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Clients resilient in face of rumoured tax hikes

 

Clients have been resilient in the face of the ever growing murmurings of future tax hikes to fill the coronavirus-induced hole in the public finances, advisers have claimed. 

Speaking on the FTAdviser podcast, Georgina Partridge, adviser at Plutus Wealth Management, said clients were not “fearful” of rising taxes over the next few years and could rely on their adviser to help them through any changes.

She said: “People are expecting something to happen, and something to change, so it won’t be a real shock for them.

“But there are some sort of changes every year and us as financial planners are having to adapt to changes in legislation all the time.”

She added that advisers were not there to provide “opinion or comment” on the rule shake ups, but instead simply needed to adapt and help their clients through the changes.

Ms Partridge was discussing the role of the pandemic on tax planning in the advice process with Steve Carlson, director at Carlson Wealth Management and Nick Bird, senior business development manager at Octopus Investments.

Mr Carlson agreed that clients had been resilient, adding: “As a financial planner, I’m probably more concerned than they are.”

He said most clients were not bringing up fears about future tax changes, although there was a general sense that the UK, and taxpayers in the country, would have to pay for the crisis somehow.

Mr Carlson added: “We know taxes are coming in some way, shape or form. The only thing we can predict is that it’s going to be worse.”

According to Mr Bird, one of the most interesting shifts in tax planning due to the pandemic was that it had opened up opportunities for advisers to speak to clients about succession and estate planning.

He said: “I think because of the increased use of technology, it has opened up opportunities for families to talk to each other.

“I’ve definitely talked to advisers who, in the past, seeing a family unit has been more difficult logistically but suddenly, while they’ve lost the face-to-face stuff, an opportunity has opened up with the technology.”

Ms Partridge agreed, adding that as people were spending more time at home they had been able to have more conversations about things like estate and IHT planning, and the impact on their families.

In a further segment, hear about the City watchdog’s latest fee shake up and recent moves in the defined benefit space from reporters Rachel Mortimer and Amy Austin.

imogen.tew@ft.com

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