Chartered Accounts and Business Advice.


Understanding corporate taxation is often difficult, so we offer a range of services to ensure that you’re meeting your legal requirements. Serving clients throughout Merseyside and London, we’re sure to have a solution that suits your operations, as our team work to the needs of your business. From corporate finance to the PAYE scheme, we’re extremely knowledgeable on the latest legislation. Our team also aid with tax investigations whenever necessary.

Business Start Ups

Entrepreneurial start-ups are vital to the success of the broader economy, generating wealth and creating job opportunities - as well as representing the PLCs of the future. Yet the gutsy, enterprising spirit that gets many businesses off the ground is not enough without solid commercial foundations and strong financial management.

Most new businesses start with an individual who wants to develop an idea and the most difficult stage is turning this initial concept into a viable business. This means you need the support of an accountant, a commercial solicitor, and a bank.

We take a hands-on approach to helping to build this team so that your venture is set up on a sustainable footing with no nasty surprises further down the line.

We offer practical advice from experienced specialists on an array of areas including strategic planning, book-keeping, income tax, self-assessment, VAT and national insurance, pensions and business insurance, management accounts, grant funding and raising finance, and payroll services.

We believe a sound relationship is essential from the outset, and one of our first tasks is to evaluate the most suitable structure for your particular business - sole trader, partnership, or limited company.

Whichever route you go down, we will liaise with both your bank and solicitor where formal documentation or deeds are required, as well as establishing contact with various tax offices covering income and corporation tax as well as PAYE, national insurance, and VAT. For businesses that opt for limited liability status, we carry out the company formation process, dealing with all necessary registration matters, and leaving you free to focus on driving your business forward.

Corporate Finance

Wherever you plan to take your business, and whatever your ambition, our Corporate Finance specialists can help you every step of the way.

Islam & Co have the knowledge and experience to help you achieve a successful transaction. We initiate, structure, negotiate, and manage transactions for clients across all sectors - from small owner-managed businesses to growing SMEs. We've seen the barriers, achieved resolution, and gained the experience to deliver what you need.

Our Lead Advisory experts work with clients to agree transactions - whether they be acquisitions, mergers or sales - and secure the finance to complete the deal. We manage the entire transaction process, coordinate with other specialist teams and bring the deal to a timely conclusion. We provide support for the full range of lead advisory assignments:

Acquisitions - Including corporate acquisitions/M&A and management led transactions such as: Management Buy Out (MBO), Management Buy In (MBI) and Buy In together with a Management Buy Out (BIMBO).

Disposals - Including corporate divestment programmes, non-core business disposal and retirement sales, accelerated sales (acting before it is too late).

Raising Funds - Selecting the right type of funding - whether debt, equity or a mix - and developing a tight proposition that is attractive to potential funders

Valuations - We provide an objective and independent service.

We also provide Transaction Support services for the vendor, purchaser and/or the financier, including: due diligence, formal reports and other letters of comfort, the review of completion accounts, compliance with banking covenants, and reporting accountant assignments.

Above all, we are professionals. There will be times when difficult messages are delivered and hard decisions taken. You can be sure we act with integrity and have empathy with your goals, with our partner-led advisory services.


Since the now infamous pre-Budget announcement on 9th March 1999, Inland Revenue press release number 35 has caused much concern and problems for those workers who trade through a personal service company, particularly contractors in the IT, Telecoms, Engineering, and other knowledge-based consultancy sectors.

Typically, an annual tax saving of £12,000 can be secured if your affairs can be structured to fall outside of IR35. This arises through drawing profits from your personal service company in the most tax efficient remuneration manner (small salary + balance as dividends), rather than the high salary structure required if 'caught' by IR35.

All such businesses must assess their current IR35 risk exposure (via example IR35 checklist) and decide which of the following options is most relevant to them:

If it appears IR35 does apply:

Accept that IR35 cannot be avoided, and:

  • Comply with the prescriptive requirements of paying a high actual or 'deemed' salary through your own personal service company.
  • Seek a HM Revenue & Customs written ruling on status.
  • Cease trading through your own personal service company and transfer onto the payroll of an umbrella company.
  • Cease trading through your own personal service company and try and transfer onto the payroll of your ultimate client.

