Independent advisory firm Dow Schofield Watts has launched a new specialist tax service in response to the increasing number of businesses and individuals involved in tax investigations and disputes. 

DSW Tax Resolution will be led by former HMRC inspector Philip Manley and will help clients who are the subject of action by the tax authorities or facing financial difficulties due to payment demands. It will support them through the enquiry process and negotiate settlements on their behalf. 

Philip spent 15 years at HMRC where he was the technical lead on Accelerated Payment Notices (APNs) which were introduced in 2014 as part of the government’s clampdown on alleged tax avoidance schemes. More recently has has worked with EY as part of the tax team at its Manchester office. He has wide experience of all types of tax disputes and has represented both HMRC and individuals in cases throughout the tax tribunals process. 

Philip says: “With HMRC being under constant pressure to increase tax revenue, it is taking a far more aggressive approach, which is reflected in the increasing use of enquiry and discovery powers and Accelerated Payment Notices. It is not just high net worth people who are affected – many small firms or less affluent people now find themselves caught up in such cases and facing severe penalties. Our wealth of experience allows us to reach the best possible outcome for clients in what are often extremely difficult circumstances.” 

DSW Tax Resolution will be part of the group’s specialist tax services division, which also provides advice on structuring corporate transactions, international tax and VAT. 

James Dow, founding partner of Dow Schofield Watts, said: “We are very excited with the recruitment of Philip and the launch of DSW Tax Resolution’ His recruitment demonstrates our commitment to building the leading independent advisory business for owner manahgers and high net worth clients.