Author Archives: Janet Pilborough-Skinner - Partner

About Janet Pilborough-Skinner - Partner

T +44 (0)20 7874 8854

Janet specialises in advising entrepreneurs and business owners on their personal tax. Her expertise in onshore and offshore personal taxation planning is relevant to both those in UK and those who come to us looking to establish a business or a home in the UK.

She has particular experience with family businesses where she advises on succession and inheritance tax planning.

She also advises non-domiciled clients on offshore structures, domicile and residence planning and trusts.

For most family firms, the business isn’t the endgame. Their owners aren’t typically in business for business’s sake; their aim is to create wealth for their families.

As such, the job of a family business adviser (FBA) is to help the family – not just the business – to get to where they want to be.

An FBA’s ‘client’ is the family as a whole, the family members as individuals, the business and its owners, all at the same time. Their job is to listen to the concerns of the people involved, and work with them to find solutions that everyone can buy into.

The family business advisory process

We believe that the most effective way of working with an FBA is to begin with an in-depth kick-off session.

At Goodman Jones, this entails a long and detailed discussion about the family, and about the history of the business from inception to the present.

Using this information, and their knowledge and experience of how family businesses operate, our skilled Family Business Advisers will identify any vulnerabilities or potential flashpoints in the company-family ecosystem. They do this by analysing:

• each family member’s role within the company
• each individual’s age and stage in life
• the personal dynamics between the family

Our FBAs will also know who to they need to engage with to resolve any issues – internally within the company, as well as any other external advisers.

This powerful exercise provides a template for how things are, and how to deal with future challenges. And it can open the family’s eyes to issues they didn’t know they were facing.

The benefits of a family business adviser

Having gained a deep understanding of the family and the company, our FBAs will help implement the appropriate solutions, such as governance structures, refinancing, succession, tax planning, and so on.

They’ll also work with the owners to address any issues that may emerge. Our advisers have helped hundreds of family businesses to address a wide range of common challenges, including:

• How can retiring generations fund the next stage of their lives – and will that affect the family members left in the business?

• Are the next generation ready to take over, or would it be beneficial to the business for their parents to make a more gradual exit?

• Should outsiders be brought in to help run the business for a period? If so, how will the family adjust to their business no longer being family-run?

Crucially, they can be a neutral mediator between family members. They’re there to help you reach any compromises that are needed to help meet your shared objectives; and to ensure that the arrangements put in place meet everybody’s expectations.

Ultimately, this is where our Family Business Advisers truly add value for our clients: by acting as a sounding board, a guide, a negotiator, a problem-solver, a bridge between the generations – and most of all, someone who tells it like it is.

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The statistics that HMRC published for the tax year to April 2016 show that individuals claiming non-dom status paid a record £9.4bn. This is an increase of £130m on the previous year and the highest total since the records began ten years ago.
This is despite the fact that the numbers of individuals claiming non-dom status had dropped by almost 25% to just over 91,000.

Challenging Perceptions

This data shows that the average tax bill is £100,000. It certainly challenges the widely held belief that the UK has huge numbers of non-doms who are not paying their fair share of tax.

So who stopped claiming non dom status?

HMRC traced the 29,000 taxpayers who stopped claiming non-dom status and said that they could be classified into two main groups.

• Those switching their position to domiciled status and continuing to pay tax in the UK
• Those who contributed very little tax in 2015/16 who left the tax system last year. HMRC also provided the statistics for non-UK resident non-doms where the numbers have plummeted from 33,600 to 14,300.

Remittance Basis

Those paying on the remittance basis (where UK tax in only paid on the income or gains brought to the UK) paid nearly £7m which is also the highest figure since records began.

The total paid in charges rose to £285m, again the largest amount raised since its introduction.

Where in the UK?

53% of non-doms were in London and paid 74% of all non-domiciled taxpayers UK income tax, CGT and NI contributions.

Business Investment Relief

At £894m, this was the highest annual amount invested in the UK using the Business Investment Relief.

Making the most of the UK for non-doms

This report suggests that non-doms are certainly paying their fair share to the UK Treasury and making a real contribution to the UK. This is despite other European neighbours encouraging non-doms with their own non-dom regimes.

We are used to working with non-doms to ensure that they maximise their position and make it easier to stay, educate their children and enjoy all the UK has to offer.

