Eastbourne Newsletter – June 2020

The next Eastbourne lunch will be held virtually on the 17th of July 2020, 12:30 PM – 1:30 PM – Book here

Book onto upcoming dates here:



Humphrey & Co

The Partners and staff at Humphrey & Co hope that everyone is keeping well and staying safe. Our offices remain closed but we continue to assist our clients and deal with new enquiries whilst working from home over secure connections.

We have been updating our Coronavirus Hub with the information issued by the Government to support businesses and individuals. We will continue to update the hub with the latest developments so please check back regularly. Alternatively you can follow us on our social media channels below:

Twitter  https://twitter.com/humph_co

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/humphreyandco

New Partners

We are delighted to announce that our two Associates have become Partners this month.

Lewis Hampton and Mike Bryan have both been working for the practice for a number of years and their dedication to providing excellent service for their clients is being recognised with their progression to partners within the firm.

Lewis joined us in 2010 and qualified as a Chartered Accountant and Chartered Tax Adviser in 2011 and 2017 respectively. Lewis is based in our Eastbourne office and acts for a broad range of clients located in different areas of the UK. He has a special interest in individuals and corporate bodies associated with the Lloyd’s of London insurance market and provides a number of specialist services including auditing, valuations and tax advisory and compliance.

Mike Bryan completed his honours degree in Accountancy & Finance in 2010; he then went on to study for his Chartered Accountant qualification which he achieved shortly after joining the firm in 2014. Mike has worked within the healthcare sector throughout his career and has expert knowledge and experience in this industry. He also presents seminars on accountancy and taxation to healthcare professionals and has provided healthcare updates to some of the leading UK banks.

Lewis said “I am delighted and extremely proud to be appointed a partner of the firm after many years of hard work. It has been my aim since starting my accountancy career to become a partner so I am pleased to have been able to achieve this with a firm like Humphrey & Co.

I’m looking forward to working with the other partners to drive the firm forward during this challenging time whilst continuing to provide an excellent service to our clients”.

“Joining the partnership in May 2020 was an immensely proud occasion” said Mike. “I would like to thank the partners for allowing me to achieve my ambition since embarking on a career in accountancy 10 years ago.

The partners continue to inspire and motivate our team by proving that hard work, motivation and sound knowledge can be rewarded with career progression.

I will continue to provide my clients with a pro-active and exemplary service, assist clients to overcome the challenges that COVID-19 presents and look forward to positively impacting the firm and my clients in the years ahead.”

Anthony Smith, Senior Partner comments “Succession within any professional services firm is critically important and we often plan years in advance to ensure a seamless transition for our clients and continuity of service. We also need new partners to fuel our continued growth especially in our niche areas.

Lewis and Mike have shown determination and ambition over the past 2 or 3 years especially, and we are delighted that they have now committed to Humphrey & Co for the long term. These are undoubtedly extremely challenging times, and as a partnership, we are confident both Lewis and Mike will skilfully guide our clients to calmer waters on the other side, and beyond.

We have big plans for them both and combined with their skill sets, we are excited about the future. In the meantime, all the existing partners offer their sincere congratulations. It’s just a pity we can’t celebrate together at this time in a more traditional fashion!”

London Newsletter – June 2020

The next London lunch will be held virtually on the 24th of June 2020, 12:30 PM – 1:30 PM – Book here

Book onto upcoming dates here:


The Route City Wealth Club

It’s New, it’s Exciting and it’s Here for You – Our Member Portal is now Live.

Our valued Members know, and expect, that we will always endeavour to explore new ways to offer the very best in communication and value-driven interaction.  Visibility, transparency and outstanding client service underline everything we do.

When it comes to keeping ahead of the curve, here at The Route our goal is simple: to develop new, innovative ways to keep you up to speed with your assets and investments.  

Putting You First with the Latest Technology

It’s arrived.

We’re delighted to announce the launch of our brand-new Member Portal, an easy-to use, completely exclusive section of the website that’s customised just for you.  Just a few short clicks, and you’ll have instant access to the very latest facts and figures on your entire range of commitments with us, whatever and wherever they may be.

