December 3rd, 2012

Tax scheme mis-selling – rather you than me!

The news that lawyers believe the compensation market for the mis-selling of tax avoidance schemes is worth between £20bn and £40bn comes as no surprise to some of us. We’ve always taken the view that we’d highlight the availability of such schemes when the circumstances were right BUT with a very heavy focus on educating clients as to exactly what risks they were undertaking. Invariably, in every case we looked at, the clients decided not to go ahead. It’s easy to see how some professional advisers could have had their heads turned though. The commissions (or pay-aways as they’re called- commission is such a dirty word!) available for selling the schemes were often eye-wateringly large. With such large sums on the table greed takes over from professional integrity and objectivity. And the position could be even worse for some advisers. Some of the advice they’ve given may in fact be seen as regulated advice and therefore outside if the scope of what the adviser can legally recommend to their clients. In such cases there’s bound to be a question mark over whether professional indemnity insurers will stump up the cash.

So, it looks like the old adage ‘if it looks to good to be true…’ applies again – both for accountants who got carried away and for the clients who placed their trust in them.

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Tax avoidance Tax Info

by
Managing Director

Jonathan trained as a chartered accountant with Price Waterhouse (now PWC) in Liverpool before becoming a small business services manager for Grant Thornton in Warrington. He also spent three years as the financial controller for Brookside and Hollyoaks (not that he ever mentions it!).

Jonathan is recognised as a specialist in the entertainment industry and is often called upon to provide training courses and seminars for media professionals. He's also a bit of a technology geek and has been recognised with the accountancy industry as one of the most progressive accountants in the UK.
Outside of work Jonathan is very proud to be the Treasurer of the Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Foundation for Peace and to be on the Council of the Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts (LIPA)

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