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Alexander Knight & Co arrives in Hale

We’re pleased to confirm that we’ve now officially moved to prestigious new office space in the heart of Hale, Cheshire.

Our practice, launched by Murray Patt in 2012, had outgrown its old premises near Manchester Airport and our new location will be a springboard for even further growth.

As well as launching the office, at Westgate House on Hale Road, we are also unveiling our new sponsorship of Hale Railway Station as well as revealing a clutch of new client wins.

Alexander Knight & Co provides tax, audit and management accountancy services for a range of businesses across the region. Our growing client base also includes international companies seeking specialist advice on doing business in the UK. New clients include Gresham Wealth Management and Thomas Storey Fabrications Group.

Murray Patt, founder of Alexander Knight & Co, said:

We are excited to reveal our new office space in Hale village. Our old office, near Manchester Airport, served us well since we launched the practice back in 2012. Since then, we have grown our client base, staff numbers and our services.

We’ve also developed as a business and we see our new home as a physical embodiment of where we are now and where we are heading as a practice.

Our new, professional surroundings are perfectly in tune with our culture and better suited to our clients and staff. Not only is the location convenient and easy to access it’s also a stone’s throw from amenities in Hale village and Altrincham town centre for our staff.

We’ve had a very successful year and we are looking forward to maintaining our growth during 2018 as we seek to expand our team and client base of entrepreneurs across the region.

Accountants for entrepreneurs

We’re moving!

accountants in hale

We are excited to reveal that our new office premises from March 26th will be in…Hale!

Our old office, near Manchester Airport, has served us well since we launched the practice back in 2012.

Since then, we have grown our client base, staff numbers and our services.

We’ve also developed as a business and we see our new home as a physical embodiment of where we are now and where we are heading as a practice.

Our new, professional surroundings are perfectly in tune with our culture and better suited to our clients and staff.

Not only is the location convenient and easy to access it’s also a stone’s throw from amenities in Hale village and Altrincham town centre for our staff. It’s less than 300 yards from Hale railway station where, if you look carefully, you ‘ll soon see our fantastic new advertising campaign.

We are having great fun getting to know our new neighbours which include Handelsbanken, Gillespies and Strategic North.

We will be only too pleased to see you at our new office and you are very welcome to come and see us at any time.

Look out for our ‘launch cocktail’ event very soon…

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Say hello to…Daniel

We are pleased to have appointed Daniel McKeown as an accounts senior here at Alexander Knight & Co.

Joining Alexander Knight & Co is a natural progression for Dan who has spent his entire career advising successful entrepreneurs in the SME market.

Like many of our clients, we are on a positive growth curve and since the start of the year we have picked up a range of new audit clients as well as specialist tax work from international firms trading in the UK.

In addition, we’re also moving into new, bigger and better office space in the heart of Hale village to accommodate future growth plans.

We are delighted to have appointed Dan to our growing team and we’re confident that our clients, who range from fast-growth businesses to seasoned entrepreneurs will be well served by his skills.

Dan McKeown, accounts senior at Alexander Knight & Co, says

I have a passion for advising entrepreneurs and I’m looking forward to working with my new colleagues and the fantastic array of clients we have here at Alexander Knight & Co.



EVENT: R&D tax credits seminar

In the first of a number of events we are hosting in 2018 we are sharing a platform with Hale-based solicitors Blackstone.

R&D tax credits is the subject under discussion and we’ll be sharing our experience with a range of business owners about how to make a successful claim and how valuable it can be.

We will be updating you with details of exactly when this will happen – and if you are on our mailing list, you’ll receive an invitation soon.

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Football’s coming home

It’s live. It’s loud. It’s (almost) here.

We have teamed up with our friends at Gresham Wealth Management to host an exclusive screening of the England v Belgium World Cup game on Thursday 28th June (7pm kick off).

If you are a football fan & would like to watch the likes of Henderson, Lallana, Gomez, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Alexander-Arnold & maybe Mignolet (hmmm… anyone spot a theme here?) in action at a private venue in Altrincham with a complimentary bar and snacks, then please e-mail alison@alexanderknightaccountants.co.uk to register your interest (quoting England/Belgium).

Official invitations & further information will then be e-mailed. Please be sure to RSVP to Alison as soon as you get it because places are strictly limited and it’s sure to be a popular fixture!

