Tax specialist expands overseas with new office

Catax CEO Mark Tighe

Manchester tax consultancy Catax is opening an office in Canada as part of its first overseas expansion.

The firm is setting up in Vancouver to help businesses take advantage of Canada’s Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED)* tax relief, which is very similar to the UK’s R&D tax credits.

Canada was the first country in the world to introduce an incentive scheme for R&D in 1944 and now provides over $3bn in tax incentives for over 20,000 claimants each year.

It will be the first time Catax has opened an office outside the UK since it was founded in 2008.

Catax, which currently works with businesses across the UK to claim R&D tax credits, Capital Allowances and Patent Box tax relief on intellectual property, will initially focus on building a client base around Vancouver in British Columbia, with plans to expand throughout Canada.

The Canadian team will be led by Richard Hoy, president of Catax Canada, who joins the company from Ledcor, where he was senior vice president of operations.

Richard brings 28 years’ business experience having held senior leadership positions at Xerox, Lucent, Cable and Wireless, TELUS and Ledcor.

During its 11 year history, Catax has helped its portfolio of 14,000 clients claim back £221m in tax relief.

The company achieved turnover growth of nearly 30% to £11.3m in 2018/19. This came after a 20% jump from £7.4m to from £8.7m the previous year.

Catax opened new offices in Scotland 2018, and has seen staff numbers rise from 54 to 90 following the acquisition of London-based R&D tax credit consultancy Fast Track SME Ltd.

With the addition of the Vancouver office Catax will have six offices, with five in the UK, including one in Guernsey.

Catax chief executive Mark Tighe said: “We’re really excited about our first permanent overseas division.

“We have chosen Canada as our next target market because the Canadian SR&ED scheme is very similar to R&D in the UK, giving us a good starting point.

“It’s a well-established scheme with a lot of claimants, but there is still a huge gap in terms of the number of potentially eligible businesses versus the numbers claiming. So, there is a lot of work for us to do in Canada to help businesses get the most out of their tax relief entitlements.”

Richard Hoy, president, Catax Canada, added: “Canada has a long tradition of incentivising businesses to invest in innovation so there are existing tax consultancy businesses in Canada, but few have the level of in-house expertise and breadth of service that Catax can offer. We’re looking to revolutionise the way specialist tax consultancy is carried out for Canadian companies.”