Thursday, 20 August 2015

Use it or lose it: Government announces early closure of LDF

The UK Government has recently announced that the beneficial terms of the Liechtenstein Disclosure Facility (LDF) will cease on 31 December 2015 (the facility had previously been due to run until April 2016). The LDF is a tax disclosure process through which individuals can bring their tax affairs up to date with HMRC on favourable terms and in particular benefit from reduced penalties and full immunity from criminal prosecution.

Thursday, 6 August 2015

Nearest but not necessarily dearest: disinheriting children post Ilott

The Ilott case has caused a fair degree of furore in the UK press recently.  Testamentary freedom in England is sacrosanct in many English citizens’ minds but has the recent Court of Appeal ruling (Ilott v Mitson [2015] EWCA Civ 797) undermined that freedom?  And if so, how can anyone ensure that their Will is upheld and respected after death?

Thursday, 23 July 2015

The new Inheritance Tax Residence Nil Rate Band

The Summer Budget Finance Bill (the Finance (No. 2) Bill 2015) has now been published and it contains the draft legislation to implement the new Inheritance Tax (IHT) Residence Nil Rate Band (RNRB).  So let’s take a look at the detail of what’s involved.

Monday, 13 July 2015

Budget bonus: Briefing notes on changes to non-dom taxation and additional IHT nil rate band

Below you will find links to some client friendly notes on the proposed non-dom taxation changes and the introduction of the new additional Main Residence nil rate band for Inheritance Tax, all announced in last Wednesday's Summer Budget. 

No doubt these significant proposals will be the subject of future blogs, so watch this space!

Thursday, 9 July 2015


Most English trusts these days specify a ‘Trust Period’ of no more than 125 years.  In practice, this means that someone must have a vested interest in the trust assets (whether that’s vested in possession (i.e. an immediate right to ‘current enjoyment’) or vested in interest (an immediate right to ‘future enjoyment’)) within 125 years. 

Sometimes trusts outstay their welcome, though.  If you have a client desperate to find a way to end a trust, don’t assume there is nothing that can be done.  It is sometimes possible to end a trust without needing the agreement of the trustees (which may not be forthcoming).  Here’s how.

Thursday, 25 June 2015

The insider’s guide to English Pre-Nuptial Agreements

English pre-nups (PNAs) are now an important consideration for families intent on protecting the family wealth, thanks to the 2010 case of Radmacher v Granatino.  Whilst PNAs do not oust the jurisdiction of the English court to have the final say in the matter, they can be determinative when it comes to splitting up wealth in the event of a divorce, as long as they are freely entered into, with a proper understanding by both parties as to the implications of the agreement and make fair provision for each spouse. 

There is a lot of available information on what PNAs are but much less information on just who is making them and why.  I caught up with our family law partner, Teresa Cullen, to ask her some candid questions about PNAs.  I hope you will find the answers illuminating.

Thursday, 11 June 2015

Pre-Owned Assets Tax: the forgotten tax

Pre-Owned Assets Tax (POAT) was introduced in the Finance Act 2004.  Ten years is a long time but, when it comes to tax statute, ‘age cannot wither her’.  This tax has teeth and is capable of biting, not with a tax bill after death, like Inheritance Tax, but, worse, with an annual Income Tax charge that can be a very real drain on cash flow for the living.  What is this beast?  Read on.