• All
  • About Us
  • Accounts
  • Audit
  • Brexit
  • Business Support
  • C+T Digital
  • Careers
  • Charitable Sector
  • Corporate Finance
  • Corporate Tax
  • Entrepreneurs and Angels
  • Financial Planning
  • Health + Wellbeing
  • Payroll
  • Pensions
  • Personal Tax
  • Property
  • Rural Business
  • Social Housing
  • VAT

Charity Commission recommends overhaul of UK charity tax system – Pt 3

In this blog series, Catriona Finnie, charity tax expert at Chiene + Tait outlines the key findings of the Charity Tax Commission report into the current charity tax system and outlines how the recommendations could impact charities in the future. In this third, and last part, of her series, Catriona reviews the other recommendations highlighted […]

Charity Commission recommends overhaul of UK charity tax system – Pt 2

In this blog series, Catriona Finnie, charity tax expert at Chiene + Tait outlines the key findings of the Charity Tax Commission report into the current charity tax system and outlines how the recommendations could impact charities in the future. In this second part of her series, Catriona outlines the proposed changes to VAT and […]

How (a background in) sport has helped me settle in at C+T

Playing sports has always played a huge role in my life, filling the majority of free time I have. I feel the experiences I have encountered through playing sport have allowed me to begin developing the skills necessary to be successful in my professional career. However, in order to develop my skills further, I needed […]

Charity Commission recommends overhaul of UK charity tax system

In this blog series, Catriona Finnie, charity tax expert at Chiene + Tait outlines the key findings of the Charity Tax Commission report into the current charity tax system and outlines how the recommendations could impact charities in the future. Blog 1 – Gift Aid and Business Rates Relief The Charity Tax Commission has published […]

Work experience with C+T – all the way from the US

As an American high school student, whose only experience with work so far has been on a construction site, I found myself filled with apprehension at the idea of spending a month working at an accountancy firm in Edinburgh. Although I’m British, I have lived almost my entire life in Lake Tahoe, a small mountain […]

New blog: my time working in the Entrepreneurial Tax Team

Mid-way through my third year at university, summer internships seemed to be on everyone’s mind. Most people I knew were talking about the roles that they had applied for and how important internships were for putting you in a good starting position post-university. Doing an internship seemed like a great idea, it would provide me […]

R&D tax relief: possible pitfalls and top tips

Research and Development (R&D) tax relief was initially introduced by the government in 2000 with the aim of encouraging greater spending on R&D and increasing investment in innovation. There are two schemes for claiming relief; the Small or Medium-sized Enterprise (“SME”) scheme and the Research and Development Expenditure Credits (“RDEC”) scheme. Relief can either reduce […]

Becoming a tax expert without a finance background

I joined the entrepreneurial tax team as a trainee around six weeks ago, after graduating with a degree in History. I thought it might be interesting to give the perspective of someone starting a career in tax without any kind of background in finance. I was initially nervous coming into this job. I hadn’t done […]

HMRC Clarify Import VAT Treatment for Distributors

Businesses who regularly import goods into the UK will be aware of the customs procedure that allows the “importer of record” of the goods to recover the import VAT charged once they have received the corresponding C79 “Import VAT Statement” from HM Revenue & Customs (“HMRC”). HMRC recently published Brief 2/19 “Import VAT deducted as […]

M&A transactions: 10 problems when you don’t get tax advice

Tax directly – and significantly – changes the price and return from M&A transactions, so it’s surprising that often it isn’t given earlier expert consideration. We often get called to fix a problem with a deal, but retrospective action can be too late. If you want a smooth no-surprises transaction, it’s best to get the […]

Open Banking heralds new dawn for customers

New banking regulations brought into force in 2018 may prove to be a turning point in the financial world. What does this mean and, for the digitally averse, is it a step too far? In this blog, Allan Davidson, Head of C+T Digital assesses the potential impact. January 13 2018 is not a memorable date […]

Raising the game for shoot standards

In this blog, Rory Kennedy Chiene + Tait Rural Estates Partner, reports on the C+T-hosted Scottish Game Fair debate that focused on how more UK game could enter the food chain. In days gone by top restaurants in London would compete to be the first to serve grouse taken in the annual opening day of […]

All hands to the pump at C+T Inverness

Recently I was offered the opportunity to work in C+T’s Inverness office for a few days to assist the team. This opportunity came about due to the considerable amount of work the Inverness team has had to carry out this quarter, and I wanted to help make sure that our high level of service was […]

When cash is running out, who will help the regulators to regulate?

