We are independent, professional and light on our feet
Independent Tax has extensive experience as seasoned tax and VAT professionals who, being ex-HMRC Inspectors at senior levels, are highly regarded for advising businesses and individuals on their tax affairs.
Independent & supportive
We aim to advise, support, protect and defend our clients, or to support their advisors or intermediaries, when difficult HMRC issues arise. Independent Tax prides itself upon its independence from other organisations. We are able to provide high quality support unbiased by any external agendas. We want to support clients and practitioners and provide a first class service at a competitive price.
Gary Brothers, Owner/Managing Partner
Gary was a senior investigating Inspector of Taxes at HMRC for 16 years prior to joining the profession. After leaving HMRC, he has specialised in handling HMRC on client matters, including investigations, enquiries and disputes. During that time, he has provided full litigation and tribunal support, and has an excellent track record with disclosures (onshore and offshore), securing excellent results for clients. Gary’s clients have covered the full HMRC spectrum, from high net worth individuals through to some of the largest multi-national corporations and right across the owner-managed and self-employed sectors. Gary believes that there is no HMRC-related matter that he has not seen or has had some experience of.
In addition to supporting clients through HMRC investigations, Gary has particular experience in supporting clients to pro-actively assess and understand their ‘tax compliance risk’, navigating HMRC’s risk-based assessment of large companies and high net worth individuals. He has assisted clients in achieving a ‘low risk’ category with HMRC through a combination of skilled negotiation and identifying and undertaking specific remedial action carried out using HMRC methodologies.
Additionally, Gary is an accredited expert witness specialising in HMRC, tax and financial investigation matters. He has been instructed in a number of HMRC criminal prosecution matters and is one of a very few ex-HMRC expert witnesses capable of approaching such matters in the full knowledge of HMRC’s approaches and practices.
John Norman, Associate Director
John is an HMRC-handling and tax investigation expert with over 30 years of experience working in tax. He brings 25 years of this experience working for financial sector giants such as Grant Thornton UK, BDO UK and KPMG to the role, but also worked for HMRC as a Tax Inspector for a number of years during the early part of his career.
This blend of experience from ‘both sides of the fence’ make John an astute judge of a client’s situation, and allows him to assess the best course of action to take to mitigate any worst case scenarios that they may be facing.
John has dealt with tax and serious fraud investigations across the full range of HMRC’s regulatory activity; he is commended by clients in particular for his expertise within the COP9 framework both for HMRC and within the private sector, so is well placed to assist with all manner of enquiries.
Clients regularly compliment John on his calming, no nonsense manner, putting them at ease through stressful times.
Nick Davies, Associate Director
Nick joined the team in 2017 from a very large regional practice and, in 2018, achieved the impressive career milestone of having worked in the sector for 40 years.
His has a particular and extensive expertise in employment tax, including expenses and benefits. He also has extensive and highly successful experience of handling all manner of HMRC enquiries.
After commencing his career with HMRC he has subsequently held senior positions with national firms, including Ernst & Young and Grant Thornton.
Nick, along with Gary, is also an experienced advocate and litigator and offers successful tribunal representation to clients in both tax and employment matters, with excellent results.
In addition to his “day job”, nationally, he is a noted leading expert on company car taxation and is often called upon to contribute to specialist publications and forums on the subject.
Paul Rippon, Assistant Manager
Paul joined the Independent Tax team in 2018 directly from HM Revenue & Customs in Newcastle, and is one of Independent Tax’s most recent and keenest faces.
During his time with HMRC, Paul conducted and led full enquiries within HMRC’s most active directorate, and so has in-depth experience of dealing with a very wide range of businesses and clients.
Whilst he was there, Paul was also responsible for mentoring new HMRC staff allowing him to now be ideally placed to advise clients on HMRC’s most current and up to date thinking on HMRC’s approach.
Having secured very successful outcomes for clients, they commend Paul for his unflappable manner and ability to quickly get to grips with contentious HMRC matters.
Additionally, Paul has carved out somewhat of a niche speciality in regularly, very successfully, navigating HMRC’s complaints processes, securing financial redress and compensatory payments from HMRC for our clients, using his tenacious approach and his eye for detail when HMRC have acted unreasonably or disproportionately.
To supplement his development Paul is currently undergoing further professional training to become CTA qualified.
David Brindley, Assistant Manager
David, is the most recent addition to the team at Independent Tax. He joins from the specialist Tax Dispute Team of the “Big 6” practice Grant Thornton and brings significant commerciality and professionalism with him.
His previous roles include working as an Investigator within HMRC’s Offshore Fraud Investigation Service team, where David was part of HMRC’s drive into the investigation of offshore tax haven income and gains.
While at HMRC David also worked on high profile fraud cases, including cases involving individuals identified as a direct result of the Panama Papers.
These various insights have developed David into a tax professional who is highly knowledgeable of the numerous information sources, powers and strategies at HMRC’s disposal, and he has a particular acumen for assisting clients deal with the defence of such approaches to ensure sensible, moderate and secure positions are taken.
During his time at Grant Thornton, David successfully undertook a large variety of work including HMRC enquiries, disclosures, tribunals and disguised remuneration settlements.
Clients commend his energy, enthusiasm and clear thinking, even under pressure.
David is currently undertaking further training and is studying towards his ATT and CTA exams.
Sue Walker, Practice Manager
Sue joined the Independent Tax team in 2019 after running her own successful business for the past 7 years.
Before this she spent many years working as a Police Officer with Humberside Police, working mainly as a Vulnerable Victim Officer, where she was involved in a variety of sensitive investigations involving serious crimes
Sue has also served in the British Army where she was a Security and Intelligence Operator in the Intelligence Corps, serving in Germany, the UK and Northern Ireland.
As the Practice Manager Sue is responsible for all managerial issues in relation to the smooth day to day running of the office including financial administration, events coordination and client engagement.
As the first “point of contact” at Independent Tax, Sue is an invaluable ambassador for the Firm.
Undoubtedly the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) has been a lifeline for many businesses in recent months.There are however growing numbers of stories about abuse of the CJRS and, by June 2020, HMRC’s CJRS fraud reporting portal had received over 2,000 reports...
Support for professional practices
At Independent Tax we pride ourselves on being independent from other professional practices. However, we do understand the importance of working with our peers, so, if you refer a client to us, we will rebate an agreed level of the fees back to you. Simple!