Our approach to tax planning has always been to advise within both the spirit and the letter of the tax legislation. Some areas of tax law leave room for interpretation, but we do not believe that it is either ethical or sensible to advise our clients push the boundaries of behaviour that could be interpreted as tax avoidance, and certainly never evasion. We are aware such ‘advice’ is available elsewhere, but we do not offer it. Consequently, our tax planning work is always aimed at ensuring that our clients make good use of the allowances and reliefs sanctioned by government/HMRC, act within the current tax laws and plan ahead to pay taxes that are due.
Our advice will depend on each client’s individual circumstances but might typically include optimising ISA and pension contributions, the use of capital gains and dividend allowances and for those with an appropriate attitude to investment risk might also include the reliefs available through investment in suitable Venture Capital Trusts (VCTs) and Enterprise Investment Schemes (EISs) all of which are expressly under the heading of tax incentivised savings.
We work with most of our clients over the long-term which allows us to plan ahead; we try to monitor likely changes in tax legislation, but also aim to take into account changes in personal tax rates that may be available in future i.e. for those moving into retirement whose income and tax rates might reduce from higher to basic rate or where, for example, a spouse or civil partner might be taxed at a better rate. In such circumstances we aim to help structure the family finances to optimise tax efficiency taking account of the wider family position.
Estate Planning – passing wealth down generations – is entirely permissible and a very effective way of reducing the liability to IHT if planned in advance. We work within the HMRC rules to advise clients and their families on the available allowances including the Nil Rate Band and Residence Nil Rate Band and gifting allowances, but also advise on Trust structures and IHT exempt investments that can allow the donor to retain a measure of control over how assets are used and eventually distributed to their intended beneficiaries.
We are not an Accountancy Firm or Tax Adviser so our advice is limited to tax efficient planning. We encourage our clients to take advice from suitably qualified accountants as needed. We normally work with accountants and solicitors to ensure that the current and future approach to managing your tax exposure and the efficiency of your investments is undertaken in a well-thought-out, joined-up way.
The value of investments may fall as well as rise and you may not get back what you put in.
The Financial Conduct Authority does not regulate estate planning or tax advice.’
VCTs (Venture Capital Trusts) and EIS (Enterprise Investment Schemes) are very high-risk investments and you may lose your capital. These investments can have concentration in one single unquoted trading company. Often there is no market for these shares and it may be very difficult to make a disposal. The tax treatment of these investments depends on your individual circumstances and may be subject to change in future. These products are not suited to everyone and individual advice should be sought before investing.