Main menu

Liverpool:

+44 (0)151 600 3000

Manchester:

+44 (0)161 836 8800

Preston:

+44 (0)1772 823 921

Search form

Search form

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P R S T V W Y

Wealth Protection

A quarterly newsletter covering topical issues relating to wealth matter including tax planning, wills, power of attorney, trust and family law. The bulletin is designed to provide useful information and advice to business owners, entrepreneurs, family businesses, those who are retired or coming up to retirement and those in senior management across all sectors.

Latest Issue

In the latest issue of our Wealth Protection bulletin we look at the implications from Brexit for private client matters and family law proceedings, plus an update on the Residence Nil Rate Band which comes into effect next April where we outline the conditions to qualify.

To stay up to date with this bulletin and see others - sign up to any of our free newsletters.

Residence Nil Rate Band: Control the controllables

Thursday 7th July 2016

Share this article:

Wealth Protection Bulletin - Issue 18

It is fair to say that when it comes to reliefs from inheritance tax, the new Residence Nil Rate Band (RNRB) is an odd one.

Full details of the allowance were included in Issue 16 of our bulletin which you can read here.

There is no great logic to the conditions imposed. To qualify in full:

  • Your estate has to be less than £2M;
  • Your house has to be valuable enough (at least £175,000);
  • You have to be married if you want the allowance to be transferrable;
  • Your house has to pass to your children/grandchildren on your death.

All pretty arbitrary but for the most part fairly clear cut. You probably wouldn’t change your personal circumstances just to qualify for the relief. You may consider making gifts or spending to reduce your estate but you probably wouldn’t (or shouldn’t) move to a more expensive house or get married or have children.

You should, however, review your will. If your house is not left directly to a lineal descendant the relief is not available. Put an age condition over 25 on a gift to a child or any age condition on a gift to a grandchild and you will not qualify. 

The potential loss of relief is significant

Stipulating such a condition though has been and remains sensible in a straight forward will to ensure that an inheritance is received only when a child is financially mature enough to receive it. Many people will have made a decision about the age at which a child or grandchild inherits in their wills before the Residence Nil Rate Band was even a ‘twinkle’ in the government’s eye. The potential loss of relief is significant. For a married couple it could be as much as £140,000. The relief comes into effect in April next year. Time to review those wills.

Need advice or wish to talk to us?

If you would like more information about the RNRB or to discuss how we can help you with estate planning or any other private client law matters please contact our Private Client team.


Grants of Probate – proposed hike in fees

Wednesday 23rd March 2016

Share this article:

Wealth Protection Bulletin - Issue 17

The Ministry of Justice has issued a consultation paper outlining proposals to hike the cost of obtaining Grants of Probate.

The current cost is a flat fee of £155 when done through a solicitor.

The proposal is to exempt very small estates from any fee but massively increase the fees for estates over £50,000 from a starting fee of £300 to £20,000 for estates over £2 million.

The consultation closes on 1 April and it is likely there will be many responses to such a radically large increase.

One of the implications for such a large increase could be where estates are property rich but cash poor, requiring short-term loans for executors to administer the estate before they have the Grant of Probate.

In the table below we show the proposed application fees:

Value of Estate
(before Inheritance Tax)

Proposed Fee
Up to £50,000 £0
Exceeds £50,000 up to £300,000 £300
Exceeds £300,000 up to £500,000 £1,000
Exceeds £500,000 up to £1m £4,000
Exceeds £1m up to £1.6m £8,000
Exceeds £1.6m up to £2m £12,000
Above £2m £20,000

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


It is widely been perceived as a stealth tax and on a £2 million estate where a Grant is needed on the death of both parents, the family will be facing Grant fees of £40,000 compared with £310 currently.

If the charges go through as proposed, clients are likely to seek advice on how the need for a Grant of Probate can be avoided and we can advise on this. Property owned jointly and held as ‘joint tenants’ can pass automatically to the surviving owner(s) without the need for a Grant of Probate to transfer the title to the asset. Bare trust or nominee arrangements are also likely to be more popular and move us to a position much more like America where they have ‘living trusts’ which help with the need for, and cost of, probate on death.

If you would like more information or to discuss any matters about Grants of Probate please contact Duncan Bailey or your usual Brabners contact:


Duncan Bailey

Partner, Private Client
Tel: 0151 600 3451
Email: duncan.bailey@barbners.com

 
 

 

 


New rates of Stamp Duty Land Tax to kick in on 1 April

Wednesday 23rd March 2016

Share this article:

Wealth Protection Bulletin - Issue 17

In our bulletin last November looking at the Autumn Statement (here), we commented on the Chancellor’s intentions to introduce a higher rate of Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) for the purchases of “additional” residential properties.

