Rickard Luckin Tax Director, Kevin Thomas, appointed as Master of the Worshipful Company of Tax Advisers
Each year the WCOTA has a new Master, who is installed at a WCOTA Court meeting held in September each year, which is followed by a grand Installation Dinner. The new Master for 2016-17 will be Kevin Thomas, a Chartered Accountant, Chartered Tax Adviser and member of the Association of Tax Technicians.
Kevin joined the Company in 2000 and became Treasurer and Court Assistant in 2008. He was Renter Warden in 2014/15 and Upper Warden in 2015/16. He has always had an interest in the City of London and joining the Company was a great way to become part of City life and to learn more about the square mile, its history and traditions.
The motto of the Company is Veritas Caritas Comitas (Truth Charity Fellowship) and the Company’s primary aims are to:
- enhance the standing of the profession of tax adviser in the City of London;
- support the Lord Mayor and the City of London Corporation;
- support and fund charitable and benevolent causes;
- promote fellowship among tax advisers.
This year marks the 21st anniversary of the founding of the Company and Kevin’s theme for his year will be Coming of Age. The Company has come a long way since its inception in 1995. In that time it has become a fully-fledged Livery Company (number 107 in order of precedence), and was granted a Royal Charter in 2009. It now plays an important part in City life, including advising the Lord Mayor on tax issues ahead of all major foreign visits. It actively raises funds through its charitable trust, and makes donations to good causes, generally in the London area.
Over the years, Kevin has really enjoyed the social side of the Company. This ranges from formal dinners interwoven with City traditions in wonderful Livery Halls to less formal social events such as tours of the Supreme Court, our Livery Church, St Bartholomew the Great, an early morning tour of Smithfield meat market, and very soon the London Transport Museum store at Acton.
So what about Kevin as a person?
He was born in Leigh-on-Sea in Essex and grew up in the town during the late 1960’s and 1970’s. His mother’s side of the family had roots from the area whilst his father had wider connections with Wales and the North East. An Essex man by birth, but certainly not your stereotypical Essex man so often popularised in the media and in TV shows such as TOWIE
He was educated at local schools, completing his A-level studies at Westcliff High School for Boys in 1980 before studying for a degree in Mathematics. Whilst studying he tried his hand at a wide selection of jobs from selling hamburgers on Southend Pier, being a taxi driver, stacking shelves in Sainsbury’s, Reinsurance clerk and during a work placement period, signing the Official Secrets Act and working for the Atomic Energy Authority. For whatever reason (and he still doesn’t understand why) he choose a career in Accountancy and in 1984 signed a training contract with the Brentwood office of Bird Luckin & Sheldrake, later known as Bird Luckin.
Kevin was appointed a partner in 1994 and now works in the Chelmsford office. In 2015 Bird Luckin merged with Rickard Keen and is now known as Rickard Luckin with offices in Chelmsford, Southend and Basildon. As well as playing an active part in client work, Kevin is also energetically involved in management roles including chairing Tax and IT committees
In his tax professional role Kevin believes passionately that the business should plan ahead and seek quality help and guidance, thus realising in full their aims and ambitions. He specialises in helping owner managed business, the SME sector, sole traders, partnerships and individuals in areas such Corporate and Personal Tax; VAT; Tax planning; Succession planning; International Services; Payroll; and Charity & Not-for-profit. Kevin’s clients include professional practices, consultants, medical, property investment and development businesses, manufacturing and many high net worth individuals with whom he has a close working relationship and one of trusted adviser..
Kevin is very keen on developing IT systems to support professional work allowing the team to work more effectively and efficiently. To this end has ensured that his firm is at the cutting edge for IT and spearheaded the move to paperless working in 2005 and a secure open access system for all team members. He is taking a very active interest in HMRC’s digital project and is keen to see it working successfully over the next few years once all the practical obstacles can be successfully overcome.
Kevin is a Trustee and Treasurer of TaxAid (UK). As many readers will be aware, this charity is dedicated to helping people on low incomes with tax problems who cannot afford to pay for expert advice and assistance. It works very closely with Tax Help for Older People, particularly through the Bridge the Gap campaign. Kevin is also Treasurer of a number of associations covering such topics as politics, help for young disadvantaged children, and historical sites.
His year as Master will take up a great deal of Kevin’s time as not only will he be attending most of the WCOTA events but will be guest at several other Livery Company events. He is, and will be, a busy man but he still finds time for other activities. He is a keen traveller, walker, runner, swimmer, and cyclist. Having run a number of marathons, this year he widened the challenge and took part in a number of triathlons. His latest project is to walk the 630 mile South West Coastal path. At the time of writing he has just walked from Minehead to Falmouth, leaving only another 297 miles left to complete in the next year or so!