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Markel Tax

27 Sep 2019

Annual Tax Conference 2019: The highlights

Markel’s 2019 Annual Tax Conference took place this month in the grand setting of London’s Haberdashers' Hall. Over 150 guests from up and down the country attended what was an enjoyable and highly educational day. The conference was a great opportunity to catch up with old friends and learn from experts in their fields.

Markel Tax’s new managing director, Melanie Hicks, led the conference with partner & head of tax, London, Vaughn Chown, and began by setting the scene for Markel’s ambitious future to be the leading provider of tax consultancy services to accounting firms in the UK.

Up first was head of tax partnerships, Paul Mason, who delivered an impassioned speech on how IR35 will affect contactors with personal service companies in the private sector.

James Clark, our associate director – incentives & reliefs, then discussed the intricacies of Research & Development and Patent Box. Bringing the issue to life for the audience, James looked at the specific factors affecting software companies looking to applying for these two valuable reliefs.

VAT, the so-called ‘simple tax’, then took centre stage with our associate director, Kevin Hall, ensuring everyone understood that VAT is anything but simple, especially with Brexit looming large on the horizon!

Next up was Martin Mann, a director at Markel Tax. Martin walked the audience through Entrepreneurs’ Relief, focusing on the issue of qualification and the importance of key metrics such as the 24-month period and the 5% holding requirement for individual directors’.

It was Business Property Relief’s turn to be centre stage followed soon after, with Markel Tax Consultant Reena Bhudia delivering a complex message in simple terms. The ‘Wholly or Mainly’ test was considered and a number of examples scenarios covered, providing excellent practitioner guidance.

Guest speaker, Dean Smith, from Cadesky in Toronto talked the audience through US citizenship - or the ‘gift that keeps on taking’, as he described it. Dean urged all advisers to ensure they understand a client’s US status before considering their tax planning.

Following a networking lunch, head of employer solutions, Thomas Dalby, covered the considerable benefits of EMI Schemes for small businesses. Another involved subject, advisers need to understand a range of interrelated issues to deliver the best solution for clients.

Thomas was followed by Nathan Ross-Sercombe, director of tax investigations, who focused on how the HMRC’s approach to offshore tax investigations has progressed in recent years, and what advisers should do if clients receive a ‘Notification of Intention to Disclose’ letter.   

The audience was then treated to an upbeat speech from head of private clients Nicola Goldsmith. We all know the importance of tax planning around life, marriage, death and other major life events, and Nicola helped the audience understand some of the detail around this complex issue.

Contractor Solutions was up next with senior tax consultant, David Geldard. David considered how the ‘gig’ economy is changing working practices for many, and the influence of the Taylor Report in driving regulatory changes.

Missed out on the Annual Tax Conference this year? You can see our tax experts talk on their specialist topics at our regional Breakfast Tax Briefings in November. Reserve your seat at our Leeds, Birmingham or London briefings today.

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Gabelle rebrands to Markel Tax