This newsletter is released following the election date announcement and as the parties are releasing their manifestos, of which tax will be a major part.  It appears the Conservatives are using tax as their “hammer” to hit Labour.  The Institute for Fiscal Studies (“IFS”) based on its own forecasts, making the statement "Whichever of the main parties forms the next government, it will need to cut spending or raise taxes or it will miss its own fiscal targets."

It is not for us to call the election or predict tax changes that will be made, but we can comment on what we are seeing by way of announcements, what is happening in the market via the work we are undertaking, queries raised by clients, and from speaking to other firms.

  • With many believing tax rates will increase, and the current Government announcing in the March Budget the changes to the taxation of non-UK domiciles (which Labour have stated don’t go far enough and will totally abolish), we are seeing more individuals seeking advice on becoming non-UK tax resident and moving to low tax jurisdictions.  Although ultra-wealthy, non-UK domiciles are not a common client type at Harbour Key, other firms are reporting individuals leaving for countries that you would not immediately think as being low tax jurisdictions such as Italy, Spain, France and Malta that have special tax regimes/incentives designed to attract the very rich and very mobile. 
  • Wealthy landowners are apparently seeking advice on transferring their estates to their children,  driven by fears that a Labour government might tighten inheritance tax reliefs.  Agricultural property relief offers up to 100% relief from inheritance tax for those passing on farmland and farmhouses, while business property relief provides similar benefits to prevent businesses from being sold or split up upon the owner’s death. A recent report from IFS recommended abolishing certain tax reliefs, including agricultural and business exemptions, to raise £3bn for the economy. The report suggested capping these reliefs at £500,000 per person. 
  • We have had queries, and seen reports from private schools re the advance payment of school fees following Labour’s announcement to charge VAT. 
  • Both the main parties confirming there will be no rises in income tax, national insurance and VAT (other than Labour re school fees), this was reaffirmed in the first TV debate, but might we see changes to capital gains tax?  Labour has declined to rule out changes to capital gains tax, and the tax always comes under scrutiny at Budget time, due to the significant difference between income tax and capital gains tax rates.  Many business owners would probably like to sell their business before the election or next Budget, but although liquidity is coming back into the market, it is not back to the levels of a couple of years ago, although there are ways to fund transactions outside of the normal loan or private equity routes. 
  • Labour has made no secret that it is set to change “carried interest” tax rules, which is currently treated as a return on an investment subject to capital gains tax (28%), as opposed to an income (45% tax) for private equity investors.

All the major parties promise a crackdown on tax evasion and avoidance to pay for their manifesto pledges.  It has been notable in the first week of the election campaign that both Conservative and Labour have made sweeping statements that a crackdown on tax avoidance and more tax investigations will produce money to pay for election pledges. HMRC will have to use artificial intelligence to make a real impact, which it is already starting to be used to good effect.  Harbour Key has a recent example of three compliance checks issued to three clients on the same tax point, as part of the same sweep of data, what we are now calling AI farmed enquiries. More information can be found in our blog below!

By the date of our next newsletter, we will know the result of the election, and therefore the tax manifesto pledges made to be implemented.  The next Budget, which may be early (September/October), is likely to have some significant changes, so it will be only a relatively short period of time before we get the full picture.



Nearly 300,000 individuals filed their self-assessment return in the first week of the new tax year, as reported by HMRC. While 295,250 returns were filed between 6 and 12 April, 67,870 returns were filed on 6 April, the first day of the new tax year!  HMRC's director general for customer services, said: “Filing your self-assessment early means people can spend more time growing their business and doing the things they love, rather than worrying about their tax return.”

Although we may have different reasons, we are very much behind filing self-assessment returns at the earliest opportunity to prevent the January deadline rush, and welcome clients who supply their information early.  To help you either file your own tax return, or collating your information for Harbour Key, please refer to our December 2023 article which provides our 10 top tips (these are still relevant for 2023/24 as they were for 2022/23!) HERE!



Start-up and growth businesses are struggling to find investment despite the tax breaks available under SEIS & EIS.  In the 2023 tax year, there was a 15% fall in the value of funding being committed under EIS.  HMRC figures showed the number of companies raising funding through the scheme fell from 4,480 to 4,205 last year, raising just under £2 billion between them, down from a record £2.3 billion the previous year.  The decline is most likely a result of rising interest rates, and comparing 2023, to the record-breaking year of 2022.

The only regions to have seen an increase in the amount of EIS investment raised were the East of England, which is home to the Cambridge science and technology hubs, and Northern Ireland, which saw a 57% increase in the amount of investment raised.


For our local clients based in the Tewkesbury Borough Council area, grant funding of between £3,000 to £24,999 is available towards the capital costs of an eligible project.  The grant is available to micro and small rural businesses.  The applicant will need to provide at least 20% of the total, eligible, capital project costs.  More details can be found at HERE!


Further to our May newsletter, a reminder that employer returns need to be submitted by the 6 July for employee benefits (P11ds), and employment related securities/option scheme. More details about the importance of employment related securities, and their reporting can be found at the two following articles:

  1. The most important facts about Employment Related Securities
  2. Employment Related Securities.


Onvio is a secure communication hub enabling clients and Harbour Key to interact and share information in a secure setting, including engagement letters, annual accounts and self-assessment returns, and for clients to transfer confidential personal information. 

As part of using Onvio and familiarising oneself with its functionality, we would encourage all clients to set up a Client Centre account to get the maximum benefit from the systems, including being able to retrieve documents at a later date. (Think mortgage broker requesting sets of accounts).  We will be pushing clients to use the portal, as GDPR rules tighten.


  • Key tax dates for the period 1 May 2024 to 31 July 2024 can be found by clicking HERE! 

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 on 01452 713277