. It’s all the extra running cost aspects I was able to put through the business and take advantage of as well like installing a charging point at home, charging tax free at the office, car insurance and servicing which all normally add up to a pretty penny. I did have my eye on also putting a personalised number plate (GWIL-I-AM TAX) through the business (which is allowable) but Mrs D said she would divorce me! Quite right as well!

Company Loans

Way back when I lent money into the companies to get some started and the company paid me a commercial rate of interest back on that money which allowed me to take out £1K from the business tax free. However, the circumstances have changed, that money has now all been repaid to me and a few years back I instead took out a £10K tax free loan from the business. I didn’t need it, I just took it because the company had spare cashflow and you can take the loan of £10K tax free. My thinking here was to simply invest this and make more back, it’s a strategy that’s worked and I’ve made a fair amount on investing that £10K well.

Maximising business expenses paid for personally

Running a business takes grit, it’s hard to switch off and you are always working because it’s your passion. That’s why for me, it’s vital to maximise business expenses wherever possible. That means ensuring claiming travel expenses on trains/flights, mileage allowances,  when travelling for business. Also subsistence expenses when eating & drinking when on travelling on business as well.

I also ensure I double bubble the benefits by spending in a points reward card. My favoured card is Amex as they have a points rewards system connected to Airmiles. In the last year doing this I’ve built up enough points to travel to Paris 1st Class for £2. Then to Florida family of 4, 2 free tickets and upgraded to 1st class there and back. All because of the points I built which enabled me to do this!

Employee Benefits

The tight arse in me ensures I maximise the hell out these with all the following being put through the busines at every opportunity:

  • Life Insurance, it’s personally really important to me that my family is secure if anything were to happen to me.
  • My annual pension advice tends to be mostly covered by the £500 allowance
  • Mobiles – four in total for me and the Mrs – personal and business
  • Trivial benefits – albeit in £50 amounts the £300 from me and £300 amount for my wife ensures all Christmas and Birthday presents are covered in our household
  • £150 per head slap up dinner for the Xmas Do where we also have a good dance
  • Parking costs when visiting the office

New bicycle & weight loss.

It’s something that I’ve been aware of for a while, but never got round to doing. I used ‘Salary Sacrifice – Cycle to Work Scheme’ to purchase an expensive road bike, pre-tax, and in instalments. This reduced my tax liability on income & NI, plus it gets me a dream bike, without a surprise mammoth expense. Most importantly, it’s gets me exercising. Sexy bike. Sexy body. Tax is sexy!

Future intention

I would like at the right point to start exploring a family investment company.

For me this is about retention of earnings for me, my family and the business.

Book a Tax Diagnostic Review

To make sure you’re getting all the benefit from the tax saving opportunities available to you and your business, book a tax diagnostic review with us.

Get peace of mind you’re aware of all the tax advice relevant to you.

What is Your Real-Life Number?

Every business owner has a real-life number. It is everything behind the scenes, that you are working towards in your real life, things like your next house, next big investment, or your pension pot.This real-life number can and should be linked with everything that the business is working towards. It is the key to achieving the life you really want, both now and in the future.

But many business owners can find themselves controlled by their business. They become wrapped up in running the business and unable to focus on improving their lifestyle.

You see, for many business owners there can become a disconnect between the work that is being done in the business and the impact it can have on their lives. But the only way to achieve your real life number, is by looking inside the business and getting serious. One of the ways you can do this is by understanding how tax advice and consultancy can help you achieve your real-life number tax efficiency.

This is where we come in.

To help you reap the rewards of you real-life number, we’ll work with you to:

Identify your real-life number

To start we’ll look at your current position and what your business can pay you right now. We’ll then look at what you need to achieve, to get you to the real life number that you want.

Impact of business performance

We’ll then review how your business performance is impacting your ability to achieve your real-life number.

Identify ways to make tax-efficiency savings

Using our expertise and knowledge, we will help identify tax saving opportunities, meaning you can take extra money out of the business for you and your family right now.

We’ll also make plans to take an extra sum out of the business during the next five to 10 years.

What information will we need to help you achieve your real-life number?

If we’re to help you achieve your real-life number, we really to get know you. This means getting know things like…..


Are you married? Do you have children; if so, how old are they? Are your parents still around; if so, how old are they? Who is bringing in income; what is their job and how much do they earn?

Big life investments

What big life investments do you have planned? For example, do you intend to buy a bigger house, new cars, holiday home etc. How much money will your planned investments cost?

Family investments

What do you want for your kids? Nothing? School funded? University funded? First home? What amounts do these come to?

Protection Investments

How are your protecting yourself now and into the future? Things like insurance policies such as Medical, Life, Critical Illness, Income Protection, Key Person Insurance, Death in Service Insurance and so on.

