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Meet Guy Kendall, Associate Partner and our Head of Corporate Tax

Guy-Kendall

This month we’re celebrating all things Corporate Tax and M&A related and what better way than to catch up with Guy Kendall and learn more about him, his role and more importantly Corporate Tax!

Here’s our quick fire ‘five minutes with’ Guy Kendall…..

What got you into tax and in particularly Corporate Tax?

I have a maths background and I was attracted initially to the analytical aspects of the work. Tax can be extremely complicated, and the rules don’t always make complete sense. Navigating a path through the complexity in a way which helps clients to meet their commercial objectives brings a new challenge every day. I’ve been working in tax for 30 years now and every day I come across a business situation or a piece of tax law I haven’t seen before.

How does Claritas Tax work with a client on their tax needs?

We always start by listening – very carefully – to what the client is trying to achieve in their business and asking a lot of questions. Only once we have a thorough understanding of the commercial objectives can we be in a position to propose solutions. We also put a lot of effort into presenting our advice in a way which is clear, relevant, and understandable and actually helps the client to achieve what they want to achieve in the simplest way possible consistent with following the tax rules. We don’t make reports longer than they need to be, and we don’t use complicated language just to try to look clever.

You spent some time working in business as an in-house Head of Tax – what additional perspective has that given you ?

Yes, for 10 years of my career I worked in the tax departments of large corporates, so I have been a client as well as an adviser and I know that tax considerations are just one piece in the overall jigsaw in a big project, and that straightforward and pragmatic solutions are usually better than complicated ones. I’ve experienced first-hand the good and not-so-good ways advisers go about their business and I try replicate the former and not the latter now I am an adviser again.

What does your typical working day look like?

It’s very varied. At any one time I might be working on a dozen or more projects – perhaps there’ll be a meeting with a client or some colleagues to progress the structure plan for an MBO or a corporate reorganisation, then reviewing some corporation tax returns or year-end tax calculations. Then there may be some initial discussions with clients for potential new work– the fact that we usually work on a fixed-fee basis means that we have the flexibility to have an initial free exploratory discussion without the client needing to worry that they are running up a bill before they even know what advice they are going to need.

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