19:55 PM, 5th November 2021, About 2 years ago 6
My wife and I are in early discussions with our Accountant about incorporating our BTL portfolio.
We mentioned this to two of our friends who have utilised your services to incorporate and were very impressed, so naturally the point of cost came up.
At this juncture I should mention that my wife and I have been avid readers of Property118 for quite some time but we have never written to you before or posted on your excellent forum. You now have our email details to respond directly but we are equally happy for you to publish and respond to us via your forums if you think our question and your reply is something that could help others, subject to keeping us anonymous if you don’t mind. By all means refer to me as “Dave” or something.
Our reason for writing is that the fees quoted by our Accountant for dealing with the incorporation of our property portfolio are substantially lower than the fees our friends paid to Property118. They paid nearly three times as much as our Accountants have quoted us.
It may well be that we are missing something important and would very much appreciate your response.
Thank you so much for reaching out to us and for giving us the opportunity to publish your question and our response so openly. We do indeed feel it could help others who might be too shy to ask this very important question. Thank you also for your complimentary comments in regards to the value that Property118 offers to other landlords through its Newsletters and forums.
There are several parts to our answer below, which are in no particular order:
It is extremely unlikely that your own circumstances and requirements will be identical to those of your friends, so comparing the price of the work we did for them to a quote from your Accountant probably isn’t the best starting point for you. For example, please bear in mind that your Accountant will not be qualified, insured or regulated to give you the legal advice you will require. He will need to refer you to a lawyer for that. By the same token, your friends will also have engaged an Accountant to deal with the accounting compliance aspects of their incorporation.
Please also bear in mind that there is a big difference between price and cost. Incorporation should save you money, especially in the longer term, so if the price of doing it results in it costing you money then you should not proceed. The correct way to determine value is to consider the amount you are likely to save in comparison to the costs of implementation. A cheap job may end up costing you significantly more in terms of lost opportunities or savings you miss out on in the longer term.
Property118 always starts the consultation process on the basis we know nothing about you or your aspirations. That’s why the Fact Finding exercise is always our starting point. We then consider all available options for you prior to presenting the one we feel is the best fit. The next stage is to present our recommendations and the price of implementing them to you and your Accountant via a Zoom video conference. These meetings are always recorded and we send a link to the recording together with a full report for you and your Accountants to refer back to whenever you wish. Our recommendations are then reviewed by our partners at Cotswold Barristers to establish whether they are prepared to adopt them as their own professional advice if/when you decide to proceed and instruct them to deal with any legal matters we have recommended. Thereafter, we invite further Q&A’s via email from you and/or your Accountant or a further Zoom video conference as necessary. This entire process is priced at a fixed fee of £400 and comes with a guarantee of total satisfaction or a full refund. In other words, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
Another point for you to bear in mind is that Property118 and Cotswold Barristers specialise in this type of work. We are not Accountants and we prefer our clients to continue to use their existing trusted Accountants wherever possible for the accounting and compliance work they are trained and qualified to perform. Our role is to work with you and your Accountants.
We have presented our recommendations (which are always bespoke) to hundreds of landlords and their Accountants. Many of those Accountants have openly admitted that as a result of this they had discovered huge gaps in their knowledge of what could be achieved as well as HMRC guidance and legislation they were unaware of that created planning opportunities they hadn’t previously considered. It is extremely unlikely that your Accountants will have anywhere near the same level experience in these matters as Property118 and Cotswold Barristers, meaning that there could be several planning opportunities your Accountants might fail to mention simple because they don’t know of their existence or haven’t considered them.
Many of the Accountants we are introduced to by our clients subsequently refer other clients of theirs to us once they fully understand the quality of the advice and service we provide and realise that we are not in competition with them but here to work with them to improve their clients business position.
Last but not least is the “peace of mind” that comes with dealing with Cotswold Barristers. If HMRC or your mortgage lenders were ever to challenge their advice, they would represent you at no additional charge. Furthermore, if the outcome of any such challenges was to result in their advice being deemed to be negligent they carry professional indemnity insurance of £10,000,000 per claim to put right and losses you incur. The reason that Cotswold Barristers so openly offer this certainty is not because they want or expect to have to take on any further unpaid work of course. It is because they are so confident their advice is so robust in the first instance. They have never had to settle a claim against these warranties and of the 1 in every 100 HMRC compliance checks made on our clients they have been able to nip them all in the bud in correspondence without ever having to go to tribunal.
People who think professional advice is expensive often end up costing themselves far more as a result of getting cheap advice or no advice at all.
We very much hope to be of further assistance in the very near future.
All the best
The Property118 Tax Team