Category

Tax

What is the Guernsey Disclosure Facility?

By | Tax | No Comments

Following an agreement between HM Revenue & Customs (“HMRC”) and the Government of Guernsey, HMRC have agreed to make available a disclosure facility – the “GDF” which allows eligible persons who may have UK tax irregularities to get their past and future tax affairs on the right footing. We are now writing to all our clients to inform them of the GDF.


What is the GDF?

The facility has been introduced to help UK taxpayers with investments in Guernsey to apply the terms of the facility to regularise their UK tax affairs with HMRC. By coming forward under the GDF they may be able to take advantage of a number of special terms.

Why should I make a disclosure?
The GDF has been provided by HMRC, for “relevant persons” with assets or investments in Guernsey, to participate in the GDF to apply the terms of the facility to regularise their UK tax affairs with HMRC.

 

“relevant person” is defined as:

(a) in respect of a natural person, a person who, in the period commencing on 6 April 1999 and ending on 31 December 2013,

i. has had a beneficial interest in relevant property; and

ii. has been resident in the UK for UK tax purposes, for any part of the period; or

(b) in respect of a legal person, a person that:

i. in the period commencing on 01 April 1999 and ending on 31 December 2013 has had a beneficial interest in relevant property; and

ii. is incorporated in the UK or has been resident in the UK for UK tax purposes in the period referred to in paragraph (i)

 

“relevant property” is defined as:

(a) an account held with a bank or other financial institution in Guernsey;

(b) an annuity contract or cash value insurance contract issued or maintained by a financial institution in Guernsey or;

(c) a company (including a corporation and institution structured as a corporation as well as a company without legal personality), partnership, foundation, establishment trust, trust enterprise, or other fiduciary entity, estate, cash value insurance contract or annuity contract that is issued, formed, founded, settled, incorporated, administered or managed in Guernsey.

The UK and Guernsey have committed to entering into an agreement which will allow for the automatic exchange of detailed tax information from 2016. If you have outstanding tax liabilities in relation to your Guernsey investments, you can come forward now to clear them up. You can also use the disclosure under the GDF to clear up any other tax liabilities you may have.

 

When is the GDF available?
The GDF is available from 6 April 2013 until 30 September 2016.

What do I need to do next?
This notice is in no way implying that your tax affairs are not in order. However, if you feel the GDF may be relevant to you, you should obtain your own tax advice and obtain further guidance about eligibility and making a disclosure. The GDF is not available to certain persons, such as those who are already under investigation by HMRC as at 6 April 2013.

Where can I obtain further information?
Further guidance on the GDF about eligibility and making a disclosure, including the full Memorandum Of Understanding between HMRC and the Government of Guernsey and Frequently Asked Questions, is available from the States of Guernsey and HMRC websites:

http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/offshoredisclosure/guernsey.htm

www.gov.gg/article/106881/Guernsey-Disclosure-Facility-GDF

Alternatively, you can contact HMRC’s Offshore Disclosure Facility Helpdesk:

Website:
http://search2.hmrc.gov.uk/kb5/hmrc/contactus/view.page?record=zdl8hG_Uy6w&titleindex=0

Write to:
Specialist Investigations, GDF Team SO694, PO Box 29992, Glasgow, G70 6AB

Telephone:
0300 123 1080 (for calls within the UK)
+44 151 300 2714 or 2731 or 2709 (for calls outside the UK)

 

 

This information is provided for general information only, Concept does not provide financial, legal nor tax advice, and nothing in this document should be construed as such. Concept shall not be held responsible for any liability or loss arising directly or indirectly from any reliance placed upon the content of this document. Concept recommends that all individuals should seek their own appropriate advice.

 

Notice of Guernsey Disclosure Facility

By | Investment, Tax | No Comments

Following an agreement between HM Revenue & Customs (“HMRC”) and the Government of Guernsey, HMRC have agreed to make available a disclosure facility – the “GDF”.

The GDF is available from 6 April 2013 until 30 September 2016 and has been introduced to help UK taxpayers with investments in Guernsey to apply the terms of the facility to regularise their UK tax affairs with HMRC.

By coming forward under the GDF they may be able to take advantage of a number of special terms.