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Let us help you PR your business

manchester pr company logo

We have teamed up with our Manchester based PR agency, Sugar PR, to offer exclusive media profiles of your business in key media titles. We are always keen to add more value to our services and we think we’re the only accountants in Manchester who extend the skills of our public relations team as well as our tax, audit and management accountant services.

Recently, we helped our client Aquavision raise its profile by placing this brilliant article in the Manchester Evening News. We even made this cool video which helps them to tell their success story. Another client of ours launched a new, innovative product and we were only too pleased to lend a hand in getting it ‘out there’ to create some media buzz.

We’re proud of your success stories and we want to help you shout about it.

If you want to be featured in our next client profile and get some supportive PR and media profile – please let Murray know and we’ll take care of the rest.


Another tax break for investors

Investors’ Relief (‘IR’) is a relatively new tax relief available to investors who sell shares in unlisted trading companies.

This tax relief shares many similarities with Entrepreneurs’ Relief (‘ER’) – under both reliefs there is a 10% capital gains tax rate available (as opposed to 20% for higher rate taxpayers) & both have a lifetime limit of up to £10 million.

On the basis of the above then there doesn’t appear to be a need for IR!

However, we have recently advised on a number of transactions where the shareholder group included a number of investors who held less than 5% of the company  – making them ineligible for ER. This is where IR comes in.

Investors’ relief doesn’t require a minimum shareholding, & therefore a 10% capital gains tax relief is still possible, with the appropriate planning & advice.

IR applies to new ordinary shares issued on or after 17 March 2016. The relief requires that shares are held continuously for three years – in other words the first IR claim will be made in the 2019/20 tax year…..so now is the time to plan for this, given that it’s only a few months away.

There are a few other simple rules to follow on IR – the most notable one being that the investor should not be a paid employee of the investing company, although they can act as a director of the company.

IR may also provide a ‘next best alternative’ to the other excellent tax reliefs available: Enterprise Investment Scheme (‘EIS’) and Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (‘SEIS’).

Whilst EIS/SEIS may offer more tax benefits, there are several conditions which must be met in order to qualify, & as a result these options may be too cumbersome for some investors.

IR can also be treated as a top-up to ER i.e. having 2 x £10 million of gains by utilising both tax reliefs.

The team at Alexander Knight & Co is hugely experienced in advising on capital gains tax cases.

If you’d like a second opinion, or just some idea of which options could work for you then contact Murray Patt.


Time for a treat?

Gift cards tax break for directors

Want to be nominated for loveliest employer of the year? With the Trivial Benefits in Kind Exemption (we know…hardly a smooth trip off the tongue phrase) that emerged from the Finance Bill 2016, you can now treat your employees without them facing any tax hassles. So what kind of treats apply?

  • Gift vouchers (up to the value per head – see “small print” below)
  • Taking a group of employees out for a celebratory birthday meal
  • Flowers on the birth of a new baby
  • A summer garden party for employees

And it gets better……you can also treat yourself!

If you are the director of a Limited Company, then you, too can receive up to £300 per tax year -which will not be subject to tax or NI – in the form of gift vouchers from your favourite retail or on-line store. A director of multiple companies can take advantage of this opportunity for each company! But be quick, as great tax breaks like this often disappear just as quickly as they appear!

There are obviously a number of conditions that a trivial benefit for an employee has to satisfy in order for it to qualify for the new exemption & these are outlined below in some detail. However, the basic lowdown is that it has to be a freely given gift related to employee welfare & goodwill, not employment service or performance.

The small print…

  • No more than £50 per benefit (or average of £50 if the benefit is provided to a group of employees, & it is not possible to work out the exact cost for each individual). The £50 limit (fortunately) does not apply to company directors.
  • If the employee exceeds this amount then the whole lot becomes a benefit in kind & therefore the normal tax rules apply.
  • Cash or a cash voucher are not eligible but gift vouchers eg for a shop, are acceptable
  • There must be no entitlement to the benefit as part of the employee’s contract (including salary sacrifice schemes).
  • The benefit is not provided in recognition of a work related service or employment duty.

For additional information, tailored to your company, please contact a member of the Alexander Knight & Co team.

