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Articles & Insights



16th October 2020

Financial due diligence – is it really necessary?

If you are considering making a business acquisition you will no doubt have considered the legal requirements in terms of negotiating a sale and purchase agreement and legal due diligence to ensure basic ownership issues are satisfied, but have you also considered the benefits of financial due diligence? Or the risks involved of not undertaking […]


7th October 2020

Q&A with Simon Johnson, HW Fisher Non-Executive Director

Senior business and charity leader Simon Johnson joined HW Fisher as part of our leadership team in early September. Simon brings a wealth of experience from both senior executive and non-executive positions including the Jewish Leadership Council and Rugby Football League. We sat down with Simon to hear his best advice for business from his extensive […]


24th September 2020

Can licence agreements in the gaming industry hold water?

Digital transformation in the gaming industry has only been accelerated by the coronavirus pandemic, with the global video game market now forecast to be worth $159 billion in 2020 – around four times box office revenues and almost three times music industry revenues. The potential for new revenue streams as a result of digitalisation in […]


24th September 2020

Untangling royalties in the gaming industry

Licensing and royalties in the gaming industry are complex, particularly with the accelerating trend towards digital gameplay and the rise of new platforms for distributing games to players. Our Forensics team unpack examples of the financial considerations involved in the gaming industry and shed light on the key facts of recent high-profile news events. Case […]


31st July 2020

Business Interruption Insurance – why businesses should follow the High Court case closely

The covid-19 pandemic has resulted in unprecedented financial challenges for businesses across the UK. For those in the hospitality and leisure industry, many have had to close their doors, on the advice of government, for several months and counting. The fate of many small businesses, particularly in the leisure industry, is now in the hands […]


30th July 2020

Eat Out to Help Out scheme is proving wildly unpopular

From August, The Eat Out to Help Out scheme will be introduced, however Russell Nathan, senior partner, explains why it might not be as popular as first thought: “The eat out to help out scheme was initially warmly received by the industry. However in practice, it’s proving to be widely unpopular among restaurateurs, independents in […]


30th July 2020

Making Tax Digital – false alarm or not?

We’ve had false alarms from HMRC before but this time it looks as if they are serious. Making Tax Digital for Income Tax Self-Assessment (MTD for ITSA) means that all self-employed people, small businesses and landlords (including sole traders) with annual turnover in excess of £10,000 will have to file income and expenses information every […]


29th July 2020

Disposals of UK residential property – New reporting regime

The reporting and payment of capital gains tax on disposals of UK residential property changed with effect from 6 April 2020. In practice, the change means that where a sale of a UK residential property results in a gain, this must be reported to HMRC within 30 days following the date of completion and the […]


20th July 2020

It’s time for businesses to rewrite the rulebook

If your business can’t wait until January for the retention bonus scheme, Simon Michaels, CEO of HW Fisher Business Solutions outlines what you can do in the short term to survive… Last week, the Chancellor announced a bonus for any furloughed staff that businesses retain. This is the latest measure to support businesses and bonuses […]


15th July 2020

Covid-19 – Time to buy or sell?

The Covid-19 pandemic has significantly affected corporate buy and sell activity worldwide, with the first quarter of 2020 cited as being down 25% on 2019 with a further decrease thereafter. We have seen a number of companies delay or abandon deals entirely due to concerns over financial uncertainty. Despite the initial impact of Covid-19, a […]


15th July 2020

Post-lockdown divorce – why you need an expert

The Covid-19 pandemic has been a difficult time for many people, with the monotony of working from home, the anxieties and frustrations of childcare and home schooling, plus sleepless nights caused by financial worries and concerns for our friends and family who we have not been able to visit. Unfortunately, along with all these problems, […]


30th June 2020

Managing a responsible recovery

2020 marked the beginning of what the UN called the decade of delivery, the 10 years where governments, institutions and individuals would work with intent in order to achieve the sustainable development goals (SDGs) the UN had set forth. Meaningful action had built momentum thanks to activists and, increasingly, investors. As we all know however, […]


1st June 2020

Authors’ tax trap – incorporations that go wrong

Our Authors & Journalists team advises writers on whether they would benefit by operating through a limited company. Care is needed as there can be complications and circumstances vary from one author to another.


