Tax Day 23rd March – commentary from Saffery Champness​

The announcements made by Government yesterday on their first Tax Day lacked anything particularly significant, with many of the expected matters overlooked or pushed back further. More than 30 tax updates, consultations and documents were published, in a move to strengthen policymaking, modernise the UK tax system and further tackle tax avoidance. Much of this is part of the Government’s wider 10-year plan to build a trusted and modern UK tax system.

Ian Harlock-Smith, Tax Director, Saffery Champness, and a member of the firm’s Private Wealth and Professional Practices Groups, said:

“There was no mention of capital gains tax increases or changes to tax relief on pension contributions and nothing of immediate concern or of particular importance to individuals and professional practices. There was mention of an interim report on the Government’s fundamental review of business rates, including one change aimed at owners of self-catering accommodation, some minor changes to Inheritance Tax reporting requirements to reduce administrative burden, some technical changes to the Structures and Buildings Allowance, and further streamlining of Making Tax Digital, although nothing significant that is new on that front.”

“The Government did call for evidence to explore the opportunities and challenges of more frequent payment of income tax. This is to be based on in-year information made available through self-assessment and Making Tax Digital. This could mean that self-employed individuals move towards a PAYE type tax system.”

For more information, see Saffery Champness website. 

New Investor P​olling system enables investors to interact and privately register interest

Dorset Business Angels (DBA) held their first online quarterly pitch event in 2021, attracting a record number of some 59 attendees registered and 30 DBA members present. It also saw the introduction of a new polling system.

5 entrepreneurs pitched to the savvy investors and partners. Pitches were followed by a Q & A session, whereby would- be investors could further interrogate the entrepreneurs on their business, ideas and potential opportunities and markets. Questions came from across the board.

A new polling system was then introduced in which attendees were asked to rate the presentation that they had just heard and also to register their interest to find out further information about the pitch and carry out due diligence on the investment opportunity.

DBA member Frank Guinn who chaired the event said, “The polling proved particularly impactful as it provided us with immediate levels of investor interest.  Coincidently, our investor interest was at an all- time high, for the 2nd consecutive pitch event, and we felt that the anonymous system allowed attendees the privacy to express their intentions to get involved.  21 expressions of interest were shown in total at our event.

“The investor feedback on the presentations also provided invaluable data to be fed back to the entrepreneurs presenting.”

Business pitching included:

·       A business in the Advanced composite materials sector, with aims to increase the capabilities of the world’s most demanding products through the application of advanced materials and manufacturing techniques. In revenue and with an expanding customer base, the Company is currently focussing on the delivery of key contracts in the automotive, electrification, electric machines, defence, and aerospace sectors.  Investors were particularly impressed by the list of businesses and sectors that were being supported – Airbus, Safran and Electric Motors & Generators were name dropped, to name a few. The ambition of ‘Sustainability with Enhanced Capability’ was shared and the impressive pitch resulted in an extremely positive 9 expressions of interest.

·       A provider of online education seized the moment and grabbed investor attention, with 4 expressions of interest shown. This currently ‘hot topic’ business stated that it focuses on life skills that promote social and emotional wellbeing and dynamic thinking with an aim is to help young people to thrive in life, both at home and in their future work-places. By complementing the traditional academic education with live, interactive online and offline courses for 5-13 year-olds, they help develop young people’s skills in leadership, confidence, resilience and creative problem solving.

They shared their vision to be a global leader in developing life skills, with the goal of transforming the lives of at least a million young people. They backed up their vision by advising that ‘now, more than ever, the world needs people with the empathy, resilience and confidence to thrive.’

Discussing the size of the opportunity, they explained that the UK private tuition market is worth £2bn and the global private tuition market £75bn, with a forecast that the global private tuition market would be worth £139bn by 2026.

·       A Customer Data Processing software business which offers its clients a platform that immediately creates a seamless customer experience easily and at scale. Formed 5 years ago with the founder’s own money, the Company is now employing AI techniques to further enhance the efficiency of their model, to the satisfaction of their growing client base.

It claims to view complete customer profiles, improve and enrich data, understand customers and develop strategies to help the business grow, activate the date across all customer touch points and to measure the success and effectiveness of strategies. Currently working with Crowdcube, they shared the impressive testimonial from Crowdcube co-founder and CMO Luke Lang who said, “Crowdcube literally wouldn’t be where it is today without Distil.”  5 expressions of investor interest were shown.

