If you want to save tax, speak to a chartered accountant

April 28, 2013

When I’m at a party (ok – this now never happens, I am 36, have glasses and spend too long reading tax manuals) and am asked what I do for a living I can either say I am a chartered accountant or I can come up with something more cleverer.

Such as:

I help business increases their profits,


I help business owners get on top of their numbers


I help people avoid tax

I’ve learnt that the first 2 are pretty solid at generating a conversation whereas the third one will often cause controversy.

It depends on how the person at the party feels about tax, paying the fair share, all in it together etc.  Quite a few people do object to people avoiding tax and they can get very angry about it.  Here’s what I usually say to them:

1. Tax avoidance is perfectly legal (tax evasion is criminal)
2. I am a chartered accountant, avoiding tax is in my DNA
3. I am a chartered accountant and I have a duty to my clients to offer them all range of tax avoidance schemes as long as I make it clear the risks (some are not risky, some are very risky)
4. Business owners, rightly or wrongly, will always have more options to save tax than employees, that’s just the way tax law works

They may not like it but at least I’m trying to be honest about it.

Sometimes the conversation may stray on to global multinationals avoiding tax.  Ah, I say, that’s a different matter – more on this on a future blog…..

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