4th March 2020

Authors and Their Loan Out Companies

Many authors channel their income through limited companies but they have to be operated correctly and it is usually best to seek professional advice. Sometimes the author will be better off not using a limited company. The main advantages are: The ability to shelter income from the ravages of higher rates of tax. Corporation tax […]


27th February 2020

Pre-nup or Post Traumatic Stress?

Just got engaged on Valentine’s Day? Along with the ring and the champagne there may be one other not so romantic thing you need to think about. Gone are the days when pre-nuptial agreements (or pre-nups) were just the domain of the rich and famous – more and more millennials are seeing the benefit of […]


23rd December 2019

How to avoid a last minute panic when filing your tax return

Ahead of the online self-assessment deadline, 31st January 2020, HW Fisher share their advice to make sure you file on time and correctly. Jamie Morrison, head of private client at HW Fisher explains: “More and more people are filing their tax returns online, especially given the government’s digital plans. The deadline is a Friday this […]


19th December 2019

Electric cars – support the environment and make significant tax savings

While tax incentives have always been on offer for companies to purchase electric, hybrid and low emission cars, recent changes announced by the Treasury have meant that there are now significant savings on offer for such purchases. We have put together the below guide on how to make the most of the tax advantages available […]


19th December 2019

Driving profit and purpose

Historically, there has been a divide between the individual activists drawing attention to the climate crisis and the investors who “pledge” to tackle it. As we enter what the UN has penned the “decade of delivery”, a bridge is starting to build between investors and activists. The participants involved in the climate change conversation have […]


13th November 2019

New Solicitors’ Account Rules – are you ready?

The new Solicitors’ Account Rules (SAR) come into effect in just over 10 days’ time, on 25 November 2019, and these will have to be applied from that date. Although the number of rules has been drastically cut down from 53 to 13, it is important for solicitor practices to understand how the new rules […]


3rd September 2019

Paying Tax on Prizes, Grants and Awards – Advice for Authors

In light of the Booker-prize shortlist this week, we put together some top advice for authors when it comes to tax on prizes, grants and awards. Below is some guidance on the rules that might apply – Educational grants In general, these are not taxable. Prizes and awards Any prize or award that is unsolicited […]


2nd September 2019

Thinking about selling your business? 5 questions you should ask your accountant

Here are our top tips if you are considering selling your business and what you can expect from the sales process. 1. Is selling the right option? First of all, consider whether a sale is the right path for you and your company to take. Commencing the sales process is a big commitment, so reflect […]


9th August 2019

Five tips on valuing your business

With the launch of the new series of Dragons’ Den we thought we’d tackle one of the key mistakes that so many of the entrepreneurs make – over valuing their business. Business valuation is not an easy task and involves many assumptions and variables, but to help you get started here are our 5 top […]


2nd May 2019

The Use of Holograms in Licensing

For the licensor, holograms help to protect brand integrity by distinguishing between approved products and counterfeits – acting as a form of quality control. Licensees are expected to purchase carefully designed holograms from a preferred supplier and incorporate into the packing or labelling of any branded item they produce. Simultaneously, holograms also allow licensors to […]


2nd May 2019

The need to knows when it comes to royalty auditing in the fashion industry

If you’re a big global brand like, for example, David Beckham, you will be able to sell millions of pounds worth of fashion items like sunglasses and aftershave all around the world. The only problem is that Beckham is a footballer and he can’t make cool looking shades or exquisite fragrances. This is where the […]


2nd April 2019

Tax FAQs for authors

Q: What are the most common mistakes on tax returns?

The most common error is to show income after the deduction of agent’s commission and VAT. You should always show your gross income, before deductions, and make a separate claim for commission and VAT costs.


2nd April 2019

Top tips for record-keeping on the road

1. If you’re using a car for business purposes, it’s important to keep a log of business miles. If this isn’t possible all the time, it’s a good idea to keep a record for a representative period of three or four typical months to make an overall calculation from.


