Asset Protection examples…

Asset Protection

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…

UK furlough scheme extended until end of October

Asset Protection Shipleys Tax Advisors

The Chancellor. Rishi Sunak, has confirmed the UK furlough scheme will be extended until the end of October. But there will be a gradual cut to taxpayer contribution to the scheme meaning the employers would need to share in footing the bill.

Some key points from the announcement today:

  • The scheme would continue in its present form until the end of July but would be amended between August and the end of October to “provide greater flexibility to support the transition back to work”.
  • Between August and October he would for the first time allow payments to furloughed staff working part-time.
  • He also mentioned that from August he would ask employers to share the cost with the taxpayer of the job retention scheme, although employees would continue to receive the same 80 per cent of their salary.

More details would be announced by the end of the month but his allies confirmed that the taxpayer would continue to pay the “bulk” of the costs of the scheme.

If you need help with furloughing staff please call 0114 272 4984 or email info@shipleystax.com.

COVID-19: £50k Micro-business Bounce Back Loan scheme – how it works

Asset Protection Shipleys Tax Advisors

The government today is introducing the new micro-loan scheme for small businesses to help small businesses who may have been unable to access other government-backed Coronavirus loan schemes.

The scheme will launch from Monday 4 May and enable businesses to:

  • Access loans of between £2,000 and £50,000 for up to six years, from a network of accredited lenders
  • The government guarantees 100% of the loan and there won’t be any fees or interest to pay for the first 12 months
  • After this period a fixed 2.5 per cent interest kicks in – meaning the government will pay the interest for the first 12 months
  • For most firms, ‘loans should arrive within 24 hours of approval’
  • Apply via a ‘simple, quick, standard form’ with ‘no complex eligibility criteria’ or ‘forward-looking tests of business eligibility’

The scheme is a not a grant but a deferred repayment loan, as such not all businesses will want to take on extra debt in uncertain times.

Unlike the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS), the government is to guarantee 100 per cent of these loans (as opposed to 80 per cent).

The scheme is a not a grant but a deferred repayment loan, as such not all businesses will want to take on extra debt in uncertain times.

Bounce Back Loan (“BBL”) – how it works

  • Businesses will be able to borrow between £2,000 and £50,000 and access the cash within days
  • There is no cap on turnover for a micro-business applying for a BBL
  • Loans will be from £2,000 up to 25 per cent of a business’ turnover or £50,000, whichever is lower
  • Loans will be interest free for the first 12 months, and businesses can apply online through a short and simple form
  • Borrowers will fill in a two-page application form in which they will certify that they have a viable business, lifting obligations on lenders to carry out their own checks
  • The length of the loan is for six years but early repayment is allowed, without early repayment fees
  • No personal guarantees are allowed, and no recovery action can be taken over a principal private residence or principal private vehicle
  • All firms trading as of March 1 will be able to get cash
  • Banks will no longer require forward financials or business plans
  • If you’ve already had a coronavirus business interruption loan of up to £50,000, that will be ported across to the Bounce Back Loans scheme
  • Eligible companies will be subject to standard customer fraud, anti-money laundering (AML) and Know Your Customer (KYC) checks prior to any loan being made
  • The borrower always remains 100% liable for the debt

Is your microbusiness eligible for a Bounce Back Loan?

Any business can apply for a microbusiness loan, however:

  • You must be UK-based and established by March 1 2020
  • Have been adversely impacted by the Coronavirus (Covid-19)
  • Confirm you are currently not using a government-backed Coronavirus loan scheme (unless using BBLS to refinance a whole facility)
  • You must not be in bankruptcy, liquidation or undergoing debt restructuring

Businesses will be required to fill in a short online application form on their lender’s website, which self-certifies whether they are eligible for a Bounce Back Loan facility. Eligible companies will be subject to standard customer fraud, Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Know Your Customer (KYC) checks.

Who cannot apply

The following businesses are not eligible to apply:

  • banks, insurers and reinsurers (but not insurance brokers)
  • public-sector bodies
  • state-funded primary and secondary schools

Where to find your Bounce Back Loan

Accredited lenders of Bounce Back Loans are listed on the British Business Bank website.

How to apply for a Bounce Back Loan

Businesses will be required to fill in a short online application form on their lender’s website, which self-certifies whether they are eligible for a Bounce Back Loan facility. Eligible companies will be subject to standard customer fraud, Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Know Your Customer (KYC) checks.

Some State aid restrictions may apply to applications.

If you are looking to apply for a loan and need support please call us on 0114 272 4984 or email info@shipleystax.com.

COVID-19: Can changing a Will after death help you save paying unnecessary tax?

Asset Protection Shipleys Tax Advisors

Often, the tax consequences of wills aren’t considered when they’re written and can leave an unnecessary tax bill. Read our blog to find out what a post-death variation is, when you can use it, and what generally the benefits could be.

Note: this article is intended for general guidance only and does not constitute accountancy, tax or other professional advice. We recommend you seek specific advice based on your circumstances.

With the backdrop of COVID-19 being the new norm, death is not something many wish to talk about although it surrounds us now. And as many come to terms with personal loss, they are forced to deal with issues, perhaps prematurely, surrounding the financial aspects of losing a loved one.

One area where we have been inundated is in relation to wills and whether these can be changed post death.

The short answer is, as long as certain conditions are met, it is possible to change a will after death. This is known as a post-death variation, and it can be a useful tax planning tool.

A post-death variation can be made to:

  • reduce the amount of tax payable
  • to change who benefits under the will
  • place the assets of the deceased into trust
  • to provide for someone who was left out of the will

…as long as certain conditions are met, it is possible to change a will after death. This is known as a post-death variation, and it can be a useful tax planning tool.

Conditions that must be met

In order to vary a will after the deceased has died, the following conditions must be met:

  • it must be made within two years of the deceased’s death
  • all beneficiaries adversely affected by the variation must agree to it and be party to it
  • it must be made in writing
  • it must contain a statement of intent for tax purposes, specifying that the beneficiary/beneficiaries elect for the relevant statutory provisions to apply
  • if the amount of tax payable as a result of the variation increases, the personal representative must be party to it and agree to it
  • it must not be made in consideration for money or money’s worth

Although there is no requirement for new beneficiaries to sign the deed of variation, this is often done as good practice.

Effect

Where a deed of variation is made, the will is treated as if applied, as so varied, at the date of the deceased’s death.

Two-year window

There is a two-year window in which a deed of variation must be made. It is possible that in the period between the date of death and the making of the deed of variation, changes have occurred. For example, the asset that is subject to the variation may have been sold. In this situation, the proceeds, rather than the actual asset, would be redirected as a result of the deed of variation.

Once made cannot be undone

Once a deed of variation has been made, it cannot be undone. It is therefore advisable to take advice prior to varying a will.

Example

Bill dies in October 2019 leaving an estate of £1.5 million split equally between his wife, Barbara, and his sons Simon and Philip.

The family agree to vary the will so as to leave everything to Barbara to benefit from the inter-spouse exemption. Bill’s unused nil rate band will be available on Barbara’s death. Her will provides for everything to be left equally between her sons.

Where a deed of variation is made, the will is treated as if applied, as so varied, at the date of the deceased’s death.

Simon and Philip must be agree to be party to the deed of variation as they are adversely affected by the redirection.

The deed of variation is made in February 2020. The changes are deemed to be effective from the date of Bill’s death as if they represented his will at that time.

If you need help with the tax implications of the above please call us on 0114 272 4984 or email at info@shipleystax.com.

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