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Wealth Management & Protection

Asset Protection is essential for protecting and preserving company and family assets from third party claims, divorce, bankruptcy, spendthrift spouses, and youthful improvidence.

Taking the most appropriate action for the protection of your own personal assets is a very complex undertaking, requiring specialist taxation and legal assistance. Asset protection must be commercially driven and cannot be used to avoid paying creditors.

Whilst asset protection is fundamental in considering estate planning, the principle can be extended to other circumstances as well. Two common areas in brief:

PROTECTING AN INDIVIDUAL’S ASSETS

Generally, one of the most efficient ways you can protect assets is by transferring them into a relevant and properly constituted trust. The asset should then be protected against the bankruptcy or divorce of the beneficiaries.

Pitfalls

Firstly, setting up a trust for asset protection will in itself not afford any protection under insolvency or matrimonial laws for beneficiaries if the wrong type of trust is used. We have seen many trusts set up for this purpose that have failed. If one tries to rely on an improperly constituted trust for asset protection the courts may look through it and seek to set it aside.

Secondly, a point which regularly tends to be overlooked (particularly regarding property) on transfer is the mortgage against the property. If the mortgage is more than the original “base” cost of the property (perhaps due to remortgaging) then Capital Gains Tax may be liable if the mortgage is transferred into the trust. Furthermore, such transfer may potentially trigger a Stamp Duty Land Tax charge.

Many think that an outright gift of assets directly to children, siblings, etc will automatically afford protection against divorce or bankruptcy. This may not be the case and is a potentially dangerous presumption to rely on, specialist professional advice should be sought to achieve the desired results. Also such transfers tend to trigger a Capital Gains Tax charge under the deemed disposal rules and again this is often overlooked with significant tax consequences.

Company Property

Businesses may wish to protect vulnerable property and assets against commercial and business risks. Broadly speaking, one way this could be achieved would be by creating a group of companies and transferring the property into this group. The effect of this would be to “ring-fence” the vulnerable asset against any claims of the individual trade in the group.

Pitfalls
It is essential that any asset transfers is done correctly to avoid the property being “linked” to the original business, as this will afford no protection. Of equal importance is that any debts between the group companies would need to be dealt with correctly to provide any real protection.

In all cases there needs to be a legitimate business, commercial or investment driver for the transaction. Furthermore, it is crucial that any such restructuring does not fall foul of insolvency legislation, namely the defrauding of creditors.

Asset protection is an invaluable planning tool which can be used to protect, preserve and devolve family wealth in the right circumstances.

For further information on how you can effectively safeguard you assets and wealth please contact us.

Latest news & blogs…

Further interest rate restrictions for landlords

Over the past few years the way in which landlords have been able to obtain relief for interest and other finance costs has been changing. The system of relief is moving from one of relief by deduction – which applies for 2016/17 and earlier tax years – to one under which relief is given as a basic rate tax reduction. From 2020/21, relief will be given in full as a basic rate tax reduction.   Transitional rules apply for 2017/18 to 2019/20 inclusive as the changes are phased in, with some interest costs relieved by deduction and the balance as a basic rate tax reduction. For 2019/20, 25% of the interest costs can be deducted in computing profits, with relief for the remaining 75% being given as a tax reduction at the basic rate.   Check with Shipleys Tax that you are obtaining relief for interest costs in the correct manner.

Call on 0114 275 6292 or email info@shipleystax.com.

Making Tax Digital For VAT – Update

MTD goes live

Making Tax Digital (MTD) for VAT went live from 1 April 2019. It applies to businesses with VATable turnover over the VAT registration threshold of £85,000 from the start of their first VAT accounting period on or after 1 April 2019, unless they fall within one of the categories of businesses with more complex affairs (such as those in a VAT group) in respect of which the start date is deferred until the start of the first VAT accounting period beginning on or after 1 October 2019.

Under MTD for VAT businesses must keep digital records and file their VAT returns digitally using MTD-compatible software.

Speak to Shipleys Tax to check what you need to do to comply with the requirements of MTD for VAT.

Call us on 0114 275 6292 or email info@shipleystax.com.

NHS Pension Doctor’s Tax Trap

The Doctor will not be seeing you now.

The ‘pension tax trap’ that’s affecting senior NHS doctors has been getting plenty of media attention over the past few months. But if you’re one of the senior doctors and consultants that’s directly affected by this issue, you’ll already know about the detrimental effect on your earnings.

Some doctors have been advised to use the “NHS Scheme Pays” option as a solution, but this, as we will see below, has a secondary trap waiting for the usnsuspecting pension patient. What a mess!

It works as follows. If you are subject to an Annual Allowance (AA) charge, you can either pay this directly to HMRC via the self-assessment system, or in some circumstances, you can ask your pension scheme to pay the charge on your behalf (Scheme Pays). NHS Pensions have confirmed to what extent Scheme Pays applies to members whose AA is tapered due to their level of earnings (refers to “earnings” generally above £150k).

The legislation will only allow Scheme Pays if the AA tax is over £2k and the growth in the scheme is above the £40k limit (not the reduced limit if an individual is subject to tapering). However, there is also a paragraph in the revenue’s personal tax manual (PTM056410):

“There is a maximum amount that a member can ask their scheme administrator to pay under these circumstances based on the pension input amount in the scheme which exceeds the annual allowance.”

This means that the NHS Pension scheme will only pay the tax charge on the excess over £40k. So if a member has a £60k growth in their pension and a tapered AA limited of £10K, NHS Pensions will only pay the AA tax on £20K, (being £60k – £40k). The member will have to pay the tax on £30k (i.e. £40k – £10k) via their Self Assessment return.

Any clients affected we can write to ask for a voluntary scheme pays to be considered but it is unlikely any will be. The Department of Health (DoH) are currently monitoring the position as use of Scheme Pays is quite low. If members are opting out as a result of not being able to Scheme Pay the whole amount, NHS pensions may well refer them to the DoH.

If you need advice on NHS pensions and how you can avoid the tax trap please call 0114 275 6292 or email info@shipleystax.com.

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