In our day to day lives, most people make the assumption that various regulatory bodies exist to help protect our best wishes and therefore their presence is essential. OFGEM regulates the gas and electricity industry, FCA regulates the financial industry and Food Standards Agency protects public health in relation to food (a full list can […]

The top four misconceptions on R&D tax relief

There are several big misconceptions surrounding R&D tax relief – we come across them on a near-daily basis. Despite it being one of the most generous corporation tax breaks available, many people rule themselves out without looking into it in greater detail. But if you do look into it, you might be surprised at what […]

A blog from the dog at the Scottish Game Fair

Here Alison Lawton in our Personal Tax team gives a pup’s point of view of this year’s Scottish Game Fair, Scone. What does a gundog do on his/her day off? A visit to the Scottish Game Fair at Scone would fit the bill as a guest of pawfessional advisers “Chien + Tait”.  As the rest […]

VAT reverse charge on construction services

Update September 2019: the Construction Services Domestic Reverse Charge has been postponed until 2020. Iain Masterton, Chiene + Tait’s VAT Director, highlights a change to VAT for the construction industry – the VAT reverse charge. The following article outlines what the changes will mean. The UK Government recently announced a new measure designed to reduce […]

Non-Resident CGT regime continues to cause a headache for taxpayers (and HMRC!)

Stephen Baker in our Personal Tax team outlines that the lack of publicity for the Non-Resident Capital Gains Tax return has seen a huge rise in individuals falling foul of the filing requirement. Since 6 April 2015, non-resident individuals are liable to UK Capital Gains Tax on the disposal of UK residential property. Such disposals […]

Scottish Residential Property – Main Tax Issues to Consider for Overseas Buyers

Scotland remains an attractive place for the overseas buyer to purchase a residential property. For many, they will be looking for a property as an investment. However, other overseas buyers could be looking for a second home or a base to do business. The demand for residential properties to rent in Scotland remains strong with […]

My Week of Work Experience at C+T

Even though I have always been good at maths, I had never thought of being an accountant. I was told by my school to get a work experience placement to see what path I wanted to take in life. Last year I chose to work in my old primary school since I wanted to be […]

Offshore asset disclosure deadline looms for UK taxpayers

Long gone are the days of the secret Swiss (or other territory of choice) bank account. In an almost worldwide effort to crack down on cross-border tax evasion, tax authorities are increasingly sharing information on accounts and assets held in their respective countries. These sharing agreements are reaching an apparent crescendo in the form of […]

What research should you do before saying yes to a charity trustee role?

Following a report recently published in Third Force News highlighting that a survey of almost 700 smaller organisations has revealed that only 47% are confident that they will be financially sustainable in in 2023, it’s never been a more important time to recruit good charity trustees. However, before you take the leap into trustee-dom, what […]

Charity Printing: Interesting page-turner in VAT printing case

In 2014 HMRC ‘clarified’ its policy on the treatment of printing companies supplying and delivering mailings, to confirm that they regarded the entire service as a direct mailing/marketing service which would be subject to 20% VAT, rather than wholly or partly zero rated (as the supply of most printed matter products is not subject to […]

Understanding the tax treatment of Bitcoin

Cryptocurrencies are currently something that everyone is talking about. In this blog, Richard Clarke in the Personal Tax team looks at the tax treatment of virtual currency Bitcoin. What is Bitcoin? For many, cryptocurrencies are simply a volatile bubble that will burst in the next few years but for others, it is the currency of […]

