Tax & VAT Advisors & Accountants

Offices in Manchester & Liverpool
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Expertise for your tax affairs

Our team of tax experts understand the complexities, unforeseen risks and tax opportunities in a wide range of sectors and business transactions.

We take pride in our commercial awareness and provide a pragmatic approach to the challenges our clients face.

We have extensive experience of working with businesses of all sizes and complexities with different strategic objectives as well as key stakeholders with their own unique goals and circumstances.

Our professional, knowledgeable, and supportive team here at Williamson & Croft can advise you and your business on a range of opportunities and risks associated with your affairs. We will spend time with you to truly  understand your challenges and objectives, whilst incorporating commercial rationale to ensure our tax advice provides a robust solution.

We advise businesses and individuals on a wide range of tax issues. Give us a call today on 0161 399 0121 or email us at to learn more about our tax- services, and how we can protect your business’s revenue.

Our Tax Services

We offer a range of specialist tax-based services

Corporate & Business Tax

Ensuring your corporate affairs are structured correctly to ensure tax liabilities are managed and charged at the appropriate level, taking advantage of reliefs, exemptions and other opportunities and to maximise commercial opportunities and operational efficiency.  We regularly assist clients with R&D Tax Credits, incorporations, Capital Allowances, SSE opportunities, corporate losses and interest restrictions, creative taxes, partnership taxes, stamp taxes, anti-avoidance advisory, EIS and SEIS share issuances and transfer of ownership advice.


Whether you are planning to or are already trading or investing in the UK, becoming party to the complex UK corporate tax system is a minefield. We can navigate around the obligations, risks and opportunities which arise for international businesses. Likewise where UK companies wish to expand overseas we can advise on the tax impact in relation to their UK tax affairs. We assist clients with tax services during the incorporation and management of subsidiaries, branches or liaison offices as well as permanent establishments.

We also advise on the application of double taxation treaties, VAT, withholding tax on cross border transactions, assistance in the preparation of documentation, transfer pricing or profit fragmentation, and the application of the CFC regime.

Transaction & Restructuring Tax

Undertaking any transaction is an important business decision, and it is key that management and other stakeholders understand the tax implications of the transaction. Whether it is a financing deal, a merger, an acquisition, disposal, or restructuring, the tax cost and treatment is a key factor in order to make an informed decision. Our tax experts have assisted on transactions of all sizes from first time acquisitions through to assisting financial institutions.

Our tax services can support a number of areas:

  • Deal and consideration structuring.
  • Due diligence.
  • HMRC clearances or time to pay arrangements where necessary.
  • Heads of Terms and Share Purchase Agreement advice and drafting of warranties and indemnities.
  • Demergers.
  • Stamp duty and SDLT advice.
  • Exit tax reliefs such as substantial shareholding exemption or entrepreneurs relief.
  • Advice on tax relief for deal costs including VAT recovery.
  • Post-completion actions such as return submissions.

Employer Solutions

Attracting, motivating and retaining your staff is a key challenge for all businesses. Good staff retention will ensure your business retains its greatest asset – its people.  Also developing good incentives will keep your people engaged, incentivised and working towards your common goals. Our tax team can assist you with the creation and implementation of an effective solution to ensure reward packages and employment tax issues are managed.

We have implemented Enterprise Management Schemes, Company Share Option Plans, Employer Shareholder Status and Growth Share Schemes along with providing advice for remuneration package options, contract wording and assisting with compliance following the implementation of any schemes.

Real Estate & Construction Tax

We guide clients with buying, selling, developing, investing, and asset managing their property portfolios. Our tax services cover tax structuring, SDLT and VAT, capital allowances, the Construction Industry Scheme, equity and debt financing, as well as joint ventures and corporate streamlining. In addition we can assist with specific corporate tax issues that may also be relevant for real estate clients including corporate interest restrictions, cross border transactions, and substantial shareholding exemption relief.  Our tax experts can assist at all stages in the life cycle of any development or investment strategy ensuring all tax risks and opportunities are managed to maximise value.

Private Client

We understand that most individuals’ ultimate objectives are to maximise wealth and protection for generations to come, however the interaction of a number of taxes along with complex legislation may erode your wealth. We understand the need to fully appreciate your goals and intentions to ensure wealth is protected and maximised where possible, and we can support your overall strategy and input the tax considerations where needed before you make any financial decisions in order to achieve your objectives. Our advice will cover capital gains tax, exit planning, shareholder advice, inheritance tax advice, and trust planning.

Tax Investigations & Disputes

The potential outcome of an HMRC investigation or dispute can be costly with the level of penalties available to HMRC sometimes being greater than the tax due. Managing the risk and relationship with HMRC is paramount and we work closely with you and your business, your other advisers, and HMRC to ensure a suitable approach and outcome is reached and where possible, on your behalf, negotiate the terms for a settlement including the penalty position.


Ever changing VAT legislation and official guidance, case law and VAT systems create a complex environment wherever VAT is concerned. The VAT involved on international or property transactions can be significant so it is paramount that you apply the correct treatment. Williamson & Croft can provide the appropriate advice to ensure these risks are managed and VAT liabilities are accurately calculated to avoid errors and manage wider risks such as cash flow issues and identify efficient opportunities in relation to your business and its VAT position.