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The UK tax system can be both daunting and frustrating. There is much to deal with when relocating, but ignoring your personal tax position can be costly.

Over the years Goodman Jones has worked with many people coming to the UK. This guide gives an overview of some of the concepts that may be relevant to you and your family and suggests some tax planning opportunities that you may wish to explore further.

UK domestic rules

Your tax position in the UK is determined by two different concepts:
• Residence
• Domicile


Your residence will be determined by a series of tests, known collectively as the statutory residence test. This comes in 3 parts:

• Automatic UK tests
• Automatic overseas tests
• Sufficient ties tests

If you meet at least one of the UK tests and none of the overseas tests, then you will be UK resident. For example, if you spend 183 days or more in the UK (defined as being in the UK at midnight), then you will be UK resident. The automatic tests are applied in a specific order, so care must be taken.

If none of the automatic tests are met, then the sufficient ties tests provide a tie-breaker to determine residence. These look at the number of ties you have to the UK, for example whether you have accommodation available to you, or close family members who are UK resident. The number of ties then dictates how many days you can spend in the UK until you are considered UK resident.

Whether you are UK resident or not is of crucial importance when it comes to your UK tax position. It can be complex to work through the statutory residence test, so obtaining advice is recommended.

Whether you are UK resident or not is of crucial importance when it comes to your UK tax position


Domicile is a concept of general law and is determined in a different way to residence.

Domicile of origin: An individual acquires a domicile of origin from their father at birth.

Domicile of choice: An individual can acquire a domicile of choice by settling in another country permanently and severing ties with the country of origin. It is difficult to establish a domicile of choice and very easy to unintentionally revert back to a domicile of origin.

Deemed domicile

Although domicile is a general law concept, it has been augmented by the tax law concept of deemed domicile. This applies to income tax, capital gains tax (CGT) and inheritance tax (IHT), and comes in two different forms:

Long term resident: An individual becomes deemed domiciled in the tax year after being UK resident for at least 15 of the previous 20 tax years. Note that you can be deemed domiciled even if not UK resident.

Formerly domiciled resident: An individual becomes deemed domiciled if they were born in the UK with a UK domicile of origin, and are resident in the UK for that tax year and in at least one of the two preceding tax years.

Basis of taxation in the UK

Once you have established your tax status you then need to understand how you will be taxed in the UK. Spouses are taxed independently.

Non-UK resident

Non-UK residents are in general liable to UK income tax only on UK source income, and if you are also taxed on this in another country you should be able to claim double tax relief. Non-UK resident individuals are not liable to UK capital gains tax with some exceptions, notably UK residential property. Domicile is generally not relevant to non-residents.

This limited liability to UK tax for non-residents means that timing of entry to the UK should be considered. Remaining non-UK resident as long as possible may be advantageous, especially given the UK’s unusual tax year end of 5 April.

You may benefit by setting up a three bank account system before you come to the UK.

UK resident

In general, UK resident individuals are liable to UK income tax and CGT on their worldwide income and gains, known as the “arising basis”.

However, non-UK domiciled individuals can claim to use the “remittance basis”. You will still be liable to income tax and CGT on your UK income as this arises, but you will generally only be taxed on your foreign income and gains if they are remitted (brought) into the UK. However, what counts as a remittance is widely defined and advice should be sought.

Once you have been resident in the UK for 7 of 9 years you must pay an annual charge of £30,000 to use the remittance basis. This charge increases to £50,000 once you have been UK resident for 12 of 14 years. Use of the remittance basis is no longer available once you become deemed domiciled.

Bringing money to the UK

If you are non-domiciled you may incur a tax charge by bringing money into the UK that relates to income or gains which arose in the years in which you claimed the remittance basis. Money which arose before you become UK resident is known as “clean capital” and it generally will not incur a tax charge when remitted to the UK.

However, it is easy to taint clean capital, creating a “mixed fund”, and inadvertently incur a tax charge on bringing it to the UK. It is therefore important to segregate clean capital from other monies since becoming UK resident. You may benefit by setting up a three bank account system before you come to the UK – one for existing capital, another for income and a third for proceeds from capital disposals.