Updated every 24 hours, the Member Portal has been designed with you in mind.  In-depth, yet entirely transparent, you’ll find the latest snapshot information on all the pertinent, relevant aspects of your assets.  From the performance on your savings and investments, details of loan repayments, mortgages, fund performance, your property portfolio status – we’ve taken the most current data available to deliver it on a single, intuitive platform.  

What’s more, you’ll be able to see any potential new investments to support your current portfolio; possible add-ons to your current assets with The Route.  This is an added layer of oversight that’s purpose-built for your needs.

Simplicity is best.  Clarity is essential.  The Route – City wealth club has combined both, with the very latest cutting-edge technology to go beyond a “nice-to-have”. 

Stay informed on the move, with secure, easy access on your tablet or mobile phone.  If you need assistance, just click on the screen hints next to the menu in the top right corner of your screen.

A Unique, Customised Single Source of Data

The Route’s Member Portal has been created specifically for our business and of course, first and foremost to meet the needs of our Members.  It’s a bespoke platform that’s unique to us. This is no off-the shelf product; in fact, that wouldn’t have been possible.  Why?  Because our range of products is unique, and we needed something equally as unique to support them.

Why Have We Developed Our Member Portal?

The short answer is: To support and expand our regulated advisory services.  We wanted something  to sit perfectly alongside, perhaps even expand how we already work with you. A tool that could answer questions, or alternatively, encourage you to contact us for more information.   

Our Member Portal has moved on from its earlier version.  It now delivers an across-the-board, single source of information, reflecting our service offering in full.  And, it’s available to everyone.  Previously focused solely on The Route – Finance part of our business, we’ve been listening.  

Meet the Developer

We’d like to pass our acknowledgement and thanks to James Wrighton of Venture Networks, a developer of extraordinary skill and vision.  With his in-depth technical know-how, James has delivered over and above on his brief, offering guidance, advice and fresh ideas when they were needed.  Thank you, James.

We’re excited about our new Member Portal.  Here at The Route, we value innovation, and the benefits it can offer our Members. 

This is a platform that could offer you even greater transparency, with robust reliability and insightful visibility. It’s simple and fast, and will help you to make clear, informed decisions on your assets and investments – this is a tool that makes sense of investing.

Hove Newsletter – April 2020

The next Hove lunch will be held virtually on the 12th of May 2020, 12:30 PM – 1:30 PM – Join here

Book onto upcoming dates here:


Sarah Hurst Portrait Logo - High Res_White (1)

Sarah Hurst Skin Clinic

Lockdown Hell or Lockdown Heaven?

Lockdown due to Covid-19 pandemic has been in place now for nearly 6 weeks.  We closed the doors to the clinic on Friday 20th March after a difficult and stressful week.  My team were concerned for their own health and after much deliberation we closed before we were forced to close anyway.  We felt it was the socially responsible thing to do.

It is hard to take when this is your baby and has taken blood, sweat and tears, but this was not the time for feeling sorry for myself.  This is for the greater good after all and it is important that we all do our bit.  I was also feeling like I needed a holiday, so this was the perfect time, right? Umm, not quite.

The first couple of weeks was fraught with employment obligations.  The government were announcing new initiatives every day and it was difficult to keep up and work it all out.  My family had all come home.  My son had been travelling the world for the last year and Covid had been following him for a while, so it was safer for him to be home.  He arrived with his new America girlfriend who he had met travelling and we went into lockdown together.  My daughter also arrived home from London.  She is a student at university there.  There was a period of adjustment whilst we all got used to sharing the house together again and we were all going through our own “thing” with what was going on.

I was determined to stay positive to use this time for the greater good.  I was feeling really overwhelmed in the early days because there was so much information being thrown at us, I felt like a headless chicken.  I decided I had to pick and choose what I was going to concentrate my efforts on.

For me, this time has been about using the time wisely to start planning strategies for how we can come back bigger and better, more on this will follow. I started working on an online store and we are hoping to launch this in about 2 weeks’ time.  We are now also softly launching our online Zoom skin consultations.  These are currently being offered complementary.  If you are thinking that you skin could do with some attention, then please reach out and let’s arrange a time.

