We have a very low turnover of clients, and we think this is because we try hard to help our clients in ways beyond accounting and tax matters.
Good tax advice
Mr A wanted to buy premises and set up a retail shop, which he would run with some help from his family. Part of the finance came from his parents, themselves retired from business. Our advice was to buy the premises in the name of all the family members, which they did. About five years later Mr A decided retailing was not for him, and he wanted to sell up and do something different. The shop building was sold and the capital gain that arose was split among the four family members, with no tax arising because there were four lots of tax exemption to absorb the gain.
Attendance at tax visit
A client was informed that a PAYE tax inspection was to take place. We attended the inspection and managed the information requested by the two tax inspectors who came. The meeting was perfectly business-like, and after the inspection the client remarked “you don’t take prisoners, do you!”
Getting out of a tricky situation
Mr B wanted to withdraw from the company which he owned jointly with someone else. He felt that the company should be sold and he should get some of his money back. We felt that he would be very lucky to get any money back at all, and it was more important to free him from the bank’s claim on his house. After a while the bank charge was removed. Mr B still felt aggrieved that he had got none of his money back. Later the company collapsed, leaving those still involved with a financial mess and with substantial bank claims on their personal homes. Mr B was free from all this.
Merchant seaman tax refund
Mr C worked on ships, spending most of the year away from the UK. He felt that it was too late to claim the tax exemptions for offshore workers. We encouraged him to give us the information which enabled us to make the appropriate claim on his tax return. He got a tax refund of about £4,000.
Managing the sale of a business
Mr D sold his family company. On the day of the exchange, the directors arrived from the company which was buying Mr D’s business, but Mr D’s solicitors had not supplied the finished paperwork, and were not going to attend the meeting. We chaired the handover meeting, ensuring that all the parties present received the information they needed, and that any loose ends were identified and dealt with to everyone’s satisfaction.
Mr E had operated as a sole trader for several years, but increasingly his customers wanted to deal with a company rather than an individual. We guided Mr E through the process of setting up a company and transferring his business to it. The business has grown, and we manage the payroll and VAT for Mr E, so that he can concentrate on doing what he does well.
Client did not follow good advice
The directors of a company came to us for help with managing their business and improving accounting matters. We advised them to do certain things, and advised them again and again, but they did not follow our advice. We were unhappy charging fees to a client for advice which they did not follow, so we wrote to the client explaining why we could not continue. We fired the client and lost a good income. 18 months later the company went into liquidation.
Stocktake on sale of company
A family company was negotiating a sale to another company. A key element was the value of stock at the date of exchange, which required a full stocktake and would be under the scrutiny of some observers from the buying company. The family asked us to manage the stocktake. We managed the stocktake, organising ten people over three days until the job was done. The buyers were fully satisfied, the client sold the business and walked home with the proceeds.
Tax Enquiry leading to a refund
An enquiry was started on a client who had omitted some savings income from his tax return. We noticed that some money had been declared as income, but we felt it should be a capital gain. We persisted with HMRC until the correct treatment was followed, and the client is entitled to a refund of about £20k. (Note – this is unusual. We do not expect to turn a tax enquiry into income!)
Arbitration over faulty work
An arbitration hearing was set for Mr K who disputed the excessive bill given to him by his previous unqualified accountant. We were asked to examine the accounts and attend the hearing as a witness. We listed the faults in the previous accountant’s work, and the decision was given in favour of our client with costs.