MHA Tait Walker’s wealth management and tax teams are working together to provide specialist advice for clients ahead of the first Budget of a post-Brexit UK. (March 11)
Mark Parkinson, a partner in the Wealth Management team at MHA Tait Walker, said: “This Budget is going to be an interesting one as it will be Britain’s first as a non-EU member state in more than 40 years. We are waiting to hear with interest what the new Chancellor has to say and see whether the Budget delivers on the Government’s promises on tax.
“Changes to pension tax relief, Stamp Duty and inheritance tax (IHT) have all been flagged as potentially on the cards, while issues including social care and doctors’ pensions need dealing with, and even the prospect of a mansion tax has been floated in recent weeks.
“Post-Brexit clients are understandably uncertain about the future. Is their money invested in the right assets and geographies? How will leaving the EU impact them and their financial future? These are questions clients have been asking us since the 2016 referendum.
“Our response is generally the same advice – we have to meet regularly to ensure that their individual planning is on track and to re-focus on their objectives and timescales. Importantly, if the Government keeps its promises on tax proposals it’s a key time to look again at how, when and where client money is affected.
“Many wealth management decisions are closely linked to taxes that need to be reviewed with a client’s tax advisor. By working together, we can provide them with the assurance that we are working in their best interests. Ultimately we hope that this leads to a better client experience.”
Mark said from his perspective there is a clear alignment between the tax advisers and the financial planners in terms of strategy; an integrated service which ‘fills a gap in the market.’
He added that it’s an interesting time to be working in the financial planning profession with the upheaval of Brexit.
He said: “By having the firm’s financial planners and tax advisors working together, it adds an increased likelihood that clients may well achieve better results.
“At this time of year, we have been talking to clients about their tax returns and our financial planners have been able to sit down with the tax team to look at ways of helping people mitigate any tax that they have before they submit their tax returns.
“The long-term impact of Brexit on pensions and investments cannot be ignored and that is really difficult to predict right now. Uncertainty has created volatility, but it is important that we help our clients focus on their long-term investments.”
Mark, a former partner at a global banking giant in the North West, joined MHA Tait Walker as partner in the leading accountancy firm eight years ago. Since then he has grown the team significantly and seen headcount in the wealth management team increase from nine to 29.
He said: “Each of our team members has a different speciality, so they put their heads together to share ideas before getting together with clients. This relationship means that the firm can offer a complete set of financial services for clients.
“Our team collaborates to develop integrated strategies for financial, estate planning and retirement to maximise a client’s wealth.
He added: “There is certainly demand for what we offer in the North East as it’s becoming increasingly more complicated for clients today, in terms of tax, because there are a whole host of LISAs, ISAs and pensions to think about.
“Clients want to know what’s best, but, it’s not a one-size-fits-all solution and the answer is to come and talk to us. Sound financial planning is vital if you are to achieve financial independence. This is particularly important when it comes to retirement or succession planning.
“Younger people might think they don’t have to think about it for many years, but a good financial decision early on can be very lucrative in later years.”
Mark added that there are plans to expand the team further and they will be taking on a new apprentice soon.
He said: “We’ve made it our mission to train young people and pass on our specialist knowledge to ensure that, for many years to come, the firm continues to provide specialist wealth management expertise across the sectors we are committed to.”