I have been doing regular yoga to ensure that I stay physically and mentally strong.  There is some great stuff on YouTube.  Sylvia, my son’s girlfriend, is an exercise freak, so she is happy to join in and when the weather was hot, we were even doing yoga in the garden 😊

I have started working on my mindset and have even enrolled in an online NLP course.  However, enrolling doesn’t mean that I have started it yet, but is on my list.

So, all in all I have found this time to be a great time to reflect, be thankful and make positive changes.  It’s a shame the reason why we are forced into this was because of something so tragic and I want to take this moment to thank ALL the keyworkers out there, of whom I know a few and what a magnificent job they are doing.

Let’s hope that we take enough away from this to make it a better world on our return.

You can reach Sarah at:  contactus@sarahhurstskinclinic.co.uk or call 01273 270709.

You can follow us on FB and IG @sarahhurstskinclinic and can also find us on YouTube.  We would love for you to subscribe to our channel.  This is where you can get our latest updates and would be a great support for us during this time.  We are looking to set up educational hints and tips and showcase what we can offer.  During May we are focussing on hair removal treatments and we would love to see you there.

Eastbourne Newsletter – April 2020

The next Eastbourne lunch will be held virtually on the 15th of May 2020, 12:30 PM – 1:30 PM – Join here

Book onto upcoming dates here:



Humphrey & Co

Coronavirus Hub Update

In accordance with Government guidelines our offices are closed until further notice.

Humphrey & Co are here to offer support and guidance in these uncertain times. Health and wellbeing are the most important things right now and all of our staff are working remotely over secure connections so, as far as possible, it is business as usual, with our reception team taking calls as normal.

If you have any questions or concerns please either call the office on 01323 730631 or email your usual contact.

Visit our Coronavirus Hub where you will find updates and useful web links for businesses and individuals affected by COVID-19.

Tax Rates 2020/21

A copy of our 2020/21 Tax Rates Card which summarises many of the rates and allowances fundamental to our business and personal lives, is now available to download here.

Our tax card contains information on income tax rates. It also includes information on devolved property taxes as well as business, employment and capital taxes. Some key recent changes include:

  • reduced Entrepreneurs’ Relief lifetime allowance
  • significant increases in the National Insurance threshold for employee contributions
  • updated car benefit percentages due to new green emissions tests
  • an increase in the rate of the Structures and Buildings Allowance.

Brighton Newsletter – April 2020

The next Brighton lunch will be on 2nd June 2020, 12:30 PM – 2:30 PM, at the Hotel du Vin – Book here

In relation to COVID-19, we hope that the next Brighton event will still be going forwards. As it is hard to predict what may happen, we will ensure to keep you updated with any further developments and information.

Book onto upcoming dates here:



Harvey John

Well being and working from home: Part 1

Most of the world is now stuck indoors and working from home. Many may start to feel the strain of the isolation and it can make us unproductive, lethargic, and can even affect our mental health. Humans are innately social creatures and isolation is known to have effects on our psychological and physical well being. So let’s look at some ways we can keep ourselves sane, safe, and still manage to get the work done! In this first part we’ll be looking at the set up of your work area.

Distractions – Good or bad?

Music or TV?

There are certain things when working from home that’ll help some people and hinder others. For example, I can’t have the TV on at all, as I get too sucked in with what’s going on, but I also can’t sit in silence, it makes the room feel too empty. A happy medium for me is to put the radio on a low volume. I don’t have to concentrate on the song choice, there are people speaking, and for me this feels more like an office setting.

You might be totally different and only you can gauge what your levels of distraction are. It’ll take a bit of trial and error for you to find out what’s the best working environment for you. You might need total silence or you might be someone (like me) who needs some background noise. Just make sure that whatever it is, it makes your work the priority.

Getting up and about?

The temptation of working at home, because you don’t have the hustle and bustle of the office, is to constantly be getting up; to make tea/coffee, tidy up/wash dishes and deal with household issues, all because you get restless when sitting down for too long. Then that’s it, you aren’t concentrating at all on your work! Something that may help you is to create yourself a work schedule the night/week before and pop in a couple of  breaks, which will give you something to look forward to but also allow you to give your undivided attention to work. You can even set an alarm/timer to make sure you stick to it!

