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Global tax receipts fall by nearly half a trillion dollars during pandemic...



Tax receipts from around the world have fallen by nearly $500bn in real terms to $11.7tn during the Covid-19 pandemic, down from $12.1tn the year before*, which may force Governments to make unprecedented tax increases to make up for losses, reveals a new study of tax revenues worldwide by UHY, the international accountancy network.


UHY’s study shows 26 out of 30 countries suffered from a hit to tax revenues. Some of the biggest decreases include the UK which saw tax revenues fall 11%* to $728bn and Russia which also fell 11%* to $295bn (see table below).


UHY says the fall in tax revenues is due to the Covid-19 pandemic, as governments cut taxes for individuals and businesses in an effort to boost their economies. In addition, tax revenues were hit by a fall in tax on corporate profits and a reduction in transactions that are subject to tax (e.g. VAT on purchases and tax on property transactions).


At the same time, governments introduced Covid support schemes such as covering employees’ wages to help those who were impacted by the pandemic. Although these schemes have helped to boost national economies, the additional costs have impacted public purses significantly. As a result, tax increases will be required in many countries to make up for major deficits.


Some countries have already begun implementing tax increases, such as the UK, which recently increased National Insurance contributions, generating an extra £17bn per year. The Spanish government introduced tax increases in the midst of the pandemic, with the income tax rate on income above EUR 300,000 increasing from 45% to 47%. Spain’s VAT rate on alcohol also increased from 10% to 21% earlier this year.


The US is currently undergoing discussions about imposing increases to corporation tax and rates of income and capital gains tax for the wealthiest households to raise revenues.


Subarna Banerjee, Chairman of UHY International, comments: “The enormous impact of the pandemic on tax revenues has been felt worldwide.”


“Many governments have been put in difficult positions, having to provide support to those who have been hit hard by Covid-19 while trying to prevent revenues from falling too far. Unfortunately, there will come a time where they need to balance the books and some governments may look to use tax increases to do so.”


“However, governments need to be cautious about any dramatic plans to increase their tax revenues. Sudden, large tax increases will place huge amounts of pressure on taxpayers, many of whom are also still getting back on their feet.”


Tax revenues of major economies take a hit during Covid


Germany’s tax revenues fell 8%* to $837bn in 2020. During the pandemic the German government introduced a number of tax reliefs in the hope of boosting the economy. The standard rate of VAT in Germany was reduced from 19% to 16% last year. Businesses in the catering sector, arguably one of the sectors that suffered the most from Covid-19, benefited from an even bigger reduction in VAT from 19% to 7% on food sales.


Another major economy that suffered from a fall in tax revenues was China, falling 5%* to $2.2tn last year. China recognised the impact of the pandemic on smaller enterprises and as a result, introduced a number of tax reliefs focused on supporting these businesses. An example is the significant reduction in Corporate Income Tax, which for small and micro enterprises with a tax income below RMB 1 million, was reduced from 25% to 5% last year. In 2021, it was announced this rate would be cut even further to 2.5%.



Global tax receipts fall 4% during pandemic – costing nearly $500bn in real terms to public finances


Notes for Editors


UHY global press contact:

Leigh Lyons on +44 20 7767 2624

Email: –

Nick Mattison or Richard Crossan

Mattison Public Relations

+44 20 7645 3631

+44 74 4637 5555




NZZ is a Swiss media conglomerate that publishes Neue Zürcher Zeitung, a German language newspaper often considered Switzerland’s paper of record. Neue Zürcher Zeitung, founded in 1780, is something of a Swiss institution and is one of the oldest newspapers in the world that is still published.


One benefi ciary was iPower, a hydroponics and gardening product supplier based outside Los Angeles, California. iPower supplies nutrients, growing mediums, hydroponic equipment, power-effi cient lighting and more, selling through its website and third party
e-commerce channels like Amazon, eBay and Walmart. The business sources products from popular brands and has also established in-house branded products, marketed under the iPower and Simple Deluxe labels.

Germany powers ahead in electric car sales growth – sales more than treble during pandemic...



Germany has seen the world’s fastest growth in electric car sales of all major economies * during the pandemic, with sales more than trebling to 194,000 cars in 2020, up from just 63,000 in 2019, shows a study of electric car sales worldwide by UHY, the international accountancy network.


