Member Since: 6th Apr 2013
12th Mar 2014
Another thought is the banks in CI or IOM who play a pivotal part in many of these schemes by making "loans" to clients they don't know, at the behest of dodgy promoters and where is is manifest that there is no bona fide commercial purpose. Which is to say that the bank's only commercial purpose is to make a fat fee for not doing very much. The Treasury might find that they are susceptible to a modest amount of pressure to keep away from this sort of thing.
The Crown Dep banks have been withdrawing facilities for fear of upsetting HMRC for some time - since when should we proceed in fear of HMRC? Comply with what we tell you is unacceptable and NOT what the law states is so, and all is well. That flies in the face of everything I have ever been taught. The rules are written down, if there is an argument about those rules you argue it out in court, if you still don't agree you appeal. Anything less is guilty from the start without right to appeal = police state (it might only be financial police, but police state none the less). I for one value my freedom.
Not wanting to get too melodramatic but our forefathers fought for our rights to freedom without the state interfering in our affairs so long as we were just and honest people. We surrender these freedoms at our peril - and for the first time in years, I genuinely believe an attack on our freedom is being launched - if I was American, I would be retreating to the woods, buying some guns and waiting for the feds to arrive.
Everything from buying wine in France to choosing a Ferry to go there to avoid airport duty to filling up with fuel the night before a rise in duty is avoidance - what next? What they really want to stop is marketed schemes - sorry, if you cant do this within the framework of the law that is the law's fault and the best solution to that is to simplify. Will they ever do that though ? No it keeps to many cumbersome government departments in business.
Anyone own any woods they want to sell (sure there is a tax scheme in that somewhere?)
12th Mar 2014
The problem with this kind of law is that it will impact upon commercial decisions taken by companies and so goes too far. HMRC are poor arbiters of good commercial sense - they exist by propagating themselves and are driven by maximising revenues at the point of collection only and not by maximising revenue by the promotion of a good and sustainable commercial environment. Squeezing until the pips squeek, does not grow a good orange.
From a tax perspective the rules (as I read them) go too far.
From a commercial perspective this could be very damaging. Businesses need certainty and a freedom to act - if HMRC can change their mind whenever they want, any decision a business makes can be wrong and their isnt anything you can do about it. If you cannot strive to organise your business as efficiently as possible in this country - businesses may go elsewhere, I know I would!
Last November, the implementation of rules requiring offshore trustees in the Crown Dependencies to report all transactions to UK Taxpayers to HMRC overturned the principal of confidentiality that has survived hundreds of years under common law. This goes further - if it was a 'right to roam' the ramblers would be up in arms, why are we not?
22nd Nov 2013
Sounds like they left half way through a year when they made a pile of cash and tried to claim change in residence - maybe half way through a deal as well?
The ten year headline got me reading though.
8th Nov 2013
Met these guys
whilst working for a major offshore life company.....
They offered a very clever mechanism of extending the tax-free commission loophole after it was closed (sale of second hand bonds). This was widely taken up by policyholders with this company.
23rd Jun 2013
How to win friends and influence people
I have not read this book for years but remember it as manipulative and the exact opposite of what sales should be based upon. The comments about sales being easy are misleading - it really, really is not an easy thing to do to convince someone to change their mind and do what you want them to. Both assume that there is a set of techniques that will turn a professional into a salesperson - there is not. Weirdly I think that demonstrating competence doesn't work all that well either - rather build a successful presentation of facts, deliver it well and repeat, a lot!
A prospective client of ours recently stated that they don't need an accountant anymore - there is more than enough software on the marketplace to make the profession redundant. I think we all know that this is not the case, there are things that years of experience bring that cannot be replaced with software or a quick books training course. The same is true in sales - you cannot replace experience with social media marketing or a 2 day training course - that way lies only technique (manipulative) salesmanship. Commit to it or hire someone who can do it, train them in your values and nurture them.
21st Jun 2013
Ask for the business - thats the simple bit.
I disagree that sales is easy - closing is easy, sales can be difficult, time consuming and soul destroying. Of all of these 'time consuming' is the worst, it takes time to identify, target, contact, meet with, and close a new client. This is difficult to achieve when squeezing it between client meetings and VAT returns etc, etc. Because it can be hard to do (who likes being rejected day after day), that audit proposal looks oh so tempting.... don't do it either commit to selling or don't do it and hire someone who can. When you have hired them, value them - their job is every bit as hard as yours.
And, like coppers or soldiers, most accountants share certain charactersitics - different training and backgrounds don't change that a great deal.
21st Jun 2013
I am going to write in extremes here to make my point, forgive me but it should get it across quickly at least.
I would argue that accountancy as a career choice is far more dependent upon personality than sales. Let me explain. Over the years I have met many accountants and they are, broadly speaking, very similar. As always exceptions apart but good accountants tend to fit a profile (modern word for stereotype) - sorry but it is true, if a little overstated to make a point.
Throughout the same career I have met many successful salespeople who come in all shapes, sizes and personality types. I have met inconsistent well groomed, slick Alpha males forcing their way to failure and small quiet types who make a fortune selling. 'People buy from people' is the oldest cliche there is and the truest statement in sales - everything else is window dressing.
If that is the case and accountants can't generally sell - I conclude that people don't like the persona they are being presented with or the message you are delivering. If that is the case - why not hire a salesperson instead of promoting the wrong person into partnership and expecting them to sell? I will never understand the logic of a 'board' or cohort of Partners who think diversification of skills is having a Tax expert sitting next to an Audit expert. Start valuing other skills more highly - here endeth the lecture.