Thursday, 30 April 2015

Pension death benefits planning: a question of control

Before the recent pension changes were announced, it made sense, for Inheritance Tax (IHT) planning purposes, to request that any death benefits payable from a money purchase private pension on the pension scheme member’s death were paid into a separate trust (a ‘bypass trust’), usually for the benefit of the member’s spouse and family.  Structuring matters in this way would prevent what could sometimes be significant sums from being paid direct to the surviving spouse, with the potential for any unspent funds to be taxed at 40% IHT on the surviving spouse’s death.  On the other hand, by using the trust route, the spouse could still enjoy full access to the pension funds via loans made from the trust, which have the potential to be deductible for IHT purposes on the survivor’s death.

Thursday, 16 April 2015

Mixed domicile couples

Non-doms are in the news again, with one British political party wanting to scrap non-domiciled status if they are elected to be the next Government on 7 May.  This sort of headline reinforces the casual view that being a non-dom is always advantageous for UK tax purposes.  However, if you are part of a mixed domicile couple, where one of you is UK domiciled and the other isn’t, you might disagree.  Estate planning is not plain sailing for you.

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

ATED tips and traps

Apologies to all my regular Thursday readers but the electrical fire in Kingsway last week disrupted internet connectivity.  Here is last week's blog.  The next post is scheduled for Thursday 16 April.

Financially minded Brits will be focused on the impending end of the British income tax year.  Here in the office, we’re also focused on the start of another one – the 2015/2016 Annual Tax on Enveloped Dwellings (ATED) tax year begins on 1 April 2015 and, for UK residential properties valued for ATED purposes as worth £2 million or over, owned by ‘non-natural persons’ such as companies, the ATED tax returns and any tax due must be in by 30 April 2015.