I heard it through the grapevine…

Keeping abreast of the ever-changing tax rules is a challenging pastime for all professionals. My time spent on Committees for STEP has been invaluable, as I get to mix with professionals who cover all walks of the trust and estate practitioner fields and learn first hand about the latest issues that will, or might, affect our industry.

We are only human after all and, as technology continues to progress, we become overloaded with electronic updates and global news from a never-ending number of sources. Taking the time to read all subscribed email notifications thoroughly becomes increasingly difficult. Inboxes clogging up can become visually depressing, and it is for this reason that I am in debt to STEP for the News Digests with their bite-size updates.

But the other emails do contain some interesting nuggets – for example, without my connections with independent financial advisors, I would not have been aware of the recent changes to the treatment of tax for trail commissions, as described in the HM Revenue & Customs Brief 04/13

In a nutshell, where an investment manager receives trail commission and this is paid as a rebate to the investor, HMRC has now confirmed that they consider these payments to be taxable income. Historically, I have considered this as a return of one’s own money and if anything should be shown as a reduction of investment management fees within the trust accounts, but this may just have been my idea of common sense…?

In practice, rebates are becoming a thing of the past; but still, briefs like this can fly under the radar. I am thankful for my connections and now pass on this little bit of gained knowledge.

Cheryl Farnham TEP, Chair of the STEP UK Practice Committee

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