Construction Firms Missing Out on R&D Tax Relief

Construction firms are missing out on millions in available tax incentives. A recent HMRC study showed that there has been a lower-than-expected take up of Research & Development Tax Relief (R&D) in the sector. R&D tax relief (further info can be found here) is one of the most generous corporation tax breaks available, designed to […]

News Corp v HMRC

In this blog, VAT Director Iain Masterton looks at the history of the tax treatment of newspapers and books and how VAT legislation hasn’t moved with the times. A recent VAT case has highlighted how VAT legislation drafted in the 1970s and 1990s has not easily translated into the modern age. VAT zero rating is […]

National Living Wage and National Minimum Wage Rates 2018

From 1 April 2018, the National Living Wage will increase to £7.83 per hour. The National Minimum Wage will range from £3.70 to £7.38 per hour, depending on age and whether or not the person employed is an apprentice. National Living Wage Announced in the 2015 Budget, the National Living Wage applies to everyone aged […]

How Brexit will impact UK importers

The UK leaving the European Union could leave those business who acquire goods from the EU with a potential cashflow burden. In this blog, VAT Director Iain Masterton looks at how Brexit will affect those businesses and what these businesses might want to consider in anticipation of these changes. The UK is now just a […]

Understanding Investment

In this blog, Kirsty in the Chiene + Tait Entrepreneurial Tax Team outlines the different types of investment available to entrepreneurs and how to access funds. What is investment? Investment is a two-way funding street – an investor will fund a business idea in order to help an entrepreneur on their journey in the hope […]

Are you missing out on Research & Development Tax Relief?

In this blog, David in the Chiene + Tait Entrepreneurial Tax Team highlights Research & Development Tax Relief and asks – are you missing out? Scottish companies received over £165 million in Research & Development (R&D) tax credits last year. Yet a recent HMRC study showed a number of industries are still failing to claim […]

Life as an apprentice at C+T

As my time at High School came to an end, I realised that like many others in my situation, I was unsure what to do. I pondered if I should get a job or go to college for a year, I chose the latter. I enrolled at Edinburgh College to study for a HNC in […]

Interest rate rises loom over pension transfer values

Kirsty Lister, Financial Planning Associate at Chiene + Tait Financial Planning, explores the possible impact of interest rate rises on pension transfer values The transfer of Defined Benefit (DB) pensions into Defined Contribution (DC) schemes continues to offer a financially attractive option for many individuals but how long will this last? Since the introduction of […]

2018: scrapping the stigma surrounding mental health

Mental health – we all have it – so why is it that we are so scared to talk about it? As one of Chiene + Tait’s trained mental health first aider’s (SMHFA), I am part of an initiative to support everyone within the firm to feel safe and comfortable discussing their mental health, whether […]

Creative Scotland funding announcement and the importance of financial planning

Creative Scotland recently announced the recipients of its ‘Regular Funding’ for the period 2018-2021. The body distributes government and National Lottery funds to the arts sector in Scotland. Euan Morrison, Chiene + Tait’s Head of Charities, comments: “There has been a degree of controversy surrounding these decisions. A number of longstanding recipients of funds from […]

Dave Roberts appears in Scottish Housing News – RSLs need to adopt new CIPFA financial code

Our social housing specialist Dave Robert appears in the current edition of Scottish Housing News talking about the new Treasury Management code due to be published shortly by CIPFA, the reasons for the changes, what the key changes are likely to be and what RSLs need to do to ensure they comply. To read the […]

Who’d be a charity trustee?

Rory Kennedy, our Rural Estates Partner, has been a charity trustee for three different charities therefore has a wealth of charity experience, and has worked with plenty more. Here he offers his thoughts on the benefits – and drawbacks – of being a trustee. I’ve had various roles (including trustee, chair, vice chair, and member […]

Turn Blue Monday into Blue-Sky Monday!

