The company was set up in June 2015 to provide a consultancy service to clients covering all areas related to Income and Corporation Taxes. A few of the more specialist services offered are considered in more detail below, but if there is anything tax related you need advice on a quick call or email is advised. The initial consultation is free and carries no obligation.
Our lead consultant is Mark Doodney. Mark spent 28 years working for HM Revenue and Customs and was Officer in Charge of the Barnstaple office at the time of its closure in May 2015. He completed the HMRC full technical training course, which is the highest level of technical training available within HMRC, and has worked in a variety of roles with a range of business sectors ranging from sole traders to large corporates.
As well as undertaking work for private clients, the company provides consultancy services to Croner Taxwise (formerly CCH), the Stoke based Capital Allowance Review Service and the Belfast based R&D claim company Momentum.
Examples of what we can provide
Mark worked as a Capital Allowances consultant for HMRC Head Office for several years until prior to leaving HMRC, so is ideally placed to undertake reviews to ensure that all expenditure on assets qualifying for capital allowances, including historic embedded assets, has been claimed.
If you are buying or selling commercial property in any capacity other than that of property developer, rule changes phased in since April 2012 make it particularly important that specialist advice is sought prior to purchase or sale to ensure that the entitlement to claim capital allowances isn’t permanently lost.
In connection with this area we provide the following services:
- Dealing with HMRC enquiries, either directly or through engagement as a specialist working with your regular accountant.
- Undertaking reviews of Capital Allowance claim records to ensure that all allowances due on qualifying assets have been claimed, to include preparing and submitting additional claims as required.
- Provide assistance with commercial property transactions to ensure that the recent changes in legislation are correctly implemented to make sure that allowances are not lost.
Mark has extensive experience of HMRC enquiry work having undertaken enquiries ranging from in depth reviews of the whole of the business operation (known as ‘full enquiries’ within HMRC) to technical enquiries focussing on certain areas only (‘aspect enquiries’).
In connection with this area we provide the following:
- Working with you and HMRC to bring enquiries to an early resolution through the addressing of enquiry risks.
- Reviewing the use of HMRC formal enquiry powers to ensure that their use is relevant, legally valid and within HMRC guidelines, challenging where appropriate.
- Negotiating settlements with HMRC where necessary, ensuring that your position is protected as far as possible.
- Undertaking penalty negotiations to ensure that any tax geared penalties sought are commensurate with omissions and errors established and raised on a legislatively valid basis.
- Should an enquiry settlement basis prove impossible to negotiate, representing you through the use of formal review requests and other resolution routes. Where this ultimately fails we can advise, prepare for and represent you at First/Upper Tier Tribunal hearings.
Marketed tax mitigation products
Whilst we don’t offer or recommend the use of marketed structures or products that may fall within the broad definition of ‘tax avoidance’, we have experience of dealing with this area, particularly as regards the use of Employee Benefit Trusts or similar trust structures.
If you require advice or support regarding historic arrangements, particularly in light of the more aggressive HMRC approach to this area and upcoming legislative changes in the area of disguised remuneration, please get in touch.
Research and Development Tax Reliefs (RDTR)
This is a relief that is available to Limited Companies that undertake work that falls within the definition of Research and Development (R&D). Our company has been involved in preparing RDTR claims and also defending claims prepared by others that have been subjected to HMRC enquiry.
There are two tax relief schemes, one for Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) and one for large companies (Research and Development Expenditure Credit or RDEC).
If a company has less than 500 employees, a turnover of less than €100 million and/or a net balance sheet value of less than €86 million and less than 25% of its issued share capital held by a large company it will be within the SME scheme.
At its most basic, R&D needs to pass the following two key ‘gateway’ tests:
- A project seeks an advance in science and technology
- This takes place in the presence of scientific or technical uncertainty
Anything routine, or problems where a publicly available answer exists or that a competent professional can readily deduce will not be R&D- the advance must be a general one and not just advancing the company’s knowledge. A competent professional is expected to be experienced and knowledgeable in the field in which he works, and that knowledge would be expected to be up to date.
To provide an example of the sort of projects R&D covers, the definition below is taken directly from the appropriate definition documents:
"A project which seeks to, for example:
- extend overall knowledge or capability in a field of science or technology; or
- create a process, material, device, product or service which incorporates or represents an increase in overall knowledge or capability in a field of science or technology; or
- make an appreciable improvement to an existing process, material, device, product or service through scientific or technological changes; or
- use science or technology to duplicate the effect of an existing process, material, device, product or service in a new or appreciably improved way (e.g. a product that has exactly the same performance characteristics as existing models, but is built in a fundamentally different manner), will therefore be R&D."
This definition can extend to cover work in areas such as the ‘first build’ versions of software for use by the company or licensing to others (but not the creation of websites).
A project doesn’t have to succeed to be R&D- if a project meets the R&D criteria, even if it fails or is abandoned it would still qualify for R&D relief.
Qualifying expenditure deriving from a qualifying R&D project within the SME scheme will attract an enhanced credit of a further 130%, and the total relief can be used against company taxable profits for the year or to create or enhance a trading loss. This loss can be carried forward to set against later profits of the company or surrendered for a repayable tax credit.
Having tried to work with two accountants/tax specialists previously and failing, I came across Mark Doodney.
When I spoke with him, I knew he was in another league to the others I had experienced beforehand.
After the first meeting, I was confident he was the right person for this complex case I found myself in, from an accountant of 20 years, fraudulent behaviour.
Mark is a clear communicator, direct, strategic, professional yet always available to discuss any concerns.
His 28 years of working for HMRC gives him a massive head start with knowing the machinery of HMRC and how to approach them and what will work in legitimate negotiation.
I couldn’t have asked for more dogged diligence from a professional and I was stunned at the results he achieved, squashing a large liability and reducing penalties to a minimum by combing through every detail and applying his extensive and intricate tax knowledge.
As far as I am concerned, Mark is a pure genius!
I would not hesitate to recommend him for anyone stressing over a tax investigation. If you are looking for best outcome and real value, look no further.
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Doodney Tax Consulting Ltd
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