Residential property

John McArthur

Partner, Head of Tax and Co-Head of Private Client

John is a Partner in our Private Client team and the firm’s Head of Tax.

John specialises in complex tax, trust and succession issues and regularly works with other professional advisers to provide advice on structuring complex multi faceted estates to maximise their tax and succession efficiency.   He regularly provides opinions to other professionals on legal,  tax and other contentious matters including wills, trusts and executries and has significant experience in all areas of personal tax, and tax planning, particularly Inheritance Tax and Land and Buildings Transaction Tax.

John's experience includes:

  • being involved in four appeals against IHT Notices of Determination and numerous discussions with HMRC which have settled prior to any Notices being issued. He appeared on behalf of the taxpayer in the IHT penalty case of Cairns v HMRC and was involved in the pre determination discussions with HMRC for the only inheritance tax case to proceed directly to the Inner House of the Court of Session in the last 25 years, Linlithgow v HMRC.
  • Settled a case with HMRC where their solicitors were involved in interviewing the potential witnesses prior to HMRC making a decision about the IHT liability. They agreed that Agricultural Property Relief was available after that meeting. We believe that this was the first time in the UK that this process was followed.

John regularly speaks at legal courses for STEP, other legal education providers and the Law Society of Scotland. He presents seminars to other professionals on legal and tax matters and has published articles in the Journal of the Law Society of Scotland and The Scotsman.

John is as a member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP), a member of  the Association of Taxation Technicians and an Associate of the Chartered Institute of Taxation. He is one of the few lawyers in Scotland who can call themselves a Chartered Tax Adviser and he was until recently the Treasurer of a charity with a turnover of around £1m. He is also a member of the Society of Writers to her Majesty’s Signet.

UK Chambers interviewee's comment: "I was impressed with his knowledge on tax and his ability to provide solutions to complex problems for his clients." Another interviewee notes that "he is good technically."

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