HR Manager, Fiona Galletly advises how to turn today from Blue Monday into Blue-Sky Monday! Today is apparently Blue Monday! This is a term which was coined by a lecturer at Cardiff University to describe today, as the day, statistically, that we are most likely to suffer from feeling the blues. What this can translate […]

HMRC’s behind you (if you are planning to claim inheritance tax reliefs)!

Paul Houston in our Personal and Business Tax Department reviews the long-awaited HMRC commissioned research into whether Inheritance Tax is being abused. Inheritance tax (IHT) is an important source of revenue for the Treasury, with total income for the 2016/2017 tax year reaching close to £5bn*. Faced with the prospect of this golden goose laying […]

The art of corporate finance negotiation (Part 5)

This is the fifth and final blog of the series that our Partner and Head of Corporate Finance, Paul Mason, has written, based on his experience of negotiating deals successfully over many years. Part 1 (Every conversation is part of the negotiation) can be found here. Part 2 (Negotiate the ‘Heads’) can be found here. […]

The art of corporate finance negotiation (Part 4)

This is the fourth blog in a series of 5 that our Partner and Head of Corporate Finance, Paul Mason, has written, based on his experience of negotiating deals successfully over many years. Part 1 (Every conversation is part of the negotiation) can be found here. Part 2 (Negotiate the ‘Heads’) can be found here. […]

The art of corporate finance negotiation (Part 3)

This is the third blog in a series of 5 that our Partner and Head of Corporate Finance, Paul Mason, has written, based on his experience of negotiating deals successfully over many years. Part 1 (Every conversation is part of the negotiation) can be found here. Part 2 (Negotiate the ‘Heads’) can be found here. […]

Lessons from a digital project

We learnt a great deal from our decision last year to create a new website. I’ve worked on a few websites in my time – editing, writing, posting, structuring, taking client instruction etc – but this was the first time I’d been on the other side of the brief. I thought I’d share some useful […]

The art of corporate finance negotiation (Part 2)

This is the second blog in a series of 5 that our Partner and Head of Corporate Finance, Paul Mason, has written, based on his experience of negotiating deals successfully over many years. Part 1 (Every conversation is part of the negotiation) can be found here. Negotiate the ‘Heads’ (Part 2) Irrespective of how amicable […]

The art of corporate finance negotiation (Part 1)

Turning a blank canvas into a masterpiece (Part 1) This is the first blog in a series of 5 that our Partner and Head of Corporate Finance, Paul Mason, has written, based on his experience of negotiating deals successfully over many years. As corporate financiers, we advise companies, owners and directors on acquisitions and disposals […]

Airbnb and UK Tax

Summer has now passed, but it’s still difficult to walk through the centre of Edinburgh without encountering a large number of tourists.  Edinburgh is well served by hotels and guesthouses, but according to recent figures*, an increasing number of tourists are staying in properties made available for letting by local residents.  The Airbnb sector is […]

The Trustees’ Report: tips and key points when drafting, part two

My first blog on this subject covered general pointers on the drafting of the annual Trustees’ Report for the statutory financial statements. For this second instalment, I will go into some of the specific requirements of the Financial Review section of the Trustees’ Report for charities with more than £500,000 of income that are often […]

“Millennials can be charity trustees too”, says a young trustee

This blog was written by Angus Hannah, a CA Trainee and trustee. Hi Guys, There is an issue bubbling away, affecting society in ways that most of us young ‘uns either don’t know about, care about, or feel helpless to change: a bit like Brexit. The issue is that, as shown by Charity Commission research, […]

The Trustees’ Report: tips and key points when drafting, part one

In my experience of producing or auditing annual accounts for charities, it is not unusual for the trustees’ report or directors’ report to be left to the end of the process. Often the mere mention of the report as an outstanding item can elicit a sigh and a level of enthusiasm usually deployed during dental […]

Shooting Rates Update

The Scottish Government’s flagship Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2016 reintroduced rates on shooting land, with amounts payable from 6th April 2017. Curiously, this date was upheld by politicians, even once it had passed – with the government having no clarity over how it was going to implement this new tax. As such, we have seen […]

The Bond Between Staff – The Best Way for a Business to Succeed?

