Tax Guides

Where to get tax planning and tax advice in Oxfordshire

Where to get tax planning and tax advice in Oxfordshire

Where to get tax planning and tax advice in Oxfordshire

June 7, 2024

If you’re one of the 5.5 million that have waited endlessly on HMRC’s helpline, then we’re sure you understand the frustration of how difficult it can be to find the answer to a simple question. However, more often than not when it comes to tax, the answer is rarely straightforward. In fact, the UK tax system is notoriously reported to be one of the most complicated in the world! UK tax law is even estimated to have over 30 times as many pages as the whole of criminal law in the country. So, when it comes to seeking clarity, make sure you turn to expert tax accountants. Ridgefield Consulting has offices in Oxford and Henley with a team of experienced tax advisors for both personal and business tax planning and tax advice queries.

What is tax planning?


Tax planning is the proactive management and mitigation of tax liabilities in order to preserve wealth. It does not aim to side-step taxes altogether, but instead use strategic solutions that can help reduce your tax burdens such as knowing how to access available tax reliefs and allowances you may be eligible for, and understanding how to time purchases and disposals tax efficiently. Without proper planning in place, you may find that your overall tax bill is more than it needs to be.  

What are the benefits of tax planning?


One of the main benefits of tax planning is being able to reduce your tax liability. This means paying less tax on the money you have earned. When you get to keep more, you can choose to save it for a rainy day or put it towards a purchase goal such as a new car. Alternatively, you may want to further invest it through tax efficient investment schemes or invest in pension plans if you are saving for retirement.

Another advantage of tax planning is being better informed on your tax position. Tax planning involves looking forwards to predict and forecast for the future. Doing this regularly throughout the tax year means you’ll have the certainty of knowing what taxes you need to pay and by when. Effective tax management prevents you from missing any deadlines and suffering from HMRC fines and penalties. 

Finally, effective tax planning and sound tax advice can play a hugely supportive role to helping you achieve your desired lifestyle and personal needs and goals. Whether you’re planning to start a family or start your own business, tax planning can help you make important decisive choices and give you assurance that you’re starting with your best foot forwards. 

Is tax planning unethical or illegal?


Tax planning is neither unethical nor illegal because it is not the same thing as tax avoidance or tax evasion. Tax avoidance is generally considered to be unethical because, although it is achieved through legal means, it is done so by manipulating the tax system and using loopholes. People therefore see it as taking advantage of tax rules and not applying it in the way it was intended to be used. It allows the person or company to avoid paying their taxes which would otherwise go towards paying for public services and the country’s infrastructure. 

On the other end of the spectrum tax evasion is categorically against the law. Instead of using the tax laws to one’s own benefit, it instead means to purposefully conceal or fraudulently distort information to dodge taxes altogether. Tax evasion is a serious criminal offence and from 2024 the maximum prison sentence has doubled to 14 years.

Tax planning is different because it is a way to manage your tax affairs with the aim to reduce your tax bill through acceptable methods. This can mean utilising tax reliefs that HMRC intended to offer. Tax planning is a shrewd way to utilise as many allowances and tax reliefs available to reduce your tax and be as tax efficient as possible.

Is tax planning the same as financial planning?


Tax planning is often confused to be the same as financial planning, but the two are inherently different although inextricably linked. Financial planning or wealth planning revolves around ensuring there are sufficient funds to achieve your desired financial goals which can be accomplished through a combination of savings and investment strategies.

Tax planning on the other hand is focused on methods that will allow you to keep as much of your income as possible, whether that is from working, savings, or investments. It is accomplished through multiple different strategies from making use of your personal allowance to claiming for expenses to reduce your taxable income and using effective tax planning strategies which can lower tax rates relevant to your personal circumstances. When you put in place tax planning with financial planning, you’ll be able to accumulate wealth much faster than without a plan.

Who can help you tax plan?


To ensure you have accurate information, always go to a qualified tax advisor or accountant that is knowledgeable and experienced in tax planning. Our team of accountants at Ridgefield Consulting are happy to help with experts in both the Oxford and Henley offices that can support the needs of individuals on their personal taxes as well as business owners on business taxes. Our approach to tax planning is always to provide personalised advice that is tailored to your own circumstances which will help you achieve your short term and long term goals.

When is the best time to start tax planning?


