Meet the expert – a quick Q&A with Zoe Chandler

Zoe Chandler, Tax Manager based in our Bath office, has particular expertise in supporting businesses in the agricultural sector, and often helps landed estates and a wide variety of private clients on issues, such as succession planning and trusts.

Through years of working in the tax department of another regional accountancy practice and attaining Chartered Tax Adviser status, she has developed the ability to provide sound and reliable tax advice.

We spoke with Zoe to find out more about her and her work.

What have you been working on since joining the team at Milsted Langdon?

Since joining Milsted Langdon, I’ve been working on a case where a family is considering selling their farm which is currently held in a trust so they have an added layer of complexity. I’ve also been working on a number of Inheritance Tax reviews and advising on gifts of assets.

Are there any particular challenges or regulatory changes that businesses face this year?

One of the biggest tax regulatory changes that businesses will potentially face this year is the basis period reforms which were announced in the Autumn Budget 2021.

This will affect sole traders and partnerships who do not currently have an accounting year end between 31 March and 5 April inclusive, as the new rules will tax all unincorporated business on a tax year basis.

The 2023/24 tax year is the transition year so profits made during this tax year will be brought into account and an element of these profits will be taxed twice in one year with an option to spread this element over the next five years.

It is important that those affected get in touch with their advisers to find out what their position might be and their options for mitigating this.

Through the term ‘the tax man’ we associate tax with male advisors. What’s it like being a woman in tax? Being a woman in tax has been inspiring for me.

I have been privileged enough to meet some aspirational female entrepreneurs, business owners and leaders and to be able to provide them with relevant advice to further support their success which has been empowering.

If you could share one piece of tax advice, what would it be?

It would be something that is often overlooked but can be substantial and that is tax relief on pension contributions. Currently, an individual qualifies for tax relief on their pension contributions up to the amount of their relevant earnings.

The relief is capped by the annual allowance of £60,000 per tax year but with the ability to carry forward the unused annual allowance from the previous three tax years.

In addition, if your pension provider operates relief at source, you will only receive 20 per cent tax relief initially. If you are a higher rate or additional rate taxpayer, you can claim the additional tax relief of 20 per cent or 25 per cent by contacting HMRC or by completing a tax return which is often overlooked by employees as they may not already complete a tax return and so may not be aware.

Check with your employer or pension provider whether they operate relief at source to ensure you are maximising your relief.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I like to go on hiking holidays, particularly in the Brecon Beacons and have a trip planned to Snowdonia later this year. I also like to keep fit by taking Pole Fitness classes.

What’s your message to the business community?

Businesses have had a difficult few years and there is yet more uncertainty ahead. But uncertain times breed innovation and there are many examples of successful businesses borne out of hard times over the past few decades.

During these uncertain times, getting good and timely advice is even more crucial to ensure you can be at the forefront of any developments.

Posted in News.