I think anyone would hopefully agree that working in a thoroughly sociable firm is definitely not a challenge. At Chiene + Tait we are lucky to have so many opportunities outside of the office to find out more about our colleagues in a social environment to help build bonds, which ultimately benefits our clients – […]

Ethical investment – the theory and the practice

We recently hosted two ethical investment seminars for charities – one in Edinburgh, and one in Inverness. The speakers were Julie Hutchison and Gair Brisbane, both charity specialists at Standard Life Wealth who work with charities on investments. What is ethical investment? Ethical investment relates to the consideration of the type of investments that charities […]

My role working on reception: behind the scenes

Working on the reception desk at Chiene + Tait has proved rewarding for me for a number of reasons, and has allowed me the opportunity to meet and befriend many people. I have always considered the role of a receptionist to be an important one and firmly believe the moment a visitor enters the office […]

Fish, pig and ambulances. A whale of a time!

As an intern, I was perplexed when I was told I’d be attending a fishing competition during my first week with the Chiene + Tait Marketing team. Fishing, at an accountancy firm? As I started to reel in more information, this unusual event started to appear far more genius than bizarre. Top to toe in […]

C+T’s back office experts: ‘like a team of drummers with a hundred drum kits’*

One of the challenges about being a member of Chiene + Tait’s Business Support Department is explaining, succinctly, exactly what we do. That’s because we do a bit of everything. There aren’t many tasks we haven’t seen or experienced, or requests that we can’t accommodate – even if it’s just to refer to the right […]

Grants v R&D tax credits – How to have your cake and eat it too!

In this blog David Philp in our Entrepreneurial Tax Team highlights how receiving grants can restrict a company’s ability to claim other tax reliefs such as R&D tax credits.   Grants form a vital part in the startup lifecycle, providing critical financial support to innovative companies. They give companies cash at a time when they […]

Political Challenge of BPRA-style Incentives

A UK election is looming. While the outcome could well have repercussions on Scotland’s future constitutional direction, the Westminster Government has a decreasing amount of direct influence over day to day policy matters north of the Border. Tax reliefs like the recently ended Business Premises Renovation Allowances (BPRAs) scheme, designed to enhance development and regeneration, […]

The Importance of Communication with your Adviser (part 2)

In the first part of this blog, I looked at some examples of when a client/ adviser relationship goes wrong, due to a breakdown in communication.  I noted that “The role of an adviser is to be proactive and to help structure the affairs of their client properly and as efficiently as possible” and focused […]

Brexit Opportunity to Strengthen Entrepreneur and Investor Tax Reliefs

EIS is an extraordinarily generous tax relief, designed to incentivise high net worth individuals to invest in companies. There are many examples of companies that have used EIS effectively and catapulted their status from ‘struggling’ to ‘high-growth’, deploying funds on the development of intellectual property, sales & marketing and employing additional staff. C+T has supported […]

The Importance of Communication with Your Adviser (part 1)

Professionals in the legal, accounting, financial and many other industries always say that you should listen to them, or consult them before you make any decisions. But they would say that, wouldn’t they? That’s how they make their money.  The more time you spend talking with them and listening to them, the higher the fees […]

Disbursement: are landlords and their managers missing a VAT trick?

Many residential landlords use property managers to manage their properties, which can remove a great deal of administrative stress and burden for a small cost. But many may wish to check that their arrangements with managing agents are VAT efficient, as they may be paying too much VAT: disbursement could be a better way to […]

Mortgage Interest Relief for Residential Landlords

Measures announced in the April 2015 Budget which impact on residential landlords took effect from 6 April 2017.  Previously, relief for finance costs, primarily mortgage interest, was deducted in full from property income to arrive at the level of taxable rental profit. Under the new rules, a basic rate reduction, equal to 20% of the […]

