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Value adding to your practice

Tasked with growing the tax practice

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Hi all

My job remit has recently changed and I have gone from managing the tax team/compliance deadlines/dealing with current advisory queries etc. to now being tasked with growing the tax revenue of the practice and stepping away from my current day-to-day.

I thought it would be good to start a discussion as to what people are currently focusing their selling on and how people are generating increased tax fees. Personally I am looking to move more into R&D and creative tax credits as I have a quite an IT heavy client base. 

Looking forward to hearing other's views. 

Thanks

TC

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01st May 2018 13:53

some ways
1. Writing tax related articles and promoting on various places... website/Linkedin

2. Organsing and making presentations.
3. Networking ..

Thanks (1)
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By Maslins
01st May 2018 13:56

R&D is easy money.

Get every client to claim huge amounts, write some BS about how their very run of the mill business is at the forefront of new technology, job done. Wipes out their CT bill (or even gets them cash back), and you can charge handsomely for doing it.

...or at least this seems to be what all other R&D advisers do. The whole thing is an utter sham in my opinion...

Sorry I can't offer any useful advice.

Thanks (5)
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to Maslins
01st May 2018 14:46

This. It's happening in a grotesque and aggressive way. It's the new 'endowment mortage scandal'. Clients are being told they are stupid not to claim by spivs.

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to Maslins
01st May 2018 14:54

@Maslins, you must include the line "your current accountant does not understand this area" in your marketing, so as to assist when their current accountant points out its bobbins.

See also "we have counsel's opinion"

Thanks (2)
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to ireallyshouldknowthisbut
01st May 2018 22:09

Maslins knows you don't have to have men in white coats. The best he is. Not like everyone else.

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01st May 2018 16:03

How about IHT planning, will writing and probate?

Thanks (1)
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to Vaughan Blake1
02nd May 2018 14:22

IHT is something that I do want to push more. I want to encourage clients to think about this much earlier rather than waiting until they are 60+ and then wanting to discuss it.

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01st May 2018 20:17

R & D are a potential fee earner bit do it in an ethical way, and not the 35% of claim the PPI style firms offer as the others have mentioned

Not sure how you would market it as saturated really

Other than that pick an industry sector you know and market to it as a specilaist in that field, talk about on LinkedIn and blogs etc

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to Glennzy
02nd May 2018 13:09

I would do it on a fixed fee basis based on estimated hourly rates - I don't approve of the % model.

According to HMRC statistics, only 26,000 claims were made in 2015-16, which doesn't sound overly saturated to me.

As the government views investment in R&D to be key to economic success, they are encouraging more claims to be made. To me it appears to be a low risk area to focus on due to clients actively being encouraged to claim the relief by government/HMRC. This is ofcourse, so long as it isn't all based in BS.

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to Tax Conundrum
02nd May 2018 14:54

Using stats so far out of date is not really a good argument.

The current numbers are much higher, which is why HMRC are currently taking 3 months to process claims, when they claim they try to do them in 28 days on the website.

I would say that it is fairly saturated from a claims type company perspective as I must get a dozen emails from people offering to do CA and R & D claims and offer hefty referral fees, to the point where they are becoming annoying. Go on Linkedin and see how many accountants are also R & D specialists.

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to Glennzy
02nd May 2018 15:37

The stats were published by HMRC in September 2017, so the most recent and readily available stats there currently is. https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploa...

I am aware that there are a number of R&D specialists out there, but as our client's aren't currently using these, we have an opportunity to turn our focus and pursue the work ourselves.

The fact remains that it is a tax relief that the government is encouraging people to claim and therefore receives favorable treatment.

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to Tax Conundrum
02nd May 2018 16:01

I don't understand your point if they are already your clients why are you not doing it for them already.

You OP was how to market and increase your tax practice. If all this work is already on the table why have you not converted it before now.

My point was that marketing externally for R & D will not likely get you much.

Not sure why you feel the need to start a discussion then put everyone right who has replied.

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to Glennzy
02nd May 2018 16:41

That isn't what I am doing.

As I said in OP, my job role has changed. Our advisory service was not overly proactive before due to capacity and other pressures. We didn't have the resources available to actively seek additional work and convert.

We have now managed to recruit and I am now able to step away from the day to day compliance demands of my previous role. I have been asked to take a step back, analyse our clients and present a strategic plan to increase tax revenues. My OP's intention was to start a discussion around this and see other opinions on where people would go with this given such autonomy/freedom in their own role. I happened to mention that I was going to look at pushing R&D more and this has now turned into the main talking point of the post.

It is not my intention to "put everyone right who has replied", just to defend my decision to offer an R&D service to my clients.

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01st May 2018 22:17

Not trying to be my usual self....but is professional tax advice just about marketing what you think is profitable? Or should you actually know about it first?

If you do know about tax and have a client base and can give good tax advice, surely you can already see what needs looking at....The common themes that are coming up and that, from dealing with them, you are also very up to date with the issues around them.........Yes? No?

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to AnnAccountant
02nd May 2018 13:14

Tax advice itself isn't about marketing what is profitable, no. However, what you are talking about is a reactive service to issues coming up rather than a proactive, strategic plan. What I am being asked to do is come up with a strategic plan for growing tax revenue which will most like involve focusing on area that we have not yet fully explored.

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By gippt
07th May 2018 01:13

I also have the same problem. I used to work in science and want to target R & D Tax claims but in Pharma, Biotec, Chem & food industries. Your problem is catching them at the right time they might be considering applying for a claim so if you do a gereralist approach on Linkedin, it is unlikley to be successful . You could try an approach which involves convincing them to apply if they have not previously considered it. What about acvertising in specialist trade publications or advertising on Linkedin groups.

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