31 Oct 2023

Focus on our Tax services

Tax is a complex landscape that impacts everyone in one way or another. Although navigating the rules can sometimes be a minefield, it’s vital for individuals and businesses alike to keep on top of the changes to our tax system as unexpected charges often have a major impact on finances and cashflow.

Stephanie Hurst, corporate tax consultancy and personal tax compliance director, has over 16 years of experience in supporting businesses and individuals to successfully navigate the landscape amid a shifting tax environment and assists taxpayers in effectively planning ahead. Stephanie gives us an overview of the numerous tax services that Monahans offers.

Monahans cover the key areas of taxation that you would expect any reputable accountancy firm to deal with including:

  • Corporate and business compliance and advisory services
  • Personal tax compliance services
  • Private client advisory services

Within each of these areas we cover several niche specialisms, some of which are highlighted within this article.

Corporate Tax
Whilst we are quite heavily involved in corporate tax compliance, the advisory services we offer are really where we can add the most value.

We regularly advise on HMRC approved and unapproved share option plans for employee incentivisation, Research and Development (R&D) claims and capital allowance claims for significant projects and business investment.

Business restructuring also falls within this scope which may include company or group restructuring, the implementation of venture capital schemes such as the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS), designed for businesses looking for external investment, or assistance with tax efficient extraction of profit or exit planning.

Personal Tax Compliance
Personal tax compliance is exactly what it says on the tin. We handle the full self-assessment tax return process from registering clients and submitting their tax returns to advising on their tax position and how this may be improved through the use of certain reliefs.

Our services include capital gains tax (CGT) compliance and planning, including assistance with residential property sale returns, the calculation and/or mitigation of pension annual allowance charges and the preparation and submission of trust and estate tax returns. Requirements vary between clients but whatever their needs and concerns, we will guide people through the complicated processes and communicate with HMRC to alleviate any pressures.

Private Client Advisory
Advisory work for individuals can include both Inheritance Tax (IHT) and CGT planning. We can advise in advance on the tax implications of selling or gifting property and suggest available reliefs and strategies to reduce CGT where relevant. IHT planning is a key area for many of our clients and we have a highly skilled team dedicated to providing advice on this particular subject.

Why would someone want to hire an accountant or tax adviser?
Individuals and businesses are brilliant at delivering their specific offering or service, but they might not necessarily be equally as brilliant in handling their own taxes, and you can’t blame them. Business and individuals can’t be expected to be masters of the UK tax system as well as their own professions!

Accountants and tax advisers take care of areas such as cash flow and tax planning and can provide valuable business advice to encourage sustainable and long-term growth. This allows taxpayers to really focus on the things that are directly important to their success.

Tax rules can also be difficult to follow as they frequently change and guidance isn’t always particularly clear. Our job is to take away the headache of trying to decipher HMRC updates and how they might affect you. We are highly skilled at identifying tax efficiencies and we also have the advantage of being able to consider the bigger picture on behalf of an organisation to make sure all aspects are running as well as they could be. As business owners are so involved with the day-to-day running of the show, these areas can easily be overlooked.

Staying privy to tax changes
As mentioned previously, tax changes are constant, but at Monahans we have comprehensive processes in place to tackle them as an accountancy firm, allowing us to advise our clients in the most effective way. We are experts in our own right but we also have access to a network of other firms and industry experts, including those working in the legal and finance sectors, to assist in particularly specialist areas and to provide our clients with a well-rounded service.

In addition to this, our team attends regular professional courses and consumes new tax material to ensure that our skillsets and industry knowledge is as sharp and relevant as possible; it’s crucial that we are always learning and progressing.

We also develop and release technical articles and documents for our website to assist our new and existing clients in understanding certain aspects of taxation or accountancy. On each Budget day, we will spend the afternoon reviewing documents and articles to ensure we’re fully up to date on all policy changes and can contact any clients that might be affected by any change announced. At the end of the tax year, we also curate an End of Year Tax Planning Guide which acts as an invaluable online resource for taxpayers.

One key change we have on our radars at the moment is Making Tax Digital (MTD). MTD is set to spark a noteworthy change in the tax world and when it does come into full effect, it will transform the self-assessment landscape as we know it. Although full implementation of MTD has been delayed until 2026 the basis period reform rules announced in late 2021 will still come into force between 2023 and 2025. We are currently in the process of reviewing our client base with guidance to be provided in due course.

What is the biggest challenge in tax?
HMRC is becoming far more difficult to communicate with and this is currently one of the major challenges in accountancy, especially tax. Over the last five years, HMRC’s workforce has reduced by 6,000 staff so their call times have become increasingly long, and information can be unclear at times. Their service levels have declined in recent years and, quite worryingly, we have become aware that the details a taxpayer may receive from HMRC through their support lines can sometimes be inaccurate. We would always advise that clients reach out for expert support, at the earliest stage possible.

What is the most rewarding part of working in tax?
Having the knowledge and utilising that knowledge to save clients as much tax as possible is the most rewarding part of this specialism. By understanding our clients and their goals, we have the ability to use our knowledge to structure affairs in a certain way or to implement a certain relief to ensure businesses and individuals are keeping taxes to a minimum whilst staying compliant. Our goal is to help our clients grow as much as they possibly can so if we can facilitate this growth by reducing their taxes, this can be incredibly rewarding.

If you are looking for an expert team of accountants and tax advisers to help you with your taxes and financial management, get in touch with her or the team today.

Stephanie Hurst