STEP UK News Digest wrap-up – July’s top stories

Chancellor_of_the_Exchequer_George_Osborne_(6128163568)

The UK Budget delivered by Chancellor George Osborne MP on 8 July provided a focus for many of the stories of most interest to our readers. In case you missed them, here are the top ten most viewed items.

Non-doms’ UK property to be drawn into inheritance tax net: The British government’s summer Budget includes two momentous measures affecting non-domiciled residents from April 2017. The first is an end to the indefinite nature of non-dom status. At the moment, a qualifying non-domiciled resident can elect for the remittance basis of taxation, under which they do not pay tax on income and assets kept offshore. After a certain length of time as resident they must pay an annual remittance basis charge (from GBP30,000 to GBP90,000) but they retain the offshore tax exemption. The only exception to this is inheritance tax (IHT), to which they become liable after 17 years of UK residence.

Jersey fiduciary acquitted of failing to report ‘suspicious’ transaction: Jersey’s Royal Court has acquitted a director of trust and company service provider STM Fiduciaire of charges related to suspicious transaction reports, in the first criminal prosecution of its kind. Michelle Jardine was the Money Laundering Reporting Officer at STM in May and June 2011, when the offences were alleged to have taken place. She was accused of failing to report a suspicious transaction where funds were remitted by an unknown third party to a politically exposed person (PEP) in a high-risk jurisdiction.

Appleby to sell fiduciary business: Offshore legal, fiduciary and administration service provider Appleby has announced ‘the management buyout of its fiduciary business (AFB) for an undisclosed sum, backed by private equity firm Bridgepoint’.

Scrutiny of IHT-driven deeds of variation begins: The government has launched a consultation on the use of deeds of variation (DoV) for tax purposes, to ensure that they are not being abused. The consultation was promised by Chancellor George Osborne in the Budget immediately preceding the May general election.

More IHT planning brought under DOTAS rules: HM Revenue & Customs is proposing to strengthen the ‘hallmarks’ it uses to identify inheritance tax (IHT) planning arrangements that must be notified by promoters and users under the Disclosure of Tax Avoidance Schemes (DOTAS) regime.

Small business owners to pay higher dividend taxes: From April 2016 the dividend tax rate will be increased to 7.5 per cent for basic-rate taxpayers, 32.5 per cent for higher-rate taxpayers and 38.1 per cent for additional-rate taxpayers. The measure, included in the summer Budget statement, will change the economics of operating a small business as a limited company.

Finance Bill 2015 Explanatory Notes: HM Treasury’s explanatory notes relate to the Finance Bill 2015 as introduced into Parliament on 14 July 2015. They have been prepared jointly by the HM Revenue & Customs and HM Treasury in order to assist the reader in understanding the Bill. They do not form part of the Bill and have not been endorsed by Parliament.

Summer Finance Bill: The Summer Budget provided the Chancellor with the opportunity to indicate a direction of travel for taxation over the five year life of the present Parliament. This includes reform in a number of areas with a Business Tax Road Map and over 30 consultations promised. EY.

Summer Finance Bill 2015: A collection of supporting documents for Summer Finance Bill 2015 from Gov.uk. The Finance Bill is the vehicle for renewing annual taxes, delivering new tax proposals and maintaining administration of the tax system. Finance Bill 2015 supporting documents.

Guidance for accountants: Guidance from the Legal Ombudsman provides ICAEW Chartered Accountancy firms, that have become authorised providers of probate services, under the provisions of the Legal Services Act 2007, with an overview of the Legal Ombudsman scheme.

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. STEP’s news digest services include twice weekly UK and International editions as well as a bi-weekly North America Digest (focusing on the US, Canada and Mexico), and a Latin America Digest.

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