Amend your documented contractual terms and work practices to keep outside of IR35.

If it appears IR35 does not apply, optimise your remuneration structure and:

  • Seek an HM Revenue & Customs written ruling on status.
  • Continually improve documented contractual terms and work practices to evidence your opinion that IR35 does not apply.

One of our more popular IR35 services involves us reviewing your current work practices and written contract and providing an opinion on how we believe HM Revenue & Customs would categorise you. We will prepare a detailed report on the positive, neutral, and negative aspects of your current arrangements and make practical suggestions on improvements you may wish to consider, if commercially acceptable to both you and the client. 

Clients who are fearful that their IR35 situation may be investigated by HM Revenue & Customs, through a corporation tax return enquiry or PAYE control visit, may wish to consider taking out our fee protection insurance.

Whether or not IR35 applies, we offer a mix of services that most contractors will need, as back office support, to run their business:

  • Comply with the prescriptive requirements of paying a high actual or 'deemed' salary through your own personal service company.
  • Seek a HM Revenue & Customs written ruling on status.
  • Cease trading through your own personal service company and transfer onto the payroll of an umbrella company.
  • Cease trading through your own personal service company and try and transfer onto the payroll of your ultimate client.

We intimately understand how important to you it is that you stay outside of the requirements of IR35. We also understand how you need to be told the truth, even if it means IR35 does apply and probably always will.


As payroll becomes more and more complex, time-consuming to process, and expensive to operate, many businesses are now outsourcing this administration function to a specialist RTI compliant payroll bureau.

We offer a complete RTI-compliant payroll bureau service, to free your time and allow you to concentrate on running your business:

  • You advise us of the gross pay for a weekly, fortnightly, four-weekly, monthly, or quarterly pay period. We calculate the net pay, supply you with security payslips, and advise you how much PAYE and NIC to pay HMRC.
  • Advising you in relation to the legal requirements for offering your employees access to stakeholder pensions.
  • Preparing all necessary forms (P45s) when an employee leaves.
  • Preparing end of year returns P35 and P60/P14's, before e-filing these with HMRC in advance of the statutory deadlines.
  • Arranging for your employees to be paid by BACS, or other electronic means.
  • Providing ongoing ad-hoc support for all your payroll queries.
  • Performing PAYE/NIC health check reviews, prior to a control visit.
  • Preparing forms P11d and calculating the resultant class 1a NIC liability.
  • Administering CIS.
  • Advising you in relation to the payroll implications of IR35.
  • Advising you of the journals necessary to update your computerised accounting records.
  • Tax efficient remuneration planning.

As well as releasing your time and ensuring the quality of payroll administration, outsourcing this function will usually save you money. We will be responsible for software updates, purchasing stationery, and staff absenteeism cover. We will also ensure that you pay no more PAYE/NIC tax than you absolutely have to. Clients who are fearful that their payroll administration may be investigated by HM Revenue & Customs may wish to consider taking out our fee protection insurance.

Tax investigations

Tax investigations can be stressful, costly, and time consuming, and with the number of investigations on the rise, it pays to have the best advice.

Islam & Co have successfully handled and negotiated hundreds of tax investigations in a number of areas of taxation. Our team deals with matters ranging from individual tax disputes to large, complex and high-profile cases. We help individuals, companies, and trusts selected for investigation - ranging from an aspect inquiry through cases of suspected serious fraud under Code of Practice 9 to criminal investigations.

Our team has many years of experience working in HM Revenue and Customs and private practice, and can guide you or your business or company through the investigation process quickly and efficiently. If you are an employer, we can also review your systems and records so you can be confident in them, if approached by HMRC's Employer Compliance division. Islam & Co can:

  • Advise about any investigation, be it one covering Income Tax, Corporation Tax, Inheritance Tax, Employment Taxes, and National Insurance, VAT, or an IR35 status dispute.
  • Provide expert assistance with a serious fraud investigation, initiated by either Specialist Investigations, a Civil Investigation of Fraud team, or Criminal Investigations.
  • Help manage voluntary disclosures, while acting on your behalf in respect of HM Revenue & Customs Liechtenstein Disclosure Facility.

Contact our taxation accountants for further details about our corporate taxation services in Merseyside and London.