OF THE SPECIALIST PROFESSIONAL
An appreciation by Phillip Taylor MBE and Elizabeth Taylor of Richmond Green Chambers This book is a little goldmine of tax information for the self-employed professional. It answers those questions which one always has difficulty with, and yet feels awkward asking the accountant about- you can find the answers here!
Whilst the book is put forward as a guide to tax planning opportunities affecting those professions with a specialist or unusual occupation, it is the pitfalls and reliefs which offer the best information and fulfills the role it sets itself.
There are 19 occupational chapter areas, and 6 heavyweight appendices which are directly relevant to specialist careers that are subject to specific tax rules. Keith Gordon’s third edition remains intelligently set out and well organized in a highly practical format. It has an alphabetical user-friendly layout with these up to date informative appendices, and a list of tables which allows ease of access and coverage of the Finance Act of 2007 and 2008, and the Income Tax Act of 2007.
Gordon has added three new chapters for the third edition covering cemeteries and crematoria, independent contractors (in particular, those operating in the IT sector) and the rules allowing tax-free late-night travel from work and coverage from the leading authority, known as the Arctic Systems decision by the House of Lords (Jones v Garnett).
The new edition also gives comprehensive references to important HMRC commentaries relating to different occupations which will save time with your accountant (as you have to do much of the donkey-work anyway), and the index remains excellent on detail and accessibility.
This is another excellent work from Tottel for the busy professional practitioner, and those in self employment, who need answers to some simple tax questions, but has often been afraid to ask.
Gordon’s chief concern is that the concept of tax simplification remains a long way off, and it haunts the work although he recognizes that simplification and fairness are not always able to co-exist.
We felt that the best value of the book lies in the way HMRC treat particular occupations covered here, with the overview Gordon provides over rules targeting small businesses. To many professionals and their advisers, the ways of the HMRC are often not obvious (that is putting it kindly), but the third edition goes a long way to giving a reasonably detailed overview of the problems some businesses face when it comes to obtaining any form of tax advantage because of the nature of their businesses and commitments, however much the civil service object.
We leave the final comment to Baroness Hale who expressed what is described as a ‘provisional’ view on the backroom support of Mrs Jones in the Arctic Systems case by saying that “Mrs Jones was receiving only what she deserved and that therefore there had been no gratuitous (or bounteous) disposition towards her.”
We suspect that many users of this book will understand (and sympathies with) the position of Mrs Jones only too well, and reflect on how complex the tax treatment of specialist occupations remains with simplification years away.
Thank you, Keith Gordon, for “Gordon’s Guide”, and for giving us your insights and experience as a barrister and accountant on the vital tax issues which affect us in these important occupational areas of business as both users and advisers.