ATT Welcome: It takes a village…

ATT Welcome: It takes a village…
18 June 2024

May and July are busy months in the social calendar of both ATT and CIOT. This will be my last welcome page as Deputy President as I will replace Simon Groom as President of ATT on 11 July. Invitations to the AGM have been issued to all members and we hope you can join us at this virtual event. Graham Batty will take over from me as Deputy President and Barry Jefferd will become Vice President.

Graham will be known to some of you as a past President of ATT, who has now retired from practice and continues to volunteer with ATT, chairing the ATT Examination Steering Group. He is also a former Chair of both the Leeds and Birmingham and West Midlands Branches. His knowledge of the charity sector is a fantastic resource for us.

Barry is a partner with George Hay Chartered Accountants and past Chairman of the Mid Anglia Branch. He serves on the ATT Examination Steering Group and he lectures regularly. He recently led the Topical Tax section at our Spring Conferences.

It is difficult to believe that almost a year has passed since my first welcome page. Back then, we were bemoaning the closure of the HMRC helplines and HMRC service levels. I was going to say that not much has changed but Treasury has listened to us and we were grateful that an additional £51million of funding has been made available for phoneline support. It will obviously take a few months to train up the additional staff but hopefully we will see improvements before we hit the busy season.

My presidential diary is already filling up with invitations. If any branches would like a visit, please let the ATT office know. I am particularly interested in any special events such as a branch anniversary, but I am open to any invitations. (Sheffield, remember to let me know if there’s an escape room planned. I also love quiz nights!) Please remember I have to make travel plans which will likely include flights or lengthy train journeys unless you are north of the Midlands, so please give as much notice as you can once your programme has been approved. I would particularly like to visit all the Scottish Branches, so please do get in touch.

My final event as Deputy President before the Council Meeting and AGM on 11 July was the 2024 Admission Ceremony at the end of June. This is always one of the highlights of the year. It is an honour to welcome our new members and celebrate their achievements and the successes of all our prizewinners, along with their family and friends. Just as it takes a village to raise a child, it takes many people to support someone through their professional exams – employers, family, friends, tutors and colleagues.

I am always humbled to hear of how many have battled through difficult circumstances or have studied while raising a family. Every one of our new members and prizewinners deserves our warmest congratulations.

By the time we have our Council meeting and AGM, we will know the results of the general election, which will probably be followed by a Budget within a few months. Whatever the result of the election, I imagine there will be several new tax policies to put in place, which is always an interesting time for our technical officers. We are still awaiting further details of measures that did not make the pre-election Finance Bill, such as the proposed changes to the taxation of non-doms. Hopefully, we will receive clarification soon after the election and there will be several consultations that we can get our teeth into!

Our AGM this year will again be online, and I would encourage you to attend if possible. If you are able to attend, you will still be able to vote online on various matters if you haven’t already cast your vote.

In closing, as I write this article, sitting in Edinburgh Airport, waiting for my flight to London to chair the Technical Steering Group, I am very jealous of all the holiday makers and it reminds me I must get something organised for myself. We all work more efficiently after having a break from the work routine and I hope you manage to get some quality time away from your desks over the summer break. I will sign off wishing you a lovely summer regardless of what your plans are and look forward to serving as President over the coming year.