Sometimes there is a question of the law and whether we can debate with HMRC, with a prospect of getting a good result for the client; in other words, proving that they have a lower liability to tax, or perhaps none.
At other times it is a question of negotiating lower penalties for the client, and making the case that a client’s guilt is less than HMRC contends. Perhaps the client has been involved in a tax “scheme”, and it is my job to decide whether it is worth resisting HMRC’s attack. Frankly it is often not worth resisting, especially if HMRC is not pressing for serious penalties or claiming negligence or carelessness on behalf of my client.
Sometimes clients feel very strongly that they are being targeted unfairly. They will want me to resist at all costs whatever attack is launched by the tax man or woman.
“At all costs” is all very well, but sometimes it is my duty to advise my clients that they really have nowhere to go, and that they have no chance of success, or very little, however much they spend on my fees or those of someone else. Quite apart from raising false hopes, I think it is quite wrong to take people’s money while believing that they are wasting it. That would be quite dishonest.
We all have our particular areas of expertise. We should all know when our customers or clients are wasting their time. If we “sell” our services knowing that they will be of little use, it is no different from the DIY store selling you a lawnmower they know will not do the job for you. It would be mis-selling.
Don’t you agree that to preserve our integrity, sometimes we have to advise our clients to save their money because they are “on a loser”?