The government and HMRC continue to clamp down on what they regard as tax avoidance and unacceptable tax planning. This can have unfortunate and unexpected consequences for taxpayers, and is soon likely to have unpleasant implications for ‘enablers’ of defeated tax avoidance.
There is still much that can legitimately be done to save or reduce tax. Bloomsbury’s Tax Planning annual aims to point out some of the areas where such planning opportunities still exist. Indeed, many clients of professional firms expect prompt, appropriate and up-to-date advice from their advisers on minimising tax liabilities.
The last edition of Tax Planning (2017/18) was published in November 2017, prior to Royal Assent of the F(No 2)Act 2017. Whilst there was mention of the proposed legislation within this Act, it should now be discussed in more detail, for example:
– Termination payments F(No.2) A 2017 within ‘Payments on the termination of employment’
– Substantial shareholdings exemption (F(No.2) A 2017 within ‘Groups’
– Domicile reforms (F(No.2) A 2017 within ‘Tax planning for the non-resident and non-domiciled’
There has since been the November Budget and the Finance Bill 2018, which is likely to be enacted by the end of March 2018.
As a result, the following also needs to be reflected in the new edition:
– Reforms around the taxation of income arising and gains accruing to offshore trusts, to be effective from April 2018 (‘Tax planning with trusts’ chapter)
– Effects of the new partnership taxation legislation concerning profit sharing arrangements between partners and reporting requirements, also to become effective from April 2018 (‘Partnerships’ chapter)
The ‘anti-phoenixism’ TAAR also needs further commentary in the ‘Selling or winding-up an owner-managed company’ chapter.
New chapters proposed are:
– Capital allowances and commercial property – this is a difficult area for most practitioners, especially the fixed value and pooling requirements, so a chapter focusing on the planning points and pitfalls of commercial property acquisitions and disposals should therefore be useful.
– Stamp Duty Land Tax (and Land and Buildings Transactions Tax) – this would cover (among other things) the 3% SDLT supplement for additional residential properties and the 0% SDLT rate band for first-time buyers as announced in the Autumn Budget.
In addition, we would look to reconstruct the unwieldy ‘Pensions’ chapter into a more practical chapter on planning points (eg maximising contributions) and merge ‘Reductions of share capital with ‘Reorganisations and reconstructions’ and make a larger emphasis on the Substantial Shareholdings Exemption.
We would also look to include more forms and precedents in the new edition which would complement the practical planning advice approach to this book.