A common way for clean capital to become tainted is for an asset, which was purchased with clean capital, to be sold at a gain. This gain cannot be separated from the capital used to purchase the asset, therefore tainting the original capital. If the sale proceeds are brought into the UK, the gain is deemed to be remitted first therefore creating a tax charge.

It can therefore be advisable to dispose of assets which are standing at a gain before becoming UK resident in order avoid creating a mixed fund. The entire sale proceeds can then be remitted to the UK without a charge to UK tax. If you are already UK resident, there is an opportunity (until April 2019) to “cleanse” mixed funds and separate out income and gains from clean capital. Again, advice is strongly recommended.

Tax rates and allowances

Income tax

There are three tax rate bands, being a basic rate of 20%, a higher rate of 40% and an additional rate of 45% for those with income exceeding £150,000 in the 2017/18 tax year. There are slightly lower rates for dividends.

UK resident individuals are entitled to income tax allowances, which reduce your taxable income but are restricted in certain circumstances, such as claiming the remittance basis.

Capital gains tax

The rate of CGT is generally 20%, with a higher rate of 28% applying to UK residential property.

There is also an annual tax-free allowance which applies to capital gains realised. For 2017/18 it amounts to £11,300. However, this is lost for remittance basis users.

Tax registration in the UK

Although there are no specific tax forms for complete when you arrive in the UK, you will need to register to obtain a National Insurance number if you intend to work and also register if you need to complete a UK tax return.


Dispose of assets which are standing at a gain before becoming UK resident in order avoid creating a mixed fund.

Social security – National Insurance (“NI”) contributions

Broadly, people working in the UK make NI contributions to pay for certain state benefits, including the state pension, until they reach their normal retirement age. The top rate of NI for individuals is 12%. Employers make NI contributions at 13.8%.

If you are employed then your employer should collect your contributions from your salary. If you are self-employed then you pay your contributions through your tax return.

So that any contributions you make are allocated to you, you need a National Insurance number. This may have been allocated to you on application for a residence permit, but if not, you will need to obtain one by contacting Jobcentre Plus and setting up an appointment at one of their offices.

If you have been sent to the UK by your employer your position may be slightly different – you may be able to continue to pay social security contributions in your home country. This area can be quite complex and we would recommend you seek further advice.

UK tax return requirements

In the UK you are required to self-assess your tax liabilities. If you need to complete a UK tax return (e.g. because you are a director of a UK company, you want to claim the remittance basis or you have further tax to pay in the UK) you must complete form SA1 from HMRC.

The UK authorities have considered the practice of dual contracts to be suspect.

Income from employment

If you are taking up employment in the UK, either for a UK or an overseas employer, you should obtain advice on how you will be taxed in the UK, how the provision of any non-cash benefits may be taxed and whether you can claim any exemptions from income tax on your remuneration package because you are coming to the UK for a temporary secondment.

If you undertake employment duties in the UK and overseas, it is common to have different contracts of employment so that you can keep overseas income out of the UK tax regime. However, the UK authorities have considered the practice of dual contracts to be suspect and have tightened up the law relating to them in the past few years, so advice must be sought in this area. There is an alternative relief for the first three years of UK residency for single contracts.

Estate planning and inheritance tax (IHT)

IHT is payable on the value of your estate when you die and on certain gifts made during lifetime. Unless you are either actually or deemed domiciled in the UK it is only your UK sited assets that will be liable to IHT (broadly at 40%).

There are a number of planning techniques which may be available to you to mitigate your exposure to IHT and we would be happy to discuss these with you.

Buying your home in the UK

Historically, UK residential properties have been acquired through non-UK trusts or companies so that the UK home becomes a non-UK asset and does not form part of the UK estate chargeable to IHT. However, such planning is no longer effective for UK residential property and as such other alternatives should be considered depending on your personal circumstances.

Should you use an offshore trust/company for other assets?

Assets settled on offshore trusts may give you further flexibility to manage your assets overseas and determine when and if you may become liable to any CGT or IHT. Substantial anti-avoidance legislation has been developed over the years so you should seek specific advice before undertaking any planning.

