Businesses were given some top tax tips at a chamber of commerce meeting.

A business breakfast was held at St Aldhelm’s Church Hall on Spa Road last Tuesday.

The event was organised by Weymouth and Portland Chamber of Commerce and sponsored by Albert Goodman Financial Consultants.

Richard Bugler of Albert Goodman Financial Consultants said: “My first suggestion is never let tax drive your decision making. Businesses have become obsessed with saving tax, they would rather make no money than pay tax. We do see people build their strategies around saving tax - don’t let your business be driven by tax.

“People are quite keen to go into risky investments to save tax.”

He added: “Talk to us before you do anything major. We are often brought in when it’s too late.

“We hear a lot of ‘my mate down the pub says I can do this and that,’ but I’m afraid just because your friend does it doesn’t mean it’s legal, please speak to an accountant before you do anything.”

He explained: “Get the basics right. We still see people not doing simple things properly. There are a lot of things you can do that people aren’t doing.”

He also advised businesses to be aware of research and development tax credits and to plan for the future.

Lisa Upchurch, Head of Tax at New Look, also spoke at the meeting and gave the chamber an insight into her career.

She explained that she first joined New Look in 2009 and is now responsible for the global taxes across the company.

She also told how she began her career working for Ernest and Young, where she passed her qualifications, before joining Virgin, which is one of the world’s most recognisable brands as an in-house tax accountant.

She said it was an exciting time to work for the brand and added: “Anything that was successful, Richard Branson thought he could do better.”

During her time with the company she worked for companies Virgin Atlantic, Cinemas, Virgin Rail and the newly formed record company V2.

She concluded her talk by saying: “Tax is constantly evolving. There are so many tax laws and I admit I still have to speak to our advisors, I have worked in tax for 26 years and I am still learning things.”

President of Weymouth and Portland Chamber of Commerce Andrew Knowles said: “I am always interested in hearing other people’s business stories. We all have stories to tell. When we think of Weymouth, we think of a bucket and spade town with lots of small businesses, but we do have place on the map with a global brand.”