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

Rope-and-anchorA focus on non-doms and offshore proved especially interesting for readers of our STEP International News Digests for July 2015. In case you missed them, here are the top ten worldwide industry items.

Non-doms’ UK property to be drawn into inheritance tax net: The British government’s summer Budget announced yesterday 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.

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.

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’. AFB provides trust and corporate services (TCS) administering over 10,000 structures for almost 6,000 clients from nine locations.

Cyprus hopes to tempt foreign investors with sweeping tax reforms: Cyprus has announced a series of tax reforms to attract foreign investment. The most revolutionary is the introduction of the new concept of domicile. Foreign individuals classed as tax-resident under the usual day-counting basis can qualify as non-domiciled if they meet certain criteria to be set out in as yet unpublished draft legislation. Non-doms’ income from dividends will be exempted from the 17 per cent special defence contribution, thus capping the effective dividend tax rate at 12.5 per cent.

UK expected to renew pressure on British Overseas Territories over ownership registers: The UK government is expected to resume its pressure on British Overseas Territories to set up registers of company beneficial ownership, at the Joint Ministerial Council meeting in London later this year. Cayman Islands premier Alden McLaughlin made the announcement at a meeting of Overseas Territories (OTs) leaders in Bermuda last week. Although there has been a brief respite in the pressure from London since the UK general election, the matter has not gone away, he said.

UK ‘successful’ in attracting wealthy migrants since 2000: The UK has been far more successful at attracting high-net-worth migrants than any other country in the past 14 years, according to a report from the consultancy New World Wealth. There was a net inflow of 125,000 high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs) into the UK in the 2000-2014 period, the report found. The country’s main attraction is, of course, London, with its language advantage, international nature, ease of travel to EU countries, lack of restrictions on moving money and buying property, and high-quality education system.

European Succession Regulation – Selling French probate property from 17th August 2015: The European Succession Regulation will start to take full effect from 17 August 2015. After this date, French properties being sold by deceased estates will need to be handled with great care. British nationals who die resident in England with French property will, in most cases, have their French estate dealt with under English law. This means that the notaire selling the probate property has to do so under English law.

Facebook lets users appoint ‘heir’ to manage account when they die: Facebook users in the UK can now hand over administration of their profile to a friend or family member after their death.

Tackling offshore evasion: The UK government announced four consultations as part of its publication Tackling Evasion and Avoidance. These take forward HMRC’s strategy for tackling offshore evasion, No Safe Havens. An update on this strategy was published in April 2014.

Indian Revenue sets conditions of Black Money Act amnesty: The Indian federal government has set out exactly how the Black Money Act and its associated disclosure opportunity will work.

 

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: www.step.org/register.

Follow @STEPSociety for regular updates.

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