Our award-winning team are specialists in trusts, wills, estate planning and personal tax and our service is market-leading.

- Best Private Client Tax Practice - Tolley's Taxation Awards 2020
- Best Employer in Tax - Tolley's Taxation Awards 2022

Private Client

Welcoming, personable, and completely professional. We felt that Shorts really listened to us and then explained everything that we needed to know thoroughly, and we felt completely comfortable and happy with the advice that we were given

Our market-leading service gives you a complete and uninterrupted view of your finances – business to personal, one generation to the next, present to future; Our team are specialists in trusts, wills, estate planning and personal tax.

By understanding your business and its goals, as well as your own personal ambitions, we’re in a great position to optimise your finances to create the best possible future.

From managing your tax, pensions and investments to advising on the use of trusts for asset protection, our seamless service delivers because our specialists really listen, understand and work with you to plan for tomorrow.

And because we feel privileged to advise on what might be the legacy of a lifetime’s work, or in helping you to achieve a lifelong ambition, we’re as invested in your future as you are.

In October 2020, we held a Webinar covering tax-saving ideas for individuals and businesses. A recording of the webinar is available to watch.

  • Best Private Client Tax Practice – Winners of Tolley’s Taxation Awards 2020
  • Best Employer in Tax – Winners of Tolley’s Taxation Awards 2022

What we do

  • What is Private Client?
  • Personal Tax Compliance
  • Personal Tax Planning
  • Wills, Trusts and Estates
  • Investments & Retirement
  • HMRC Tax Investigations

What is Private Client?

From annual tax compliance, right through to more complex and sophisticated tax and financial services solutions, the Private Client team at Shorts are here to help.

We employ more than 30 dedicated private client professionals including more Chartered Tax Advisers than any independent accountancy practice in the region. We have 3 full members of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners. We also have individuals with legal qualifications to assist with the administration of estates and the preparation of trusts and wills. Finally, our team also includes 5 Chartered Financial Planners.

Shorts also hold the highly acclaimed status of Chartered Financial Planners as a firm. This is the industry’s gold standard and confirms that the most rigorous criteria relating to professional qualifications and ethical good practice have been satisfied.

Given the experience of the individuals within our team, many of which have qualifications in more than one area of specialism, we are able to provide a wide range of modern financial solutions, tailored to suit your personal requirements whatever your circumstances.

We revel in the complex and are regarded as one of the premier Private Client teams in the North because of our ability to provide multi-faceted, multi-generational strategic tax planning.

Personal Tax Compliance

Personal Tax Compliance

Our personal tax department is made up of highly qualified individuals, several of whom have worked at Shorts for many years.  This allows us to offer both continuity of service and a detailed knowledge and understanding of our clients’ personal tax circumstances.

You can be confident that if you provide us with all the information required for your return, we will do the rest.  It is our aim to complete all personal tax returns as early as possible, allowing us time to explore any relevant tax planning opportunities.

We provide a comprehensive service for clients, from straightforward returns to those with more complex tax affairs.

We understand the importance of engaging advisers you can trust and at Shorts, we are focused on ensuring you receive the very best advice and service.

Personal Tax Planning

Personal Tax Planning

One of our particular strengths is to combine a number of different approaches when reviewing our client’s financial affairs. Many of our private clients receive advice that covers one or more of the following aspects.

Income tax planning

We can create an income tax planning strategy tailored to your personal circumstances.  This could include maximising your (and your spouse’s) personal allowances, utilising all available reliefs, and considering the timing of income where possible, to prevent excessive tax liabilities arising.

Capital gains tax planning

The disposal or transfer of shares or assets may generate a capital gains tax liability, but careful consideration prior to the disposal can help minimise this possibility.  Our team can consider your situation and ensure you fully utilise annual exemptions, reliefs and any losses.   It is important to seek advice with adequate time to review circumstances and implement any recommended planning before any transaction takes place.

Inheritance tax planning

A major concern for successful individuals is often the issue of inheritance tax.  Shorts can help you to preserve your wealth for future generations with the implementation of tax efficient and effective strategies.  We would wish to establish a deep understanding of your current financial position and long-term aspirations.  From this, we could create a strategy to manage and protect your estate, whilst also providing sufficient capital upon which to live comfortably.

Tax planning for trusts

As trusts are often subject to separate income tax, capital gains tax, inheritance tax and compliance rules, compared to individuals, it is important that trustees have access to specialist trust tax advice.  Our team includes STEP qualified individuals enabling us to advise trustees and/or beneficiaries coherently on the creation, maintenance and winding-up of trusts as appropriate.

Wills, Trusts and Estates

Wills, Trusts and Estates

Whether or not you consider yourself to be wealthy, it is important to make a Will.  If you were to die without one, the distribution of your estate will be determined by law, and this may not be in accordance with your wishes.  For example, an unmarried partner has no automatic entitlement, and wider family, friends or charities will not inherit.

Shorts has an experienced team of tax and legally qualified advisers, who are dedicated to looking after your personal and business interests. By safeguarding assets for the long-term and structuring of Wills and trusts tax efficiently, we can meet your objectives.  And we often bring ideas to the discussion which may not have been previously considered.