·       A company with a range of healthy drinks, containing all the nutrients necessary to produce many tasty options, without the sugar and artificial ingredients usually found in traditional soft drinks. Their ‘health pod’ modules offer users the facility to use their home coffee machines to provide a quick and easy way to get these nutrients into a cold press juice or smoothy for around 70p per unit. UK distribution is now ramping up with the product available in 5 supermarket chains and the Company is distributing their range door-to-door in over 50 countries. The product launches in the US in January.

The passionate founder of the business shared the experience of his team, which includes 4 investor directors with experience ranging from entry and exit for FMCG brands, to former directors of investment banks.  He also told investors that he is mentored by Stephen Hann, MD at Graze. Clients gained have included John Lewis, Morrisons, Holland & Barret, Costco and David Lloyd Clubs. 2 expressions of interest were shown.

·       A pre-launch Fintech Investor Analysis SaaS company that has developed a platform that tracks the data performance of private, early-stage companies and gathers operational metrics. The platform is now capable of profiling the investment readiness and business potential of start-ups and early revenue companies extremely well. In the present pre-launch phase, the Company has 12 customers paying monthly recurring revenues and has generated 1300 worldwide data profiles that help with the investment analysis and business decision making of its current users, namely, angel investors, accelerators, funds, support organisations and consultants.  1 expression of interest was received.

Roger Wareham, Partner at DBA Sponsors Saffery Champness advised, “It was great to see such a wide range of businesses pitching and pleasing that there is still positive growth and opportunities coming through. It was also really encouraging to see the level of interest and potential appetite from the investors attending.”

DBA was formed in 2013 with the aim to bring investors and entrepreneurs together to accelerate the growth of early stage businesses. DBA provides quality, private equity investment opportunities to local high net worth (HNW) and sophisticated investors (SI).

Four times a year companies are invited to attend an event at which they pitch their business to the savvy Angels in a Dragon’s Den type scenario. Angel investment might come from a single investor or it could be 2 or 3 Angels pooling funds together to support a company. Any investments are in the form of an equity investment and not a debtor’s loan. Investments are made across all sectors.

DBA is sponsored by Saffery Champness Accountants, Ellis Jones Solicitors and Investec Wealth and Investment. To find out more about Dorset Business Angels visit

Saffery Champness Accountants join in #StepUp Challenge launched by Bournemouth entrepreneurs

Saffery Champness Accountants in Bournemouth has created a team to join in the #StepUp Challenge that was launched by Bournemouth nightclub owners Ty Temel and Benjamin Banks-Reynolds, together with fitness coach Jamie Whisken, aka ReDefine Jamie.

Launched on 1st November, participants have been encouraged to complete one million steps by December 21st, either individually, as a pair or in a team. That’s an average of 20,000 steps a day!

Proceeds will go to Dorset Mind and, in particular, men’s mental health.

The 50-day #StepUp challenge follows in the footsteps of #TheJune500 challenge which was thought up by Ty, Benjamin and Jamie as a way of keeping focused during the lockdown.

It saw a community of almost 200 people each complete 500 kilometres during June with a variety of active pursuits including cycling, running, swimming and more.

Ty, Owner of Halo Bournemouth, said: “We were blown away with the feedback we received from everyone about The June 500 challenge.

“After being inundated with requests for a new challenge we feel the time is right.

“With this challenge, we want to help both ourselves and others to have a focus again during an uncertain time and have an engaged community supporting each other.”

Saffery Director, Hannah Mazrae said , “At Saffery we jumped at the chance to join in the #StepUp Challenge. We have 8 team members who have been super keen to get involved, including Alex Simmons who is averaging an incredible 30,000 steps a day. He gets up at 5.30am, walks for 2 hours and is then back for breakfast with his 7-year-old daughter before she heads to school!

“Our team is due to compete in the ‘Race the Sun Brecon Beacons’ event in March 2021 – which involves cycling, kayaking and hiking.  We saw the #StepUp Challenge as perfect preparation to get fit and focused for this next team challenge.

“The #StepUp Challenge team includes myself, Alex Simmons, Henry Shirley, Collette Parry, Annalise Wareham, Maryna Lobova, Jake Walsh and our PR consultant Kate Shaw from KTPR.

“Our ambition is a team total of 7 million steps in 50 days.  We’d love people to support our fundraising, for such a brilliant and deserving cause. Please visit our JustGiving page here.”


About Saffery Champness LLP

Saffery Champness LLP is a firm of chartered accountants that advises individuals and families, not-for-profit organisations and businesses across a range of sectors. As a member of Nexia International, it is part of a worldwide network of independent accounting and consulting firms.

For over 160 years, the firm’s success has been founded upon providing clients with a genuinely partner-led service and working with them to create bespoke solutions that help them to achieve their personal and business objectives. For more information visit or see Twitter @Safferys