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Mystery closure of tax help service

PUBLISHED: 15:55 11 March 2009 | UPDATED: 15:05 07 July 2010

Mystery surrounds the closure of a Dereham tax and accountancy service this week after it closed without notice.

Dereham's TaxAssist, a franchise of a national firm, shut its doors last week without warning.

Mystery surrounds the closure of a Dereham tax and accountancy service this week after it closed without notice.

Dereham's TaxAssist, a franchise of a national firm, shut its doors last week without warning.

About 100 clients of the firm are understood to have been contacted by the parent company telling them about the situation and offering them alternative accountants to transfer to, including another local firm, Westgarth Turner Accountants.

The firm, which was based in the Old Post Office on the corner of Norwich Street, was run by local businessman Geoff Jennings since 2006.

The Times has so far not been able to speak to Mr Jennings, who lived locally and has been membership secretary of Dereham Chamber of Trade.

A spokesman for TaxAssist Accountants UK Support Centre, based in Norwich, said: “We are disappointed that the TaxAssist Accountants office in Dereham has had to close.

“We have contacted all the clients looked after by our Dereham office with a view to ensuring they understand the position and introducing them to either Westgarth Turner accountants based in Dereham or another TaxAssist Accountant based close to their business address.

“We fully appreciate the concern clients will have and we can assure them we are acting in their interest to have their affairs transferred without further inconvenience or delay.”

The TaxAssist franchise operation was set up by John Westgarth in 1995, who is chairman of TaxAssist.

It has more than 150 offices who are in turn are looking after in more than 27,000 small business clients throughout the UK.

Mr Jennings had been chairman of Business in Norfolk, an organisation set up in 2006 to offer professional services competitively.

Westgarth Turner Accountants has been in the town about 15 years and is run by Richard Turner, a member of the town's Rotary club and treasurer to Dereham Town Hockey Club.

Concerned clients can contact TaxAssist support centre on 01603 611811.


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