Book review: Bloomsbury Tax Planning 2015/16

 In Book Reviews for Private Client practitioners, Tax

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Bloomsbury Tax Planning  2015/16 (General Editor Mark McLaughlin)

Tax Planning 2013/14 published in 2013 proved to be an invaluable tool for the tax practitioner in relation to tax planning strategies for individuals, trusts and businesses. This edition published in 2015 contains detailed consideration of the legislation introduced by the Finance Act 2015 and Finance (No 2) Act 2015 and expands the previous publication by including new chapters on capital gains tax private residence relief and agency workers and intermediaries. Book review

Purpose of the book

The aim of the general editor Mark McLaughlin is to guide the busy tax practitioner through this technical and often ‘controversial ‘area of law the and as he states in the preface –  to provide a ‘topical content of practical use to the majority of small to medium-sized professional practices dealing with day to day tax planning issues’.


This publication has been written to a very high standard and reflects the skill and expertise of the numerous authors who have contributed to this edition. The chapters are very topical and will greatly assist the tax practitioner in delivering advice to their clients on a day to day basis. Although Tax Planning 2015/16 is very technical, it is structured in such a way that practitioners at every technical level of experience will benefit –  particularly from the worked examples and focus points which are prevalent throughout each chapter.

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Structure and Layout

To begin with, the contents section of the book includes a detailed breakdown of the eighteen chapters together with sub-headings which make it easy for the reader to locate a particular topic within a subject. This section also includes tables of statutes, statutory instruments and cases together with a useful list of abbreviations that assist the practitioner, particularly when there is a requirement to cross-reference.

The first eight chapters tackle the different methods of starting a business, setting out the options in relation to choosing an appropriate trading vehicle be it sole trader, partnership or limited company and considers in detail the tax treatment of such vehicles. Each chapter begins with ‘signposts’. These are helpful bullet points which outline the main topics of the chapter. There are worked examples such as ‘eliminating a profit and loss deficit’ (Chapter 5) and focus points which are of particular assistance to the practitioner.

Robert Maas’ chapter on tax planning for the non-resident and non-domiciled is a good example of the book’s clear and concise approach to such a technical subject (Chapter 9). This chapter explains succinctly the concepts of residence and domicile and the taxes that are dependent on each concept.  Additionally it navigates the reader through the process of emigration. There is detailed analysis of the remittance basis for the resident but non-domiciled client and also detailed consideration of taxation for non-UK residents paying particular attention to the changes in recent years to the taxation of UK residential property.

The second part of the book deals with an expansive range of topics such as; agency workers and intermediaries (Chapter 10), separation and divorce (Chapter 16) and patents (Chapter 18). There is a lengthy chapter in relation to pensions (Chapter 11) that comprehensively highlights the latest developments.

Perhaps of most interest to the practitioner are the sections on key planning subjects that arise in every day practice such as the chapter on business, agricultural and woodlands relief (Chapter 12) which clearly highlight the conditions required to claim and also maximise the reliefs. I found the section on maximising business property relief very informative and more particularly the worked examples on how the relief can be crystallised. The sections on private residence relief (Chapter 13) and tax planning with trusts (Chapter 15) also highlight planning opportunities and potential pitfalls.


This publication will prove to be an invaluable authority for the solicitor or accountant at every technical level and provides an essential tool to assist the tax practitioner in delivering effective advice to clients.

Clarity and Readability

This is a comprehensive book with topical chapters which are written in a technical yet clear way. The signposts at the beginning of each chapter summarise the main points while the focus points illustrate important issues.   The numerous worked examples illustrate succinctly planning points while highlighting potential pitfalls that the practitioner may encounter.

Relevance to Practitioners

In conclusion, this is an excellent book which has been written to a high technical standard but navigates the practitioner easily through complex topics. This is definitely one for the tax practitioner’s bookshelf and I have already ordered a copy of this publication for mine!

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