UK Leaves Overseas Companies with No Where to Hide
Do you hold UK residential property through an overseas company in which you hold shares of beneficial interest? Changes to UK inheritance tax (IHT) laws, taking effect on the 6th of April 2017 mean that an inheritance tax of 40% of the value of the property will be have to be paid from your estate upon death.
In effect, the company structure, trust or foundation will become ‘transparent’ for tax purposes and the property will be treated as belonging to the settlor, founder or owner, who will be subject to 40% IHT.
Property held directly by overseas trusts will also be affected in cases where the IHT charge has been reduced by debt. This debt will be subject to IHT from 6 April 2017.
Why has the UK government implemented changes to IHT?
The UK government have rolled out a number of changes to UK tax law since 2012, as part of a direct initiative to lower the number of high-value residential properties held indirectly through a company or other structure, often termed as a non-natural person (NNP)
Other changes have included:
- Increased stamp duty: NNP’s must now pay 15% stamp duty land tax (SDLT) on acquisition of high-value UK residential property.
- Annual tax on enveloped dwellings (ATED): UK residential properties valued at more than £500,000 are now subject to an annual tax charged via a banding system.
- Capital gains tax (CGT) on ATED qualified properties: Charged to both resident and non-resident NNP’s of UK residential property.
Until now, many non-doms have continued to hold UK property through an overseas structure, despite the other charges, because it meant their property was not subject to UK IHT. This is no longer the case.
If you already own property in the UK, or are looking to invest in the future, it is important that you understand how these changes affect you directly and that you seek professional advice specific to your individual circumstances.
What are the options for non-doms who own or plan to buy UK residential property?
If you have failed to implement changes to how your UK residential property is held by the 6th of April, do not fear, you still have options. In fact, many non-doms have chosen to continue to hold their property in an NNP because they wish to benefit from the lower rates of corporate income tax on rental income and the more generous deductible expenses available to companies.
If you are unsure if the changes to UK IHT for non-doms applies to you, if you are worried that you have missed the deadline, or if you would like some advice on how to structure the purchase of new properties in the future, contact:
Karim Ghandour: firstname.lastname@example.org
Craig Brown – TEP: email@example.com
* Disclaimer: We have taken great care to ensure the accuracy of this communication. However, it is written in general terms and you should seek specific advice before taking any action. No responsibility can be taken for any loss arising from any action taken or refrained from on the basis of this communication.
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