Questions to ask yourself before relocating to the UK

  1. Have you determined your tax status in the UK? Will you be resident/domiciled in the UK
  2. Would you benefit from making a remittance basis claim? Should you consider structuring your offshore investments differently to mitigate any taxable remittances to the UK so that you can retain your personal allowances? Do you need to re-organise your bank accounts before coming to the UK?
  3. Will you be working whilst you are in the UK? Do you have a National Insurance number, or will you need to obtain one?
  4. Do you need advice on your National Insurance (social security) position?
  5. Will you need to complete UK tax returns? Have you registered with HMRC?
  6. Are you taking up employment in the UK? Have you sought advice on your UK tax position and how best to structure your remuneration package? Should you re- negotiate your employment contract?
  7. Are you intending to purchase a residential property in the UK? Have you considered how to structure this investment?
  8. Should you consider re-structuring your investments to ensure that you retain greater flexibility over your assets and their exposure to UK tax?
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Following the uncertainty surrounding the proposed changes to the Non-Dom rules, we welcome this morning’s announcement that all policies originally announced to start from April 2017, will be effective from that date.

Ministers also confirmed this morning that the Finance Bill will be introduced as soon as possible after the summer recess.

There had been concern that the Finance Bill would have been pushed back to the autumn which would have prejudiced those who had incurred substantial amounts of time and money to organise their affairs in anticipation of the rules coming into force on 6 April 2017, especially if further changes had been made prior to enactment.

Whilst this is welcome news for those who had worked to the April 2017 date who can continue with their plans, there may well be others who should seek expert advice.  However, we would always recommend waiting for the bill to receive Royal Assent before implementing those plans.

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It has been announced that a significant number of proposals have been dropped from the Finance Bill having only four hours in the Commons this afternoon for debate before the Bill passes through later today.

All of the non-domiciled changes are amongst those dropped today but the expectation is that if the Conservatives are returned to Parliament, they will be reintroduced in a Bill post election.  Furthermore, it is likely the 6 April 2017 start date could remain for the non-domiciled changes, as those individuals and trusts affected by it have been aware of these proposed changes for a very long time.  Some of the other proposals (which were only introduced in the recent Budget) may well be delayed until 6 April 2018.

Watch this space.


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Piggy bank being filled at the seaside

The ‘Panama Papers’ created a media frenzy about offshore investment. Not everything you read was necessarily accurate.
Now that the dust has settled and the media have moved on to pastures new (for now), what can the leak of 11.5 million documents from a law firm in Panama mean in the longer term? The fact that there were links to various famous faces gave the story lasting appeal, but unfortunately that also meant more opportunity for misinformation and outright error.
One trap that too many commentators (and a few politicians) fell into was to equate all offshore investment with tax avoidance (or evasion) by the wealthy. While it is almost certainly probable that some names on the Panamanian list had this in mind, offshore investment has a much wider and often less tax-driven appeal.

Exchange Traded Funds

For example, one of the biggest areas of fund growth in recent years has been index-tracking exchange traded funds (ETFs). These are used by both institutional and individual investors to gain exposure to a wide range of share and bond markets, as well as some commodities, such as gold. Many of the ETFs purchased by UK investors are based in the offshore centres of Dublin or Luxembourg. These locations were originally chosen because they were established centres for fund management and offered administrative and other advantages for continent-wide sales over, for example, setting up in the UK.
This is only one example of a type of investment which has been placed outside the UK for commercial and sound business reasons. Before we leap onto the bandwagon to condemn every investor who has used a structure which may have an offshore element to it, it may be sensible to check our own investments in this current climate (however small) to ensure that there is nothing which may surprise us.  For example, do you know how your pension fund or stocks and shares ISA are invested?  Both of these commonly use ETFs and other offshore bond wrappers.

Benefits of Offshore

Offshore trusts and foundations are not used solely for tax reasons; usually the main reason for using a trust is asset protection for and from the beneficiaries.  The UK tax rules are continuing to be strengthened in this area under pressure from outside perception but why are offshore trusts and foundations continuing to be used and set up?  Interestingly, if you compare the offshore regulation  for trusts and foundations in many perceived “tax havens” (such as the Channel Islands), to the regulation for UK trusts, it is surprising to note that in the UK there are fewer requirements to file or keep records such as trust accounts.  So, for the parties to the trust there could be a benefit for them as well as better transparency, for the trust to be based offshore under a properly regulated regime.
In conclusion, the “takeaway” is not to stick with your first thoughts.  Test them, adjust them if necessary and ultimately your opinions will be yours and not influenced too much by outside factors.

