Thursday, 13 July 2017

UK beneficial ownership registers: now it’s your turn, trustees


On 26 June 2017, the UK Government introduced a beneficial ownership register for trusts for the first time, in response to its need to comply with the EU’s 4th Anti-Money Laundering Directive.  Which trusts will be affected and what will trustees have to do?

Thursday, 29 June 2017

Who owns the equity? Investment property ownership when relationships break down


The thorny issue of a couple’s beneficial interests in a jointly owned property following relationship breakdown has once again been examined by the court, this time relating to a Privy Council decision on appeal from the Bahamian Court of Appeal.  The case concerned the relationship between Mr Marr and Mr Collie, who together had jointly purchased several properties over the years in the Bahamas during their 17 year relationship.

Thursday, 15 June 2017

Will we have a UK public register for offshore entities owning UK property?


The UK may become the first country to introduce a beneficial ownership register for overseas companies and other legal entities owning UK property (of any kind) or who wish to procure UK Government work.

Thursday, 1 June 2017

To Airbnb or not to Airbnb?

This week, I have a guest post from my colleague Grace Laws in our Property team, with her advice on the legal dos and don'ts of Airbnb letting:



Airbnb has become known as the world’s largest accommodation provider but it owns no property. It gives property owners an opportunity to let their properties out on a short-term basis with relative ease and gives consumers an opportunity to stay in a home and ‘live like a local’ in their location of choice. As a result of this it has become well known in recent years and is used frequently by many.

For property owners it has become an easy and profitable way of generating additional income, particularly for those with residential properties in desirable city centre locations. However, if you choose to use Airbnb or any other short-term letting website for letting your property, it is important that you consider the legal consequences of doing so alongside the financial benefits.

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Protecting personal representatives: interim estate distributions

How should a personal representative (PR) deal with a request from a beneficiary for an interim distribution before the estate is finalised?  Estates can take many months to conclude but a beneficiary may be in need of some of their inheritance sooner.  Can an executor help out without putting him or herself on the line?

Thursday, 4 May 2017

Finance Bill 2017: Non-dom tax changes dropped – for now?


The Finance Bill 2017 contained a number of measures altering the way in which long term UK resident non-doms and UK residential property held in certain offshore entities would be taxed in the UK.  However, last week it became clear that all of the non-dom tax changes would be dropped from the Finance Bill, to allow a slimmed down version of the Bill to progress through the legislative process before Parliament is dissolved ahead of the General Election on 8 June.

So what is the current state of the law?  Are the relevant pre-6 April 2017 tax laws still in force?  Are non-doms who have been resident here in the UK for 15 out of the previous 20 tax years now deemed domiciled, or can they still make use of the remittance basis of taxation?  Does foreign corporate ownership of UK residential property still provide a UK Inheritance Tax (IHT) shelter or not?

Thursday, 20 April 2017

‘No looking back’ – one ATED tax trap to avoid


April is ATED filing month – 2017/2018 ATED tax returns must be filed and any ATED tax paid by 30 April at the latest.  Even if no ATED is due, because a relief from ATED applies, that relief still needs to be claimed on an ATED tax return, which must be submitted by the end April deadline just the same.