Asset Protection examples…
Company Assets – Ring Fencing
Client A wished to remove a commercial property from his business as part of an asset protection planning exercise. The property was demerged away from the trading business and effectively ring fenced; this transaction was commercially driven. There was limited stamp duty exposure of 0.5% on this transaction and no other taxes.
Comment: Asset protection is fundamental consideration when entering or embarking on new ventures, it is key that the transactions to protect assets are commercial/investment driven.
Private Assets – Trusts
Client B wished to gift assets to his family members whilst retaining an element of control. The client was concerned about potential claims against the beneficiaries in the future by spouses, trustees in bankruptcy etc, therefore the gifts were made into a relevant trust which provided the desired protection.
Comment: In order to provide real protection the trust has to be properly constituted, the correct type of trust must be used and not be a sole beneficiary trust as the courts have looked through such trusts in recent cases.
Offshore and Domicile
X individual had a sizeable portfolio of residential investment properties. We restructured the tax affairs to transfer the properties into an offshore company without triggering any taxes, all with HMRC clearances (which in our mind are essential for comfort).
As the individual was non UK domiciled for inheritance tax purposes, the strategy avoid IHT on the portfolio immediately, hence saving £2.1M, whilst operationally not affecting how the business was operated.
Latest news & blogs…
HMRC has published further details of its proposals to amend the inheritance tax rules for non-domiciled individuals.
The changes were initially announced at the 2015 Summer Budget which were aimed at preventing non-doms from escaping a UK inheritance tax (IHT) charge on UK residential property through use of an offshore structure, and thereby bringing to an end the permanent non-dom status for tax purposes.
The consultation document suggests that individuals who are non-domiciled in the UK currently enjoy a significant advantage over other individuals for IHT purposes. UK-domiciled individuals are liable to IHT on their worldwide property, whereas non-doms are only liable on property that is situated in the UK.
Any residential property in the UK owned by a non-dom directly is within the charge of the IHT. However, a common loophole is for such individuals to hold UK residential properties through an overseas company or similar vehicle. In such a case, the property of the individual consists of overseas shares which will be situated outside the UK and are thus excluded from IHT.
In an effort to curb such structures HMRC plans to bring residential properties in the UK within the charge to IHT where they are held within an overseas structure. This charge will apply both to individuals who are domiciled outside the UK and to trusts with settlors or beneficiaries who are non-domiciled. The changes will come into effect from 6 April 2017.
Shares in offshore close companies and similar entities will no longer be deemed excluded property if, and to the extent that, the value of any interest in the entity is derived, directly or indirectly, from residential property in the UK. Where a non-dom is a member of an overseas partnership that holds a residential property in the UK, such properties will no longer be treated as excluded property for IHT purposes.
The consultation will close on October 20. The effect of these proposals will mean structures set up to mitigate IHT will now need to be reviewed in light of the above and specialist tax advice sought.
Upcoming changes to tax relief for landlords may result in them paying higher rates of tax as HMRC publishes guidance on how the interest relief restrictions would work.
We saw the changes announced in the summer budget of 2015 and HMRC have now published further guidance. The rules looks to restrict the interest relief a residential landlord can claim to calculate their income tax liability. The restriction is being phased in over four years with interest being restricted by 25% in each year until it takes full effect in April 2020.
How could landlords be affected?
Currently, landlords of residential properties can deduct all interest from rental income to calculate taxable rental profit. When the new measures take full effect, the interest will be completely disallowed and instead a tax credit equal to 20% of the interest will be given against the person’s income tax liability.
This could result in the individual having higher taxable income which could push them into a “higher” or “additional rate” of income tax. Furthermore, if individuals’ income exceeds £100,000 it could start to reduce their personal allowance, affect their entitlement to child benefit and restrict the amount on which they can claim tax relief for pensions.
What can you do?
These measures are controversial to say the least and a judicial review by a coalition of private landlords is currently in progress.
In meantime, Shipleys Tax strongly recommends seeking professional advice to help mitigate the effects of the changes above and take action to manage your property portfolio tax efficiently a there currently a few solutions available.
We are delighted to share with you our newly redesigned website, with a bold new look and enhanced navigation experience, and plenty of tax saving information!
To start, we’ve streamed lined our menus to give you quick access to the items you’re looking for. We’ve consolidated information on our organisation, our work and our commitment to offering the best tax planning services for your needs.
We invite you to start exploring:
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We will be rolling out new pages and functionality over the coming months, and hope that you enjoy visiting our new website. We have tried to make all previous links active and point to the equivalent or relevant information. However, due to the significant changes in the website architecture, we know there may be digital hiccups and you may experience virtual road blocks along the way. This is where we need your help to iron out any bugs.
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Shipleys Tax Team