Welcome from the editor-in-chief

01 February 2018

The Joy of Tax

Five years seems a lifetime when you consider the changes to the tax landscape. Back in 2013, I was a 36-year-old tax partner of a six-partner firm in Stroud with little more publishing experience than the production of the quarterly client bulletin. Career changes can happen in the most unexpected way. Mine involved asking career advice of a non-league football burger seller to be told with surprise, ‘Why don’t you go for the editorship of Tax Adviser!’ – the burger seller was Rebecca Benneyworth! After a lengthy interview process, I was offered the post and I am still grateful to John Whiting and Patrick Stevens for putting their faith in the passion that I had for the magazine.

It has been an honour to be the guardian of Tax Adviser. I have stuck to my original focus of finding a wide variety of authors to write articles that aim to help members to do their jobs. We have made many changes over the past five years and I am particularly pleased with how successful the online version has become.

When I first took up the post of editor, I remember telling my wife how the role would signal my last January tax return season – how wrong was! Six months after starting the role, and with my first dry tax January in prospect, social media connections encouraged me to set up my own tax firm.

Over the years, my practice has played an important part in the commissioning process and helped me keep in touch with the practical tax issues facing clients. There have often been interesting issues that have become articles or sometimes timely articles which have come in for review just at the right time. This month we have two such articles, firstly, there was the email, ‘I’ve been investing in cryptocurrency a lot this year. What are the tax implications?’ Julie and Fred Butler’s article, was very well timed! Secondly, Neil Warren’s article, arrived while I was considering whether it would be more profitable for a client to reduce their opening times so that they returned below the VAT threshold.

2018 marked my 21st January – the busiest ever but perhaps the most organised! There were many hours in the office but it was full of the buzz that January brings; helping to demystify clients about their tax affairs, catching up with them and making plans for the future (I lost count of the number of times I heard, ‘I will do this earlier next year!’). It really was the joy of tax.

My practice has now reached a size that I know I can’t do both, so at the age of 60 (issues!), I’ve decided to retire from my publishing career to concentrate on being a tax adviser. This means that the CIOT are looking for a CTA with a passion for Tax Adviser, including its online offerings, to take over the baton. If you would like to learn more, please feel free to get in touch with me on the email address above.