A holistic approach to tax planning

I couldn’t help but sit down this afternoon to reflect on the sheer complexity of our UK tax code and how it is virtually impossible to advise on specific commercial matters in isolation.

This followed a meeting I’d had with an entrepreneur earlier in the day to discuss future strategic plans and tax planning opportunities, initially aimed solely at the family owned business being as it was fast approaching the company’s year end – although the discussion rapidly spread across other diverse areas of business and personal taxation as these meetings so often do…

For example, one moment we were discussing whether a building should be acquired by the owner’s company, pension fund or personally and the next we were discussing the optimum tax mix of salary, dividends and director’s loan account draw-down. In the midst of this we touched upon maximising VAT recovery on the potential property acquisition, the hideously complicated anti-forestalling regulations in relation to pension contributions and making best use of capital allowances on some machinery. Oh, and we also discussed benefits in kind on a car and how this could be mitigated by use of the LLP in the group structure plus some possible R&D tax credit claims available in the future.

Tax typically has a knock-on effect to other taxes so no sooner than you think you have a potential solution to a problem then something else rears its head in the discussions and puts the brakes on – often VAT! – before we switch gears and head off in the direction of an alternative solution.

For me this is the really enjoyable aspect of being a tax advisor (there are some, honest!) – the chance for a bit of mind-gymnastics – although the investment of time in keeping up to speed with legislative changes and latest ideas is on the increase (this is without taking into account the depth and breadth of experience and expertise that we have in our Firm).

This is leading me to experiment with new ways of capturing, interpreting and disseminating tax information and planning ideas whilst maintaining a holistic approach to tax planning for each entrepreneur’s specific facts and circumstances. More to follow…

Enhanced by Zemanta