UK Tax Lecturer interview

Q&A with Tim Palmer, our Gravita Tax Consultant and UK Tax Lecturer

Tim lectures on tax extensively all over the UK. He is also our tax consultant.


How did you build your career in tax?

My Father, who was an accountant, always assumed and expected me to follow him into the accountancy profession, and he recommended that I should eventually specialise in tax. He had a considerable practice, with offices all around Essex. I worked for him in the school holidays, aged 10 onwards! While other kids were riding their bikes, I was completing tax returns!


I left Dad’s firm to join a bigger practice in the 1970s, namely Ball Baker Carnaby Deed in Holborn, London. After that, I spent a spell in industry, working in the in-house tax department of the P&O Shipping Group, which was a fantastic experience for me. At that time, P&O owned the Bovis Construction Group, so that’s where my interest in construction industry tax started. When I was at P&O, I passed my Chartered Institute of Taxation exams, and then went back into the profession. I was approached to start tax lecturing as well, and it all snowballed from there.


What do people outside the sector not realise about a career in tax?

At a social gathering, if somebody asks me what I do, and I say that I am in tax, I get the impression that some people think that it is incredibly boring! Nothing could be further from the truth. I find tax very fascinating and challenging, and I like having to keep up to date, both for my lectures and also to assist my tax planning for clients. I have recommended many younger people into the tax profession, and it has been very rewarding to watch them grow and develop within it.


How would you describe yourself in three words?

At work – studious, determined, and gregarious.


What advice would you give your future self?

Plan ahead! Everyone is different, but I think it is good to have future goals and aims within your career.

I also feel that it is important to enjoy your work and keep challenging yourself to constantly improve and gain more tax knowledge.


Tell me something about yourself that others may be surprised to know about you.

I am a fanatical Tottenham Hotspur fan! I am also very interested in anything to do with Winston Churchill. I thought the film relating to him, ‘The Darkest Hour’, was one of the best films I have ever seen!


I also regularly run in 10K and 5K races at Dorney Village, Eton. It is a fantastic location, and we run near the lakes where they held part of the 2012 Olympics.


Tim Palmer lectures on various tax topics extensively all over the UK, and is part of the Gravita tax consultancy team. He can be contacted at

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