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Chris Watts

Old Mill appointments associate director to capital tax advisory team

Chippenham-based financial experts Old Mill have appointed highly experienced tax specialist Chris Watts as associate director in the capital tax advisory team.

A qualified member of the Association of Accounting Technicians, Chartered Institute of Taxation and Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners, Chris has 26 years’ experience in the industry, with particular expertise in highly complex tax structures and the tax rules around emerging assets.

The 43-year-old started his career in 1996 when he joined PKF-Francis Clark as an apprentice.

He worked his way up from tax trainee to tax compliance manager and tax advisory consultant before being promoted to tax director in 2017.

In 2020, Chris joined a boutique tax advisory firm based in Manchester working remotely, before joining Old Mill back in the west country.

Chris has expertise across a variety of different areas of taxation, with particular knowledge and experience in dealing with highly complex tax matters including tax investigations and crypto compliance.

Chris said: “I have worked on a number of complex tax investigations, and have provided assistance to clients and their legal teams where they are being prosecuted by HMRC for suspected criminal tax evasion cases.

“I have also worked with individuals who have crypto investments to advise on their tax positions and assist making disclosures to HMRC where they have not understood their obligations.”

Last year, Old Mill announced plans to double the size of the business by 2026, and Chris says this ambitious plan, which encourages and rewards individual contributions to growth, was a real draw for him.

“Old Mill’s culture of developing new areas and allowing individuals to drive forwards with their own ideas and projects to help the firm reach its objectives was an attractive proposition for me,” he said,

“A lot of what we do in the tax team can be quite niche; making these services relevant to clients is key to the firm’s growth, and I am looking forward to coming up with new ways to promote both existing and new services to clients and deliver these in an effective way.”

Chris was also really drawn to the mentoring culture at Old Mill, he adds: “Having had the benefit of working under some great leaders who passed down their knowledge and experience to me, I want to ensure that those I work with can also benefit from what I have learned.”

Chris recently moved back to a hybrid office-based role with Old Mill after a few years working fully remotely and says another major attraction of Old Mill is its location, and healthy approach to work/life balance.

He said: “I love living in Devon and what it has to offer, I enjoy spending time with the family, walking and cycling on Dartmoor, as well as kayaking and swimming off the coast and it is great to be working for a firm that offers the flexibility to continue to make the most of what the area I live in has to offer.”

David Maslen, director of tax said: “At Old Mill, we encourage and support people to work within the area of tax they are most passionate about, and as a result we are able to recruit top talent like Chris.

“Chris’ extensive experience across complex tax matters, and his knowledge of the crypto market will further enhance our offering to clients, while his record of training and mentoring colleagues combined with his drive to grow the tax team in size and expertise will be a huge asset to the tax team and the business as a whole.”

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