Sittingbourne, United Kingdom
Phil is a tax investigations specialist. A former tax inspector, he has nearly 30 years’ experience of assisting a wide range of clients facing scrutiny from HMRC.
Phil understands that being subject to a HMRC investigation can be a stressful ordeal, placing considerable strain on personal and business relationships. He will assist you through the process, and explain what options, if any, you have at each stage.
Phil Berwick takes a practical approach to HMRC investigations. Combined with his detailed knowledge of the Contractual Disclosure Facility (HMRC’s civil procedure for the investigation of suspected fraud) and the relevant law, he will guide you through the various stages. Phil is also able to assist clients who wish to make a voluntary disclosure of tax irregularities (including, for example, clients who have inherited a tax problem following the death of a parent).
Head of Contentious Tax - I handle HMRC investigations and disputes (particularly those dealt with by specialist units of HMRC, including Specialist Investigations, Local Compliance Fraud teams, the Offshore Co-ordination Unit, the High Net Worth Unit an
Director, Litigation and Compliance Following the merger between McGrigors and Pinsent Masons, I am fulfulling the same role in the enlarged firm. I deal with all types of HMRC investigations (including under the new Contractual Discloure Facility), and a
Director, Tax Disputes and Investigations
Director, Tax Investigations
Phil is a recognised expert in tax investigations matters. He is a former inspector of taxes. In addition, he has extensive experience gained in several accountancy and law firms. In total, he has nearly 30 years’ experience dealing with a wide range of HMRC investigations. Phil has extensive experience of using the Liechtenstein Disclosure Facility to regularise clients’ tax affairs.
He has acted for a wide range of clients, across a broad spectrum of business sectors. Phil also provides support to other professional advisers. Phil’s detailed knowledge of HMRC procedures, combined with his practical approach, means that he is able to secure excellent settlements for his clients.
Phil is an active member of the ICAEW’s Tax Investigations Practitioners’ Group. He is an author and lecturer on tax investigations issues. Phil is regularly quoted in the national press, and has featured on TV and radio.
1975 - 1982
How did I get here?
Continuing our How Did I Get Here? series, Phil Berwick explains how he went from the Inland Revenue to head of the National Tax Investigations Team at Tenon.
Current job title
Director of Tax Investigations at Tenon.
Tenon is a national accountancy and business advisory practice which works with small and medium sized businesses. Tenon provides clients with expertise in Business Services, Tax, Financial Services, Corporate Finance, Recovery, Outsourcing and Forensic Accountancy.
Describe your initial training within the profession
I am an ex-tax inspector and not a qualified accountant. I successfully passed the ATT examination in 1994, while still in the Inland Revenue. I left to join the profession in 1995, and passed the ATII (now CTA) examination in 1997.
What positions have you held?I started in the Inland Revenue as a Tax Officer (Higher Grade) and was subsequently promoted to inspector. After leaving the Inland Revenue, I joined the tax investigation team at Casson Beckman, where I stayed until 1997. I then joined Ernst and Young before moving to Williams Jeffrey Barber International (now Chiltern plc) in 1999 as a Senior Consultant. I joined Tenon as head of their National Tax Investigation Team in June 2005.
Since joining the profession, I have specialised in defending clients under investigation by the Inland Revenue, primarily Special Compliance Office investigations.
What advice would you give someone thinking of entering the profession?
Be focussed on what you want to achieve. Hard work and commitment can go a long way to achieving your ambitions.
Is there a significant event you can tell us about which had an impact on your career?
There have been several, but the most important was leaving the Inland Revenue in 1995. I enjoyed my time as an inspector, but the move to the profession enabled me to broaden my skill-base.
My experience in the Inland Revenue has been invaluable in dealing with clients, and assisting them in their dealings with the inspector.
What is your overall view of the finance industry and the people in it?
As with all walks of life, the profession contains a mixture of personalities. I have been very fortunate to work with some interesting and knowledgeable people.
Active member of the Tax Investigations Practitioners’ Group