Pension Investments

What are your plans pension wise? Are you planning to use a company pension, standard pensions, SIPP or SSAS? Do you want to generate more in order to take out more and fund a pension? How much would you like to fund each year?

Lifetime Investments

Outside of pension investments do you have a set amount you want to create – a disposable income wise to invest each year? What is that amount?

Lifestyle expenditure

What is your lifestyle generally like? Are you spending all the money you extract via salaries and dividends from the company on life expenses?

It looks likes like a lot of information but if you’re serious about achieving your real-life number and taking more value out of your business, this is what it takes.

Value Extracting Tax Diagnostic Review

We have launched a tax diagnostic review service that will analyse your business and personal circumstances, to identify all the ways you can tax efficiently put things through the business, or take value out of the business, benefitting you, your family and even your employees.

Find out more about the Value Extracting Tax Diagnostic Review

Do you know your real-life number

If you want to get a better understanding of the tax position of your business, get your real-life number down, and get a plan in place, we can help you get you there.

Let us help build your future. Book a discovery call and start your journey with us today.

You’re Not Getting the Tax Advice You Need?!

There’s an unspoken truth when it comes to tax advice: for business owners, there’s a complete lack of transparency from advisors over what tax advice actually is. This means as a business owner:

… don’t know what to expect from your accountant

… don’t know if you are getting all the advice you need

But isn’t ‘really’ anyone’s fault.

Tax advice is an incredibly complex area that hasn’t been set out as a universally defined and priced service before. Like say, bookkeeping. If you need bookkeeping, your accountant will ask you several questions about your business and give you a price based on the requirements of delivery.

Tax advice shouldn’t be any different but currently it is. Well it was until now….

Three Types of Service

We’ve devised a way to define our tax services to make them completely transparent and clear for our customers, and us too!

Our Tax Services are broken down into three areas:

Tax compliance

Helping you pay the right amount of tax that’s due; your year-end accounts and tax return.

Tax advice

Delivery of specific work or planning to improve your tax position, to make a future saving, or get cash back into your business e.g. making an R&D Tax Claim

Tax consultancy

Reviewing your overall affairs & motives and applying tax legislation to their situation, to see where you may benefit from advice in the future.

Most accountants will have a tax compliance service that is priced or built into their accountancy package services; with tax advice delivered and charged for as and when a situation arises.

Tax consultancy though?  This is a bit of an unknown. But it’s where the most value sits for you as a business owner.  Find out more about our tax consultancy services below.

Our Tax Services

At Tennick, we aim to be completely transparent with our pricing and recognise that as with accountancy services, the individual tax requirements of a business are very different.

At each stage of a business’ lifecycle, there are different tax service options to consider, to make sure you are paying the most efficient amount of tax.

Take a look at our tax services here.

Like What You See?

If you’d like to have a chat with us about our tax services and find more about what you could be doing, book a call below at a time that suits: Book a call

Planning for ‘The End Game’

Well, that title sounds a bit more sinister than I intended! 

You see, I recently completed an End Game Tax Diagnostic Review to check how I’m doing when it comes to my business’s tax efficiency. 

Not all of my personal income comes from my role as Founder of Tennick Accountants. I have a commercial building I own personally along with a wider family property portfolio and an investment portfolio that together make up my personal income. 

But this leaves me with a sole focus of building up as much value as possible in my accounting business to prepare for the end game. And I’m super invested in the assets, people and clients that make up my business. In particular, I want to achieve the best possible growth for my team so that the future is bright for them. 

And one way to make sure I can support this from a tax perspective, as I mentioned earlier is by completing a Tax Diagnostic Review. 

So, a Tax Diagnostic Review is an enhanced tax consultancy service that delves deep into all the relevant tax advice opportunities for you and your business. This service is available to all clients, with different options depending on where your business is in its lifecycle.

The End Game Tax Diagnostic Review

I wanted to share with you my experience of completing the End Game Tax Diagnostic Review for myself and Tennick Accountants. The review focuses on the future, the end game, and succession and gives me a full 360 on my tax efficiency!

The review identified many areas to consider, but I’ve selected three areas that are most important to me. These are:

  • Succession planning: Passing on the Keys
  • Reward & incentivise employees: The Winning’s in the Giving
  • Company Share Option Plans: Building my Very Own Team of Superheroes!

Even though the end game is a long way away, I wanted to do this tax diagnostic so I can build on the value of the business and have a clear idea of the most tax-efficient options when the time comes. 

Succession Planning: Passing on the Keys

When it comes to this kind of end game, well, let’s just say I’ve done some thinking. 

I enjoy my work, but it will be nice to put my feet up in a few (well, many) years. That said, I’d like Tennick Accountants to live on, even without myself at the helm. In other words, they’ll come a time when I’ll be looking to pass on the ‘keys to the castle’ to someone else.

