Tax reform post-Brexit, record high pension deficits, and Poldark star hires mum for accountancy advice


Brexit presents tax-reform opportunities – The Telegraph’s Jeremy Warner says Philip Hammond can use the opportunities presented by Brexit to become the most radical tax-reforming chancellor in decades. He argues that tax reform under every chancellor since Nigel Lawson has generally been “incremental, half-hearted, and prone to special pleading. Much of it has also hugely added to the complexity of the tax system.” Mr Warner says that membership of the EU makes the possibility of ‘root and branch tax reform’ more difficult and complicated, and Brexit therefore gives Britain the chance to reinvent its tax system for the modern world.

Pension deficits hit a record £459bn – Britain’s defined benefit pensions have hit another record-breaking deficit, of £459.4bn, as the scramble for bond assets and the interest rate cut sent their liabilities soaring. According to the Pension Protection Fund, the remaining 6,000 defined benefit schemes can now meet just 76.1% of their obligations to pensioners, the worst funding ratio since the PPF started publishing figures in 2006. More than 300 schemes have slipped from surplus to deficit over the past year, the PPF said. According to the FT, BAE Systems, BT and Barclays are amongst the companies who could announce dividend cuts because of their pension deficits.

Lifetime IsSA may not be best value – The Mail warns that workers who save into Lifetime ISAs could end up with far less retirement income than those with pensions, despite putting in the same amount. Figures from Aegon suggest if someone starts saving £4,000 a year into the Lifetime ISA at age 30, they would build up a nest egg of £380,840 by the time they retire at age 66. But if a basic-rate taxpayer paid £4,000 into a pension and their employer contributed £5,000 each year, they would end up with a pot worth £807,040 at retirement.

Patience running out for tax minimisers – Actor Stephen Fry has stepped into the debate on Apple’s taxes telling the BBC at the launch of the iPhone 7 that he has no patience for big firms which pay minuscule rates of taxation. He said: “I think it was Benjamin Franklin who said ‘tax is the price we pay for civilisation’ and if people are not paying tax properly then obviously civilisation falters. Our streets don’t get lit, there’s more crime, everything gets worse…”

Small business and enterprise

Facebook expands SME services – Facebook is expanding its services to small businesses that want to sell to customers in other countries. The social media company said yesterday that it is adding features to its small business sites that allow companies to search for and advertise to customers in other countries. Businesses will be able to choose which countries they want to target, and can aim at customers in specific regions or the entire world.

UK economy and markets

UK inflation rate holds steady at 0.6% – The average cost of everyday household goods and services went up by 0.6% in the year to August. Rising food prices and air fares pushed prices higher, the ONS said, partly offset by cheaper prices for hotel rooms, leaving the UK inflation rate, measured by the CPI, unchanged from July.

Bank of England to buy Apple bonds – The Bank of England has included Apple on a list of companies that qualify for its new economic stimulus bond-buying scheme, indicating the central bank views the company as making a “material contribution” to the British economy. The decision will anger the Silicon Valley giant’s critics, BBC News says, who accuse it of avoiding tax on UK sales by routing them via Ireland.

ONS: House price inflation falls to 8.3% – House price inflation across the UK fell to 8.3% in the year to July, down from 9.7% in June, according to the ONS. The figures are for the first full month after the Brexit vote. They show that the average house price across the UK in July rose to £217,000. The eastern region of England remains the area with the fastest growing prices. The annual rate of inflation there was 13.2%. Prices in London grew at 12.3%, although they fell in parts of Central London, like Hammersmith and Fulham.


Poldark star hires mum for accountancy advice – Poldark actor Aidan Turner has hired his mother as his accountant after fearing that his finances would be investigated by HMRC. The 33-year-old said: “I have hired my mum as my accountant, which is great because it means I know the taxman won’t be knocking at my door.”

Christian Elmes, Partner

Christian Elmes trained at PwC and qualified as a chartered accountant in 1999, before moving to Morgan Stanley (2000-2002) as Associate in the Investment Banking Division (IBD).

He was appointed Director of Finance, Teather & Greenwood Investment Management in 2002 and moved with the Tax Efficient Solutions team to Smith & Williamson in 2004, becoming Deputy head of the department. He left to co-found Enterprise in 2011.

Over the last ten years, Christian has been responsible for developing a number of tax efficient products, particularly Enterprise Investment Schemes. He is able to lead on tax efficient product development from inception through to completion, because of his financial and tax background and commercial experience.

Christian is competent across a broad range of sectors including, leisure and hospitality, media, property and renewable energy.

Christian is a non-executive board member to a number of leisure and hospitality companies, Casper & Cole Ltd, Wright & Bell Ltd, Albion & East Ltd, Camm & Hooper Ltd and Darwin & Wallace Ltd.

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