60-second interview with Paul Mitchell

Paul Mitchell, 20/8/2019

Paul Mitchell TEP is a Senior Tax Manager at Sagars in Leeds.

What is your role within your firm?

I am a senior tax specialist in Sagars’ private client team, looking after trusts and investment companies for high-net worth individuals and families, and helping clients to achieve their goals.

How did it feel to win a STEP Private Client Award last year?

We were absolutely thrilled to be the 2018 STEP Accountancy Team of the Year (midsize firm); it was a great privilege and welcome recognition for everyone who is part of Sagars.

Why is winning a STEP PCA important to your firm?

I can’t think of a better endorsement of our expertise. We’re fortunate that our fellow professionals refer a lot of trusts and estates work to us; they value the STEP awards in the same way that we do, and I’m sure that our win gives them continued confidence in our abilities.

What are the main challenges facing your organisation at the moment?

Ensuring that we adapt quickly to the changing landscape of our profession brought about by Making Tax Digital (MTD) and Automatic Exchange of Information, which are revolutionising the relationship between ourselves, our clients, and HMRC.

How will you deal with these challenges?

We’re working hard to remain at the forefront of technological developments; we joined forces with HMRC and QuickBooks to file the first ever MTD VAT submission and we’re continually upskilling our team to adapt to new technology. We remain committed to our careful tax planning practices to ensure that our clients are seldom the subject of enquiries.

What do you like best about your job?

I like getting to know families over a period of time, and the variety of interesting work that I get involved in, be that personal tax, trust matters or family investment company issues.

What would you say to a young person thinking of a career in this industry?

Although some UK legislation over the last decade has been challenging for trust practitioners, our trust team continues to thrive. We have a steady stream of new work and a good balance of established experts and newer team members. Those joining us can be assured of a fantastic career.

Where do you see future growth, both in terms of sectors and jurisdictions?

Our strength has always been in advising family businesses across a variety of sectors, and the trust team has focused on family investment companies with trustee shareholders, and family office services. I can’t imagine this will change. Although, with new technology, we may well find that we can advise our clients more quickly and efficiently, which can only be of further benefit.

Which social media channels do you use and why?

We have Twitter (@SagarsLtd) and LinkedIn and find them a good way to share our expertise, show people what our team is doing and how we make a difference to our clients.

Paul Mitchell TEP joined Sagars after graduating from Durham University in 1996, qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 1999, and came top in West Yorkshire in his ICAEW finals. He’s a Chartered Taxation Advisor, a full member of STEP, an avid reader and secretary of the Harrogate town AFC supporters club.