Keeping your mind focussed is key so when you do have these breaks, it’s a good idea to schedule in a couple minutes of stretching and movement, to help you keep awake and avoid the aches and pains of sitting still for too long.

Also, if you’re working a full day, make sure you schedule a proper lunch break. It’s important to refuel and hydrate and it gives you a proper breather away from your work so you go back into it with a clearer head.

Location, location, location!

Where your work space is set up will help massively with how productive you are and how your mindset is affected for the rest of the day. There are a few very lucky souls that have an office space in their house, where they can close the door, get into work mode, finish up, close the door and forget about it until the next day (if only!). For those of us who don’t, you’ll want to find a space that gives you the following:

Work and home life balance

Try not to work anywhere you associate with comfort, leisure, fun (personal fun since work can be fun too!), or family time. You want to keep those areas as separate as possible so you don’t have them blend together which will muddy the water of when it’s work time and when it’s your own time. So try to avoid working in these areas:

  • In bed
  • The sofa
  • That super comfy armchair
  • The kitchen table (if you have regular meals there)

There are always exceptions to the rules, as some of you may have no choice but to work in one of these areas and, if that’s the case, there’s still something you can do. You need to separate your work life from your home life by making sure that, when you’ve finished your work, it’s completely out of sight. Put your folders and paperwork somewhere safe and make sure your laptop/desktop is away and shut down. This allows you to focus on work when you’re working and drop that when you ‘clock off’. You need time for you.

These are just some of the ways you can keep yourself in ‘work’ mode in a setting you don’t usually work in and help separate things to make sure you can still enjoy your house as your home.

London Newsletter – March 2020

Unfortunately, due to recent circumstances surrounding COVID-19 we have had to change the format for the next London lunch. We are embracing technology and taking the lunch virtual.

We are inviting you to attend our virtual networking event via zoom, completely free of charge.

Here’s how it will work…

On booking your FREE ticket you will be sent the joining instructions. During this session, the sponsor or their speaker will do a short 5-10 talk followed by each attendee doing a 60-second pitch. Following this, we will share the contact details of the attendees so that you can all follow up digitally.

We will transfer any paid for bookings to the next London lunch.

Please feel free to share the invite!

Join our next zoom meeting here:



The Route City Wealth Club

Hello, Everyone.  We’re The Route.  It’s Our Very First Blog. 

Here at The Route, we’ve joined the blogosphere.  And, we’re very happy to do so.  Publishing blogs on a regular basis reflects our open and transparent approach.  We want to connect with you, so look out for them.

Why are we writing blogs?

The team here at The Route have been doing their research.  We know that people who are interested in investment, wealth management and finance in general appreciate good quality communication.  That is, not just Members, but also individuals interested in a potential future engagement with us.

Obviously, our business is about interaction and pro-active contact, so it makes good sense to reach out to you directly.

We’ll be publishing blogs monthly, to start.  They’ll be clear, jargon-free and hopefully add value to your experience.  Pieces could cover our analysis and opinions on the latest news in the world of finance and investments, for example.  Perhaps articles offering advice, or guidance.  Information that you’ll hopefully find relevant as a Member.  In short, anything that you’ll consider useful, constructive and practical.

So, what to write for our first one?

To start, we thought that we’d offer you a handy “everything in one place”, take-way guide to The Route.  What we do, how we do it and importantly, why we do it.  You’ll see that we’re an exclusive operation.  Also, that in a crowded marketplace, we’re very different indeed.  Obviously, this blog is quite high-level, so get in touch if you need more information.

First things first

We’ve been in business for 20 years.  Based in St Pauls in the City of London, The Route – City wealth club is an independent financial and investment planning business that helps individuals meet their financial life goals.

The Route’s demographic is focused, and singular.  Our clients are solely High Net Worth individuals, top City professionals in senior decision-making roles.  With assets in the UK or abroad, the profile of our Members is sophisticated and knowledgeable, with an advanced understanding of the world of business, investment and finance.  Is this you?

