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The Oaktree Blog

The latest blogs by Chris Macleod.

Research and Development Tax Credits – it’s Crystal Clear

Research & Development Tax Credits are a government incentive aimed at helping UK businesses by encouraging and rewarding innovation.

Did you know our country spends roughly half as much on Research and Development (R+D) as Germany does? One of the reasons for this is that historically other countries have offered much better tax incentives for investment in R&D. The good news for businesses in the UK is that has changed, but many companies still don’t realise they are eligible for this tax incentive.

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Horse and fish trading

The Brexit protest on the Thames reminded me of the final episode of Blackadder. General Melchett went into the World War One trench and said “What we need at this stage of the war is a futile gesture.” This gesture turns out to be ordering Blackadder’s platoon to mount a frontal assault on an unassailable German position, with the inevitable result seen in numerous such futile gestures on the Western Front.

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Are HMRC's fines legal?

How HMRC’s penalty system for filing tax returns is implemented has come under fire in a recent Tax Tribunal case.  For those of you who are lucky enough not to know, at midnight on deadline day the computer spits out penalty notices for everyone who has missed the deadline.  Several billion pounds is collected each year in this way.

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Reap the Brexit harvest!

At the time of the EU vote I made one of the biggest calls of my financial life.  I moved a six-figure sum out of UK-based companies and into ones with foreign currency earnings, leaving myself less exposed to the UK economy than at any time in my life.

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Who will do some heavy lifting?

When the financial crisis hit big in 2008 and 2009 there were some painful adjustments in the world economy. But despite the pain for Western economies most of the hard work was not done by Governments at all. For the most part spending and borrowing carried on at high levels, and the really hard work was done by central banks.

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How to build houses

Some thanks are due the Chancellor.  The 22 November budget was not anything like as terrible as my worst fears.  No silly fiddly measures which create lots of silly red tape for small businesses and individual taxpayers, whilst producing minimal benefits to the economy.

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The No Win Budget

“Spreadsheet Phil” Hammond, the Chancellor, has in my view an unenviable task in his 22 November budget. The sort of budget measures needed by the economy are likely to be politically unacceptable, especially to the Brexiteer members of the Cabinet.

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Going up!

“Don’t fight the Fed!” is one of the most useful unwritten rules of investment.  When the US Federal Reserve is in a sustained period of interest rate rises, global asset prices struggle and often fall.  The Fed raised its prime rate in June and the Governor of the Bank of England made it clear we are likely to follow suit sometime in 2017.

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A plan for the post-Brexit mess

The UK has voted to leave the EU.  This is a game-changer and in what follows I aim to give you guidance on how to protect yourself from the impact.

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Why tax insurance can be great value!

This blog post is about a tax enquiry where HMRC wasted taxpayers' funds in a case they were never going to win.

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What is a proactive accountant?

Most accountants say they are proactive, so it annoys me when I pick up new clients who have been left to their own devices for a year or more.

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