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Meet the team – James Greenhalgh


James Greenhalgh

How long have you been at Cowgills?

19 years, where has my youth gone…..?

What exactly do you do?

I provide bespoke tax advice to our property & construction clients on development and investment projects. This can range from initial advice on which vehicle to structure a development in to being on hand throughout a build to make sure that all relevant tax reliefs are maximised

Give us some highlights.

I’ve never been one to sit in the office and just give advice in an email or report. Getting out and seeing the projects in the flesh is the only way sometimes to gain the full understanding of how various tax reliefs may apply to a specific development. You’ll often find me clambering up into roof voids to review M&E installations or doing a site walk round in our inclement north west weather! This has, however, led to a number of big wins tax wise for our clients such as capital allowances, contaminated / derelict land & building reliefs being agreed with HMRC where the client was previously completely unaware of their existence. This had significant positive cash flow benefits and overall savings for the developments concerned.

What challenges do you find clients are experiencing at the moment, and how are you helping them to overcome them?

I often come across development appraisals with just one line at the bottom for 19% corporation tax. This can lead to  a big distortion later down the line as the actual tax positon may be significantly different depending on initial structuring and what reliefs are available. I’ve been working closely with clients to fine tune these to include much more accurate tax forecast utilising all available reliefs. This can often mean a significant tax saving in the first couple of years post completion which is when cash flow can be really tight.

Any tips?

Take advice early doors when you are assessing the viability of a development. Its so much harder to implement an appropriate tax structure once things like land acquisition agreements are exchanged or construction contracts agreed.


The information was correct at time of publishing but may now be out of date.

Posted by Cowgills
18th September, 2019
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