Since that announcement, we now have a clearer insight on the Chancellor’s intentions following the publication of the Treasury’s consultation paper in December 2015 and the budget on 16 March 2016.

Who is affected and when will the higher rate apply?

The higher rates of SDLT will apply to individuals who are purchasing additional residential properties (such as second homes and buy-to-let properties) where exchange of contracts took place after 25 November 2015 and completion is effected on or after 1 April 2016. 

The higher rate of SDLT will be 3% above the current SDLT rates for residential properties.

The table below illustrates the current rates of SDLT on purchases of residential property and the new proposed rates with effect from April:

Consideration Existing residential
SDLT rate

Higher SDLT rate for additional
properties post 1 April 2016

£40,000 - £125,000 0% 3%
£125,001 - £250,000 2% 5%
£250,001 - £925,000 5% 8%
£925,001 - £1,500,000 10% 13%
£1,500,000 12% 15%

 

 

 

 

 




 

For example:

A property investor purchases an additional residential property before 1 April 2016 for £200,000 and under the existing SDLT charging regime, his SDLT liability is £1,500.

Under the new rules, for a purchase completed after 1 April, the higher rate of SDLT will apply and so the property investor’s revised SDLT liability is £7,500. This is a 500% increase for the Revenue in this simple example.

When does the higher rate not apply?

The higher rates do not apply where a purchaser only owns one residential property at the end of the day of the transaction (regardless of whether the purchaser will occupy or rent the property being purchased).

Where a purchaser will own more than one residential property at the end of the day of the transaction, the SDLT charge will be determined on whether the purchaser has replaced their main residence with the new purchase. If the main residence has merely been sold and replaced with a replacement main residence on the same day then the higher rate will not be levied.

Married couples

Married couples will be treated as ‘one unit’ with the effect that they will only be allowed one main residence between them at any one time.

This can have unfair tax consequences in certain circumstances. For example, where the family home is registered in only one’s spouse’s name, if the other spouse or civil partner were to purchase a buy-to-let property, they would be liable to the SDLT surcharge (notwithstanding the fact that they do not own any other property).

Buying property for children

Under the new rules, the purchase of a property by parents for their children will be caught by the higher rates of SDLT as the parents will then own two residential properties at the end of the day of the transaction and the new purchase has not replaced their own main residence (despite it being their child’s first property).

If you would like to discuss any matters about these changes please contact David McGurnaghan or your usual Brabners contact:


David McGurnaghan

Associate, Private Client
Tel: 0151 600 3339
Email: david.mcgurnaghan@brabners.com


Mortgage interest income tax relief – a look at the changes for landlords

Wednesday 23rd March 2016

Share this article:

Wealth Protection Bulletin - Issue 17

Landlords need to be aware of the changes coming in from 6 April 2017 to restrict income tax relief on mortgage interest payments.

At present, full income tax relief is normally available for interest paid on a loan taken out by an individual such as a mortgage on a let property. The interest paid on the mortgage is deductible against the rental income thereby reducing the amount of tax payable on the rental income.

This relief will be reduced from the current 100% relief until in 2020/2021, the relief will roughly be 20%.

For example:

Joe is a 40% taxpayer with a buy to let property with a mortgage on it. Assuming everything else remains equal, Joe’s tax position now and in 2020/2021 will change as follows:

  2016/2017 2020/2021
Gross rent £8,000 £8,000
Less: repairs and allowable expenses   (£1,300) (£1,300)
  £6,700 £6,700
Less: interest paid on mortgage (£2,700)  
Net rental profit £4,000 £6,700
Income tax @40% £1,600 £2,680
Less: interest relief (20% x £2,700)   (£540)
Net income tax liability £1,600 £2,140
Tax increase   £540
Effective tax rate on rental profit 40% 53.5%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Where landlords have a larger portfolio, the effect is much more marked. Fortunately, there are some options to soften the effect this will have albeit they may not suit everyone.

Selling some of the properties in the portfolio and paying down the mortgages will help soften the blow of the loss of the tax relief. If this were unattractive, another option for the larger landlord could be to incorporate their business as the limitation of tax relief for interest only applies to individual taxpayers. This itself will have Capital Gains Tax and Stamp Duty issues to be considered and planned for.