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If you are a footballer…or a business owner…you are an easy target for HMRC in 2018

Get insured against the costs of a tax investigation by HMRC

At least two Manchester United stars were reported to have been investigated by HMRC over alleged image rights tax evasion as the authorities opened new cases against top footballers in the Premier League.

As enquiries escalate amongst top flight footballers, tax investigations into the affairs of small business are also on the increase and we say it is because both groups are easy targets for HMRC.

Are you under investigation by HMRC?

Murray Patt, founder of Manchester-based accountants Alexander Knight & Co, said:

“It increasingly feels as if small and medium-sized businesses and Premier League footballers are two of the most targeted groups for tax investigations by HMRC.

“In the case of footballers, forming an image rights company to receive payments of up to one fifth of a player’s salary is actually a legitimate tax strategy approved by the authorities if set up appropriately.

“However, it’s logical for the authorities to launch investigations into high profile players who earn their wealth via multiple sources because it can be a rich source of extra income, particularly for players who are new to the Premier League from other countries where tax rules are different.

Get insurance for HMRC investigations 

“Let’s not forget that small and medium sized businesses are an even easier target. If you don’t take care as a small business owner you’re at risk of being pulled up over minor mistakes or small disparities, which could incur disproportionately heavy fines and penalties imposed by HMRC.

“It’s important to have insurance in place to cover the cost of an investigation if you are a small or medium sized business, since in most cases you won’t have the funds of a top-flight footballer. Don’t get caught offside by HMRC.”

Alexander Knight & Co will arrange insurance for you and your business against the costs of an expensive HMRC investigation. Don’t get caught offside by HMRC. Speak to our specialist tax team now on (0161) 980 8788.

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WATCH: A coffee and a chat with Aquavision

In the first of our series of ‘A coffee and a chat with…’ we went to sunny Stockport to see our client Aquavision which is gearing up for growth in 2018 thanks to a flow of international orders.

Aquavision, the Stockport-based manufacturer of waterproof televisions is gearing for growth as international orders boom.

Aquavision manufactures in-wall and waterproof televisions which are being snapped up by luxury hotels and high-net worth individuals.

The business is now the UK’s market leader in the niche, grew revenues by twenty per cent last year, and has developed a vast network of professional partners worldwide.

Alastair Benn started the business from humble beginnings in his own garage.

Soon after making the world’s first waterproof television, he won his first order for a hotel project, the business boomed and he quickly had his entire family assisting him in boxing and dispatching the televisions.

Now operating from 10,000 sq. ft. premises and employing twenty people, the business exports 50 per cent of its sales to almost every country in the world. Aquavision serves four core markets: bathrooms, custom integrations, maritime and hotels.

Products range from 16” to the massive 85” screens manufactured onsite by a team of specialists. The hardware and software in the televisions integrates with all major manufacturers and the business is successfully developing a partnership with top-end audio brand Bang & Olufsen.

Alastair Benn, Managing Director of Aquavision, said:

“Waterproof televisions are in high demand across the world which is reflected in the fact that fifty per cent of our orders come from overseas. I’m passionate about producing high quality, luxury televisions.

“From day one, we’ve never compromised on quality and this is why we remain the number one British manufacturer of in-wall and waterproof televisions. We work hard at maintaining our reputation and we’re proud of the work we’re doing here.”

“We’ve not been affected at all by the Brexit decision or the recent General Election. We’re still growing, we’ve got an international outlook to business and we’re certain our European and worldwide partners will continue to do business with us as long as we maintain our innovation and customer service.

“The exchange rate has been great for our export market and we see no reason why any business which strives for innovation and has a global outlook can’t succeed. We’re proud to be creating new jobs and we’re dedicated to being based in Greater Manchester as we target revenues of £5m within the next eighteen months.”

Alexander Knight & Co is very pleased to be advising the Stockport-based firm.

Aquavision is a wonderful example of a successful British family-owned entrepreneurial company pushing the boundaries of what is possible in a fast-moving industry. We’re pleased to be working with the management team, advising them on tax strategy, growth and the business plan for the UK and international markets.

Stockport is one of those areas of Greater Manchester that seems to have increasingly more entrepreneurs springing up, re-locating and seeking professional advisers.

Investment into the borough has been considerable and there is a business culture developing there largely as a result of the successful implantation of an economic development strategy supported by Stockport MBC.