Private Client

Expert advice and lasting relationships

Our offering is a simple one: intelligent, expert tax advice to private clients, with the personal touch and accessibility that you expect from a leading private client firm.

We work with high net worth and ultrahigh net worth individuals, families and business owners who are seeking specialist tax advice, as well as advising them on how to structure their affairs in an efficient and legislatively compliant manner. We enjoy working alongside clients who value our guidance and expertise, and who consistently seek our insight. In fact, it is not uncommon for our role to extend beyond tax adviser to that of ‘confidant’ to many of our clients.

We are very fortunate to work with outstanding private clients and are committed to delivering an exceptional service to match. We have long-standing connections to the world in which our clients operate and have an in-depth understanding of their unique needs. Consequently, we are able to spend our time with carefully selected clients, who have chosen to work with us, building exclusive relationships with each one.

Our team works with individuals, their families, their businesses, investments and related entities, trusts and investment companies, at different stages along the path of wealth generation. We focus on planning and wealth structuring, and are experienced in tackling complex issues, such as how to hold investments, the control of assets, planning shareholder exit strategies and the succession of family wealth. Of course, we also offer our unparalleled experience dealing with more routine compliance, such as coordinating and processing personal tax returns, trust accounts and trust returns.

Our clients include business owners, investors and stakeholders, senior executives, trustees and directors, including directors of family vehicles and businesses. Every individual or family has different needs and we provide bespoke tax solutions to meet the personal objectives of our clients, helping them protect and maximise family wealth for the current generation and beyond.

In addition, we work alongside other advisers to our private clients – private banks, wealth managers, lawyers and existing accountants – to offer a holistic approach to tax planning.

How we can help

Technical expertise and emotional intelligence

Some valued client feedback

How we can help

Income tax planning   

Capital gains tax (CGT) planning   

Trust and estate planning – Inheritance tax (IHT)   

Investment companies and other tax efficient structures   

Philanthropy   

Personal tax returns and trust tax returns   

Income tax planning   

Capital gains tax (CGT) planning   

Trust and estate planning – Inheritance tax (IHT)   

Investment companies and other tax efficient structures   

Philanthropy   

Personal tax returns and trust tax returns   

Income tax planning

We have extensive experience in advising clients on all aspects of income tax, understanding the complexity, but believing in simplicity.

Against a backdrop of ever-increasing complexity in the UK tax system, and with HMRC hardening their attitude to tax planning leading to the increased risk of investigation, our clients place a premium on the specialist income tax advice and the support that we provide, all well within the boundaries of tax law. In return our private clients can expect to use our considerable experience to support them, identifying and presenting them with effective and valuable income tax planning opportunities.

Our client service in relation to income tax is extremely diverse and includes:

  • Using exemptions and reliefs
  • Gifting/transferring income producing assets
  • Advising on EIS and SEIS tax reliefs
  • Complex investments and portfolios
  • Personal and Family investment companies and other income tax efficient roll up structures.
  • UK Tax Residence and Domicile issues
  • Partnerships
  • Tax on domestic and overseas rental portfolios
  • Planning for retirement or business succession
  • Tax efficient remuneration and extraction of business profits
  • Utilisation of losses
  • HMRC investigations and enquiries

Capital gains tax (CGT) planning

Capital gains tax can apply whether selling a single asset, a property portfolio or shares in a multimillion-pound family business, and there are a host of valuable reliefs available to mitigate your exposure to capital gains tax, thereby maximising your returns. 

Many of our clients have ‘entrepreneurial flair’ and are already aware of the importance of entrepreneurs’ relief in maximising value, when it comes their business or business assets, but in order to maximise tax relief, it is smart to be planning ahead. We have considerable experience working with clients to establish if they benefit from entrepreneurs’ relief and helping them to maximise it.

If you’re thinking about a transaction, you’ll naturally have commercial considerations at the front of your mind. However, experience shows that tax planning is often considered too late in a transaction process, resulting in missed opportunities. When you work with us and our corporate finance colleagues as a transaction is first being considered, you’ll receive tax advice that complements your commercial objectives, helping you develop and implement an effective plan to minimise the impact of CGT. There are many other taxes to consider and the way these taxes interact can create opportunities and risks. We can help consider the impact of other taxes, such as inheritance tax and wealth protection to ensure that that reducing a liability with one hand doesn’t generate a problem with the other, helping you grasp the opportunities and mitigate the risks.

Of course, there is much more to CGT advice beyond its impact on your business. We provide our clients with solutions for minimising tax on acquisitions and disposals; family succession and the interaction with Capital Gains Tax, deferring CGT on gifts and business assets, maximising tax reliefs where reinvesting in approved investments such as EIS and SEIS, utilising capital losses, and much, much more.