1st April 2019

Can I be employed and self-employed at the same time?

I’m a journalist on a casual contract and an artist – should I remain on PAYE or become self-employed?


1st April 2019

Conflicts of interest: a timely reminder

Identifying and dealing correctly with a potential conflict of interest within your charity is fundamental to its continuing operation and fundraising ability. It is vital that charity trustees have a clear understanding of the basic definitions of conflicts of interest and why they matter, particularly at a time of declining public trust in charities.


1st April 2019

Forget the end of year tax rush, top tax-saving tips for investors in 2019/20

If you can start the new tax year off by saving you will have more flexibility to look around and ask yourself whether certain savings strategies are right for you, instead of just using up an allowance because it will be lost. You will be making a conscious decision to become a proactive investor rather than reacting to an impending deadline.


19th March 2019

How to prepare your business for Brexit

How well prepared for Brexit are you? Probably not very if you’re being honest with yourself. Last month the Federation of Small Business (FSB), warned confidence among small to medium sized enterprises (SME) was at its lowest level since 2011.


12th March 2019

Top tips on tax aspects of your business

In times of political and economic uncertainty, it is more important than ever for businesses to consider the scope for tax savings in order to help their cash-flow.


21st February 2019

Thinking about selling your business?

Here are our top tips if you’re considering selling your business and what you can expect from the sale process.


30th January 2019

Insolvencies on the rise

The official insolvency figures for the fourth quarter of 2018 were released on 28th January 2019. Brian Johnson, business recovery and insolvency partner here at HW Fisher comments.


7th January 2019

A miscellany of hints, tips and wrinkles for writers based in the UK

UK writers have to cope with income tax, national insurance, sometimes VAT, and record-keeping. This may seem overwhelming at times and professional advice can be invaluable. The key points of importance are below.


2nd January 2019

How to manage cash flow: 5 quick tips

If you’ve woken up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat worrying about how you are going to pay the wages for your loyal staff then read on.


2nd January 2019

Capital allowances: a guide for authors

Capital allowances let you claim tax relief on capital expenditure. Relief is available on items such as computers, office furniture and equipment, reference library, vehicles and other physical assets you may use in your professional activities.They represent HMRC’s version of depreciation, which cannot be claimed in any other way.


17th December 2018

Author expenses – a checklist

It’s important to know what expenses you can claim as an author; it may be more than you think, especially if you use your home as your office. The below is not an exhaustive list, but highlights areas where you may be able to make a claim.


29th November 2018

HMRC preferred creditor status renewal from 2020 a regressive move

Brian Johnson, business recovery and insolvency partner at HW Fisher assesses the impact of the Chancellor’s announcement that HMRC will become a preferred creditor in insolvency cases from 2020.


26th October 2018

Autumn Budget 2018 Predictions

Ahead of the Budget next week, two of our partners here at HW Fisher, Tim Walford-Fitzgerald and Toby Ryland consider what the Budget might hold.


11th August 2018

5 reasons why royalty audits are worth your time and money

Royalty audits are not a phenomenon that is too well known outside particular sectors of the economy but they are, in fact, hugely important to owners of valuable IP such as authors and their publishers, technology companies, fashion houses and even Premier League football clubs who increasingly rely on overseas merchandising.


12th June 2018

Making Tax Digital for VAT

The first stage of the Government’s Making Tax Digital (MTD) programme is being introduced in April 2019.


20th April 2018

Protecting your brand the supply-side way

If you or your company has a brand you have carefully built up over the years, the last thing you want is to lose control of how it’s used. And one of the key issues involved in maintaining the integrity and value of a brand in the marketplace is controlling the supply.


25th January 2018

Too good to be true: the alluring threat of pension scams

Pension fraud is on the rise. So what can you do to protect yourself and others from falling victim to a scammer?


22nd January 2018

Major customer insolvency: how to lessen the impact on your business

When a large company like Carillion becomes insolvent the impact on its supply chain can be devastating, and will leave many suppliers wondering what to do if a major customer becomes insolvent.