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If your income is in excess of £100,000 you will already pay tax at higher rates. Pension contributions are often used to reduce the impact of these higher rates. The allowance for pension contributions is being reduced from 6 April so, if you want to avoid income in excess of £100,000 or maximise your pension savings before the contribution restrictions begin on 6 April 2016, you are running out of time to act.

The annual allowance determines the amount of pension saving an individual can make each year. For most individuals it is £40,000.  It is possible to carry forward unused allowance from the previous three tax years to offset any excess in the current year and can lead to generous pension capacity.

From 6 April 2016 the annual allowance is to be tapered down to £10,000 for certain “high earners”, but calculating who is affected is not straight forward.

Broadly, if your total income (and that includes unearned as well as earned income) exceeds £110,000, you have to then calculate your “adjusted income” by adding in the value of your pension contributions (including employer contributions).  If your total income then exceeds £150,000 then the taper will start to apply and will restrict contributions you can make.

The benefit of reviewing your pension position promptly cannot be overstated, since this short period may be the last opportunity to either avoid income in excess of £100,000 in the current tax year or make a substantial pension contribution before the future restrictions start. In order to further consider this one off possibility please contact Graeme Blair, Tax Partner, at or your usual Goodman Jones contact.

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HM Revenue and Customs have made a quiet announcement in a few paragraphs to remove the draconian retrospective effect that the original notice gave in 2014 regarding loans remitted to the UK where they have used overseas assets as collateral.

Although HMRC gave until 5 April 2016 to unwind or replace this borrowing, it was seen as unfair to penalise individuals who had followed HMRC’s stance at the time and had, in good faith, followed their interpretation and organised their affairs accordingly.

HMRC’s announcement in August 2014, changed their interpretation of the legislation and, as mentioned previously, the only transitional relief for those who had already taken out such a loan was a long period of time to unwind or replace the arrangement.

Common sense has prevailed and the representations that have been going on for some time have finally borne fruit and the announcement last week has stated that anyone whose loan was brought to or used in the UK before 4 August 2014 will not need to be repay or replace that loan.  Note, it is the date the loan proceeds were brought to/used in the UK, not the date the loan was taken out that is relevant for these purposes.

Any loan proceeds brought to/used in the UK after 3 August 2014 will still fall within HMRC’s change of practice and anyone unsure how they may be affected by these changes should take advice to check their position.

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The promised consultations on the proposed non domiciled changes were issued last week, and the “excitement” of seeing the link come through was definitely tempered by the puzzlement experienced when seeing it was only 17 pages in total. This bemusement increased after the first read through, as the various consultations promised have all been included in the one document which made the size of it even more surprising.

It appears that HMRC have engaged with certain “stakeholders” already, pre-consultation, to discuss these measures. We will never know whether they took account of any of the stated current concerns or suggestions. Certainly, there have been some changes although at first glance they look potentially worse for the affected tax payers, not better. So, what has changed since my earlier summary?


Resident Non-UK Domiciles

The original suggestion regarding the new deemed domicile for all taxes was that it would extend from a three or four year period to an overall five year period. That has now increased even further to needing to be non-resident for a continuous period of six years (tax years of arrival and departure will count towards this) to lose the deemed domicile.

Years spent resident in the UK whilst under the age of 18 will also count towards the 15 out of 20 years calculation. This means an individual born in UK could become deemed domiciled before they even turn 18.

It is not clear whether the Government is going to accept that a double taxation treaty can override the UK residency or not. Usually, if someone is resident in two countries at the same time under the countries’ own domestic laws, the double taxation treaty gives primary tax rights to one jurisdiction and deems an individual as “treaty resident” in only one country.


Offshore Trusts

The changes announced in the taxation treatment for offshore trusts are potentially going to be a minefield. The government are trying to effectively tax only “taxable benefits” received by individuals, regardless of the trust’s own income and gains and regardless of what distributions of either income or capital have been made. In particular, anyone who has been keeping records of capital payments and trust gains must review the trust and beneficiaries’ positions well before the new rules begin in April 2017. The Government is also suggesting that these new rules could apply to all non-domiciled individuals and not just those who become deemed domiciled.