You Should Choose Williamson & Croft For Your Tax Needs

  • We are an award-winning firm of accountants and tax advisors offering the full range of services to clients within the UK and beyond it. This is highlighted by our 5* reviews, and the fact that we are highly recommended by so many of our clients and contacts.
  • We have clients from sectors as varied as property, construction, technology, professional services and digital, who respect our honest, open and pragmatic approach when it comes to providing guidance, advice and our range of services.
  • We make it our mission to support businesses with strategy, tax, reporting, and advice to help them achieve their goals, outperform their competition, reward their teams, and build robust businesses. We work tirelessly to achieve this, and take great pride in our approach.
  • We are easily found in Manchester and Liverpool and it would be great to arrange a meeting to discuss your business and for you to meet the team who will be assisting you.


Is it more tax efficient to hire a car through my business, or own one outright?

For leasing a car through your business, there are no capital allowances available as you don’t own the vehicle. You can claim the lease costs as an expense of the business and claim 50% of the VAT on the lease payments. As a company you don’t have to pay tax on privately owned cars, except the usual road tax. You don’t have to pay or report on ‘pool’ cars, as these are cars shared by employees for business purposes and normally kept on business premises. Benefits in kind are benefits which are not included within a salary or wages. They can include company cars and vans, but to remain tax-free they are strictly to be used for business purposes only and not for private use. The tax charge is lower for lower value cars, cars with lower CO² emissions and electric vehicles, although, this varies case by case. Contact us to complete a calculation for you.

What are the tax implications of selling a company?

When selling a company you may come across the following tax implications:

  • As you have made a capital gain when selling the company, you may need to pay Capital Gains Tax. This can be reduced by claiming Entrepreneurs’ Relief.
  • You may see a significant tax bill, losing more than half of the payment to paying tax. With careful planning you can take some control of this.
  • In terms of tax, what can be good for the seller is often bad for the buyer, and vice versa. The allocation of sales price to various components of the business is regularly an area which requires negotiation and compromises.
  • If one corporation is buying another, then there is an opportunity to structure the sale as a tax-free merger.
  • Planning well in advance of a sale can help to reduce the final tax bill. Whether it goes through a sale of assets or sale of shares it always pays to seek professional advice on the best way to navigate through the sale. Get in touch if you need advice on the sale of your business.

Would I qualify for R&D tax credits?

Research and Development (R&D) credits support companies in all sectors that work on innovative projects. It can be claimed by a wide range of companies that are looking to research and develop advancements in their field, and it can even be claimed on projects that end up being unsuccessful.

To benefit you from the incentives you must:

  • Be a limited company in the UK that is subject to corporation tax.
  • Have carried out qualifying research and development activities.
  • Have spent money on these projects.

You would also need to explain how the project:

  • Is looking for an advance in science and technology.
  • Is trying to overcome uncertainty, meaning your company or experts in the field cannot know already about the advance you hope to achieve.
  • Tried to overcome the uncertainty, which can be a simple explanation of the successes and failures during the project.
  • Show that a professional in the field couldn’t work this out without the tax credit.

For more information on R&D tax credits, please visit our dedicated page.

Is there a tax efficient way to offer employees a share in my company?

The Enterprise Management Incentive (EMI) is a tax-advantaged share option scheme designed for smaller companies. It gives employees the right to acquire shares in a company on set terms. When the options are granted or when buying the shares is exercised, there is no income tax to pay. On top of this, when the shares are sold the employee only pays 10% capital gains tax on the profit. Without EMI the employee could face paying up to 45% income tax. The EMI option also proves a good incentive for key employees to stay. Shares can make employees feel more appreciated and having shared ownership can help to align the interests of the company shareholders with that of the employees.

What is the current rate of corporation tax?

Since 1st April 2015 the single Corporation Tax rate is 19% (for all profits except ring fence profits). At Budget 2016, the government announced a reduction to the Corporation Tax main rate for the year beginning 1st April 2020, setting the rate to 17%, however this was cancelled in the March 2020 budget.

What can I claim capital allowances on?

Capital allowances can be claimed when assets are bought for use within the business, allowing you to deduct some or all of their value from your profits before you pay tax. Examples of capital allowances are machinery, business vehicles and equipment, which would fall under plant and machinery. Other examples of capital allowances include:

  • The renovation of premises in disadvantaged areas of the UK.
  • R&D tax credits.
  • Patents.
  • Extraction of minerals.
  • Structure and buildings.
  • Intellectual property.
  • Dredging.

Do I need to register for CIS?

The Construction Industry Scheme (CIS) is a mandatory witholding tax where either 20% or 30% is deducted from self-employed construction subcontractor’s payments by contractors, which are then paid directly to HM Revenue and Customs on their behalf. The deductions count as advance payments towards tax and National Insurance. Contractors must be registered, and although subcontractors don’t have to register, it’s advised that they do, because if they don’t, deductions are taken at a higher rate from their payments.

When do I need to register for VAT?

You must register for VAT if you are expecting your VAT taxable turnover to be more than £85,000 within the next 30-day period. Further, if your business has had a VAT taxable turnover of more than £85,000 over the last 12 months, you need to register for VAT too.

Proactive and responsive

"I’ve enjoyed working with the guys at Williamson & Croft. They’ve been really proactive in providing advice, responsive to my short deadlines and would be happy to recommend them."

Beech Holdings

Professional experts

"We were very impressed with the expertise and professionalism that Williamson & Croft provided to us during our recent group restructuring and we would highly recommend their services."

Telecom Group

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Williamson & Croft is a market leading accountancy, advisory and tax firm with particular specialisms in property, construction, retail, digital and creative, technology and professional services.

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