Trust and estate planning – Inheritance tax (IHT)

When planning a legacy there are two aspects that tend to be of particular importance to our  clients. The first is that clients want to ensure that the right people inherit wealth in accordance with their wishes and the second is to minimise the amount lost to inheritance tax. To achieve this, we take the time to really listen and understand our clients’ objectives and unique circumstances. It’s only then that we can work to help meet those objectives.

At Ashcroft we have extensive experience in assisting clients navigate complex family issues, helping them to plan their estates and reduce overall exposure to IHT.  This includes working closely with clients on succession planning, protecting and directing family wealth and assets, funding school fees, ensuring tax efficient share sales, transitioning family businesses to the next generation and tax efficient gifting.

Despite recent tax changes, trusts still offer families an effective means of passing wealth down the generations and an alternative to making an outright gift. Trusts can provide protection from errant relationships, family disputes, bankruptcy, “challenging” beneficiaries and so on. For many families, Trusts remain an intrinsic part of an overall tax planning strategy and we advise on all aspects of setting up, administering and the winding up of trusts.

We have considerable experience and knowledge of utilising trusts in succession planning, to meet family objectives and to minimise explore to IHT. We have a team of qualified trust professionals, including members of the Society for Trust & Estate Practitioners (STEP) and we have excellent relations with lawyers, investment managers, trust companies and other private wealth advisers.

Wider estate planning services include:

  • Advising on trust deeds, resolutions and the tax efficiency of Wills.
  • Personal and Family investment companies.
  • Detailed advice on availability of inheritance tax reliefs, particularly the availability of BPR planning for companies and advise on maximising BPR.
  • Working with farms and large estates to maximise the availability of BPR and APR.
  • Inheritance tax and capital gains tax planning advice.
  • Gifting during lifetime.
  • Will planning.

Investment companies and other tax efficient structures

Over the last few years, Family Investment Companies have become a popular alternative to trusts as a tax efficient investment vehicle, particularly for clients who roll up and reinvest the income and gains generated by their investments.

For the right person and in the right circumstances an Investment Company can prove to be an effective estate planning tool, enabling families to pass on wealth in a controlled, flexible and tax efficient way.

They tend to work best for those with a substantial amount of money to invest, at least £1m in order for the structure to be cost effective, and for those who are willing to park funds in a company for longer term tax efficient growth. It is less appropriate for those who wish to continually access the funds.

We have considerable experience in helping clients plan, develop and implement investment companies to meet their unique family circumstances. Working in conjunction with investment advisers and bankers, we have recently helped several families plan and set up ‘bespoke’ structures to move wealth to family members. Although each structure was tailored to meet particular needs, the underlying theme in each case was our ability to significantly reduce the family’s exposure to income tax and IHT. By helping lower tax rates and providing a facility to offset costs, such as investment management charges and interest charges, we helped to maximise investment returns (compounding) by ensuring that they are not eroded by tax as they otherwise would have been if conducted personally or via a trust.

Philanthropy

Philanthropy is increasingly popular and is of growing importance to individuals and families who have the means, and wish to provide support and a lasting family legacy to causes that are dear to them.

A charitable trust can be suitable where you wish to give regularly to a number of causes, if you want to give a lump sum as a one-off gift from time to time, or if you want to ask others to contribute to the trust’s funds. Setting up your own charitable trust can provide a framework for planning your charitable giving in a systematic and thoughtful way.

Of course, there are tax advantages in contributing to a charitable trust to help clients make tax efficient contributions in the form of cash or assets and that can form part of a holistic private wealth management and IHT strategy.

A Charitable Trust can also be double as an educational tool for families, with clients increasingly providing younger adult children a role in the management of the trust, providing them with exposure to financial management and investment decisions, researching and presenting to trustees, and more generally working with trustees and other professional advisers.

This is an area that we’re passionate about and we really enjoy helping clients realise their philanthropic ambitions.

Personal tax returns and trust tax returns

Compliance and support services

Failing to provide correct information to HMRC can result in financial penalties and, in some cases, lengthy enquiries.

However, our experience and expertise is on hand to help minimise that risk and ensure you comply with your obligations as an individual or trustee. We do more than simply complete and send you a return. We can advise you on payment dates, check your PAYE codes and answer any enquiries from HMRC.

Our support doesn’t end there. We can let you know the tax treatment on all your income types, calculate your capital gains, advise how much tax you need to pay and help reduce your tax liability. Our services include:

  • Completing personal tax returns – complying with the UK self-assessment obligation.
  • Completion of annual trust accounts, trust tax returns, beneficiaries tax certificates and general trust compliance for UK and non-UK resident trusts.
  • Filing tax returns with HMRC.
  • Gathering information from third parties.
  • Reviewing your tax position each year to provide proactive advice to help improve your affairs for the next tax year.