The government is still considering these proposals and there should be a further announcement with draft legislation in due course.


Returning UK Domiciles

The consultation confirms that whilst UK resident, the UK domicile of origin will revive. Some of the detail will be quite confusing. For example, if there is a split year of residency this will count for income tax and capital gains not for IHT. The Government may consider a “grace period” if an individual falls of this, but doesn’t remain in the UK for an extended period. In summary, the advice has to be don’t die whilst UK resident or be UK resident when a potential IHT charge is due to arise.


Other Potential Changes

The increase to a six year period of non UK residency is also to apply to the IHT spousal election. This increases the amount of time by two years that a spouse who has elected to be deemed domiciled for IHT purposes has to be non-resident to lose it.

At present a UK domiciled individual can acquire a domicile of choice after a potential minimum of three years out of the UK. This will effectively be increased to six years as well.

A non domiciled individual with less than £2,000 of unremitted foreign income and/or gains effectively received the remittance basis automatically and did not have to file a return. This £2,000 de minimus rule may be removed for individuals who become deemed domiciled in the UK under these proposals to align their tax treatment with UK domiciled taxpayers.



It’s hard to be positive about these announcements. Respondents to consultations usually take their time to be constructive and to use their knowledge and experience to influence new tax legislation. Even the word “consultation” denotes collaboration, but these 17 pages of pronouncements don’t really focus on the true problems and the questions asked are not the right ones. Responses have to be in by 11 November and this is a shorter than normal period.

As before, anyone potentially affected by these changes must take advice in good time to allow for a measured response to their own position.

Follow GJ LINK to continue to be alerted to developments.

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Now that the summer is behind us, we await the promised consultations on the wide ranging and far reaching proposals for non UK domiciled individuals announced at the Summer Budget 2015.

It has always been difficult for the Government to ensure that the non-domiciled community are encouraged to continue to come to the UK, where they undoubtedly can bring investment, skills and spending power, without the general public perceiving that the tax breaks for non UK domiciles are too great. The phrase “not looked fair” was actually used in the official announcement.

So what could we be facing?

Resident non UK domiciles

  • A deemed domicile rule for all UK taxes (income tax, capital gains tax, inheritance tax etc.) once an individual is UK resident for 15/20 tax years from 6 April 2017 with no “grandfathering rules” (also includes taxes on employment related securities). So full UK taxation on a worldwide basis from 6 April 2017.
  • Extension of the time residency required abroad to lose UK deemed domicile from potentially 3 or 4 years to an overall 5 year period (including those who wish to emigrate permanently).
  • The taxation of overseas trusts is to be fundamentally overhauled and non UK domiciles will find the tax planning and usefulness of these structures severely curtailed.

Returning UK domiciles

An individual who has a UK domicile of origin will automatically revive his UK domicile for taxation purposes on returning to the UK after 5 April 2017 regardless of their domicile under general law.

  • Crucially, any overseas trusts set up whilst that individual has been non UK domiciled will be treated as though set up by a UK domiciliary and taxed accordingly when the settlor is UK resident (this includes UK IHT).

UK residential property

  • Further changes have been announced from 6 April 2017 to bring all UK residential property, whether held directly or indirectly, within the net of UK IHT. This is intended to be the final piece in the jigsaw to remove any tax benefits whatsoever from holding a UK residential property within a structure.
  • The IHT charge will be on the full market value of the residential property net of any borrowings to purchase it, on the usual chargeable events, such as death, certain gifts, exit and 10 year anniversary charges etc.
  • Although to be based on the Annual Tax on Enveloped Dwellings definitions, there will be no de minimus limit and no reliefs, such as letting, will be available.
  • The government will also look at enabling the “de-enveloping” of current structures without a tax cost.

The limited guidance issued after the Summer Budget, just on these measures, mentioned consultations more than 12 times, so it is to be hoped that HMRC will take their time and listen to the responses they receive when looking to implement the Government’s wishes.

These proposals will involve amending existing legislation across the statute books as well as new legislation. The last time such wholesale changes were implemented, was pretty quickly followed by a relaxation of some of the changes. It is to be hoped that HMRC will consider carefully the responses that the interested bodies will furnish them with.

Anyone potentially affected by these changes must take advice in good time to allow for a measured response to their own personal position.

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