To introduce you to our eclectic mix of tax team members, we will interrogate members of the AG team each month. Next up is Kelly Di Notaro a business tax adviser also working out of our Taunton office.
Kelly you are both ACA and CTA qualified, how has each qualification helped you become the talented tax adviser you are today?
Both qualifications have given me the technical knowledge to understand the accounting entries and systems used by businesses, as well as understanding the tax consequences. Although the qualifications provide an excellent foundation, it really is the day to day practical application that helps you develop into an adviser and I have been lucky enough to work with a fantastic team over the last 10 years that has given me exposure to a lot of businesses.
Last year you moved into your new home, which then required the ‘borrowing’ of llamas! Are they now permanent residents and are you all settled into your new home?
Yes, thankfully we are all settled and are really enjoying the countryside. The moving process, as always, took months to complete and as a result we had a lot of excess grass that needed eating. The llamas were a really great help with this and I was pleasantly surprised with how intelligent and inquisitive they are, as well as friendly. They were the talk of the village and luckily, we didn’t encounter too many spitting episodes! We are very much hoping to have them back again for the spring, after their winter stay away.
I’ve heard you’re a bit of an expert in the field of fixtures and commercial property. There have been a few changes in recent years, can you tell us a little about what commercial property owners should do when buying or selling and why it is so important?
Purchasing property, in general, is never straightforward and is often costly. Generally, a business will get no tax relief on the initial purchase of land and buildings until they are sold. However, that is not always the case and advice should be sought when a business is buying or selling a commercial property as there can be valuable tax relief available on certain elements (‘fixtures’) within a building.
Kelly, I understand you have some Italian heritage, can you recommend a dish to anyone thinking of visiting Sorrento?!
Sorrento is lovely, I have been there before. I like the classic simple dishes such as a pizza funghi or spaghetti Napolitana. My key recommendation would be to venture away from the tourist areas and to find a back street café where the locals eat if you want to guarantee some fabulous Italian cooking, “like Nonna used to make”.
R&D tax relief can be highly beneficial for reducing a company’s corporation tax liability. Can you provide an example of a business activity which at first glance would not be an obvious candidate for this relief?
R&D relief is really one of the more generous schemes and you’re quite right, many businesses may not realise they are carrying on R&D work as it is not just people wearing white coats in laboratories that qualify. A bakery for example could be carrying on R&D work where they are developing recipes for different markets using food substitutes but looking to retain properties linked with taste, storage and heating. R&D really does cover a wide range of activities so I urge businesses to get in touch if they want to discuss this further.