Post-lockdown, the hospitality industry is in recovery mode. Financial expert Jon Maycock shares his advice on increasing your cashflow as a small business
Credit where credit’s due
What’s right for your business?
Take a look at our introductory guide to see if you could claim. It’s a useful starting point but, as ever, it’s always best to speak to an expert to get the full picture.
We spoke to Jon Lee of PBS whose business specialises in helping SMEs unlock the tax rebates that are rightfully theirs. Four years and more than £14 million in rebates later, Jon is determined to help as many businesses as possible to benefit from these ‘hidden’ rebates.
“Ten years ago, hardly anyone was making these claims,” Jon says. “Even today, close to 90% of eligible companies aren’t claiming. On average, we’re seeing claims for our clients of around £57k. That’s money they didn’t know they had owing to them. In the present climate, it can be the difference between survival or going under.”
TIP: You can claim £25 in every £100 you spend for qualifying expenditure
“Most people think that research and development is for scientists,” Jon says, “but if you’re spending money on any new systems, processes, products or devices it’s essential you log how much time and money you spend on it. Over the next five years you’re going to have
to innovate to survive, so make sure you claim what you’re entitled to.”
“It concerns the parts of your premises that wouldn’t fall out if you turned it upside down,” Jon says. “This can account for around 20% of the value of your property. You can claim tax allowances on these if you own or have a long lease on your premises. And there are tax credits available for landscaping too.”
If you’re spending time developing your offer and creating new experiences for your customers, you could make a claim. Examples include:
- Training a new chef to help you with a new menu: you can claim for their costs.
- Staff meetings or research time to devise new menus: you can claim staff expenses, electricity and mileage for any research trips to other venues.
- Developing new ways for customers to experience your meals: you can make a claim against all the additional costs you incur.
Making your business run more efficiently, keeping your staff happy and stock control can all incur costs.
- New ways of stock control: as long as it’s unique to you, you can make a claim.
- New methods to make your process work better: any software you buy to help can be claimed for as part of an overall claim.
- Using contractors for workflow and HR: you can claim for all subcontractors.
- Want to explore better ways to communicate with your staff, or spread the word to your customers? This is another area where innovation can pay off.
- Internal communication is so important – but what’s the best way to do it for your business? The hours you spend finding out how are all claimable.
- Have you been trying to build an app? Even if you try and fail, a great deal of what you spend can be used to reduce your tax bill according to current legislation.In summary, think of R&D as projects using innovation designed to take your business to the next level. Our role is to identify and claim the correct qualifying expenditure.
Revamping front of house
When you’re ripping out walls, you’re damaging stuff that’s worth money to you. You can claim against:
• Heating pipes
• Security systems
• Air conditioning units
• Lighting systems • Cabling
- Make sure you can’t claim for any existing systems before you rip them out.
- If new kitchen appliances mean the removal of floor tiles, plasterboard or electricity cabling you could make a capital allowance claim.
- Installing a new ‘outside/inside’ extension? Revamping your toilets? If you’re taking out existing systems you can make a claim against it.
If you’ve a forecourt or large parking area that needs landscaping, you could be entitled to a land remediation relief claim. Some examples include:
- Japanese knotweed problem: you can make a claim for the costs incurred.
- An outside area that is barren and derelict and needs new life breathing into it: you could have grounds for a claim.
- Any expenditure used to clean up contamination left behind by another business.
- Contamination caused by fuel spills.In summary, make sure you have a conversation with a tax specialist who can ensure you are not missing out with any claims that may be available on your commercial property.For further advice contact firstname.lastname@example.org