More doubt spread re ‘approved’ tax schemes

By | 2018-03-14T23:53:53+00:00 October 2nd, 2014|Tax related, Uncategorized|

If this blog was a redtop newspaper the headline might have read: “Tax Barrister blows the lid off Tax Schemes scam”. I admit I was tempted! Regular readers will know that only very occasionally do I use this blog to reference tax related topics. When I do so my observations are still focused around helping

Do you take your own advice?

By | 2013-12-10T08:16:43+00:00 December 10th, 2013|Tax related|

I don't recall ever seeing a cobbler's children running around without shoes. But I understand the old adage. Their father was typically too busy fixing his customer's shoes such that his children had to go barefoot. Perhaps it is for similar reasons that many accountants leave their own annual accounts and tax returns to the

Are accountants the new bogeymen?

By | 2013-04-29T09:43:15+00:00 April 29th, 2013|Reputation, Tax related|

Were you as angry as I was at the headlines and media focus on a clearly misguided element of the latest report by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC)? Committee chairman Margaret Hodge said accountants seconded to government represented a "ridiculous conflict of interest" that should be ended. She had clearly made up her mind based on no real evidence

Mourning the death of Tax Facts

By | 2013-01-10T11:01:02+00:00 January 10th, 2013|Tax related, Uncategorized|

There needs to be a special reason to give over this blog to someone else's words. This is one such occasion. It's important for accountants to be able to debate the tax news stories of the moment with confidence and conviction - based on the facts. This has become increasingly difficult in recent months, as

8 Misconceptions about Limited Liability Partnerships

By | 2012-12-03T09:17:20+00:00 December 3rd, 2012|Tax related|

At Accountex friends of mine conducted a straw poll of attendees to ascertain attitudes to advising on Limited Liability Partnerships (LLPs). The straw poll was related to a project to which I have leant some support. The results were not wholly surprising but do reveal continued misconceptions and fear of the unknown: LLPs are perceived to

Accountants discouraged by ICAEW from advising on aggressive tax schemes

By | 2012-07-04T13:25:49+00:00 July 4th, 2012|Professional Negligence, Tax related|

Although Tax Avoidance is no longer headline news we continue to see the repercussions of recent media stories. Last week I referenced the comments of the CIOT President. He suggested that there may be a need to consider toughening up the financial services mis-selling rules to attack the promoters and sellers of tax schemes that have no real prospect

Do you ensure your clients get the best advice or just your advice?

By | 2011-07-11T09:40:17+00:00 July 11th, 2011|Professional Negligence, Tax related|

Accountants are naturally cautious about involving third party advisers. They don’t want to be forced to bill their clients more than last year. They also don’t want to bear the cost of seeking a second opinion. This atitude means that some accountants muddle along and avoid admitting to clients that they have limited experience in

The advisers’ guide to HMRC products

By | 2011-04-29T13:22:52+00:00 April 29th, 2011|Tax related|

As a long time supporter of the excellent work done by LITRG I'm pleased to note that they have recently launched www.revenuebenefits.org.uk for accountants and other advisers. This new website is designed to provide advisers with access to the latest information on various HMRC 'products', including tax credits, child benefit and guardian’s allowance, national minimum

Tax specialists leaving general practice accountancy firms

By | 2011-04-15T08:42:46+00:00 April 15th, 2011|Tax related|

I've commented before on the challenges that face accountancy firms that look to recruit their first full time dedicated tax partner. Recently I heard about an unexpected development - Tax specialists leaving general practice accountancy firms. It's a sign of the times. The reasons vary but include: Tax partners' reluctance to promote dubious tax schemes

What is ‘Cheap accounting’ all about?

By | 2011-03-31T09:12:56+00:00 March 31st, 2011|Pricing, Tax related|

I wonder how many readers of this blog had heard of Elaine Clark before I awarded her the 'best overnight budget summary' last week? Elaine qualified as a chartered accountant in 1988 and now and runs one of the fastest growing online accountancy practices in the UK. She established it in 2007 and has a

And the award for best budget night commentary goes to…..

By | 2011-03-24T10:29:15+00:00 March 24th, 2011|STANDING OUT, Tax related, Uncategorized|

I've long been critical of the 'me too' type of overnight budget commentaries. Indeed, these days 'overnight' is slow and many commentaries appear online within hours. I have seen dozens of such identikit commentaries since the Chancellor sat down yesterday. Almost all contain pretty standard lists of the headline measures, cut and paste extracts from the

Keen to recruit your first tax partner? 8 key questions

By | 2010-12-22T12:03:57+00:00 December 22nd, 2010|Tax related|

One of the most common questions I'm asked, often by recruiters, is if I know a prospective new tax partner for a smaller or mid-size practice. Sadly I can rarely help directly - especially if, as is usually the case, the firm would like their new recruit to have a following (ie clients and fees).

Articulating specialisms – can you do it?

By | 2010-11-29T10:50:49+00:00 November 29th, 2010|Accountants, Tax related|

I spent last night in the company of numerous ex colleagues from WJB Chiltern. It Was great seeing do many old friends. What has prompted this post though is a realization I had part way through the evening Almost without exception everyone of my Chiltern Alumni was working in onevof two types of firm.  Either

Do your prospects have an appetite for tax schemes?

By | 2010-08-18T11:11:42+00:00 August 18th, 2010|Tax related|

Talking with a tax and financial adviser recently he told me that his firm is a heavy promoter of tax schemes. "Not a great fan myself" I said. His reply was almost the complete opposite of what I had expected: "I'm not surprised" he said. "Few people actually go ahead and implement the schemes." "So

Adverblog: Cost effective vetted tax support

By | 2010-08-12T10:02:42+00:00 August 12th, 2010|Tax related|

I mentioned the Tax Advice Network in a recent post for the first time in ages. Newer readers of this blog who haven't read the mini profile piece (top right), may be unaware of the Network. Established in 2007 the Tax Advice Network is a resource and facility for accountants in practice. There's no charge