GARY Brothers is the managing partner of Independent Tax, a specialist HMRC disputes and tax investigation business based on the Brackenholme Business Park, near Selby.

Independent Tax, which also has offices in London and Spain, works with a broad range of clients across the UK. Its clients range from sole traders and public-sector organisations to billionaire businesspeople and celebrities.

Most members of the team, including Gary, have worked for HMRC as tax inspectors, as well as advising businesses and individuals on their tax affairs. They specialise in offering professional, honest and non-judgmental advice to customers experiencing difficulties, or keen to avoid facing difficulties, with HMRC.

Services include tax dispute resolution, risk-reduction reviews, acting as expert witnesses for their clients and forensic accounting investigation. Gary is originally from Holme-on-Spalding-Moor but now lives near Doncaster.

What job would you like to have, other than your own and why?

I’d like to be a barrister. In my day job, we deal with tax law so I’ve encountered barristers on a number of occasions and never cease to be amazed by their sharp intellect. Their world is a fascinating mix of the very modern and the hugely traditional; they harness technology to reduce paper evidence in court but we often instruct barristers who reside at the Inner Temple in London, a mystical place that goes back for hundreds of years as a legal seat. For anyone who, like us, regularly deals with HMRC, there is sometimes a little adversarial contention in our work – and that’s the case for barristers too.

Greatest achievement?

Professionally, setting up Independent Tax. I walked away from paid employment at the back end of a recession to fulfill my burning ambition and everyone said I must be mad. Four years later, we’ve grown to a team of eight, which probably makes us the largest independent tax disputes practice in the north, if not the entire country. We’re still growing, and I can’t help but look at that achievement and be delighted with it. The entire team deserves full credit. On a personal level, I’m proud of having two really great kids, Joe and Leo. They’re polite, happy, and bright, and an absolute pleasure to be around.

What makes you most angry?

Lots of things. Bad manners; arrogance; ignorance; dirty shoes; poor service; a lack of professionalism (regardless of the job); a poor work ethic; a scruffy appearance and small mindedness. Fortunately, not long lists!

Biggest mistake:

Not starting the business earlier. I spent 17 years working for HMRC, which was invaluable in terms of helping me to establish the business and develop the service that we offer today. After that, I worked in practice for other people for ten years and could have left to start my own business sooner. I realised early on that clients crave the personal touch as they feel unsettled by HMRC’s scrutiny. Sadly, big firms are not geared up for that and I’m sure it has been a key factor in our current success. I wish I’d realised this sooner and had the courage to strike out on my own earlier.

What do you need to make life complete?

It sounds a bit cheesy, but nothing really. I’ve my health and I’ve got a healthy family. Between me and my lovely partner, we have four great kids. Life is good in all sorts of ways. I’ve got a reasonably successful, growing business that keeps me engaged. Perhaps my beloved QPR winning the Premiership and the Champions League in one season would do the trick?

Why do you make a difference?

I think that, in my personal life with my partner and our kids, I’m a positive influence on the whole. If that means that the next generation will have good, solid values, then that’s making a difference. Professionally, we often deal with scenarios that can leave clients feeling quite distressed. We have a calming effect in a sea of turbulence and our clients tell us that really does make a difference.