• Vickers has more than 30 years’ experience as a tax specialist at HMRC 
  • He will offer advice on technical aspects of Patent Box as Catax seeks to grow its volume of claims
  • His expertise will also inform Catax’s responses when tax investigations are carried out

Manchester, 13 January 2021 – Business tax relief consultancy Catax has appointed former HMRC Patent Box technical lead, Neil Vickers, to help advise on the technical aspects of claims. 

Catax expects Patent Box to become an increasingly important part of its business, and it may one day draw level with the R&D tax credit applications that currently form the lion’s share of its operations.

Neil has more than 30 years of technical tax knowledge and will also be helping Catax in making detailed responses when tax compliance checks are carried out. HMRC mounts regular compliance checks each year as part of its normal auditing procedures. Neil’s involvement will benefit clients because he will be able to enhance the quality of the responses that Catax provides, promoting a collaborative approach with HMRC, with a view to concluding these interactions quickly and amicably. 

Neil originally joined HMRC in 1984, beginning his career as a tax officer and working in a number of different compliance and tax roles. He was later part of the HMRC/Treasury team that organised the Patent Box consultations and developed the Patent Box legislation that was ultimately introduced by the 2012 Finance Act. 

Neil has been appointed a Senior Tax Specialist by Catax so that its own experts can benefit from the detailed insights he gained in these roles, which included a period as Head Office Technical Specialist for Patent Box. The Patent Box regime, and the way in which it is applied, can be extremely challenging because the way intellectual property is used is varied and complex.

Mark Tighe, chief executive of R&D tax relief specialists Catax, said: 

“It’s a pleasure to welcome Neil to the company. The government is still very keen to expand use of Patent Box and Neil has immense experience in this area. His valuable guidance will be key to us as we look to encourage more British companies to take advantage of this assistance. The Patent Box regime is still much less well known and far less popular than the R&D tax credit regime and this needs to change.”

Neil Vickers, Senior Tax Specialist at Catax, commented: 

“Patent Box is a hugely important incentive promoting innovation in the UK. However, many firms remain unaware of the potentially significant benefits that electing in to the regime might bring by way of a reduced rate of corporation tax. 

“This is particularly so as far as small and medium sized companies are concerned. The reason for this often stems from the complex relationships between patents, variations in how they are used and the diverse ways companies arrange their international operations. It’s important that all companies who qualify are aided in accessing the regime because it can create ongoing tax benefits that last for decades and make a real difference.”