Opinion  

Don’t tell us our tax duty

Phil Shaw

In response to Tony Hazell’s sweeping statement (FA 19 March) regarding the impact of tax on pension freedoms, he claims: “Many providers and advisers have shown a marked lack of interest.”

How dare he try to judge or measure advisers’ level of interest. Truth is, without fair notice, we have had to revise systems and processes in a very short space of time; systems that will ensure the people who matter most – our clients – will not face unexpected tax bills as a result of their actions.

Does he expect that we should have invested more of our valuable time and resource into public proclamations to the masses on these issues? Is he not aware that our industry already fully funds everything to do with the ‘guidance guarantee’. After all, it is clever men in government who have created that, and if fit for purpose, will be the safety net, helping people avoid nasty tax surprises.

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If people end up with a surprise tax, in no way should that be seen as the fault of the adviser community. We did not design the new rules. We are simply too busy to spend time alerting George Osborne’s prey to the awaiting dangers of the trap he has sprung.

Meanwhile, the consumer press, and guys like Tony Hazell, have time to kill and budgets to burn.

If all else fails, the consumer hit with an unexpected tax charge will no doubt be able to complain that he did not receive enough warning from providers to use the guidance guarantee, and missed out on not speaking to an adviser he did not want anyway. So no doubt he will get his tax back.

Phil Shaw

Director,

PCM Asset Management,

Morpeth, Northumberland