Our Distinct Business Model – We have Members, not Clients

We’re a wealth club with over 200 Members. And, we’re an exclusive group.  Members can only join through personal recommendation or a third-party introduction.  Why?  Because our Membership-only approach enables us to offer a higher and more in-depth level of advice and expertise.

How?  Through building positive working relationships and offering an outstanding service.

Whatever your goals and objectives, with The Route, everything is about the positive connections we aim to build with you.  Our role is to listen to and understand not only your arrangements, but also to recognise where you are now, and where you want to be.

Yes, we know that our competitors say this.

But, once you join us, you’ll notice the difference straightaway.  To illustrate, our structured Member Integration process includes a series of meetings, tailored uniquely to you, and you alone. Our guidance and advice will reflect your life journey thus far, and help you plan for the future.

Moving forwards, your financial commitments through us will be tracked and reviewed by your Relationship Manager.  Life changes.  So, the allocation and performance of your assets will be aligned to your developing needs.

To deploy an over-used but true cliché, we’re pro-active, not reactive.

Who Are You?

We’re with you in your life journey.

You could be in your mid-thirties, a High Net Worth individual with few life goals as yet.  Or, at a later stage in life, at the pinnacle of your career, growing your family and planning a secure future.  Alternatively, you’re anticipating retirement, starting to minimise your working week whilst maximising your income.

So, What Do We Do?

The Route supports our Members in four principal areas.  We offer a range of advisory services that are as broad as they are in depth, so do get in contact with us for more information.

The Route – Future

This is our regulated Independent Financial Advisory service, delivering financial and investment planning advice to help you make informed decisions about investments and savings.

The key words here are fully independent.  We’re a whole-of-market advisor.  Why is that important?  Because we’re able to recommend the products that dovetail precisely to your needs. We advise on:

  • Individual Savings Accounts (ISA), personal & private pensions, and General Investment Accounts (GIA)Risk-managed model and discretionary fund management portfolios
  • Venture Capital Trusts (VCT) and Enterprise Investment Schemes (EIS)
  • Insurance and protection policies

The Route – Finance

If you are looking to grow your assets whilst diversifying your portfolio, The Route – Finance could be your ideal platform.   We give our Members access to short-term, secured loan investments.

With terms of no longer than 24 months, these are asset-backed loans with first legal charge over UK land and/or property, and security covering targeting 140% of capital, plus interest.

In the last six years, The Route – Finance has lent over £160 million and paid more than £15 million in interest to our Members.

The Route – Property

Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, we offer custom borrowing solutions for your main or second home, including multi-currency mortgages and portfolio loans for Buy-to-Let properties.

The property market could offer you a strong opportunity to grow your assets and we’re here to help and advise.  The Route – Property also offers comprehensive specialist insurance cover for home and contents, rental properties, UK and overseas holiday homes, art and jewellery, and much else besides.

The Route – Income

We partner with a network of specialist tax advisors who have the expertise you need to help you minimise your tax burden, whilst remaining one hundred percent within the letter of the law.

In recent years, tax appears to have become more complicated.  And, these complex tax knots are unlikely to loosen in the years to come.  So, our aim is to help you make the most of every single pound that you earn.  Moreover, to help you fully understand your tax liabilities for peace of mind.

In Summary

So, that’s what we do.

This blog is a whistle-stop tour of our advisory services, and an introduction to The Route.  As experts in our field, we very much enjoy helping our Members not only to achieve their financial and life goals, but to visualise their future.  We find supporting our Members in this way very satisfying, on a professional and personal level. We deal with complex issues, but our communication at every single stage of our engagement with you will be anything but.

The Route doesn’t do jargon.  Just robust, long lasting working relationships that will stand the test of time. 

Look out for our next blog soon.

Hove Newsletter – March 2020

The next Hove lunch will be on 12th May 2020, 12:30 PM – 2:30 PM, at the Ginger Pig Pub, sponsored by Sarah Hurst Skin Clinic – Book here

In relation to COVID-19, we hope that the next Hove event will still be going forwards. As it is hard to predict what may happen, we will ensure to keep you updated with any further developments and information. 