The best time to start tax planning is at the beginning of a new tax year, which is 6th April annually. This is a key time to review your previous year, factor in any new intentions you may have for the upcoming year, devise a strategy and review periodically. By doing this as early on in a new tax year as possible, you ensure you can take advantage of any allowances for the full year instead of rushing to get things in place near the end of the tax year.

So, what about tax advice in Oxfordshire?


When it comes to seeking professional tax advice in Oxfordshire, our accountants in Oxford and Henley are able to offer expert advice on various different areas of personal tax and business tax. From helping you determine your tax residency and whether you are a UK resident to helping you decide on how to structure your business and the considerations you should make if you’re thinking about becoming self-employed, our team are here to provide support and answers. Our tax advisers have experience in interpreting tax law and applying it to your individual situation in order to provide clarity on your tax position. Not only that but we can compare different tax treatments and solutions to assess which would be more tax advantageous to you. Be aware that our tax advice is not the same as financial advice which should only be given by a professional registered with the FCA.

Where can I get free tax advice?


HMRC should be the best port of call for free help with tax questions, however, as we’ve already highlighted, they can be incredibly difficult to get through to. You may also be able to get free tax advice from the two key tax charities in the UK which are:

At Ridgefield Consulting, we’ll always support you with as much proactive free tax advice as we can when carrying out any of our services. So, if you’re self-employed and we’re helping you complete your self-assessment tax return, we’ll make sure to answer any of your questions regarding your national insurance contributions and other related tax issues too.

Alternatively, we provide a dedicated tax advisory service where you can book in for a consultation session with one of our tax advisers. During these sessions, they’ll be able to go over all your tax queries with you, or if necessary, go away to find the right answers that you need. You’ll receive a personalised tax report with the findings and any suggestions that the tax adviser recommends. Our tax advisory service goes hand in hand with tax planning so if you’re looking for a solution to, for example, share ownership of rental property amongst your children or looking to dispose of all or part of your business, we can certainly help.

Finally, why not subscribe to our email newsletter which will send you monthly updates of our latest tax guides. Our tax guides are a free resource hosted on our website which regularly shares insight and advice on some of the most frequently asked questions on personal and business taxes.

What tax planning strategies can I use?


We’ve organised the different tax planning strategies you can use depending on the type of tax liability you may incur:

Income Tax Planning

Income tax planning can be beneficial to those in the higher and additional rate income tax brackets in order to help reduce tax, but also for those who have to declare income which is not taxed at source through a self-assessment tax return.

Capital Gains Tax (CGT) Planning

CGT planning can be an effective strategy for those with valuable assets that they may wish to dispose of either now or in the future. Whether you want to release capital or are simply looking to gift it to loved ones, make sure you don’t get caught out if you’ve made significant gains from when you first acquired your assets.

Inheritance Tax Planning

Inheritance tax planning (also known as estate planning) is important for those with large estates but wish to leave as much of their legacy as possible to loved ones without having 40% deducted for tax. Our guide explains the different ways you can reduce inheritance tax through gifting and gifting exemptions as well as provide strategies to lower the rate of tax. 

Corporation Tax Planning

Corporation tax planning will be useful for company directors who want to make sure they are utilising all possible reliefs which will help them reduce their corporation tax bill. We explain the different allowable expenses that will go towards reducing your tax whilst allowing you to invest in running your business.

VAT Planning

Value Added Tax (VAT) is one of the main tax burdens for business owners because you are required to make quarterly tax returns. Whilst it may be time consuming to manage, there are also advantages which we cover in our articles below.

What kind of tax advice can we offer?


Our team can provide tax advice on a wide range of different personal and business situations. You can get started by accessing our free advice tax guides which have been arranged into some of our most frequently asked questions and popular topics:

Personal Tax Planning Advice

Tax Advice for the Self-Employed

Pension Advice

Family Tax Planning Advice

Property Tax Planning Advice

Business Tax Planning Advice

Company Tax Planning Advice

Company Vehicle Tax Advice

Get help with tax planning or specialist tax advice in Oxfordshire


If you need help with a tax problem, why not book in for a tax planning or tax advice consultation by using our online form? Our accountants in Oxford and Henley always aim to provide professional advice that complies with tax rules and regulations whilst still aiming to reduce your overall tax. We have expertise to support tax planning for individuals as well as corporate tax planning for limited companies. See if we can find a tax efficient way to solve your dilemmas and achieve your goals today. 


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