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Private client overview

29 October 2018

Whilst there were rumours of tax rises for individual taxpayers, none of the expected increases took place. Pension tax relief remained, inheritance tax was unchanged and the main rate of capital gains tax didn’t increase. Instead, the personal allowance surprisingly increased to the promised £12,500 and the basic rate band was widened, both a year earlier. Some changes have been made to Entrepreneurs’ Relief, but the lifetime allowance and the ten per cent tax rate remains.

Speciality debts - new HMRC policy statement
Andrew Robins

24 September 2018

HMRC have just published updated guidance on the subject of the situs of ‘specialty debts’. This is potentially important for any non-UK company or trust that is owed money and could have an inheritance tax impact for shareholders/settlors as well.

Trustees in receipt of unexplained wealth orders

03 September 2018

Unexplained wealth orders came into existence on 31 January 2018. They are a mechanism which is designed to confiscate the proceeds of crime by using civil, as opposed to criminal, powers.

Is it time to spring clean your Will?
Sophie St John

07 August 2018

Under the laws of England and Wales broadly speaking we all have testamentary freedom to dispose of our personal assets as we wish. We should all have a Will setting out what should happen to our assets when we die.

Inheritance tax and spouses / civil partners with mixed domiciles – tax pitfalls
Sophie St John

Many spouses and civil partners are under the impression that anything they gift to the other, whether during their lifetime or on death, is fully exempt from inheritance tax (IHT). However, there is an anomaly which can have serious IHT consequences for some couples (spouses and civil partners are referred to as ‘married couples’ and ‘spouses’ below for brevity).

Inheritance tax simplification could mean action now

15 June 2018

Inheritance tax (IHT), in its current form, has been largely unchanged since it was introduced in 1986. The tax take from IHT is on the rise, largely as a result of property prices, but the freezing of reliefs and allowances has also had an impact, resulting in a doubling of the tax take over the past seven years to reach close to £5bn per annum.

Offshore assets – HMRC’s knowledge is now power

15 June 2018

HMRC announced its offshore evasion strategy, the aptly named ‘no safe havens’, back in 2013 and since then it has been making this policy a reality. We are now ready to see its full force taking effect.

No such thing as a common law spouse?

20 April 2018

According to the Office for National Statistics report: Families and Households: 2017, one in five couples living together in 2017 were not married or in a civil partnership. In total, around 3.3 million couples cohabit, more than double the 1.5 million number from 10 years ago. Of these couples, around 40 per cent have dependent children.

Are you making best use of the reliefs and allowances for the tax year ahead?

20 April 2018

As we start another tax year, it is worth reviewing the tax reliefs and allowances you are entitled to, which have been refreshed and, in some cases, changed. There are now many reliefs and allowances for different types of income but, depending on what type of income is received, a liability to tax could now arise due to changes in the annual tax allowances for particular income categories.

Trapdoors for residential property ownership

04 April 2018

Not only is most residential property now fully within the charge to inheritance tax, without careful planning tax charges can arise more than once and on loans and guarantees connected with the property.

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