The conclusion is that landlords ought to review what the impact will be on them so they can then assess what action they should be taking in conjunction with the advisors and it would be prudent to take action sooner rather than later.

If you would like to discuss any matters about these changes please contact Duncan Bailey or your usual Brabners contact:


Duncan Bailey

Partner, Private Client
Tel: 0151 600 3451
Email: duncan.bailey@barbners.com


Update on the wills dispute – Ilott v Mitson

Wednesday 23rd March 2016

Share this article:

Wealth Protection Bulletin - Issue 17

The inheritance dispute in the case of Ilott v Mitson continues, as the three charities concerned have been given permission to appeal to the Supreme Court.

This will be the first time a case under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act (“the 1975 Act”) will be heard by the Supreme Court. We understand that it is likely to take about 18 months before the appeal is heard.

A reminder of events so far

Mrs Jackson and her only daughter became estranged when Mrs Ilott decided to elope and get married at the age of 17. They did not reconcile their relationship right up until Mrs Jackson’s death in 2004.

Mrs Jackson’s will left her entire estate to three charities, namely Blue Cross, RSPB and RSPCA.

Her estranged daughter made a claim under the 1975 Act.

  • At First Instance, Mrs Ilott was awarded a lump sum of £50,000;
     
  • Mrs Ilott appealed arguing the lump sum would deprive her of state benefits. This was dismissed and the £50,000 left to stand;
     
  • Mrs Ilott appealed again and it was at this second appeal, that the lump sum of £50,000 was overturned and replaced with an award of £143,000 to allow her to buy her council house (plus reasonable costs of purchase) and a lump sum of £20,000;
     
  • The Charities will now appeal this judgment.

Supreme Court

The Supreme Court will now be asked to consider:

  1. Whether the Court of Appeal was wrong to set aside the award of £50,000 made at First Instance on the respondent’s claim under the 1975 Act;
     
  2. Whether the Court of Appeal erred in its approach to the “maintenance” standard under the 1975 Act, which was based on the standard of living;
     
  3. Whether it was wrong to structure an award under the 1975 Act in a way which allowed Mrs Ilott to preserve her entitlement to state benefits.

This particular well documented inheritance dispute has been at the centre of debate with some commenting that the Court of Appeal decision will make it easier for other adult children to make a successful claim under the 1975 Act. On the flip side, others argue that if the charities’ appeal to the Supreme Court is successful, it will make it more difficult to challenge a will under the 1975 Act.

Generally, adult children not in financial need will still face an uphill battle if challenging a will under the 1975 Act. Whether the charities’ appeal is successful or not, it will hopefully give clearer guidelines and certainty as to the correct approach the courts should adopt when considering a claim under the 1975 Act, balancing their powers to make provision for claimants with the important principle of testamentary freedom.

For those who anticipate potential disputes in respect of their own estates, thought should be given to the steps that could be taken to make a will as robust as possible. Setting out a detailed explanation of what is being done, and why, explaining your connection to those you intend to benefit, and perhaps even giving a degree of flexibility to your Executors to determine how part of your estate is distributed could mitigate the risks.

If you would like to discuss any matters about wills please contact Hayley Watson or your usual Brabners contact:


Hayley Watson

Solicitor, Private Client
Tel: 0151 600 3117
Email: hayley.watson@brabners.com

 

Our previous blogs about this case can be read by following these links:
Could your wishes specified in your will be overruled by the Court?
Woman omitted by her mother in will wins £164k inheritance


Dividend tax changes: A look at the new tax free dividend allowance and how it works

Wednesday 23rd March 2016

Share this article:

Wealth Protection Bulletin - Issue 17

From 6 April 2016 the dividend tax credit which was included in dividend vouchers will be replaced by a new tax free dividend allowance.

This means that investors will not have to pay tax on the first £5,000 of dividend income irrespective of the amount of non-dividend income received. The allowance is available to individuals who receive any income from dividends.

The tax rate on dividend income over the tax free dividend allowance is also changing depending on the level of other income. Tax will be paid on any dividends over £5,000 at the following rates:

  • 7.5% on dividend income within the basic rate band;
  • 32.5% on dividend income within the higher rate band;
  • 38.1% on dividend income within the additional rate band.

What about trusts?

Under the current provisions, trustees of interest in possession trusts (in which a beneficiary has a right to receive the income from a trust fund) pay basic rate tax on trust income which is mandated to the beneficiary. The beneficiary will then be able to either (i) claim a refund, (ii) suffer no further tax or (iii) pay the additional tax if their dividend or other income warrants this. However, from 6 April trustees will need to pay the dividend rate on all the dividend income as they have no tax free dividend allowance. The tax paid will be credited to the beneficiary who will be entitled to a refund if the dividend income falls within his or her tax free dividend allowance.