The 207% growth in electric car sales in Germany last year puts it first out of 26 countries** in UHY’s study. This was marginally ahead of Italy, which saw a rise of 204%, from 11,000 units sold in 2019 to 32,000 in 2020. The UK was in third place, with a sales increase of 186% in 2020. Average sales growth of EVs globally in 2020 was 31%.


Worldwide growth in sales of electric cars has outpaced global car sales (including petrol and diesel) which fell by approximately 15% to 64 million in 2020, down from 75 million in 2019***.


Less than a fifth (19%) of countries in UHY’s study saw sales of electric cars fall during the first year of lockdown.


UHY says that Germany has begun a programme of heavy investment in electric vehicle charging infrastructure in order to achieve its target of having 10 million electric vehicles and one million charging stations on German roads by 2030. The country also has generous tax breaks and incentives for purchases of electric cars and charging points. New electric cars priced at less than 40,000EUR benefit from a Government rebate of 9,000EUR, while the state-owned development bank offers a 900EUR grant for the installation of a private electric car charging point.


UHY Wahlen & Partner, says that the launch of several new and updated mass-market electric vehicles in the last year, including the Volkswagen ID.3 and e-Up! has triggered a new wave of sales in Germany. Battery electric cars made up 10% of all new cars sold in Germany in 2020, with fossil fuel-powered cars falling to a 78% share of new car sales.


Dennis Petri, Chair of UHY, comments: “The electric car revolution has picked up a lot of speed worldwide in the past year, despite the effects of the pandemic. Germany is a country with a long history of automotive innovation and it looks like it will again be part of the vanguard in making electric cars a part of everyday life.”


“Many governments around the world have helped to drive the electric vehicle transition through providing subsidies for consumers who purchase EVs. Along with investing in the public charging infrastructure necessary to support electric cars, this is the biggest step governments can take to accelerate a large-scale switch to EVs.”


Thomas Wahlen, Managing Partner at UHY Wahlen & Partner, comments: “Manufacturers and the Government in Germany have both invested a great deal in accelerating the German transition to electric vehicles and they will be hoping this growth rate continues for several more years.”


Electric car sales growth continues to slow in China


UHY’s study shows that electric car sales growth in China continued to slow in the past year, with 968,000 battery electric cars sold in 2020, a 16% increase on 836,000 sold in 2019. The growth rates in the previous two years had been 23% and 54%. China’s sales growth in 2020 placed it 20th in the table in UHY’s study.


However, China remains by some distance the largest national market in the world for electric cars, with more sales than the next four largest markets combined. Sales of electric cars in China are heavily incentivised by programmes including Beijing’s ‘licence lottery’, which limits the city’s 22 million residents to only 40,000 new petrol cars per year to lower congestion and pollution.


US and Japan both saw electric car sales fall in 2020


UHY’s study also shows that both the US (22ndplace, electric car sales down 5% in 2020) and Japan (26th place, electric car sales down 31% in 2020) both saw electric car sales fall in the past year. Less than 2% of new cars sold in the US in 2020 were battery electric vehicles.


Dennis Petri adds: “Electric cars in the US are still generally confined to the east and west coasts – that’s thanks to the incentives offered by state governments in places like California, New York and New Jersey. Car buyers in the rest of the country would benefit from more states following suit.”


Morito Saito, Director at UHY FAS Ltd, UHY’s member firm in Japan, comments: “Japanese car manufacturers still have a relatively limited offering when it comes to battery electric cars even though they were very early adopters of hybrid technology. While some manufacturers in Europe are already implementing plans to produce only electric vehicles, that has not yet happened in Japan.”


* Battery electric passenger cars only, excludes hybrids

** Excluding those registering less than 1,000 electric car sales in 2020

*** Statista – number of cars sold worldwide


Notes for Editors

UHY global press contact: Leigh Lyons on +44 20 7767 2624

Email: –

Nick Mattison or Richard Crossan

Mattison Public Relations

+44 20 7645 3631

+44 74 4637 5555



China created 1.25 million more new businesses during Covid pandemic – leading the world in new business creation...



China saw the number of new businesses it created grow by 1.25 million in 2020, giving it first place among 22 countries in a study of new business creation around the world during the Covid-19 pandemic by UHY, the international accountancy network.


