Alastair Johnston Tax Consultancy Ltd

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About Me

I am a Chartered Tax Adviser and member of the Chartered Institute of Taxation, with over 25 years' experience in UK taxes. I spent the first 9 years of my career in the Inland Revenue (now part of HM Revenue & Customs), where I qualified as a "Fully Trained" or "FT" Inspector of Taxes. Subsequently I worked for 8 years for accountancy firms and 8 years in a law firm. This has given me very wide experience of the UK tax system from all angles, and I will bring all this experience to bear in giving you advice on any tax problem or opportunity you may have.

For more information and a free initial discussion, please contact me:

South Lodge
Ardrossan High Road
West Kilbride
KA23 9DT

Or call 07949 249823

Or email

Chartered Tax Adviser

For solutions to all your tax problems

Consultancy – planning – compliance – accounts & returns

Alastair JohnstonThe ever-increasing complexity of the UK tax system means that tax can be a headache, as well as a huge cost, for anybody in business. Problems and tax saving opportunities can occur at any time in the life of a business, but they are most likely when major events take place, such as the setting up of a business venture, on the acquisition of another business or an asset, or on disposal.

Alastair Johnston Tax Consultancy Ltd exists to:

  • solve those problems and exploit those opportunities,
  • help you minimise your tax liabilities, and
  • simplify your dealings with HM Revenue & Customs.

Drawing on over 25 years' experience in tax, including several years in each of HMRC, the accountancy profession, and the legal profession, I can offer tax advisory, planning and compliance services in very many areas, from the preparation of accounts and income tax returns for a small business to advising on large scale business and property transactions.

My services cover 4 areas:

  • Property Taxes
  • Corporate and commercial transactions
  • General tax advice and planning
  • Accounts and tax returns

Property Taxes

Transactions in property can incur many different taxes, most of them not specifically property taxes. Besides Stamp Duty Land Tax and Business Rates, the full range of ordinary business taxes applies: Income Tax, Corporation Tax, VAT, Capital Gains Tax, Inheritance Tax. I can help to minimise your tax liabilities arising on transactions in all types of property:

  • commercial property,
  • houses and other dwellings,
  • other residential property such as student accommodation or nursing homes, and
  • undeveloped land.

I can advise on any sort of property transaction:

  • purchases
  • development
  • letting (whether you are the landlord or the tenant)
  • re-financing
  • sales.

VAT is particularly complex on property transactions, and apparently small differences between two transactions can result in completely different VAT treatment and completely different VAT recovery for a business. With my wide experience of such deals, I can steer you through this minefield, including the Capital Goods Scheme and Transfers Of a Going Concern, an area where HMRC's advice is inconsistent and sometimes incorrect.

Tax on property is not all bad news, however. The Business Property Renovation Allowance gives 100% tax relief on the cost of property renovations in certain circumstances. As ever with tax incentives, there are many conditions to be satisfied to claim the tax relief, and I can help you to qualify for this valuable relief if possible.

Corporate and Commercial Transactions

The purchase or sale of a business, or any type of restructuring, is a major tax planning opportunity. Should you buy the shares in the trading company or should you buy the trade and assets which the company holds? This is often a purely tax-driven decision, and getting the right tax treatment can fundamentally affect your net return from your business. I have experience of a wide range of transactions in many different types of business, so I can advise you whether your upcoming deal is:

  • the purchase of a business or a company (including which of these is better for you),
  • the sale of a business or a company (and again, which you should choose),
  • the reconstruction of a company, such as a demerger,
  • re-organisation of a group of companies,
  • management buy-outs.

You can rely on me to analyse the proposed deal and to negotiate any changes which will get you the best tax outcome overall.

However my input need not stop there: I can also draft and negotiate tax warranties and indemnities in your contract, to protect your position in the event of something unforeseen happening after you have completed the transaction.

I can also advise on associated matters such as share option schemes for employees and directors.

General Tax Advice and Planning

Besides the specialist areas discussed above, I can make sure your tax liabilities are kept to a minimum in numerous other ways, such as:

  • best choice of entity to run your business,
  • income tax planning for unincorporated businesses,
  • advice on incorporation of a business,
  • corporation tax planning for companies and groups,
  • remuneration planning for company directors,
  • year end tax planning,
  • HM Revenue & Customs enquiries,
  • Non-residents trading in the UK.

Accounts and Tax Returns

The preparation of tax returns is obviously fundamental in ascertaining your tax liability. However the preparation of accounts of the business can also have a bearing on the tax bill. Many transactions can legitmately be presented in more than one way, so it is important to have accounts drawn up in such a way as to keep your tax liability down. I can prepare accounts for your business, be it an unincorporated business, a partnership, or a company, and I can produce tax returns based on them which minimise your tax and are robust in the event of an enquiry by HMRC.