I have always been a singer to start with on stage in musicals like Oliver, Hello Dolly and Cinderella and then that extended when I moved to Chippenham to a local folk group, a community choir and even down to writing and directing a school pantomime based on Cinderella with the music of ABBA – you had to be there!
It wasn’t until I went solo in 2018 that the nametag “The Singing Taxman” started to form. My daughter and I put on a concert for two charities, British Heart Foundation (I had near fatal heart failure in 2016) and Dorothy House Hospice in Winsley who had cared for a friend of ours in her last few days. Out of that my employer, Mark Barrett filmed me singing and put posts up on LinkedIn and Facebook and the name was born.
Now I use it at meetings to do my 60 seconds (The Kinks and Madness), 2-minute educational slot (Mike and the Mechanics) and even a 10-minute presentation on tax investigations but linking to song titles. What started as a bit of fun is now a valuable advertising tool and enables me to mix both of my interests in music and the work I do.
Of course, I am also still the Tax Manager at Riverview Portfolio Ltd and its various subsidiaries and enjoy the tax advisory work that I do from Capital Allowances to R&D, to IHT CGT and various other taxes and have had some success over recent months on tax investigations including one property enquiry going back 20 years where we managed to argue the penalties down from the original £130k to £20k with £18k of that suspended – client was very happy!!
As we move forward into another new tax year the tax work starts to pick up with the planning for the next year and at the same time the singing is also starting to come back. I have offered two charities to do free singing if they have summer fundraising events and bookings are starting to come back in for care homes at Christmas following no singing for two years due to COVID.
I haven’t quite perfected singing the whole 10-minute presentation for Sterling yet but it’s something to work on but the Kinks song from 1966 explains my job in song perfectly:
“The Taxman’s taken all my dough and left me in a stately home, lazing on a sunny afternoon
And I can’t sale my yacht he’s taken everything I’ve got, all I got’s a sunny afternoon”
It has tax compliance, investigation, capital allowances, IHT, CGT – what more could the singing taxman ask for!!