The IFA firm also added 247 clients in 2017, compared with 215 the previous year.
However, in a trading update on Friday, parent company IFG Group stated that, in consultation with advisers, it had concluded “that greater value for shareholders may be created” by selling the firm.
The group said it has received a number of approaches but added that there can be “no certainty” that a transaction will complete.
The platform is incurring “material legal and remediation costs” relating to self-invested personal pension (Sipp) investments in Elysian Fuels between 2011-2015, the update stated.
Elysian Fuels was set up by Future Capital Partners and invested in renewable energy plants in the UK and US. The investment failed and investors lost large sums of money as the value of the investment shares was cut to nil in October 2015.
James Hay confirmed in May 2017 that it had 500 clients who invested around £55m in the scheme, which promised returns of up to 10 times over eight years.
The wealth planning platform said it “did not advise investors” and “acted solely as a pension administrator”.
IFG Group confirmed on Friday that discussions with HMRC are on-going. But, if the matter is not resolved before the end of March 2018, James Hay expects to be assessed by the taxman for 2016 and potentially 2017.
“The maximum potential sanction charge which may be assessed by HMRC against James Hay for the overall 2011-2015 period would be approximately £20m, assuming all Elysian Fuels shares are deemed valueless at inception, and no underlying clients discharge their own tax liabilities,” the group said.
It added that “the directors are confident” that the outcome “would be substantially lower” and could be funded using the company’s cash resources.
The group is conducting a review of its legacy business, having also received a claim relating to a legal action in Jersey in relation to the 2012 sale of its international division.
The statement cautioned that “the level of exceptional costs, provisions and contingent liabilities in 2017 may be significantly greater than market expectations”.
As a result, no financial dividend will be paid for 2017.
John Cotter, group chief executive of IFG, said: “Strong fundamentals, good growth and improving underlying financial performance in both our businesses has been overshadowed by a number of legacy issues.
“Our desire is to bring closure to these issues as soon as possible and we will provide further updates as matters develop.”