4th January 2018

How to fill out your self-assessment tax return online, claim expenses and the allowances you need to know about now

It’s nearly that time of year again: the dreaded self-assessment tax deadline falls in little over a month and more than 10 million of us need to file a return.


1st December 2017

Authors, literary agents and VAT: a quick guide

Establishing when to apply VAT to a transaction, and at what rate, can be a common area of confusion, particularly when international elements are involved.


14th November 2017

No respite for tax relief – where the Budget axe could fall

Chancellor Phillip Hammond takes to the Despatch Box in November to deliver his second Budget of 2017.


3rd November 2017

Interest rate rise will haunt Britain’s army of zombie firms

It’s the stuff of economic nightmares, but this week’s interest rate rise brought it a step closer to reality.


1st November 2017

Business confidence in Brexit negotiations evaporates – yet the first casualty is perception rather than profit

A clear majority of business leaders are worried – but increasingly fatalistic – about Brexit, according to our new analysis.


21st August 2017

Corporation tax: The race Britain can never win

Like it or not, Brexit is beginning and the effects are impacting businesses in the UK. But, while we are starting to see the fallout, many questions remain unanswered. And one of these questions involves corporation tax.


15th August 2017

Accounts and tax: A small business guide to managing your finances

You’ve decided to branch out on your own. Your business plan is solid and you’ve chosen how to trade. You’ve sorted your bank account, insurance is covered and you’ve registered with HMRC.


15th August 2017

Why tech firms shouldn’t panic about Brexit and the hung parliament

Ross Fabian, partner at accountancy firm HW Fisher, explains why we shouldn’t worry about Brexit – the UK tech industry is strong enough to stand on its own two feet.


15th June 2017

Thinking of setting up a financial business? What you need to know.

If you’re ready to go it alone in the financial services sector, you’ll understand the need for a comprehensive business plan backed up by incisive and diligent accounting. The ultimate goal is to pursue opportunity while balancing the demands of process and regulation. And wherever possible you’ll want to make the rules work for you.


28th May 2017

Outsourcing Vs Insourcing – when should your financial firm resource on demand?

Financial firms are outsourcing an increasing variety of tasks, from IT and fintech to lead generation and customer relationship management, back-office functions, and accounting.


17th May 2017

How the new IHT rules are confusing families

These days, you don’t have to be hugely wealthy to be affected by Inheritance Tax (IHT). House prices have risen steadily over the years, meaning that more and more families are finding themselves drawn into the net.


16th May 2017

Trusts and keeping wealth in the family

For the average person, the sums reported in the annual publication of the Sunday Times Rich List are beyond imagination.


11th May 2017

What small businesses want from Brexit

Now that Theresa May has triggered Article 50, the UK looks set to enter a lengthy period of debate and speculation as to what the future might hold for the economy and international trade.


12th April 2017

Reforms and red tape: How small charities could feel the burden of third sector governance changes

In the wake of some very public third sector scandals there have understandably been calls for reforms in the way charities operate and the information they publish.


11th April 2017

How will Brexit impact financial services firms?

Short answer: no one really knows. Brexit remains a moving feast and we won’t have all the answers for some time. But the financial sector is used to dealing with complexities – it’s all about asking the right questions in order to prepare for (and even profit from) any eventuality.


4th April 2017

Compliance calendar. The key financial regulation to prepare for now.

The City is no stranger to legislation. The financial sector is one of the most heavily regulated in the world. And it never stands still.


30th March 2017

Did you know? Tax and accounting rules and efficiencies for financial firms

Is your financial firm missing out on margin opportunities? Following our previous quick guide to meeting your tax obligations, we highlight some of the key tax and accounting considerations to prepare for and manage plus tips to maximise efficiencies.


23rd March 2017

New ‘benefits in kind’ rules hit generous businesses the hardest

From April 6th 2017 a host of tax-free employee benefits are to be restricted.


23rd March 2017

Spotlight on… Kate Lyall Grant

We speak to our client, publisher Kate Lyall Grant of Severn House Publishers.