Discretionary trusts which have always had a unique tax treatment, will also not receive a tax free dividend allowance. They will suffer tax at the rate of 38.1%. This will be credited to the trusts ‘tax pool’ to enable payments to beneficiaries to be franked accordingly. However in making a payment to a beneficiary, trustees must deduct tax at the trust rate of 45% so may have an additional 6.9% liability to find.

Consideration should therefore be given to whether an interest in possession should be appointed to a beneficiary from a discretionary trust to enable them to take advantage of the lower rates of tax (depending on their circumstances) and to utilise their tax free dividend allowance.

As ever, income tax is only one consideration when looking at varying the terms of a trust or making any appointments and each matter should be examined on a case by case basis.

If you would like more information about these changes or wish to undertake a review of your affairs in light of the new rules please contact Sue Mackintosh or your usual Brabners contact:


Sue Mackintosh

Senior Associate, Private Client
Tel: 0161 836 8947
Email: sue.mackintosh@brabners.com


Digital assets: Why it’s important to include them in your estate planning

Thursday 19th November 2015

Share this article:

Wealth Protection Bulletin - Issue 16

Whether you’re a regular ‘tweeter’, an avid Facebook follower or just hold an email account you check once in a while, you would have to look very hard to find someone who could say they have no digital footprint.

It is now essential to give some consideration and to make adequate provision for your digital estate as so much of our life is conducted online and through the digital sphere. In this article we outline the types of digital assets you should be including in your estate planning.

What do we mean by digital assets?  Some are obvious such as:

  • Financial institutions – online banking, PayPal, credit unions
  • Social media – Facebook, twitter, YouTube
  • Email accounts – Hotmail, Yahoo, Gmail
  • iTunes, Amazon or other media download storage facilities
  • Auction sites such as Ebay

But some maybe less obvious:

  • HMRC and other government departments
  • Virtual currency such as Bitcoins
  • Virtual storage facilities such as iCloud or Drop Box
  • Share dealing – online stockbrokers or gambling accounts

These may all hold information, cash or other property of ours and are very often protected by sophisticated encrypted password protection. This is all well and good, and indeed necessary during our lifetime to ensure our assets remain under our control. The problem arises however when we are no longer able to deal with our affairs as we have either lost mental capacity or have died.  How are those entrusted to deal with our affairs, whether they be attorneys or our executors, able to access the information or assets stored? How will they know of the existence of accounts if they are completely digital?  What are the requirements of the various institutions when it comes to dealing with third parties?

Not all digital property is valuable in monetary terms. Photographs, emails or personal documents are important to the people involved but not necessarily to the wider world. However if an account is left dormant for a period of time, the accounts holding these documents can, under the service agreements in place, be deleted and the information lost forever. 

The various different institutions all seem to operate different criteria on death (or lack of capacity) which can be a minefield when your executors (or attorneys) are trying to manage your affairs.

So what can you do to protect your assets and at the same time ensure those who will need to deal with matters on your behalf are in a position to do so?

Making a digital log, a note of the institutions with which you maintain an account, should be a bare minimum. That way there should be no surprises for those dealing with your affairs. This can be taken one step further by making a note of your password for each individual account; however care should be taken as this may be in breach of the terms and conditions of your agreement with the respective internet service providers. In either case the log should be stored securely and updated on a regular basis. Services such as Google’s Inactive Account Manager allows you to nominate someone to be sent an email in the event that your account is inactive for a certain period of time. It provides a link to allow certain types of information (as defined by the account holder) to be downloaded. 

There are also online digital inheritance arrangements provided by a range of suppliers. In essence these are facilities for a person to have a password restricted access to their own unique areas which they could then make a secure list of digital assets. The executors are then left an access code to the online storage facility. Like any hard copy made, this is only as good as the up to date information stored in it.

If you have strong views about what you would wish to happen to your digital assets, these should also be recorded. Would you wish your executors to use every effort to delete your digital footprint - would you be happy for Facebook to permit a memorialisation of your account whereby people can post photos or comments on your account, but the account cannot be logged into or edited? Are separate executors required to deal with your digital assets if your digital affairs are complex?

As our reliance on the internet increases to grow these are all problems that will become more and more common. A cohesive framework for post death (or lack of capacity) situations is needed to provide clarity to those using the services and those providing them.

