Mike Tait FCA
Mike is in charge of the accounting and assurance services of the firm.
Having qualified as a chartered accountant with an international firm in Newcastle in 1976. Mike was soon appointed a partner at Straughans to head up the audit team and has since developed the audit practice of the firm which now deals with company audits, charities, solicitors and chartered surveyors client money audits and pre-acquisition reviews.
Mike is a proud professional who has contributed fully to the affairs of the local professional society and as a result has cultivated many professional and business associations. As a result other local firms have used Mike’s services in an advisory capacity. The provision of an assurance service is not seen by Mike as being a dry compliance service but an opportunity to see what help can be given to a business and this is an approach that has lead to savings for a range of clients arising from rates rebates, property investments and significant insurance savings. The compliance with the various accounting, auditing, tax and VAT laws are all part of business life which have to be dealt with and it is expected that this is done well, but the opportunity then arises to use the vast amount of business experience accrued by Mike to the benefit of the client and to offer a signpost to the many other services that a business can benefit, such as business development, insurances, sources of appropriate finance, grant assistance and many others. It is this added value which is appreciated by clients large and small and which is reflected in the high number of long standing clients that Mike looks after.
In addition to this Mike has also dealt with a number of company sales and acquisitions and is experienced in liaising with the legal advisers in these situations. Mike has also developed a strong expertise in the area of charities and is recognised in the North East as having a strong track record in advising charities in a variety of situations, including in oparticular the incorporation and merging of charities.
Mike enjoys the variety that his professional career has to offer and the diverse challenges arise from it. A family man with North East roots and a grown up family, in his spare time he is known to enjoy playing bad golf, walking in Northumberland and the Lake District, skiing, sailing, and a good red wine.
Mike Fleming CTA, TEP
Mike heads up the taxation services of the firm.
25 years ago Mike was specialising in accounts investigation for the Inland Revenue but now he spends his time ensuring that the firms clients rights are protected and that they receive the best advice enabling them to arrange both their personal and business tax affairs to produce the lowest level of liability allowed within the law.
Mike leads the firms approach from the front as a keen advocate of taxpayer’s rights and regularly represents clients of this firm and of other firms in disputes with the Revenue. In doing so he has built up a unique bank of experience having successfully advised on a wide range of issues ranging from straightforward enquiries arising from the local HMRC to major cases dealing with the HMRC Criminal Taxes Unit. This has also meant that Mike has gained extensive knowledge of the workings and issues involving Proceeds of Crime legislation, Money Laundering and HMRC Criminal Taxes Unit investigations and is well placed to advise on these areas as a result.
In addition to the enquiry driven work, Mike has developed a strong expertise in the area of capital taxes particularly concerning land deals and development and has a strong track record in structuring deals in tax effective ways. As a result of an enquiring mind he has also had to deal with some slightly offbeat issues and has recently concluded negotiations with HMRC on liabilities arising from restitution of assets to descendants of Jewish victims of the Nazi occupation of Austria and to date he has successfully finalised much reduced tax settlements on assets valued in tens of millions of pounds. Other successful cases extend into the intricacies of Scottish tax, matrimonial and property law which is another unique area of expertise.
Mike clearly enjoys the diverse challenges that he deals with for the firm but while away from the desk he also finds time for his family, skiing, cycling, motor cycling, sailing, and a good Rioja.