PAM Guide to Wealth Management

Accountants

Tax compliance work is usually carried out by accountants, rather than lawyers. For example, for advice on self-assessment tax returns, you will usually turn to an accountant.

The range of services offered by accountants varies and only some are authorised to provide financial planning advice. Among the services that private client accountants may offer include:

  • Trusts and estate planning
  • Owner managed businesses - including advice on start-ups, through to structures for tax planning and shareholder exit planning
  • Tax compliance including tax returns
  • Financial planning, including investment management
  • Establishing and administering charitable trusts
  • Family office services

The largest accountancy firms generally have a greater geographical spread than law firms. They may have tax experts positioned around the world and therefore have easy access to this potential expertise. Law firms argue they can buy in the required expertise from the best third party sources in any country around the world.

Whether you consult a lawyer or accountant, or both, it is important to check the potential fees beforehand. These can vary significantly and can be as high as £1,000 an hour. But it is possible to use partners at leading law firms in London for between £300 and £400 an hour.

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