Three-minute interview with Sir Edward Troup

1. Could you tell us a little about yourself?

Since I retired from HMRC in 2018 I’ve stayed involved in tax – consulting, commenting, complaining and cajoling others to make things better.  And of course finding time to enjoy myself, travel and volunteer with various charities. I’m currently working with a charity supporting Afghan refugees in the UK, as well as, of course, the tax charities. 

My law career turned to tax in 1980 and I spent over 20 years in private practice and 15 years in HM Treasury and HMRC. I was fortunate enough to lead the tax teams in the Treasury and to end up as Chair of HMRC, so I’ve seen tax from the perspective of the adviser, the policymaker and the tax collector. It would be hard to think of a more varied – and enjoyable – career to be had in tax.

2. Why are you supporting BTG?

Tax has not just provided me with a varied and fascinating career, I’ve also found it huge fun. But I know that for many people tax is not much fun at all. And for some of the most vulnerable and least well-off in society – and for those whom life has suddenly dealt a rough hand – it can overwhelm to the point of despair and breakdown. So I have tried to use my enthusiasm – and some of my skills – in giving back some of what I’ve learned – and earned – during my own career. 

3. What sort of fundraising have you been involved in for BtG?

I’m currently working with some of my old colleagues from the world of law talking about the great work the charities do and raising awareness that hard law and hardship often go hand in hand. I contribute to the charities myself and I ask every tax practitioner I meet why they don’t do the same. The excuses would fill a book, but rarely stand up to my forensic challenge! There are so many worthy charities out there, but only tax professionals really understand how much the tax charities are needed. 

4. What do you like best about fundraising?

It’s been a great opportunity to catch up with tax colleagues (old and new) and evangelise on behalf of the charities.  And, of course, it gives me a chance to have a good moan about the terrible state of the tax system and how things have gone downhill since I was younger!

5. What’s the worst part?

Not getting a reply to one of my well-crafted emails. (If any reader is sitting on an unanswered email from me, it’s not too late to redeem yourself.)

6. Do you have any tips for anyone else considering fundraising for BtG?

Go beyond what you’re comfortable doing and keep doing it. It’s worth it. 

If you want to fundraise for Bridge the Gap, on behalf of TaxAid and Tax Help for Older People, you can download our fundraising pack here:

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