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Mitchell Charlesworth news

Mitchell Charlesworth advises Breaking Free on its sale to LifeWorks

Mitchell Charlesworth has advised Breaking Free, a leading provider of digital substance use disorder treatment, on its sale to LifeWorks.

Founded in 2010 and based at premises in Manchester and Birmingham, Breaking Free is a pioneering digital health and behavioural science company specialising in addictions. They develop, implement and evaluate evidence-based digital behaviour change interventions that empower people to overcome problem drinking, drug misuse and smoking.

LifeWorks is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange and a leading provider of comprehensive mental health, digital and in-person total wellbeing solutions. LifeWorks reports that this acquisition will accelerate LifeWorks growth, over time, by adding substance use solutions to its platform and making these available to the more than 25,000 client organisations that already rely on LifeWorks mental health and wellbeing services. Further information on the deal can be found here.

Dr. Jonathan Ward, managing director of Breaking Free said: “Mitchell Charlesworth have been our principal advisors on all tax matters for many years, including handling our R&D claims, and the relationship has been key to our success. We have always benefited greatly from their advice and guidance, and in this cross-border transaction their expertise was invaluable.” 

Breaking Free was given accounting and tax advice by Mitchell Charlesworth partner Alison Buckley, tax director Phil Hartley, and manager Jonathan Lucas.

Phil Hartley, tax director Mitchell Charlesworth, says: “We are delighted to have played a part in advising on the deal which sees Breaking Free join a world leader in digital healthcare. The deal shows that the tech industry in the North West is thriving and is a significant part of the global tech scene.”

Alison Buckley, partner at Mitchell Charlesworth who has worked with Breaking Free since 2013 added: “We have worked with Breaking Free for the past 9 years supporting the growth of the business with a full range of accountancy, business and tax services. This deal represents a fantastic outcome and opportunity for the owners of the business.”

Mitchell Charlesworth helps North West businesses access over £3.1 million in R&D tax credits in 2021

In 2021 Mitchell Charlesworth helped businesses in the North West access more than £3.1 million from the government’s research and development (R&D) tax credit initiative. This is an increase of more than £1 million compared to the R&D tax credits accessed in 2020.

The average amount of R&D tax relief received by Mitchell Charlesworth’s clients in 2021 was more than £48,000, which has risen from £40,000 in 2020. Successful claims have been made across a wide variety of industries, including manufacturing, technology, construction and professional services. Not all of these industries are offering high tech solutions or groundbreaking research and the R&D tax relief is available across a wide range of business activities.

Phil Hartley, tax director and R&D specialist at Mitchell Charlesworth, says: “During another challenging year, R&D tax credits have continued to provide a significant cash boost for businesses. We have significantly increased claim volume and size and we are pleased that we have been able to help our clients benefit from this valuable tax relief.

“In November 2021 the government published a report on R&D tax reliefs which outlined measures due to be introduced in April 2023 to combat abuse and improve compliance. The measures include a requirement for greater detail surrounding costs and projects undertaken and more scrutiny into claims by HMRC. Given this tougher approach from the government, it is becoming imperative that qualified advice is sought when determining if activities undertaken qualify for R&D tax relief. Businesses will need to ensure that a claim is valid and that all available costs are considered and captured, which is where we can provide advice and support and have a great track record of assisting our clients in maximising the tax relief available to them.

“With guidance and support successful R&D tax credit claims can be made and, given that the corporation tax rate will increase to 25% from April 2023, will continue to provide valuable support to innovative businesses.”

Phil added: “There are still a large amount of companies missing out on potentially tens of thousands in R&D tax credits due to the common misconception that they simply don’t qualify so consider checking if your business is eligible for R&D tax relief.”


Strength in Numbers Spring 2022