Discussing matters of succession planning with family members is a challenging but necessary process if you wish to try and minimise inheritance tax. In recent years, with the help of Helen Thornley and the rest of the team at Armstrong Watson, we have been able to take proactive steps to manage our family’s affairs to the point where we are now confident about the future.
Charles Lowther, Owner, Askham Hall
Starting up as sole trader was a bit daunting regarding accounts, tax and national insurance. Scott Henderson at Armstrong Watson in Dumfries made it a lot easier and less daunting, explaining all aspects such as registering with HMRC, how best to keep my accounting records, to doing my tax return. If I had a problem or questions I could phone or email them to him and he would get right back to me with an answer or explain anything I needed clarified. Nothing is a problem to Scott; like all the other staff at the Dumfries branch he is approachable, friendly and easy to talk to. I would recommend them to anyone who needs accountancy work done.'
Property Maintenance, Dumfries
I was looking for a financial advisor to help consolidate my pensions. I am very glad I was led to Armstrong Watson. The information and services that I received are far more than I ever expected. Not only have my various pensions been combined, but I now have a greater understanding of how everything works. For the first time I'm fully confident that my finances are in the best hands and will be for the future with the ongoing service that I will receive. By and far the best choice I could have made.
We are business owners from Dumfries and Galloway and we have had the rather unfortunate experience of being subjected to an enquiry by HM Revenue & Customs.
We had previously thought our affairs had been correct and up to date, however, we had not fully understood the taxation system and were unaware of certain reporting requirements and the interaction with international tax issues.
Having never had any former experience of an HM Revenue & Customs enquiry we did not know what to expect but from the start of the enquiry Armstrong Watson, and in particular, Scott McIver assisted us throughout the process.
When we first met Scott he immediately made us feel at ease and took on a great deal of the burden of the enquiry. Scott and his team, which also consisted of Graham Poles, collated and analysed all the necessary information. HM Revenue & Customs had requested details of our business and personal affairs for the previous 20 years and Armstrong Watson prepared a formal report for submission to HM Revenue & Customs.
Perhaps the most daunting aspect of the enquiry was the formal interview we had to attend with HM Revenue & Customs Officers. Scott and Graham both attended the meeting with us which provided us with a great deal of comfort.
Scott ensured there was always good and clear communication between us and HM Revenue & Customs so that we all knew exactly where we were, what was required and what needed to be done.
As a direct result of their efforts the penalties which HM Revenue & Customs could impose were reduced as far as possible. This in itself was a great result, however, by far the greatest benefit was knowing that we had Armstrong Watson and Scott assisting us through the process.
Dumfries Client, Business Owner
I became subject to an enquiry by the Revenue with regard to a self employed individual who would assist from time to time in the business. The Revenue wanted to argue that he was an employee and this would have significantly increased the costs of using this person.
I engaged Graham Poles of Armstrong Watson to assist with this enquiry and he immediately took control and pulled together evidence to support our argument. After protracted correspondence and an internal review, HMRC agreed that the individual was self employed. Graham was always professional in his dealings and ensured I knew what the position of the enquiry was at every step. I would thoroughly recommend both him and Armstrong Watson.
Billy Bone, Firstprobe Limited
“I approached Nigel after having read an article he had written in Taxation magazine concerning EBTs. He helped me through the process of dealing with my tax enquiry with HMRC and I am very grateful for his guidance and support, and delighted with the result.”
Mr V O’Kelly
I have known Andrew as our tax adviser for over 20 years and during that time he has provided me with excellent business advice and helped in the decision making process and expansion of our successful family textile business. This has recently included advice and assistance in claiming substantial Research & Development tax reliefs, taking advantage of the ground-breaking technologies we have recently invested in.
He has also provided valuable tax advice relating to my accommodation and wedding venue business in Scotland, offsetting losses in the early years of business advantageously to minimise my personal tax liabilities.
David Whitehead, Managing Director, H&C Whitehead Limited
We were the subject of a serious tax enquiry into both the company and the directors, concerning a fraud, with a real risk of criminal prosecution. The enquiry lasted for almost three years and throughout this period Andrew Mitchell was our rock, providing valuable advice and support to us in a calm and extremely professional manner and eventually negotiated a satisfactory financial settlement with HMRC. I would have no hesitation in recommending Andrew and Armstrong Watson to another client in a similar predicament.
Director, Manufacturing Company
Andrew Mitchell’s direct line is one of the few telephone numbers I know by heart. It is a number I dial regularly, whenever I have any question on any aspect of taxation. More often than not he is at his desk and picks up immediately, but if not I never have to wait long for him to return the call. This level of service is important to me.
My company, Brook Taverner Limited, and I have being working with Andrew and the tax team at Armstrong Watson Skipton for close to 20 years now. During this time he has acted and advised on a wide variety of corporate and personal tax issues, from the relatively straightforward to the wildly complicated. At all times his research into the matter in question is very thorough and the advice given is always balanced and sensible. This common sense approach suits me and as a result any decision I have to make then becomes a simple one.
My relationship with Andrew and Armstrong Watson is one that has certainly served me well in the past and will, no doubt, continue to do so for quite a few years to come.
Andrew Booth, Director, Brook Taverner Limited
The specialist legal sector team at Armstrong Watson has been instructed by Burnetts Solicitors to prepare the firm’s financial statements, tax returns and SRA Accounts Rules reports as well as the partners’ personal tax returns since 2011. I have been in a joint managing partner position since 1 January 2014 and have worked particularly closely with them since becoming sole managing partner on 1 January 2015. In that time, I have been impressed with their speed of response. When we need something actioned, it is always done within the agreed timetable. That is in part due to their attention to ensure that we provide them with everything that they need in order to help us. Initiatives have been established to ensure that timetables are adhered to and all costs are agreed in advance.
We benefit from their pro-active advice and suggestions; particularly recently regarding our trading structure, law firm alliances and ways to reduce our costs. In addition, they have presented to our people on cross-selling initiatives and improving their understanding of their impact on the success of the firm. They have also offered one to one tax surgeries with each of our partners in order for them to plan their personal affairs, which we will benefit from this year. Their benchmarking analysis of the firm allows us to have strategic conversations with them, and also with my partners internally.
All in all, they help us to improve our business.
Nick Gutteridge, Managing Partner, Burnetts