If you would like more information about digital assets and estate planning arrangements please contact Sue Mackintosh or your usual Brabners contact:


Sue Mackintosh

Senior Associate, Private Client team
Tel: 0161 836 8946
Email: sue.mackintosh@brabners.com

 


Constructive or conflicted: Should an Independent Financial Advisor act as a trustee?

Thursday 19th November 2015

Share this article:

Wealth Protection Bulletin - Issue 16

Trusts are an important tool for estate planning. They can be used to help protect your assets for beneficiaries who are experiencing financial or matrimonial problems; they can be used to reduce the value of your estate for inheritance tax purposes; they can even be used to ensure that your assets are protected after death in the event that your spouse or partner remarries or becomes a spendthrift in your absence!

The task of choosing appropriate trustees is not a simple one. Trustees have power to invest the trust fund as they see fit and, in the case of discretionary trusts, to distribute the funds in whatever proportions and to whichever beneficiaries they choose.

Crucially, given the level of discretion and responsibility afforded to trustees, they are subject to certain responsibilities. Most importantly, trustees must act in the best interest of the beneficiaries. This means that they must administer the trust with care and skill; they must invest the trust fund wisely to produce income and/or capital growth (after taking appropriate advice) and they must not put themselves in a position whereby their interests’ conflict with those of the trust.

The level of responsibility demanded of trustees means that it is often beneficial to appoint at least one professional trustee, such as a solicitor or accountant, to act alongside a family member or trusted friend. But what about an Independent Financial Adviser? On one level it seems obvious to say that an IFA would be a perfect choice for a trustee. He/she would be best placed to provide investment advice and as an independent person, an IFA would be impartial when deciding which beneficiaries should benefit and in what proportions. From the perspective of the IFA, a trusteeship could provide a significant flow of work for which the IFA could charge (provided he was authorised to do so by the terms of the trust document).

But would there be an issue with a potential conflict of interest?  What if, for example, the IFA’s investment advice proves unsound or the investment performance is poor?  Would the IFA ever feel able to “sack” his/her own firm?  Would the charges properly incurred in investment management be a “profit” for which the IFA would have to account to the trust? These are issues which an IFA firm would need to address to ensure that there is no risk of potential action by dissatisfied beneficiaries. That would also involve checking that the firm’s professional insurance would specifically cover work done whilst acting as a trustee. If not, the IFA could be personally liable to the beneficiaries for any potential breach of duty, making the acceptance of a trusteeship a perilous task.  

Independent Financial Advisers clearly have an important role to play in the administration of trusts, providing valuable investment advice and guidance for trustees. However, given the uncertainties, IFAs would have to ask themselves whether they are prepared to take on the risks involved with professional trusteeships generally, as opposed to say a handful of matters where there is a personal/family connection.   

If you would like to discuss trustee arrangements or how we can help you with any other estate planning matters please contact our Private Client team.

 


Cohabitation agreements: Why unmarried couples (and their families) need to know about them

Thursday 19th November 2015

Share this article:

Wealth Protection Bulletin - Issue 16

In 2007 the Law Commission published a report considering the lack of financial provision available for unmarried couples when their relationship breaks down. They recommended a change in the law to give the courts the discretion to grant financial remedies in certain cases. However, we find ourselves 8 years on from the publication of the report and no changes have been made. Unmarried couples therefore remain in the same vulnerable position.

Unfortunately the situation is not assisted by the fact that there is a common misconception that the label of ‘common law husband and wife’ provides individuals with protection. Research undertaken shortly after the Law Commission’s report in 2008 suggested that 51% of people believe that the status of ‘common law husband and wife’ provide those individuals with the same rights as married couples. It seems likely that in the subsequent years the general public will not have become much better informed. Therefore they are unaware that couples in those situations are reliant on the rules relating to financial claims for children, general property and contract laws.

So what options are there available for couples who are not married but want to protect themselves financially?

A couple can choose to enter into a cohabitation agreement when living together. This will specify what should happen to the property and assets they own in the event that they separate. This can include what percentage share they should receive from any sale proceeds or what options there might be for one to ‘buy out’ the other.

This may be particularly beneficial where family money has been given to them to help them purchase property. If this issue is not addressed then parents and other family members can find themselves without any legal basis to say that in the event of a sale the funds they gave should be reimbursed or be given in full to their child or relative. It can be unpalatable in the extreme for parents to see their child’s ex-partner walk away with money they invested into the purchase of a house.

