Market leading insight for tax experts
View online issue

One minute with... Rob Chedzoy

printer Mail
Tell us about your role.
One of the things I really enjoy about the role is the huge variety of clients and technical challenges we encounter. Our offices are based in Bristol, Bath, Taunton, Yeovil and London, and I’m constantly amazed by the quality of the corporate work we see. I’m currently working on a number of SEIS and EIS fundraising exercises for tech based start-ups, and several R&D claims, ranging from small refunds for start-up businesses through to a sizeable RDEC claim for a LSE listed plc. I also have several corporate and group reorganisations on the go, as well as various EMI and unapproved share option schemes, including one for a catering business and another for an online food retailer. In my ‘spare time’, I tend to take a lead role in meeting potential clients and finding out what makes their businesses tick – even the most unpromising of leads occasionally turns out to be a real gem.
Are there any changes on the horizon that you have your eye on?
We will wait with interest to see what will become of making tax digital, and whether the start date will be further tinkered with. Whatever the eventual timing, MTD is likely to be one of the biggest changes impacting on many accounting practices this decade, and we are keen to be at the forefront of the inevitable change to help our clients through it. We expect that many of our clients will need some quite substantial help, and need to do all we can to offer a range of solutions, to suit all budgets. 
Can you share a practical tip on how to handle tax in practice?
SEIS and EIS are an absolute minefield for the unwary. We regularly speak to potential clients who have a little knowledge of the rules and are hell bent on fitting square pegs into round holes. However clear you believe you are being, it pays to repeat yourself. It is essential to be as close to the deal as possible: for SEIS assignments, we will always aim to take control of the incorporations and company secretarial aspects, confirm banking arrangements and share subscriptions, and manage the entire process. We have been asked to help unravel the aftermath of a number of failed claims, where the former advisers haven’t been close enough to the detail. 
Comment on a recent development that has affected your work.
Like many firms, we have historically done an awful lot of tax planning work in conjunction with our insolvency colleagues. Much of this involved the winding up of businesses at the end of their commercial lifecycle. The restrictions around the statutory replacement for ESC C16 and the introduction of the TAAR on distributions in respect of share capital on winding up has had a significant impact on this marketplace. The absence of specific guidance from HMRC, other than its three very artificial examples, gives rise to real difficulties in providing pragmatic advice to clients who are often looking to balance their commercial requirements with the very significantly increased tax costs of going down this route.
What do you know now that you wish you’d known at the start of your career?
That there would be absolutely no let up in the pace of change, and that keeping on top of the changing tax landscape could easily be a full time job in its own right. That there was far more to being a good tax adviser than being good with numbers, or understanding tax law. Over the last few weeks with clients, I have needed listening skills, flexibility, negotiation skills, counselling skills and sales skills.
And finally, you might not know this about me but…
I’m a keen Somerset cricket supporter, and am gunning to see us winning some long awaited silverware this season. I first visited the County Ground in Taunton with my dad in 1984, and have memories of watching the legendary Ian Botham, Viv Richards and Joel Garner hitting sixes over the main stand. I’ve got high hopes for the one day competition this year! 
Issue: 1353
Categories: One minute with