AS businesses across the region reflect on their successes and lessons from the last year, award-winning Cumbrian accountancy firm Lamont Pridmore has said that now is the perfect time to plan for 2020.

With several important changes to taxation on the horizon, the firm says that businesses and individuals should place their financial affairs ahead of their other New Year’s resolutions.

With less than three months left until the start of the new tax year on April 5 2020, the firm says there are lots of opportunities out there to save money and generate wealth.

One key area where many businesses may soon miss out is the Annual Investment Allowance. This was extended at the 2018 Budget to allow businesses to claim up to £1 million on the first portion of expenditure on most types of plant and machinery.

However, Lamont Pridmore says that firms only have until December 2020 to claim before this allowance drops again to £200,000.

Businesses can also make use of the Research and Development tax credit scheme, which is available for both smaller and larger companies that work on innovative projects that advance science or technology. These can substantially reduce the amount of Corporation Tax paid if your company has developed innovations, even if the innovation creates profit loss.

For small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), it could enable them to subtract 130 per cent of their qualifying costs from their annual profits on top of a basic 100 per cent deduction – that’s 230 per cent of tax relief in total.

Graham Lamont, Chief Executive at Lamont Pridmore, said: “For those running a business, the amount of tax paid is directly linked to the amount of net profit you have generated. 

“With this in mind, effective corporation tax planning is vital to ensuring that your business is running tax efficiently, and ultimately successfully.”

However, Graham noted that there are many ways that individuals could also reduce their liabilities. He said that investment vehicles such as Pensions, Venture Capital Trusts, and the Enterprise Investment Schemes provided a useful way of making tax-efficient investments, and should be utilised where suitable.

He added: “People also tend to forget about putting additional money into their pensions, which is a tax-free way of distributing the money you earn. Individuals should take this time to review their pension arrangements and use their annual allowance of up to £40,000, as well as full use of the £20,000 ISA allowance.

“Businesses should ensure they also use their Capital Gains Tax annual exemption of £12,000 and their annual Inheritance Tax allowances.”

Graham also warned people of changes to the tax relief surrounding property – in particular, changes from 6 April 2020 that will change the period of exemption on a property sale for private residence relief, as well as limitations to lettings relief, which means it will only apply in cases where a homeowner has shared their home with their tenant. Both of these changes could result in higher capital gains tax bills on the disposal of a property. 

Chris Lamont, a Partner at Lamont Pridmore, added: “Those who work as a contractor via a personal service company also need to be aware of the tax implications of the new IR35 rules in the private sector, which could lead to the amount of tax they pay increasing substantially.

“Seeking professional assistance with your tax planning can pay dividends, but you must do so well in advance of April to ensure the right measures can be put in place. 

“We have spent more than 100 years supporting businesses and individuals to arrange their financial affairs, and we are looking forward to helping even more people in the year to come.”

Lamont Pridmore has a proven track record of helping businesses and individuals to minimise their tax bills. Get in touch today to find out how they can help by calling 0800 234 6978, or by emailing

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