A cohabitation agreement can also address what would happen to personal possessions and household items purchased together if they were to separate. It can also define how a couple intend to regulate their finances e.g. divide bills or run joint accounts, and consequently can help prevent disputes about financial matters which can arise otherwise.

If you would like to know more about cohabitation agreements or about any other issue surrounding relationship breakdown please contact:


Joanne Radcliff

Associate, Family team
Tel: 0161 836 8927
Email: joanne.radcliff@brabners.com


Summer Budget 2015 – an overview of some of the measures affecting the private client sector

Wednesday 29th July 2015

Share this article:

Wealth Protection Bulletin - Special Issue

With the election over, and a majority Conservative government formed, George Osbourne announced the first budget of this parliament on 8 July 2015.

Although anticipated, the announcement which probably bears the biggest impact on the Private Client sector is the additional inheritance nil rate band (ANRB) for main residences.

In this overview, we take a look at some of the key announcements, some of which were expected and others which came as a surprise.

Inheritance Tax

At present, there is a nil rate band which has been set at £325,000 and frozen at this amount until April 2021.

With house prices rising far more than the nil rate band, many estates are likely to see a tax bill on death. With this in mind, the Conservatives seem to be implementing part of their publicised manifesto, with the chancellor announcing that from April 2017, there will be a new main residence transferable nil-rate band which will apply when a main residence is passed on to a direct descendant. This will be in addition to the current nil rate band regime.

A direct descendant could include a child, grandchild, adopted children, foster children and step-children. It does not include nieces and nephews.

It has been said the allowances will stand at:-

£100,000 in 2017/2018
£125,000 in 2018/2019
£150,000 in 2019/2020
Up to £175,000 in 2020/2021

Is it transferable? 
Yes. If your spouse dies on or after 6 April 2017, any unused ANRB can be transferred to you as the surviving spouse.

More than one residence?
Your personal representatives will be able to nominate which residence as long as it was occupied by the deceased at some point. There will be a tapered withdrawal of the ANRB for estates worth £2 million or more.

What if I downsize or sell my home if I move into a care home?
This is to be covered by the Finance Bill 2016 but will apply to people who cease to own their main residence on or after 8 July 2015. If you downsize, you should still be able to utilise the full ANRB allowance so long as the extra proceeds are also left to a direct descendant. The final details still need to be ironed out and are to be discussed in a technical consultation in due course.

Comment: The additional nil rate band seems to give preference to one asset class over another (i.e. the family home). It would also seem that only those individuals who are married with children can fully benefit from the maximum allowance.

A simpler and potentially fairer way forward would have been to increase the existing nil rate band allowance.

Personal allowance rates to rise

  • Income tax personal allowance will increase to £11,000 in 2016/17 and £11,200 in 2017/18
  • Basic rate limit will increase to £32,000 in 2016/17 and £32,400 in 2017/18
  • Higher rate limit will increase to £43,000 in 2016/17 and £43,600 in 2017/18

Farmers – income tax

The government is proceeding with plans to extend the period from two years to five years in which self-employed farmers can average their profits for income tax purposes. 

Dividend tax system reform

Dividend tax credits are to be abolished and replaced with a new tax-free dividend allowance of £5,000 a year, effective from April 2016.

Dividend income in excess of this amount will be taxed at the following rates:-
7.5% - basic rate taxpayers
32.5% - higher rate taxpayers
38.1% for additional rate taxpayers

Non-domicile status

Legislation will be introduced from April 2017 to ensure that anybody resident in the UK for more than 15 of the past 20 years will be deemed domiciled in the UK for tax purposes.

Inheritance Tax (IHT) avoidance through use of multiple trusts

New rules are to be introduced to target use of multiple trusts as an IHT avoidance tool, as previously announced in the Autumn statement 2014.

Wills executed before 10 December 2014 which make use of existing pilot trusts will not be affected by the new rules until April 2017, at which point they should be reviewed.

Care home fees

Plans to cap charges for residential social care from April 2016 are now being deferred until at least 2020. This means the issue of having to sell your house in order to pay for care is still as pertinent as ever before.

Deeds of Variation

Further to our last review which reported on the Autumn budget, the government has launched a consultation on the use of deeds of variation for tax purposes which will be published in due course.

If you would like more information about the budget changes or for help with any other private client law matter please contact Duncan Bailey or your usual Brabners contact:


Duncan Bailey

Partner, Private Client
Tel: 0151 600 3451
Email: duncan.bailey@barbners.com


Pages