Avoidable tax bill, much greater than the cost of advice

I have just returned from a visit to a local professional.  The visit was personal and to deal with a very minor health issue of mine.

QuotationMarksLeftQuotationMarksRight During the visit the lady professional talked about a number of matters personal, legal and financial. It’s not unusual for people I meet casually to talk about their own situations.

One of the delights of train travel is the casual conversation with total strangers.  Yes, I have an iPad and yes, I can work on the train, but I get so much more from those human exchanges.

On reflection there are a number of things that I took away from that appointment:

Firstly, people love to talk.
Human interaction is essential.
Hearing our problems spoken out loud somehow puts them into perspective.  As a financial services professional, I fully understand why financial advice, delivered on a website or even an article in a Sunday paper, can never do the entire job.  We need to voice our concerns, have someone listen and then provide considered responses.

One of the matters she mentioned was taxation and how to minimise it, in both the legal and an ethical way.  As I listened it became clear that her previous experiences included both good and extremely bad outcomes.

The bad experiences, it has to be said, did not involve professional advice.  Rather a determination on the part of others to do it illegally, so as to avoid payment of any tax.

Anyone dealing with me gets only the legal option but, sometimes, a reluctance to pay a fee to an adviser has ended in an avoidable tax bill, much greater than the cost of the advice.

In some cases it’s because the advice is not understood, which is my shortcoming for not being clear enough.

On one occasion it was a belief that the same outcome could be achieved without the cost involved, perhaps by approaching an alternative source!  Unfortunately the alternative did not materialise and a substantial Inheritance Tax bill resulted.


If you want to talk to me I will listen

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