Friday, October 24, 2008

Tax advisory opportunities as we enter a recession?

I wasn't sure whether to post this here on the TaxBuzz blog or on my separate blog containing more general advice and tips for ambitious accountants. This tax insight is also related to one of the points I will be addressing in a forthcoming seminar on 19 November: Mastering the Credit Crunch - your practice, your advice, your future. (NB: Places filling fast!)

Obviously no one wants to pay MORE tax at any time. But with increased pressures on margins, cashflows and financing costs it becomes even more important to ensure that clients aren't paying more tax than they need to.

During my talks to accountants I often stress the need to ensure that clients perceive that their accountant is giving proactive tax saving advice. That often means the accountant needs to spell out to the client the tax implications of any advice and work rather than simply hope the client will somehow find out. There are plenty of accountants around who do a fine job but whose clients don't know this and maybe even assume their accountant isn't trying to save them tax each year.

Beyond the day to day issues relevant to many clients and taxpayers (eg: claiming all allowances, reliefs and deductions) the current financial situation also presents additional tax planning opportunities.

These incluse capital gains tax mitigation, inheritance tax planning and the managing the taxes that can arise when reorganising groups of companies, such as on demergers or sale.

Falling share and property values actually present specific tax planning opportunities for the wealthy - in terms of CGT and IHT, also for those companies wanting to incentivise staff through share option schemes.

Not all accountants have the necessary specialist expertise to advice on such matters. And it's rarely low cost advice so it's not for everyone. Many accountants outsource such specialist tax expertise. I'll be addressing these and many other subjects in a talk I'm giving to accountants next month: Mastering the credit crunch - your practice, your advice, your future.

So, are there more or fewer opportunities for tax planning as we enter a recession?
My own view is that certainly aren't fewer opportunities. There may be fewer people willing pay good money for advice, but if the cost/benefit equation is right then there's no need for accountants to worry. Service and value for money are as important as ever.
What do you think?

No comments:

Post a Comment