Giving your bonus to charity – the tax benefits of philanthropy

The philanthropy of high profile sporting and business people often hits the press, most recently with Real Madrid superstar Cristiano Ronaldo donating his Champions League win bonus to charity.  Now hailed as “the most charitable athlete in the world”, Ronaldo’s donation of £456,000 is undoubtedly philanthropic, but pales in comparison to the annual earnings of […]

7 Tips on Writing a Business Plan with Impact

In my capacity as a Business Support Manager at Chiene + Tait LLP, we regularly review business plans from clients in order that they can leverage bank loans or independent funding. Over the years, there are a couple of key things that I’ve learnt that can help a business plan stand out against its competitors. […]

It Pays to be Nice

“Nice” is a funny word. Use it in a business context and it feels as if you are damning with faint praise. A sort of trite, pseudo-compliment which says more because it is used in place of a “proper” adjective with guts. But it shouldn’t be like this.  In so many (if not all) aspects of […]

Converting a building to capitalise on ‘holiday staycations’? Read our VAT advice first!

Help for Furnished Holiday Let (FHL) owners with how to avoid an unexpected VAT bill. With the pound in our pockets stretching less than it previously did against other currencies, many families are looking closer to home for their much-needed breaks. This has led to diversification in the UK holiday accommodation market with holiday lettings […]

Theatre Tax Relief is waiting in the wings!

With the festive period now upon us, bringing lots of pantos, musicals and plays, it seems like a good time to reflect on Theatre Tax Relief (TTR). Having acted in theatre productions in the past, I’m aware of what’s involved in staging a good quality production to a paying audience. Production costs are a significant […]

The Winds of Change: Brexit for the Rural Sector

The rural sector was a key battleground for the referendum debate. The NFU and NFUS came out in support of Remain, while polls indicated UK farmers were largely in support of Brexit. We need to be mindful of pre-referendum hyperbole and post-referendum hysteria. The most likely assumption is the continuation of free trade, despite the […]

How to play the pension re-enrolment roundabout

As part of your ongoing auto enrolment duties, you are responsible for automatically re-enrolling all eligible job holders who are not active pension members back into your organisation’s pension scheme every three years following your initial auto enrolment staging date. This is known as statutory pension auto re-enrolment (sometimes named “cyclical re-enrolment”). Planning ahead for […]

Would rewilding work in Scotland?

As part of the annual Scottish Game Fair earlier this month, I was delighted to chair a discussion, involving representatives from both sides of the divide, on the highly controversial subject of rewilding in rural Scotland. For the uninitiated, rewilding is the act of restoring areas of land to their natural uncultivated state, which often includes […]

From Lake Tahoe to Lake of Menteith

When I first found out that I was going to be doing a month of work experience at Chiene + Tait in Edinburgh I had two very conflicting feelings: firstly, wow, what a fantastic experience it would be to work in Edinburgh for a month! On the other hand, after a hard Junior year in […]

Sport and Business: get your head in the game

Preparing for, and taking part in, sporting events can be much like planning for a business meeting or running your business. Both involve building a good team and having a strong network around you, setting goals and targets, being creative and most importantly being passionate about what you do. Six key things to remember are: […]

Murky waters for VAT treatment of charitable buildings

An ongoing charity VAT case could have important implications regarding recent and future capital projects. The case of Longridge on the Thames [2014] UKUT 504 is currently with the Court of Appeal and we’re awaiting the (imminent) ruling. In the current economic climate charities are feeling the pinch and funds are being stretched, particularly when […]

Temp agency case muddies the VAT waters

Organisations using employment agencies to source their temporary workers will have to continue to pay VAT on agency charges, a recent VAT Tribunal found. The case of ‘Adecco’ found that VAT remains payable on both the value of the wages and the agency’s commission. The Tribunal found that, as there was no contract between the […]

DrawnTo…Being a female Business Angel

By Jackie Forbes; originally posted on LinkedIn Pulse. Here is a subject women don’t often discuss so let’s begin with a startling statistic. Did you know that out of regular investors in the UK, current estimates are that only 5% are women? This is at a time when we see women generating more wealth than […]