Top Ten Tax Accountants
Incisive yet down-to-earth and personable, Spear’s Private Client Accountant of the Year in 2016 Mark Davies thinks of tax as a game with ever-changing rules. ‘I could really do without more change in our profession; there are already a number of dramatic [revisions] to tax law, as well as how we approach the law, to contend with,’ he says.
For Davies, the recent furore surrounding tax avoidance in the aftermath of the Panama Papers leaks was misplaced: previously legitimate structuring to pay less tax has become ‘socially and legally inappropriate’. ‘Our challenge as a profession is to look at the substance of each transaction and to ensure that there is tax-efficiency,’ he says.
When asked about whether his largely foreign-domiciled clients will continue coming to the UK, the Channel Islander seems doubtful. ‘Even more than bigger tax bills, they do not like uncertainty,’ he says, warning against the dire consequences of the government’s ‘tampering’ with tax legislation. ‘Non-doms are not feeling welcome.’
Still, Davies is proud that his is one of very few accountancy firms to specialise in UK non-doms. That expertise is reflected in an expanding practice. Davies built up the firm with a large base of Scandinavian HNWs, and it has since expanded to include clients from France, Libya, Egypt, Lebanon, China, Russia – and, most recently, from Brazil and Turkey.