Although it might be considered unusual for an accountancy practice to prepare Wills for its clients, we see this as a natural extension to the services we offer our private clients. We gain a deeper understanding of their needs and objectives, often through many years of working together.  This allows us to provide the most appropriate Will for their circumstances, and then to review it at appropriate intervals.

We also prepare Lasting Powers of Attorney which can cover both financial and health/welfare aspects. For our clients with business interests, we can also advise how LPAs can be used in the commercial environment.

Investments & Retirement

Investments & Retirement

Our team of independent advisers combines deep professional expertise in pensions, retirement and investments.  Where engaged, they will work closely with clients to unravel the complex and build a complete picture of your personal finances.  Our solutions then take everything into account, optimising wealth now and for the future.


A vital part of planning for a secure financial future is the creation and ongoing maintenance of the appropriate investment strategy. We provide innovative investment solutions tailored to your needs, to help you achieve your financial goals.

Although we offer a full range of investments solutions, many of our clients choose to invest in our range of risk graded, multi-manager, model portfolios. Each portfolio is put together after consideration of risk, asset allocation and fund selection. The sophisticated construction and management of these portfolios is achieved through the interaction between selected partners who, in our opinion, are leaders in their specialist fields.

Retirement planning

At whatever stage of life you plan for retirement, it is important to receive clear, professional advice which takes into account your requirements and plans.  Good advice is particularly important at the point you choose how to receive your retirement income as the options available are varied and complex.

So why Shorts’ Private Client Team?

We know we are different to the competition and are proud of it – we welcome the opportunity of demonstrating this to you!

*Your investment may fall as well as rise and you may not get back what you put in.

HMRC Tax Investigations

HMRC Tax Investigations

Nobody likes thinking about the prospect of an HMRC Investigation, but enquiries are on the increase. In 2018/19, over £34.1bn was collected by HMRC from investigations and enquiries alone, and it doesn’t matter whether you are an individual or a business, HMRC can open an enquiry into your tax affairs at any time.

As your dedicated accountant, we’re here to help you manage any tax enquiries you might receive. It is vital to be led by specialist advice and guidance when dealing with HMRC. We will be able to translate the many complicated questions the taxman may pose, manage the entire conversation with the taxman, help you submit any required information and minimise the impact on your business or personal life.

However, the cost of supporting you throughout an investigation is not covered in our usual accountancy fees; this is where our professional fee protection service comes in. Spend a little now to potentially save a lot later and take the stress, time and professional costs out of a tax investigation.

What is Private Client?

Award-winning service

Most recent recognition

Winners - Best Private Client Tax Practice

Tolley's Taxation Awards 2020

Finalist - Best Private Client Tax Practice

Tolley's Taxation Awards 2019

Finalist - Advisory Team of the Year

Yorkshire Accountancy Awards 2019

What our Private Clients say about us


I have used Shorts Accountants since 1965 in my business and continue to use them as Financial Advisers since my retirement.

They have always been excellent throughout this time and despite changes in staff over the years their quality remained consistent.

We had an issue with the Inland Revenue, which I disputed vigorously, but HMRC continued to claim I was in breach of the rules. It was only with the expertise of a member of Shorts staff at a meeting with HMRC that they finally admitted that I was conducting my business correctly.

I received a letter from the Inland Revenue admitting they were wrong, which I have kept in a safe ever since. Shorts knowledge of case law and precedent saved me thousands of pounds in that instance.

I have recommended them to family, friends and colleagues, both as Accountants and Chartered Financial Planners.
Whilst the last 12 years have been a volatile period for investing the returns on my investments remain very satisfactory and my capital has been protected.

I would recommend them without hesitation to anyone requiring financial advice.

Philip Gilbert

I look upon Shorts as a 'safe pair of hands' who provide me with advice that I can rely on.

David Bowring, Managing Director
Bowring Transport Limited

We became Short’ clients when looking for assistance with our Annual Accounts and were introduced to the Private Client team quite early in our working relationship.

They carefully and patiently listened to our requirements and concerns, and we very quickly knew that our interests were in good hands.

We initially thought that the complexity of our family’s affairs would require long-term planning but Shorts’ practical guidance provided us with valuable planning ideas that we were able to implement immediately. Their recommendations have provided us with a clear strategy to simplify our position and meet our long-term objectives.

Julia Procter, Director
Sheaf Motors Limited

Shorts have been advising our family since 1969. We have always been extremely satisfied with the advice we have received and the level of service provided.

Jamie Dennis, Director
Industrial Ancilliaries Limited

We have trusted Shorts for many years to look after our affairs, so when we decided to purchase new business premises through our pension scheme, we had no hesitation contacting them for advice.

Firstly, they undertook a thorough review of our personal and business interests and whilst doing so, identified where our business success was also potentially jeopardising our inheritance tax position. Shorts’ knowledge and expertise quickly identified a suitable solution and provided confidence that similar problems with not now reoccur

Martin and Melanie Southwell, Directors
Direct Track Solutions Limited

Shorts also provide ongoing financial and taxation advice, providing robust financial advice, including directors' pensions, business protection and personal estate planning.

Charles Summers, Managing Director
Eyres of Chesterfield