STEP News Digest wrap-up – April’s top stories

Welcome to the wrap-up of the top ten most popular stories in the STEP online Digests throughout April. In case you missed them, here are the top STEP News Digest stories most clicked by our readers.

Probate court fees to rocket: The government is going ahead with dramatic increases to court fees. From 22 April the cost of a probate application via a solicitor will rise from GBP45 to GBP155, though Court of Protection fees for some simpler cases will be cut later this year.

Guidance Notes: Trusts (Capital and Income) Act 2013: STEP’s UK Practice Committee has produced a guidance note to explain the impact on practitioners of the Trusts (Capital and Income) Act 2013.

Changes to this year’s trust and estate return: HMRC has published a summary of changes made in the 2013-14 trust and estate tax return.

End of PPR election for UK-resident second home owners: A consultation document has appeared on the government’s previously announced plans to charge capital gains tax (CGT) on non-residents’ property disposals. Unexpectedly, the proposals now also envisage the abolition of UK residents’ right to choose their principal private residence for CGT relief purposes.

Growing importance of the digital legacy: Testators are being advised to leave clear instructions about their ‘digital legacies’ after their death. The term encompasses social media accounts, computer games, investments and other online accounts, and even Bitcoins.

Rising liabilities tempt families into desperate avoidance measures: The Telegraph describes some tactics being used by families – especially in south-east England – to avoid heavy inheritance tax charges. They include lifetime gifts of the family home, investment in AIM shares and purchase of farmland – although accountancy firm Saffery Champness is warning landowners that HMRC is about to apply far greater scrutiny to applications for agricultural property.

End of PPR election for UK-resident second home owners: A consultation document has appeared on the government’s previously announced plans to charge capital gains tax (CGT) on non-residents’ property disposals. Unexpectedly, the proposals now also envisage the abolition of UK residents’ right to choose their principal private residence for CGT relief purposes.

Practitioners puzzled by FATCA requirements: UK practitioners are still finding it hard to accept that they may have to register trusts with the US Internal Revenue Service even where there are no US connections. However guidance issued by STEP and the Law Society concerning the UK-US FATCA agreement leaves little room for doubt.

One in ten estates will be paying IHT by 2018: The proportion of estates liable for inheritance tax (IHT) will quadruple from just 2.6 per cent in the 2009-10 tax year to 10 per cent in 2018-19, according to research by the Institute for Fiscal Studies. IHT liabilities will then take a bigger share of the national income than at any time in the past 45 years – unless the tax is reformed.

Growing opposition to HMRC’s proposed new charging powers: Several influential professional organisations have now expressed strong objections to the Finance Bill’s creation of two draconian new enforcement powers for HMRC.

The STEP Industry News Digests provide a round-up of relevant industry news for trust and estate practitioners and other professionals in the wealth management sector. They provide brief summaries of topical news stories gathered from news providers internationally, providing a quick reference for busy practitioners to all the relevant news and issues. The News Digests also feature job listings from our recruitment site and list local STEP branch events and conferences. STEP’s digest services include twice weekly UK and Wealth Structuring (international) editions as well as a bi-weekly North America Digest focusing on the US, Canada and Mexico, and a Latin America Digest.

To subscribe to STEP’s digest services you will need to first register here:http://www.step.org/register

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s