Tax barrister Richard Sowler, who is retained to advise clients of Setfords Solicitors, will judge if decisions made by income tax authorities on the Isle of Man were the right ones, after being appointed as an Income Tax Commissioner.
Richard, who has 35 years’ experience offering high-level tax and other legal advice to companies, trusts and individuals in the UK and overseas, will take up the post later this month.
Commissioners, who judge appeals made by members of the public and businesses, are appointed based on their experience and level of expertise.
Richard said: “This is my chance to give something back and be helpful to the Isle of Man, making sure justice is done on behalf of both the tax authorities and those who believe their case has not been handled correctly.
“The role is very similar to overseeing a court case with the need to apply law to the facts, sum up the personalities of the witnesses and the strengths of the arguments. I have appeared in tribunals and courts for both taxpayers and HMRC, and it will be interesting to sit on the bench and decide who is right. It will also give me a deeper insight into the judicial process, which I shall be able to use to enhance my services to clients.”
Richard was called to the bar in 1974 and has enjoyed a long and varied career including being Head of Tax and Trusts at Bircham and Co and Senior Legal Adviser on tax issues to the Serious and Organised Crime Agency.
Richard moved to the Isle of Man in 2012, the same year he was retained as tax counsel by Setfords.
CEO Guy Setford said: “It is wonderful Richard’s obvious expertise in the area of tax law has again been recognised.”