17th March 2017

Quick guide to your financial firm’s tax obligations

Most people are aware of their general tax obligations. Especially those who work in financial services. But good intentions don’t file returns. Equally, conscientiousness alone can easily miss out on margin efficiencies.


10th March 2017

Blended families and Inheritance Tax – the issues

Thousands of UK households around the UK are now made up of blended families, often comprising children belonging to different partners, grown-up offspring, new babies, aunties, uncles and multiple sets of grandparents.


16th February 2017

Financial skills we should pass on to the next generation

It seems it’s never too early to start introducing children to the concept of money management, helping them develop good financial habits that will stand them in good stead for the rest of their lives. Although learning about money is now part of the National Curriculum for secondary schools in England, it isn’t specifically included […]


14th February 2017

Billions tied up in small business disputes

Disputes may be seen as an inevitable part of doing business, but many small firms are struggling as they don’t have the time or resources needed to deal with them effectively.


7th February 2017

The Apprenticeship Levy – what employers need to know

Over the last decade, huge strides have been made in reforming apprenticeships and making them fit for purpose. The government sees them as a vital tool in tackling the growing skills gap that has been increasingly apparent in many sectors of the economy for some time.


26th January 2017

Government help for exporters post-Brexit

With international trade firmly at the centre of the UK’s exit negotiations with the EU, the old slogan “export or die” is taking on renewed meaning and greater urgency.


16th January 2017

A best-practice guide for SMEs in 2017

For SMEs, this is the perfect time of the year to set some best-practice objectives that will help make 2017 prosperous and profitable.


12th January 2017

When the cheque isn’t in the post – how late payment affects UK businesses

As many small and medium-sized businesses know only too well, large companies can often take far longer than they should to pay them for goods or services supplied, causing continual cashflow headaches.


4th January 2017

Financial resolutions for a happy new year

It’s that time of the year again. The post-Christmas period can be a good opportunity to take stock of your finances and make some simple and achievable resolutions with a view to making them a reality in 2017.


16th December 2016

Buy-to-let landlords facing more taxing times

With house prices rising steadily over the last few years and interest rates remaining low, many investors opted to put their money into property and become buy-to-let landlords. The generous mortgage tax relief on offer made the proposition even more attractive.


15th December 2016

How Bletchley Park will help in the UK’s war against cyber crime

With worldwide cybercrime continuing to make the news headlines, and a recent spate of allegations levelled at countries like Russia and China, the government has pledged £1.9 billion over the next five years in a new cyber defence plan, called the National Cyber Security Strategy.


12th December 2016

The journey to a digital future

With so many of our daily tasks routinely conducted over the internet, it’s hardly surprising that statistics from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) show that nine out of every ten tax returns are now submitted online, and that for the 2015 tax year, only 11% of the 10.39 million tax returns filed were made in paper form.


1st December 2016

The Autumn Statement – Hammond’s plans for a ‘match fit’ economy ahead of Brexit

In what was to be his first and last Autumn Statement the Chancellor, Philip Hammond, began by striking an upbeat note, announcing that the UK’s economy will be the fastest-growing major economy in the world.


28th November 2016

Brexit: Where do we go from here?

The High Court ruling that MPs must give their go-ahead before Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty can be triggered has thrown an enormous spanner in the works.


24th November 2016

No mercy for non-doms: Another tax hit looms for those who own UK property through offshore structures

In August the Treasury confirmed that the UK inheritance tax (IHT) advantages enjoyed by non-UK domiciled owners of UK residential property will end, as planned, in April 2017.


24th November 2016

HMRC’s digital future – death of the tax return?

By 2020, the government plans to introduce a digital tax system for all UK taxpayers.


24th November 2016

Brexit may mean Brexit, but what will it mean for business?

The process of Brexit will be neither quick nor easy, with even the Chancellor warning that British businesses face a “rollercoaster.” Corporate tax partner Toby Ryland charts the potential ups and downs that lie ahead.


16th November 2016

America enters the Trump age

The announcement that Donald Trump would be taking up residence in the White House from January was met with loud gasps of disbelief from around the world, in a scenario reminiscent of the morning after the UK voted to leave the EU.


