Thursday, 18 May 2017

Protecting personal representatives: interim estate distributions

How should a personal representative (PR) deal with a request from a beneficiary for an interim distribution before the estate is finalised?  Estates can take many months to conclude but a beneficiary may be in need of some of their inheritance sooner.  Can an executor help out without putting him or herself on the line?

Thursday, 4 May 2017

Finance Bill 2017: Non-dom tax changes dropped – for now?


The Finance Bill 2017 contained a number of measures altering the way in which long term UK resident non-doms and UK residential property held in certain offshore entities would be taxed in the UK.  However, last week it became clear that all of the non-dom tax changes would be dropped from the Finance Bill, to allow a slimmed down version of the Bill to progress through the legislative process before Parliament is dissolved ahead of the General Election on 8 June.

So what is the current state of the law?  Are the relevant pre-6 April 2017 tax laws still in force?  Are non-doms who have been resident here in the UK for 15 out of the previous 20 tax years now deemed domiciled, or can they still make use of the remittance basis of taxation?  Does foreign corporate ownership of UK residential property still provide a UK Inheritance Tax (IHT) shelter or not?

Thursday, 20 April 2017

‘No looking back’ – one ATED tax trap to avoid


April is ATED filing month – 2017/2018 ATED tax returns must be filed and any ATED tax paid by 30 April at the latest.  Even if no ATED is due, because a relief from ATED applies, that relief still needs to be claimed on an ATED tax return, which must be submitted by the end April deadline just the same.

Thursday, 6 April 2017

LEIs and UK trusts: time to apply for another ID number


Trustees of UK trusts holding a UK managed investment portfolio will soon need to apply for a Legal Entity Identifier (LEI) number from the London Stock Exchange.

The EU legislation known as the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID) affects firms who provide services to legal entity end users which involve financial instruments, such as shares, bonds and collective investments.  Its latest incarnation, MiFID II, comes into effect on 3 January 2018.  It places upon them new transaction reporting obligations, meaning that they cannot execute a trade in a financial instrument on behalf of any client for whom they do not have an LEI.

Thursday, 23 March 2017

Ilott v Mitson Supreme Court decision: UK testamentary freedom reasserted


Last week, the Supreme Court brought to an end a 13 year legal battle over the late Mrs Jackson’s Will.  The Will left virtually all of Mrs Jackson’s assets (some £480,000) to three UK charities, cutting out entirely her only child (Mrs Ilott), who was for many years estranged from her mother but who lived in very financially straitened circumstances with her husband and five children.

Thursday, 9 March 2017

How to manage UK probate fee increases


Currently most applications made by solicitors for a UK grant of representation for a deceased’s estate incur a flat fee of £155 payable to the Probate Registry.  However, perhaps within a little over two months’ time, a grant could cost as much as £20,000!  How did we get here and, more importantly, what can be done about it?

Thursday, 23 February 2017

A simple way for non-dom married couples to manage the Inheritance Tax on UK residential property from 6 April 2017


Offshore companies holding UK residential property will no longer be opaque for UK Inheritance Tax (IHT) purposes from 6 April 2017.  The change is being achieved, courtesy of the Finance Bill 2017 as currently drafted, by removing IHT ‘excluded property’ status from an interest in a closely held company (see the 15 December 2016 blog for a brief definition) which derives its value, directly or indirectly, from UK residential property.