Tax update: Spotlight on…Gemma Read

Continuing our series of spotlights on our Tax team, here we catch up with Gemma Read, Director.

Why did you choose accounting and how did it come about?

After finishing my degree in European Studies, I went on to do a postgraduate certificate in business, which was what first got me interested in the accountancy profession and, in particular, tax. I completed my ACA qualification at PwC in Manchester, before moving to the South West, where I joined the veterinary team at Hazlewoods in a mixed tax role, going on to complete my CTA qualification a few years later.

I spent a few years on the ‘other side’ of the fence, working in the group tax team of a large financial services firm, before returning to Hazlewoods in 2022. I really enjoy being client-facing and I find the variety of projects and challenges that working in practice brings really suits me.

What is your role at Hazlewoods?

I head up the Owner Managed Business (OMB) tax team in the Cheltenham office, where we look after corporate, partnership and personal tax clients across a range of industries and sectors, undertaking a mix of compliance and advisory work.

What do you enjoy most about your role?

For me, it’s all about the people, both client-facing externally and team-focused internally. In the OMB team we often advise both the business and the business owners across a range of taxes, and I really enjoy being able to provide that sort of holistic tax service that clients find so valuable.

What challenges do you help your clients with?

What makes tax really interesting, but also incredibly challenging, is that it changes all the time! It is our job is to monitor changes in legislation and case law and then help our clients understand how those changes could affect them and any actions they need to take.

A big part of the role is helping clients navigate different stages in the lifecycle of their business, from start-ups needing advice on setting up a company, or remuneration strategies, through to established businesses considering succession planning or an exit.

Challenges in your currect work?

I am looking to grow the team, as the current SME market is huge and resourcing that is the challenge at the moment. As we have interesting clients and a good mix of compliance and advisory, I hope to attract some really good candidates to join our team. Drop me a line!

Tell us about what you enjoy outside of work

My young family keeps me pretty busy, but in my downtime I really enjoy reading and attend a monthly Book Club – although I have to admit to opting out if the choice is a thriller – I can’t finish anything creepy!

If you would like to know more, please contact Gemma at or on 01242 680000.

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