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Tax for retail

Tax law is a major consideration for all retail businesses. Getting the right tax result is a vital part of managing returns and avoiding pitfalls which could lead to increased tax, penalties or enquiries from HM Revenue and Customs.

By applying a practical and tailored approach to tax issues, we can provide our clients with workable commercial solutions and clear guidance on complex and ever-increasing tax legislation. Our advice is fully integrated with our corporate, property and employment teams to advise on tax issues raised by commercial deals.

What we do

  • Advise over 100 national and international clients – including major national retailers.
  • Real estate – we advise on structuring and transactional tax on a range of property transactions for retailers, investors, developers and local authorities, ranging from day-to-day property tax advice (e.g. freehold disposals, leases, lease renewals etc.) to more bespoke tax advice on particular transactions, especially in relation to VAT and SDLT issues.
  • Corporate - we advise on corporate acquisitions and mergers, including trade sales and private equity-backed transactions. We’re comfortable working on a disposal for an owner-managed business through to acquisitions for a large corporate group, and whether backed with W&I insurance or not. We also advise on vendor tax planning on UK share disposals in the SME sector, and work closely with our corporate teams across all our offices.
  • Employee share schemes – we provide tax advice and legal drafting and have a depth of experience on Enterprise Management Incentive Schemes, including bespoke and complex legal drafting around performance conditions and vesting arrangements. We also advise on Company Share Option Plans and unapproved share option schemes.

Featured experience

Multinational luxury brands retail group

Advising a multinational luxury brands retail group on its corporate acquisition of an online beauty retail business for an undisclosed sum, working with the client (based in mainland Europe) on the tax aspects of the legal documents, and the scope of tax-related warranty and indemnity insurance which was being sought on the deal.

UK national retailer

Advising a UK national retailer on VAT and SDLT issues on a complex redevelopment project of a flagship London store, involving short-term leases to allow for the redevelopment, and a longer-term lease for the client to take up its new premises at the store.


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