Book onto upcoming dates here:


Sarah Hurst Portrait Logo - High Res_White (1)

Sarah Hurst Skin Clinic

The truth about Vitamin A.

There are many ingredients in cosmetics that claim to be a miracle cure for ageing, sun damaged and acne skin.  It’s a market full of hype, so how do you work out the fact from the fiction?  Firstly, we need to determine what our skin needs to make it healthy and replenish it with these ingredients.  THE most important vitamin and ingredient is Vitamin A.  Vitamin A is vital for skin, eye and reproductive health.  Here we are looking at the advantages for skin.

There is a lot of confusion surrounding this amazing ingredient and this is understandable.  If it was straight forward, I wouldn’t be writing this blog to try and clarify the matter.  Even in the skincare world itself, there is a lot of misinformation.  When looking at different treatments that we can introduce into our clinic, many of the companies say that “the client mustn’t use vitamin A products for a period of time before the treatment”.  Why not?  “Because it thins the skin and over sensitises it” is the usual reply.  Really?  Vitamin A is known to thicken the skin, so why is this? It comes down to the form that the Vitamin A is carried in and the strength of the Vitamin A.

I’d like to put the record straight here, without blinding you all with so much science that you fall asleep or just get completely confused.  Now, I’m not a scientist or even a medical professional for that matter.  I am an aesthetic therapist who has worked with skin for over 30 years and with vitamin A products for around 15 years and have seen the transformations that applying this ingredient to the skin provides.  However, in some forms, as much the skin can gain results from it, Vitamin A can sensitise the skin.

Medically prescribed forms of Vitamin A are often extremely strong.  The skin isn’t acclimatised to receiving so much of the vitamin in one go and therefore our skin tends to react. Medically prescribed Vitamin A is usually Retin-A and is using an alcohol base as its carrier.  We need Retin-A, but it isn’t needed on the surface of the skin, it is needed in the skin cells themselves for results.  By applying Retin-A to the skin surface it acts as an irritant, and the skin can get dry and sensitive from application.

We can get all the results from Vitamin A by applying it to the skin in the form of Retinyl Parmitate.  This has a fat ester as it’s carrier and is the natural form of Vitamin A found in the skin.  Retinyl Parmitate goes through a conversion process in our skin and the ultimate ingredient is Retin-A which is converted directly in the skin cells.  This means that it doesn’t act as an irritant in the skin surface and is much more easily absorbed and utilised.

By having a step-up process in Vitamin A application also means that the skin has chance to acclimatise before moving onto the next strength.  The higher the strength, the better the results, but not at the detriment of the skin being sensitised to too high levels without acclimatisation.  It is important to build up gradually.

On a final note a couple of key facts.  If you were to go out into the sun all day and seek to get a tan, then you would lose around 90% of the vitamin A in your body.  To replenish that then you would need to be in a darkened room for 5 – 7 days.  Therefore, surely it makes perfect sense to be replacing this most important ingredient to ensure that you keep your skin at it’s healthiest and avoid having a “vitamin deficient” skin.


Brighton Newsletter – March 2020

Unfortunately, due to recent circumstances surrounding COVID-19 we have had to change the format for the next Brighton lunch. We are embracing technology and taking the lunch virtual.

We are inviting you to attend our virtual networking event via zoom, completely free of charge.

Here’s how it will work…

On booking your FREE ticket you will be sent the joining instructions. During this session, the sponsor or their speaker will do a short 5-10 talk followed by each attendee doing a 60-second pitch. Following this, we will share the contact details of the attendees so that you can all follow up digitally.

We will transfer any paid for bookings to the next Brighton lunch.

Please feel free to share the invite!

Join our next zoom meeting here:



Harvey John

The future of indirect tax & what this means for tax recruitment

With consumption-based taxes becoming the tax of choice for managing austerity deficit levels – and with more major economies worldwide adopting this method of taxation – it is set to continue as a key revenue generator across global markets.

If we look at the OECD’s tracking of direct and indirect taxes, the global corporate tax rate (as a percentage of GDP) has almost halved from 46.6% (1980) to 26.5% (2018), whilst the VAT rate has shown significant gains. In 1977, only 25 countries had adopted VAT but, since 2019, this has surged to 168 countries.

