What do you do?
I tried explaining what I do to my daughter once and then heard her explaining it to her brother. She said “if you wanted to buy all the ice-cream shops in the world, mummy would help you get them”. I wish! But I would help the buyers and sellers of those ice-cream shops, (or any other business) identify and deal with any tax issues and structure the transaction tax efficiently.
Why do you do it?
I wanted to be a solicitor but when I studied corporate tax and tax planning I knew that this was for me. I also do love the logic of numbers so doing this job but with a tax and accounting firm seemed a much better fit for me and was definitely the right decision! Tax and attitudes to tax have changed a lot since I started out. So has the volume of legislation! It’s challenging and interesting. Every day is still a school day and much of it is about knowing what you don’t know (and who does know it) as what you do know. Which means it’s basically all about relationships, especially in transaction tax where you can often be dealing with a huge range of clients from people going through a once in a lifetime transaction who may need complex tax analysis explained in clear terms to those who do deals over and over who just want transactions implemented quickly and efficiently.
What kind of projects have you been involved in?
The range of projects for transaction tax encompasses internal restructuring, shareholder buy-outs, corporate sales and acquisitions or bids, stock exchange listings, extracting assets (from properties to businesses to racehorses) tax efficiently. Sometimes I have got excited about working on “famous” transactions with well-known brands or people, but the most interesting transactions tend to take you by surprise.
What’s on top of your bucket list?
I absolutely do not have one. At the moment we’re exploring Eastern Europe and the Balkans. It’s definitely the journey not the destination. Starting from Sofia, six countries are within just a few hours drive. So, we’ll point the car in some vague direction and we’ll see where we end up. A small town you never heard of in the middle of no-where with some strange architecture or custom to be discovered (and hopefully an amazing vineyard) is what interests me.
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