UHY’s study shows that over 25 million new businesses were created in China in 2020, up 5% from the over 23.7 million created in 2019. Since 2015, the Chinese government has signalled a focus on entrepreneurialism in China by repeatedly emphasising its role in the country’s economic strategy. In November 2020, the government also stressed the key role to be played by small businesses in driving China’s recovery from the pandemic.


Liqian Sun, Director at Zhonghua CPA LLP, UHY’s member firm in China, comments: “China has made significant strides in fostering entrepreneurialism over recent years and the pandemic has not been able to slow that. Enterprise has been a key element of China’s economic strategy over the last five years and these figures show how that approach is bearing fruit. There are an astonishing number of microbusinesses being created every year in China.”


United States sees sharp percentage growth in new business creation

However, says, UHY, the United States saw a much larger increase in new business creation in percentage terms. The US saw 4.4 million new businesses created in 2020, a sharp 27% increase on 3.5 million businesses created in 2019 (see table below).


UHY says that Covid-19 has triggered a wave of entrepreneurialism in many countries including the US as people were forced out of work or furloughed due to the effects of the pandemic. Industries such as online retail have seen particularly strong surges in new business registrations as consumer behaviour was forced to change by lockdown restrictions.


This increase in new business creation is also likely to have been influenced by greater availability of business lending during 2020.


Dennis Petri, Chair of UHY International, comments: “The surge in new business creation in the United States over the past year has been remarkable. Some of this will be down to necessity – people losing jobs and striking out on their own due to a lack of other options. But much more will be entrepreneurs seeing opportunity amid the disruption of the pandemic, particularly in online retail.”


Nine countries of 22 in the study saw significant increases in new business creation in 2020 compared to 2019, including major economies such as the United Kingdom, France, Brazil and India. The largest percentage increase was seen in the Philippines, where new business creation grew 152% in just a year.


Michael Aguirre, Founder at UHY M.L. Aguirre & Co, UHY’s member firm in the Philippines, comments: “2020 saw a huge number of registrations of new online businesses in the Philippines. Our economy is rapidly digitalising and that is creating greater opportunity for entrepreneurs. The money made available to businesses through government-backed loans has also been helpful to many.”


“The next challenge is to lower costs and red tape for new businesses in the Philippines. If that can be achieved, we can create an even more vibrant startup economy.”


Risk of two-speed system emerging as some European economies are left behind


However, says UHY, there is a risk of a two-speed system emerging in which some European economies see much lower rates of new business creation. The 13 countries in UHY’s study which saw new business creation fall in 2020 is dominated by European economies, including Spain, Italy, Germany and Poland.


Across the 11 European countries in UHY’s study, 3.27 million new businesses were started in 2020, a decline of 1.6% from the 3.32 million new businesses created in 2019. This compares to a 7.2% increase across the 11 non-European countries in the study.


Adds Dennis Petri: “As the Covid recovery accelerates, economies worldwide need new business creation to drive economic growth. European governments should be looking at their tax policies to ensure they are doing everything they can to empower entrepreneurs to grow new businesses, create employment and increase their tax base.”


UK sees record new business creation during pandemic


UHY says that the United Kingdom was among the countries to see the fastest rise in new business creation during the pandemic, with a 14% increase in new businesses started in 2020 compared to 2019. It adds that data from the country’s tax authority show that more new businesses were created in March 2021 than in any month on record.


Martin Jones, Partner at UHY Hacker Young, UHY’s member firm in the UK, comments: “Entrepreneurs in the UK have really used the pandemic and lockdowns as a springboard to start businesses. Covid-19 has created opportunity for people brave enough to identify and capitalise on the huge change we have seen over the last 18 months.”


“We now look back on the last recession as a period where many of the UK’s leading tech and fintech businesses were started. In a decade it’s likely we will see the pandemic period as a similarly crucial period for entrepreneurialism.”


China leads the way for new business creation during the pandemic – over 25 million new businesses started in 2020


Notes for Editors

UHY global press contact: Leigh Lyons on +44 20 7767 2624


Nick Mattison or Richard Crossan

Mattison Public Relations

+44 20 7645 3631

+44 74 4637 5555