Legal updates


Brexit exits – don’t get caught out by the IHT deemed domiciled rules

30 June 2016

Brexit uncertainties may be giving fresh impetus to many UK resident non-UK domiciliaries who are thinking about their residency plans. However, for res non-doms, it’s important not to lose sight of another key tax change now on the horizon – the change in the Inheritance Tax (IHT) deemed domiciled rules. A person is deemed domiciled […]

Read more

Second marriage spouses and Wills: three key bear traps to avoid

16 June 2016

Second marriage spouses sometimes have Wills that do not leave their assets to their second spouse outright. This is particularly the case when there are children from the first marriage and the intention is to ensure that everyone – the second wife and the children from the first marriage – receive something. For some clients, […]

Read more

Corporate beneficial ownership registers – where are we now?

2 June 2016

In my last blog, I looked at automatic exchange of information regimes and this blog carries on the transparency theme but in the sphere of corporate transparency. Britain is ‘having a transparency moment’, as some might say. Regular readers of this blog will know that Britain has already introduced a public register of beneficial ownership […]

Read more

Trustees and the Common Reporting Standard (CRS)

19 May 2016

As if FATCA wasn’t enough, UK trustees will have to get to grips with two new reporting regimes next year – the CRS and the European Directive on Administrative Cooperation, or DAC. The DAC is how the OECD’s Common Reporting Standard (CRS) will be implemented by the EU and will affect EU Member States. There […]

Read more

Pension death benefits and spousal bypass trusts: time to review

5 May 2016

April 2015 saw another radical overhaul of the taxation of UK pensions on death. Gone is the 55% tax charge on payment of a lump sum death benefit after death, if the pension member either died after their 75th birthday or died pre-75 having already entered into drawdown. Instead, pension payments from a money purchase […]

Read more

To keep or not to keep Wills with Nil Rate Band trusts?

21 April 2016

Chances are, if you’re British, married and have a professionally drawn Will which predates 2008, you may have a discretionary trust of the Inheritance Tax Nil Rate Band (NRB) in it. It is often called something like the ‘Legacy Fund’ and, while the exact words may differ, the Will usually provides for a gift of […]

Read more

Higher SDLT rates for additional residential purchases: planning points

7 April 2016

Here we are in the brave new world of higher Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) rates for certain residential property purchases. As from 1 April 2016, anyone buying an additional UK residential property, such as a second home or buy-to-let, faces paying a surcharge of 3% above the standard SDLT rates (see my blog of […]

Read more

Trustees and the PSC Register

24 March 2016

From 6 April 2016, virtually all UK incorporated companies (and LLPs, but in this blog I’ll refer to companies only) will have to maintain a register of individuals or entities who control them. As a result, individuals who either own, directly or indirectly, more than 25% of the shares or voting rights of such companies, […]

Read more

New dividend taxation rules: what trustees should be doing

10 March 2016

The taxation of dividends is set to change in the new UK tax year beginning 6 April 2016. The 10% dividend tax credit will go, replaced by a new £5,000 dividend allowance that permits the first £5,000 of an individual’s dividend income to be taxed at 0%. Dividends will still sit as the top slice […]

Read more

Probate fee increases: a death tax by any other name?

25 February 2016

Probate fees do not, on the whole, cause much consternation. After someone dies, an application to the Probate Registry is often needed to obtain a grant – proof acceptable to English financial institutions that they can safely pay over the deceased’s assets to the personal representatives (PRs) named on the grant. This exercise, one of […]

Read more