Business advisory firm Fortus has merged with R&D tax credit specialist Copper Tax. Claire Upton, founder and director of Copper Tax, becomes Fortus' head of R&D Tax Credits. Upton, with over 20 years of experience, aims to enhance the firm's commitment to providing excellent R&D tax credit services amidst industry changes.\r\n\r\nAccountancy firm Shaw Gibbs has appointed Sharmini Woodings as regional managing partner for Surrey\/Hampshire. Woodings, with a background in accounting and business advisory, will oversee operations and business development in the region. The appointment reflects Shaw Gibbs' commitment to internal leadership promotion and strategic expansion.\r\n\r\nDow Schofield Watts has appointed Harry Martin as an associate in its Yorkshire and North East corporate finance team. Martin, previously with PwC, brings his expertise in audit and chartered accountancy to the Leeds office. The firm anticipates increased M&A market activity, and Martin looks forward to advising on a range of deals.\r\n\r\nHMRC has reported Inheritance Tax receipts of \u00a34.6bn from April to October 2023, hinting at a potential record-breaking year. Experts anticipate changes in the Autumn Statement, with the government considering slashing Inheritance Tax. Speculations include rate cuts and combining nil-rate bands to provide relief, but some suggest the government might reserve these changes for future election manifesto pledges. Tax partner Laura Hayward emphasises the need for professional advice in navigating this complex area.