According to the OECD, taxes on goods and services – which include general consumption taxes, VAT and other specific consumption taxes currently account for a huge 33% of total global tax revenue. With ongoing talks regarding a ‘digital tax’, paired with the suggestion of various ecotaxes to tackle ongoing environmental issues, the future appears to be in the hands of the indirect taxes.

The indirect tax market tends to thrive on political and economic uncertainty, which increases the need for specialists in both professional services and in-house tax functions. For example, off the back of ongoing trade wars, 2019 became a defining year for Customs & Global trade recruitment. Alongside this, with Brexit and digital tax obligations steering the agenda for tax functions, the volume of appointments remained high.

How has the Financial Services sector been affected? 

In the last decade for financial services, the level of corporate taxes has slowed down and there is growing speculation that VAT will become the standard method of taxation. Nevertheless, there will very likely be new complexities that will drive the demand for new skills in the industry.

Ultimately, the features of financial services are fundamentally changing. The verticals within the sector are no longer a clear line between products or services of traditional banks, insurers and asset managers. Instead, we are seeing ‘new economy’ entrants to the market offering more sophisticated FinTech, peer-to-peer (P2P) lending, payment processors, and of course, cryptocurrency. Take for example the rapidly evolving digital economy – enhanced again last year with Facebook’s attempt to launch ‘Libra’ – which epitomises the pace of change (and thus reinforcing why indirect tax professionals will need to sharpen their tools when approaching financial services). And, with the application of VAT or GST looking to be applied to these digital products and services, we can expect to experience an increased demand for indirect tax skills.

The ‘Death of the VAT Return’

Where one traditional process of compliance and reporting falls into decay, it marks the genesis of a digitalised landscape of tax.

With fraudsters causing financial headaches for tax authorities (VAT revenue gaps hitting around €150 billion per annum) and the lengthy VAT return process being discouraging for businesses, it is no surprise that automation has become a priority.

Live digital transaction reporting has been sweeping through Europe and the rest of the world gradually for several years now, but 2019 certainly saw it garner the most attention. With advanced systems in place across LATAM, India’s introduction of e-invoicing for GST, Poland scrapping VAT returns, and the UK’s introduction of MTD, this growing list of live invoicing advocates has meant that the role of VAT compliance is now in a state of transition.

Whilst technology renders a core feature of the VAT compliance specialist’s role redundant, it shifts the skill set of one’s ability to secure ‘clean data’ and translate information to both the authorities and wider business. So whilst the rise in technology eradicates burdensome  processes through automation, it has created a calling for ERP, e-filing, and data analysts.


With the sweeping popularity of consumption taxes, and all the above considered, it is clear that we are at a moment of significant opportunity for indirect tax professionals around the world. Whether it be digital companies invading the financial services sector, or the automation of VAT compliance processes, we have started – and will continue – to see a sizable increase in the volume and variety of indirect tax vacancies. ‘Variety’ is the underlying message here and reinforces the notion that one must proactively adapt and acquire new skills.

Eastbourne Newsletter – February 2020

The next Eastbourne lunch will be on 27th March 2020, 12:00 PM – 2:00 PM, at the Grand Hotel, sponsored by Humphrey & Co – Book Here

Book onto upcoming dates here:



Humphrey & Co


The December General Election meant that the Autumn Budget was delayed and we now know that Sajid Javed will deliver his first Budget on the second Wednesday in March which is when Budget day used to be!

We are expecting that the tax measures in the Conservative Party manifesto will be announced again, together with confirmation that changes consulted on last year will be put in place.

Key tax announcements to listen out for include leaving the rate of corporation tax at 19% and an increase in the national insurance threshold. Unfortunately, it is unlikely that the planned roll out of the “off-payroll” working (IR35) rules to the private sector will be delayed.

The Chancellor is also expected to again announce a u-turn on the 2019 loan charge following a review of the legislation by Sir Amyas Morse.

You can follow us on Twitter for live updates during the budget humph_co and after the Budget has taken place we will provide a Budget Summary pdf.