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bigduckontax, Accountant
Category: Tax
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, Following on from my last enquiry. my partner and I

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Following on from my last enquiry. my partner and I employed an accountant who we saw several times together. On one occasion he asked to see me on my own and asked what my relatioship was with my partner and the fact that it looked like I was buying houses to put into his company as a means of avoiding tax payments (this could not be further from the truth, I had borrowed the money to help my partner back into employment).
Did this accountant have a right to see me on my own without my partner being present?
Hello, I'm Keith and happy to help you with your question.
Well, there was nothing illegal in his action. however, whether it was quite ethical is a moot point. If he was trying to caution you as to your individual position viz a viz possible unwitting tax irregularities on your part then I accept that he had no alternative. It being part of his duty of care to you especially if he was unsure about your exact relationship with your partner.
Many people still do not realise that people live together, sometimes for long periods in partnerships. English Law is slowly catching up on the situation following a series of scandals when a long term partner had been left homeless and destitute following a death. Now we have single sex marriages etc to cope with this. My ex was part of a study group in Scotland many years ago during a shake up of the Scottish Law on the matter. It was with some astonishment that she discovered that there were about eight ways one could become married in Scotland and only two involved any form of ceremony at all! Merely living with someone constituted a marriage by repute and needed a formal divorce to end it. Also declaring a marriage, like over the anvil in Gretna Green, counted as a legal marriage. All frightfully complicated and often quite unexpected to both parties!
Provided your accountant did not labour the point, in my opinion his actions were acceptable, indeed he had no alternative. I trust they did not occur again. People are still swindled out of their savings by unscrupulous partners to this day. Trollope's Victorian plots are still valid models!
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