There are lots of tax breaks that companies don’t take advantage of. Mostly because they don’t know they are available or it seems too time-consuming to sort out.

A classic one from my perspective as an accountant is the research and development tax credit (R&D tax credit). I saw one (admittedly unverifiable) statistic that stated that only 7% of all the companies that incurred research and development costs actually made a claim.

Its probably because the words ‘research and development’ suggest men in white coats excluding the majority of businesses. However, the definition is very broad and can include lots of different types of businesses.

Companies can claim an enhanced deduction at a rate that will depend on whether they are large or small and medium sized companies (SMEs). SMEs can claim a deduction from taxable profits of 225 per cent of their qualifying R&D expenditure and. if loss making, will be able to claim a cash payment in return for forfeiting a proportion of their losses. If you think there may be scope for a claim – email me at

We’re chartered accountants and we are here to save you tax.

The most important rule is to make sure you claim for all your expenses.

After this, pension contributions and timing of dividend (not to mention share transfers) can save you lots of income tax.

For some of our clients we conduct an annual personal tax return to see if we can save them further tax.

In 2008, the government introduced the ‘time to pay’ scheme. This was to enable businesses to receive a payment plan on outstanding PAYE/NI or VAT. It was implemented to ease the early effects of the recession.

It was a huge success and many businesses applied for payment plans. They did so because they were generally struggling to pay. Also, many businesses did so because it was cheap debt (the interest rate being far lower than a bank loan for example).

After seeing the number of applications to the scheme, the government reined in the applications. Businesses, who previously had relied on receiving a payment plan now were refused and it become increasingly difficult to get them.

If you are in this position and you need to receive some flexibility on payments to HM Revenue & Customs, here are some tips:

1. As a general rule, if you are struggling to pay creditors, the first thing to do is to talk to them. So if the creditor is HMRC then do communicate to them

2. It is always better for your accountant to speak to them. All our services include – dealing with HM Revenue & Customs – we never want our clients to speak to them.

3. Know your numbers – know exactly what tax (VAT, corporation tax, income tax, PAYE/NI) is outstanding and how much (it may not be all outstanding)

4. HMRC will often ask if you have tried to get finance elsewhere (not just banks, but family friends and your own pocket) – have a good answer for this

5. In most cases, they do ask for numbers – profit and loss budgets, cash flow forecasts – so make sure the accountant has this in hand

If you are struggling to pay HM Revenue & Customs and need to negotiate a time to pay scheme, do speak to me on On current records, we have a 100% success rate on obtaining payment plans which dates back to 2008.


Russell has grown a business from zero clients to hundreds of clients all over the UK. With his own personal business experience and the experience of looking at hundreds of businesses, Russell knows how you can become more profitable.

The trouble is, Russell is so busy blogging, writing and speaking about this stuff that he rarely sits down with clients 121 these days.

However, if you would like to try your luck, 1 hour with Russell could transform your cash and profits – try him at

Book a No Fee, No Obligation meeting with award winning chartered accountants.
  • *Find out what your HMRC and Companies House deadlines are
    *Find out how to save tax
    *Find out how to increase profits and manage your cash