Welcome to Harbour Key’s August newsletter, with what continues to be a sunny summer, brightened up more with the Lioness win and the Commonwealth Games.

The team are taking their summer breaks, but we continue to be busy, despite the “noise” that we are heading for recession, transactions (business acquisition and sales) continue at a pace.  We recently supported a Midlands based recruitment business with a significant US-funded management buyout, enabling the founder to exit.  The business was one of Harbour Key’s first clients when the business was founded, and we had worked with the founder for ten years with his objective of an exit event.  Needless to say, he was very pleased with the result.

Compliance work (accounts and tax) still continues at pace despite summer season, with a further interest rate rise, lenders are continuing to stress test businesses earlier than normal and clients are seeking new mortgage deals before further rate increases.  Please note that if you are applying for a mortgage or other borrowing, the lenders are seeking up to date information.  If your year-end is 31 March, most lenders will now require 2022 year-end results before considering an application and, if we have not been provided the information or started the work, we are unlikely to be able to deliver on demand due to the needs of other clients who have already had their work booked in.


Team HK are recruiting for an accountant and an admin assistant.
Details can be found below.


We are also looking for administration support by way of an apprentice. 


We are always pleased to hear from potential team members who are seeking a new working environment and career development

Contact Helenor Philin the first instance.


Following on with our theme of providing our clients with advice and support in these testing times, this month we look at how your pension can help and support your business, in addition to being a tax efficient way to save for your retirement.  There is a risk in using your pension fund to support your business, in that if the business fails, any funding support that your pension has provided will be lost but  your pension can help realise the maximum value.  See our blog with some ideas how your pension can support you.

Previous articles to support your business in these testing times:

At the end of this newsletter there are also details of some Government funding support schemes that have been extended.



New UK sanctions regulations have come into force imposing the most rigorous restriction on doing business with Russia since the invasion of Ukraine on 24 February 2022.

The twelfth amendment to the Russia (Sanctions) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 aims to “close off revenue streams that the Russian government could leverage.

It is now a criminal offence, imprisonable by a maximum term of seven years, for a UK citizen or UK registered business knowingly to provide funds or economic resources directly or indirectly to any entity or individual “connected with” Russia, or to any entities controlled directly or indirectly by any such entities or individuals.

This may look obscure and many think unlikely to impact them, however we identified a client who was trading with a UK based company supplying it with stock, which was ultimately owned by a Russian parent.  Be on your guard.



Over the last few months, we have highlighted how HMRC have significantly changed their approach to a more aggressive, targeted range of activities.  This can now be confirmed, not just by our own view of what we are seeing in the market, but by a tax investigation fee service company which has seen the number of insurance claims to support tax enquiries increase by 60% as HMRC ramps up enquiry activity.  The tax areas the Company has seen an increase:

  • Furlough Claims (Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme), which is expected due to the level of reported fraud, and we have just seen HMRC win their first tribunal case on the Government support, the case being over a technical point.
  • VAT enquiries have been the main area for which the Company has seen clients submit claims.
  • Increase in corporation tax & income tax aspect enquiries.
  • The Company has also seen several dentists being investigated by HMRC’s counter avoidance team, which probably means HMRC have some “inside” information and why this group is being targeted.

HMRC has announced that it has 215 criminal prosecutions underway in respect of serious fraud.

HMRC’s latest annual report disclosed figures on the level of research and development (R&D) tax relief fraud. The overall estimate of the level of error and fraud was £469m, representing 4.9% of the estimated cost of the reliefs at £9.5bn, primarily from SME tax relief. Hence, as we have reported previously, the current halt in R&D repayment claims.  HMRC have recently announced some changes to the R&D regime in respect of making claims, including a pre-registration, which we will cover in our September newsletter.

Our best advice to clients, is that if you don’t have any cover yet, we highly recommend taking out tax investigation fee service, which covers your advisers’ fees in dealing with an enquiry, if that adviser completed the tax return. 



  • The Recovery Loan Scheme – The Recovery Loan scheme that replaced the CBILS loans and supports access to finance for UK businesses as they recover from the disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic, has been extended by two years.  The scheme which offers government-backed loans to small businesses was due to close but is now to be extended until August 2024. 
  • Help to Grow Digital Scheme – It has recently been announced that the Help to Grow Digital Scheme is to be expanded to businesses with fewer than five employees (previously you had to have five or more employees), as well as including a one-to one advice programme and additional software.  The scheme was launched in January 2022, providing discounts to small and medium-sized businesses looking to buy digital technologies and software. Businesses can get up to 50% off approved technology solutions, saving up to £5,000 in related costs.  
  • HMRC Late Payment Interest Rate - Following the increase in the Bank of England base rate to 1.75% at the end of June, HMRC has confirmed that it will raise interest rates on late tax bills.  Late payment interest rate increases to 4.25% from 23 August 2022. If you have made your 31 July payment on account, you should make payment asap, or arrange a payment plan with HMRC.
  • Trust Registrations - All UK trusts, apart from a few exceptions and some non-UK trusts in existence on or after 6 October 2020, have to register with HMRC by 1 September 2022, including trusts that have closed since that date.  More details can be found in our July newsletter.


  • 1 September 2022  Trust Registration deadline see July newsletter;
  • 5 October 2022 - Deadline for Self-Assessment registration to notify chargeability of Income Tax/Capital Gains Tax for 2021/22.

Should you wish to speak with us about a specific matter, or just to be a sounding board or for a chat, please do not hesitate to give us a call.

Please do not hesitate to give us a call us on 01452 713277