14th November 2016

Is UK broadband in need of a reboot?

At the Conservative Party Conference, Theresa May pledged her government to improve the state of the UK’s broadband remarking that “half of people living in rural areas, and so many small businesses can’t get a decent broadband connection”.


7th November 2016

UK skills shortage – how can the gap be filled?

In June, figures from the Office for National Statistics showed that unemployment had dropped to its lowest rate since 2005, and the employment rate was at a record high of 74.2%.


27th October 2016

Trump v Clinton – who’s best for the economy?

The US election is intriguing on many levels. On the one hand, you have Democrat Hillary Clinton, a long-serving and high-ranking politician with a working knowledge of US government administration, on the other, Republican Donald Trump, a larger-than-life billionaire businessman who has little or no political experience, but talks tough and makes extravagant promises.


19th October 2016

Is a universal basic income a step nearer?

In June, Switzerland became the first country to hold a referendum on the potential introduction of a universal basic income. Although it was defeated by 77 per cent of voters on this occasion, it has succeeded in starting a lively debate about the merits of such a proposal.


12th October 2016

Pensions: Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today

When will you reach your peak earning potential? Many people assume it will be towards the end of their careers, perhaps at some point in their 50s, giving them more time to plan their finances before they approach their retirement years.


4th October 2016

The ‘Bank of Mum and Dad’ – is it set to go overdrawn?

It’s a familiar scenario faced by many parents: their children want to spread their wings, move out of the family home and buy a property, but they can’t make the sums add up without help from that well-known and often-used financial institution, the ‘Bank of Mum and Dad’.


22nd September 2016

Could SMEs and start-ups be the key to post-Brexit success?

It’s long been acknowledged that small to medium-sized businesses (SMEs) are the engine room of the economy, employing more than half of all private sector workers and contributing 50 per cent of UK GDP. They have a combined turnover of £1.8 trillion and hire 60 per cent of all private sector employees.


15th September 2016

Are we being served? UK service industries bounce back

The Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), long regarded as a barometer of the health of various key sectors of the UK economy, has produced more good news this time about the state of the services sector.


5th September 2016

The Bribery Act – doing business a favour?

Before the passing of the Bribery Act 2010, offering prospects or clients lavish corporate hospitality ahead of an important deal or contract might not have raised too many corporate eyebrows in some quarters.


5th September 2016

Pension Funds: Mind the gap!

The recent demise of BHS and the issues surrounding the potential sale of Tata Steel UK both served to highlight the significance of pension liabilities for UK companies operating underfunded Defined Benefit pension schemes


26th August 2016

End credits roll for film partnership investors – or do they?

A good film has the power to transport the viewer to another place, with the spell only breaking when the end credits appear.


26th August 2016

Could Brexit trigger a tax bonanza for UK business?

The prospect of tax cuts – or at the very least, the freedom to cut taxes unfettered by EU rules – was one of the Brexit campaign’s trump cards.


26th August 2016

No mercy for non-doms: Another tax hit looms for those who own UK residential property through offshore structures

In the end, there was no eleventh hour reprieve. In August the Treasury confirmed that the UK Inheritance Tax (IHT) advantages enjoyed by non-UK domiciled owners of UK residential property will end, as planned, next April.


22nd August 2016

Rail fares derailed by inflation

The announcement of July’s inflation figure spells further bad news for rail commuters.


16th August 2016

Auto-enrolment: The tortoises and the hares

Auto-enrolment is arguably one of the most fundamental changes to UK working practices to be introduced in the last few decades.


28th July 2016

Brexit: The wait begins

When the result of the EU referendum was announced in the early hours of Friday 24th June it was undeniably a tremendous shock to many people, both here and abroad.


18th July 2016

The modern face of personal bankruptcy

Getting into debt was once viewed as a shameful state of affairs, with faintly Dickensian overtones of penury followed by the prospect of life in the workhouse.


14th July 2016

Auto-enrolment set to create a new cohort of younger savers

When it comes to seriously engaging with savings, it had been widely assumed that it was the older generation who were best at making provision for the future.