Company Freemen and Liverymen support the Company's two related charities:
- The Tax Advisers’ Benevolent Fund. Registered Charity No. 1049658
- Tax Advisers’ Charitable Trust. Registered Charity No. 1064392
The Tax Advisers' Benevolent Fund
The Tax Advisers' Charitable Trust
The Worshipful Company Of Tax Advisers Charities: Tax Advisers Benevolent Fund (TABF) and Tax Advisers Charitable Trust (TACT)
Whilst the Automobile Association has in the past sought to promote itself as ‘The Fourth Emergency Service,’ the Company’s charities would not seek to claim anything so dramatic. For those fortunate to benefit from the activities provided or promoted by them, they can be life-changing if only occasionally life-saving. But in extremis they can be transformational.
Of course, the charities do help out in areas where many of the charities associated with other Livery Companies also operate, the Lord Mayor’s Appeal, the Sheriffs’ and Recorder’s Fund, the Hackney Carriage Drivers’ Disneyland Appeal and the Treloar Trust being cases in point. TABF also makes provision for tax advisers who have fallen on hard times for whatever reason, as no doubt do the charities associated with the trades or professions of Livery Companies whose names they bear.
Nonetheless TABF and TACT do engage in distinctive activities. In the case of TABF, whilst not functioning directly in the provision of apprenticeships, it provides loans to those who can demonstrate the need to fund training courses prior to taking the exams of either the Chartered Institute Of Taxation (CIOT) or the Association of Tax Technicians (ATT). These loans are repayable in the fullness of time depending on the ability to repay, thereby increasing the funds available for further advances. With more and more employees in the profession holding a qualification, a better quality service is being provided to the general public.
Another facet is the rapid growth in the number of tax advisers who now hold the Advanced Diploma in International Taxation (ADIT) qualification. Awarded by the CIOT, this is a specialist, advanced qualification in international and cross-border taxation. Each year TABF awards a bursary to the most deserving overseas student, based on a short-list of applicants furnished by the CIOT. Holders of the qualification come from more than 50 countries around the world, and TABF is helping to uphold British leadership in this field.
However, both charities do labour on occasion from the ‘bad press’ which occasionally besets tax advising. It tends to be forgotten that the overwhelming majority of tax advisers are engaged in assisting their law-abiding clients to discharge their obligations correctly, and giving advice that nobody who understood the first thing about tax would find in any way offensive. Nowhere can this be more amply demonstrated than by TACT’s support of TaxAid, and the promotion of the activities of Tax Help for Older People. Not only are there annual donations, but publicity is given to the pro bono activities of tax volunteers around the country who assist the needy in moments of distress. A current initiative is the Bridge the Gap campaign, helping more vulnerable people in crisis with their tax.
The complications of the British tax system do not necessarily grow in direct proportion to a growth in overall wealth. Far from it. Disproportionate complexities beset even those not too far away from the bread line. Responding to requests for assistance from those unable to afford professional advice in the normal way, a typical beneficiary may be a recently-widowed taxpayer overwhelmed by demands from HMRC which for many years previously had been dealt with by a husband or partner. In its train death brings with it the need to claim pensions, and it is notoriously difficult to compute the proper tax charge where there is more than one of these.
In moments such as these, the arrival of a tax volunteer on the scene can indeed feel like a life-saving moment.