Now I’ve got a pretty clear idea of the most tax-efficient options here, so I can enact my succession plan in the way I want while still being commercial about it. 

My personal preference would be to hand over the keys to one of my kids, especially if they really step up and show their commitment to the family business. If that doesn’t work out, I’ve got my eye on a couple of people from within my team with excellent leadership potential. 

Then, there’s the altogether different scenario where I’m bought out by a larger accountancy brand, a merging or a sale. I want to be prepared in case this happens too, so I’ve started looking into the various taxation routes I can take there. In a nutshell, my strategy is to prepare for all eventualities. 

Employee Rewards & Incentives: The Winning’s in the Giving

Currently, I’m very happy with my team. They’re exceptionally talented and show up every day, giving their 110%.

All that said, I’m always looking for more ways to motivate, reward and incentivise my employees. Sometimes, I just want to show them that I simply care!

The goods news is that when it comes to incentivising employees, there are lots of benefits to choose from. Over the next year, I plan to explore things like a £500 pension allowance, trivial benefits and a cycle to work scheme.

Why the trivial benefits, you ask? Couldn’t you just buy each of your employees a nice scented candle for Christmas? While the pension allowance and cycle scheme might sound like more meaningful benefits, not everyone appreciates them. Remember, every employee is different. Not everyone wants a new bike or even bikes to work. 

Through a £50 voucher or a gift for under £50, you can offer a benefit that suits the whole team. It’s a nifty way of motivating your team, or just a nice gift out of the blue. More importantly, it feels a bit more personal than just bunging someone a bit of extra cash…or buying them a scented candle (you know, I never really understood those).

Company Share Option Plans: Building my Very Own Team of Superheroes!

All this talk about ‘The End Game’ reminds me of my favourite superhero franchise (points awarded to anyone who can name it!). Come to think of it, that’s how I really think about my internal team – a group of amazing superhero accountants protecting the assets of our hard-working clients.

In the case where I potentially pass on the business internally, then I’ll want to set up these incredible superheroes with a good company share option plan. 

Although I do have a preferred option for succession, I want to plan for any outcome, and one route could be to pass on the business internally. I’ve started by obtaining an advisory report for the most suitable plan for me and the business.  Taking this step means I’ll have a complete understanding of exactly how it all works, and I can plan carefully how to introduce shares into the business, should I decide to take this route.

I’m a fan of these schemes, though, as selected employees can benefit tax efficiently from the company’s growth. At the same time, the company remains protected from risk, if for some reason, we didn’t perform as expected. Now that’s some real superhero accounting right there!

Looking to the Future

At some point, there will be scope for an individual tax review when my property portfolio has grown a bit more. At that point, a few other things like CGT and IHT may come into play. But to be honest, this is very much for the future, as the end game is still a long way away for me.

However, there is one thing I “might” consider personally…well for my wife. She’s after a new vehicle, and she may go electric via the business for benefits. I’ve got to admit, my taste in cars is a bit too ‘gas-guzzling for it to be tax-efficient, so it doesn’t really make sense for me to get one via the company.  

What’s your end game plan? 

Well, there you are, that’s my end game. So what’s yours?

A tax diagnostic can help you identify tax opportunities you may not be aware of, allowing you to plan properly for the future, personally, for your family and business. 

Book in a call to find out more and see which tax diagnostic review is best suited to your business.

Get the Maximum Value out of Your Business

A question I get asked all the time is: ‘What can I take out of my business?’ and ‘how do I save more tax?’ Well, the quick answer is, ‘there’s up to 32 ways to get value out of your business, tax efficiently.’ Yep, that’s a lot of ways ⬇️ (checkout out the full infographic here).

But the truth is, not all these 32 ways will be relevant to you and your business, and it’s likely that you’ll already be doing a few of them. But how do you know if you’re maximising every opportunity you could be, to improve your life, your families and your employees?

Value Extracting Tax Diagnostic Review

Well, we have a tax diagnostic review service that will do exactly that for you.

In our Value Extracting Tax Diagnostic review we will analyse your business and personal circumstances against the 32 ways, to identify all the ways you can tax efficiently put things through the business, or take value out of the business, benefitting you, your family and even your employees.

Every business owner can extract loads of value from their business, you just need to know what is relevant for you.

Find out more about our tax services & pricing here.

Let’s have a chat

If you’d like to review how much value you’re getting from your business, we’d love to speak to you, book in a call & let’s have a chat:

Sean Clifford - Clifford Aviation Limited

"Whether it is in person, or on the phone, I always feel better after speaking with you."

Sean Clifford – Director of Clifford Aviation Limited

Speak to the team about your goals and vision. We'll tell you how we can help you make them a reality.

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