Taxing New Year resolutions

Happy New Year!  When are you supposed to stop saying that I wonder?

Anyway the excesses of Christmas are over and somehow January can feel like an anti-climax. Our offices are open between Christmas and New Year and I love it. The phones are quiet and you get things done you normally never get round to. Then January appears and you can feel the tension in the air: the tax returns deadline are fast approaching.

I used to run an informal book amongst our clients of how many returns they had to get in before the deadline. The most was 64 outstanding with three days to go for one member of staff. I never did find out if they got everything done but I know I felt sorry for them. They must have nightmare clients like me but with more noughts on the end. It took a while, but this year I am proud to say that it was mid-January when I had my return all ready to sign and send back to file. My accountant was kind enough not to say she was shocked, but I know she was. Thank you Rachel, you’re a star and to all the Rachel’s and Richard’s out there you’re doing a great job.

So, we’re thinking of you all, burrowing away with your forms and chasing those last minute types like me. But it’s not just me. Although we do have clients using Troika to record the wealth of those ubiquitous High Net Worth Individual for their tax returns (and that’s not me) the vast majority of our clients will be working on trust returns. It’s too late this year, but if you want to save huge amounts of time and effort you need to streamline your processes. We can take your bookkeeping entries and link them directly with the Digita tax system. Have a look at how this might work for you…… Troika streamlines trust operations .

And on the subject of streamlining it still amazes me how many firms only think about gathering financial information for the tax return itself. Leaving aside trustees responsibilities to monitor service providers like investment managers and to keep ‘current’ records, it’s so much more efficient to process data as it appears during the year, especially when tracking investments. How can advisors automate processes (such as price feeds) if they don’t have the data to feed into?

And don’t even start about FATCA . There are still people who think it’s only relevant for US clients.

We were first contacted by a Jersey client on the subject at least three years ago and for ages I must admit to have been in the ‘not relevant for us camp’, but things have moved on! We’ve already made some significant changes to allow Troika to record the right information for our clients and there will be more to come, particularly as reporting requirements evolve as they inevitably will. This is a new area of risk for everyone working in this sphere and ignoring the implications isn’t an option, for anyone, so beware!

FATCA is just one more example of how quickly compliance requirements change. We work with our clients to meet their challenges. Who knows what the coming year will bring, but we’re dedicated to making our clients lives easier and we’re all looking forward to this year’s challenges. Why not join us?

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