Talking with Janet Pierce from Charter Tax
Can you share a practical tip on a tax issue in any of your specialisms?
Assume that if it can go wrong, it will go wrong!? That may be a life outlook as much as a tax tip but I so often see good tax planning go by the wayside because the planning was never properly followed. It’s one of the reasons I’ve made sure that one of the things we do differently as a firm is to handle the tax advice, as well as the practical implementation that goes along with that.
Are there any new or draft rules that are causing a particular problem?
I’m not sure we have long enough to go through the list! However, one of the key areas of work I’m involved in relates to non-dom planning, which of course has seen a relentless pace of change of late. At the moment, we are spending a lot of our time doing things like looking at what offshore trusts should make payments to non-residents pre-5 April 2018 to clear out their gains pool, and contemplating whether the ‘onward gifts’ rules from offshore trusts will in fact bite as really intended.
What should we look out for in 2018?
To me, the government’s intention is clear with regard to aggressive tax planning being stamped on. I must say I have some personal sympathy with this – although it’s a shame it’s not tempered at times with a better understanding of where ‘schemes’ end and genuine international corporate and family tax planning start. So I see yet more and more anti-avoidance legislation, unfortunately.
You set up Charter Tax almost ten years ago. What do you hope to achieve in the next ten years?
I know – ten years already! As for the next ten years, I don’t think that bigger is always better so I’m not looking to get into the list of top 20 accountancy firms. What I do want, though, is to continue our pace of growth through referrals from other clients and contacts. I also want the firm to stand apart, so that when someone mentions the name ‘Charter Tax’ we’re recognised in the industry as a firm that is as technically excellent as it is pleasant to work with – and for.
If you could make one change to a tax law or practice, what would it be?
I think I’d put a halt to the common reporting standard (CRS). I’m all for everyone paying the tax legally due but the erosion of privacy in the name of fairness has gone beyond the pale.
And, of course, the ‘elephant in the room’ – that there is still corruption at governmental level in some jurisdictions receiving CRS information – is never discussed.
As so often happens in life, the pendulum swings one way too much (and the relentless flogging of tax schemes had indeed got out of hand). Inevitably, though, the response brings about a swing of the pendulum too far the other way (and I believe this has now happened, as a client’s reasonable attempts at privacy start to be seen as attempts to hide assets from the taxman). The suggestion these days that anyone with offshore assets ‘must’ be a tax evader, or at least somehow immoral, is a ridiculous media frenzy. Most of us need only to examine the investments made within our own pensions to find some offshore assets – and there should be nothing wrong with that. We do, after all, live in a global economy.
You might not know this about me…
When I’m not working, I can generally be found out with my horses and riding cross country.
Article First Published In Tax Journal | Download the PDF
The information provided by Charter Tax Consulting Limited is general in nature and does not constitute specific tax advice. Professional advice should be sought before deciding on a course of action, or refraining from a certain action, arising from the above information. Tax legislation changes regularly and information contained herein is provided based on legislation as at 13 March 2018
Taxation planning concerns the application of complex statute and case law to future events. Accordingly, however expert the opinion given, it is always possible that the Courts will take a different view of the application of the law. We undertake to apply reasonable care and skill in the provision of advice. We do not guarantee that tax planning steps will in all circumstances achieve a certain legal effect.