Q: Tell us a bit about yourself and your interests.
A: I was born and brought up in Guernsey and in my younger days, was into competitive sport - particularly badminton where I represented the Island at Island Games level, winning a number of medals over 5 games. The high point was undoubtedly competing in the Commonwealth Games in 1986. A serious knee injury ended my competitive play and these days my involvement in badminton is limited to umpiring and I leave the playing to my three children.
I now spend time keeping fit by working out in the gym most lunchtimes and playing golf most weekends (but failing miserably in my efforts to lower my handicap!). During my spare time, I also enjoy gardening, listening to music, reading, spending time with the family, following Leeds United and holiday travel so looking forward to being able to get away again before too long!
Q: How would you describe your role?
A: My role as Head of Tax for BDO in Guernsey involves managing a team of 15 people who specialise in Guernsey, UK and French tax compliance and advice. My role involves ensuring the tax team have effective quality control procedures in place and promoting the tax team’s practice development.
I personally specialise in all aspects of Guernsey tax and I am a member of the GSCCA tax subcommittee that provides a link between the local accountancy profession and the Guernsey Revenue Service. In addition to my tax role, I am also a member of the Executive Board of BDO and the firm’s Money Laundering Reporting Officer.
Q: What do you enjoy about your profession?
A: It sounds like a bit of a cliché but I do enjoy the wide variety and intensity of the role and meeting people, whether these be other tax professionals or clients with a wide variety of tax issues to resolve…….and helping them resolve those issues!
Q: Who is a typical client?
A: There is no such thing as a typical client, these will vary from high-net-worth individuals with a wide variety of business interests at one end of the spectrum to larger commercial trading companies and corporate groups at the other end with trusts in the middle. All will have widely differing requirements and I enjoy the challenge of helping to navigate them through the ever-developing tax legislation.
Q: What do people need to be thinking about now/ at this time of year in terms of tax?
A: Tax has the tendency to catch people unaware and it is extremely important to ensure that tax considerations are taken into account in advance, for instance of completing a transaction. Other than this, at this time of the year, people need to consider the completion of their calendar year 2020 annual tax return now that the pro forma return has been released by the Guernsey Revenue Service.
Q: What would be your top tip to somebody who is looking to get their taxes in order?
A: My advice would be that anyone seeking to get their taxes in order (particularly if they are behind where they should be) needs to understand the tax implications of their particular situation and should take early tax advice. Unfortunately, tax legislation is full of compliance deadlines and if these are missed, or there are errors, there is a risk of incurring heavy late payment surcharges and/or penalties. We can assist clients in resolving these issues as painlessly as possible and negotiate with the Revenue Service on their behalf.