Senior Personal Tax Manager Stephanie Swan goes under the spotlight!

What is your role within RG?

I am a senior manager in the Personal tax department which consists of 12 team members with expertise across various disciplines. My particular specialist areas are private client tax matters, non-charitable trusts, deceased estates and inheritance tax planning.

Tell me about your career to date

When I left school I took a position to train to be an auditor but soon realised that it wasn’t for me! I moved to a small city centre practice in Newcastle and spent 16 years there during which time I gained the Association of Taxation Technicians qualification (with Distinction) and the Chartered Institute of Taxation qualification after which I managed the personal tax department for a number of years. I enjoyed my time there but due to the size of the firm I was required to be a Jack of all trades. In March 2017 I joined Ryecroft Glenton with a view to specialising and I subsequently sat the STEP Diploma in Trusts & Estates England & Wales, achieving a Distinction.

What does your current role involve?

My role is incredibly varied and there is no typical day. I have a client portfolio of my own for which I deal with compliance as well as advisory matters and I am also involved in managing our team. However, I spend the bulk of my time providing tax advice for other clients of our firm and working closely with a number of local firms of solicitors. This collaboration works both ways in that we ensure our clients have access to the expert legal advice that they need whilst we provide our professional contacts with the tax advice and compliance services required by their clients.

What makes RG Different?

There are two main areas where I feel that Ryecroft Glenton differs from other firms I have worked for.

I believe that the balance between progressing and retaining our intrinsic values is met. We have embraced technology and our infrastructure is modern and efficient, meaning that we have thrived during this Covid period and been able to meet our clients’ needs in the same way as we have always done. However, moving forward with technology has not been at the cost of client care and we still ensure that all clients have a main point of contact who they can reach when they need to. Personal service has remained at the core of our business.

Secondly, even though we now have over 100 staff we are foremost a team and we are supported by the firm and also support each other both in our work, professional development and personally. We are big enough to carry a wide range of expertise which benefits both our staff and clients but we are not so big that we have lost a sense of community. This aids collaboration within the firm and there is a lot of interaction between departments, sharing information and providing assistance.

My 3 most notable achievements to date are….

Taking on and succeeding in gaining my STEP Diploma at the age of 45. It was a long time since I had studied like this and it was a brutal 2 years but worth every minute!

Realising and embracing the fact that accepting support and collaborating with others is a strength and not a weakness. We are all better in many ways as part of a team.

My two sons who are now 22 and both beautiful at heart, thoughtful and hard-working. I am excited to see how their lives develop and I would like to take some credit for their becoming the people they are today.

Tell us about your day so far

7:30     Get up and have a coffee to start the day and read through technical updates from the previous day to make sure that I am up to date.

8:30     Start work and check through my overnight emails to prioritise my work for the day

8:45     I have been working with one of our partners on an estate in administration for which we are dealing with the estate tax disclosures required and preparation of accounts for the period of administration. I finalise the accounts in draft ready for approval by the Executors, prepare a summary of corrective amendments that will need to be submitted to HMRC for inheritance tax purposes and prepare the income & capital gains tax disclosures to be made to HMRC.

12:00   Catch up call on Teams with a member of staff who has been on a training course for 2 days for the 3rd stage of the Association of Taxation Technicians examinations. A quick chat about how he feels his studying is going and what work he currently has on his plate.

12:15   Take a call with a potential client who has been referred to us by a firm of investment managers that we work with regularly. She is the Trustee of a trust that will need to consider 10 year anniversary inheritance tax disclosures and she wants some information and clarity about what is required.

12:30   Provide advice to the Executors of a former client around the tax implications and compliance matters that will arise from a trust embedded in her will.

13:30   Liaise with a client, her investment manager and her financial adviser to identify the most tax efficient pension contributions that could be made before 5 April

14:00   Telephone call with one of our consultants because one of our clients is minded to wind up a discretionary trust. Prepare illustrations of the tax implications of various options available.

15:30   Chat with a solicitor contact about some potential tax advice required for an estate they are acting for. Provide a quote for the work required

16:00   Finalise the information required to register a new trust client on the HMRC Trust Registration Service and make the registration on behalf of the Trustees

17:30   Make a priority list for tomorrow. Read through some proposals from a solicitor contact regarding upcoming planning on a family trust that we deal with collaboratively.

What do you enjoy outside of work?

Sadly my main passion is travel which has been curbed somewhat over the last year. I am looking forward to getting out and about again and am already compiling a wish list! I particularly enjoy a train journey and have been waiting for over 2 years now to get the train from my doorstep all the way through to Istanbul.

I have entertained myself during lockdown with plenty of Zoom bingo, board games, live streamed concerts and deliveries from local restaurants. I have been making an effort to support local & ethical traders and have discovered some gems that I hope to visit in person soon.

One interesting fact….

Embarrassingly, I was on Blockbusters in the late 80’s and won a trip to India. And yes…I did say ‘Can I have a ‘P’ please Bob?’!     

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