 

Further guidance on the GDF about eligibility and making a disclosure, including the full MOU and Frequently Asked Questions, is available from the States of Guernsey and HMRC websites:

http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/offshoredisclosure/guernsey.htm

www.gov.gg/article/106881/Guernsey-Disclosure-Facility-GDF

 

Alternatively, you can contact HMRC’s Offshore Disclosure Facility Helpdesk:

Website: http://search2.hmrc.gov.uk/kb5/hmrc/contactus/view.page?record=zdl8hG_Uy6w&titleindex=0

Write to: Specialist Investigations, GDF Team SO694, PO Box 29992, Glasgow, G70 6AB

Telephone: 0300 123 1080 (for calls within the UK)

+44 151 300 2714 or 2731 or 2709 (for calls outside the UK)

 

This information is provided for general information only, Concept does not provide financial, legal nor tax advice, and nothing in this document should be construed as such. Concept  shall not be held responsible for any liability or loss arising directly or indirectly from any reliance placed upon the content of this document. Concept recommends that all individuals should seek their own appropriate advice.

French Taxation of Offshore Trusts & Reporting Obligations – Chapter 3

By | News, Tax, Trust | No Comments

View from Below the Eiffel Tower 1887-1889 Paris, FranceConcept has concluded its initial actions on the member of its pension trusts and the impacts created by the French Taxation of Offshore Trusts.

Where relevant, reporting has been provided to the French authorities but no levy has yet been paid.

No communication has yet been received by Concept from its attempts to correspond with the French Authorities.

Concept’s actions come as a result of receipt and consideration of legal and tax advice from leading Guernsey, UK and French advisers. The company is currently not making reports to the French authorities for contract based pension schemes it administrates for relevant members.

Automatic Exchange of Information, the New EUSD V.2

By | News, Pensions, Tax | No Comments

eu-flagOver the last decade we have seen a significant shift in the thinking of tax authorities within a cash strapped Europe. People will need to come to terms with the impact of an ever increasing loss of financial secrecy for their affairs no matter where they locate them.

We now see this vision of transparency on personal affairs of Europeans being further eroded with the confirmation in May 2013 of the revised savings tax directive with adoption by the end of the year across the European Union which will see information distributions from investment funds, income from life assurance policies and innovative financial instruments. By the end of this year and from 2015 it will be extended to include pensions, directors fees, income from employment, income from immovable property and life policies not covered by other EU laws on exchange of information.

Guernsey has been at the leading edge of tax transparency and cooperation with governments around the world for a number of years as evidenced by Guernsey’s position with the UK and the G8, and the recent visit by the IMF and their report. This is why Guernsey is seen as a strong and well regulated jurisdiction for clients and companies to do business in. The real question is will jurisdictions in the G8 join Guernsey in regulating Trust and corporate providers and will they all hold beneficial owner information and themselves be transparent?

French Taxation of Offshore Trusts & Reporting Obligations – Chapter 2

By | News, Tax, Trust | No Comments

View from Below the Eiffel Tower 1887-1889 Paris, FranceThe deadline for filing with French Tax Authorities names, addresses and other details including value of trust assets as at 1st January 2013 and the 1.5% levy, falls due next Monday 17th June 2013.  Failure to comply opens up Trustees and members to penalties not least a €10,000 or 5% penalty if greater on trust assets.  Concept continues to take professional advice and has sought and expects an adjournment to 30th September.

Negotiations continue with French authorities through our Paris advisers as to exactly what exemptions exist for pension trusts.  Some clarity is now available although the effects of the amendments to Wealth Tax that created specific provisions for Trusts have far reaching consequences, even for pension trusts.  The below provides some information but does not constitute tax advice, should not be relied upon and is no substitute for proper tax advice which Concept strongly recommends member and/or advisers to seek.

Whilst a specific exemption is provided for pension trusts, thus relieving members and trustees from reporting and payment obligations, the exemption is limited.  Technically, for a member, It covers only the plans set up by a company or group of companies to manage their pension rights acquired under their occupation.

There are other exemptions not least the fact that Wealth taxes do not appear to fall due on French persons who have assets not exceeding €1.3mil, also it appears that someone moving to France is not obliged to report until they have been 5 years resident in France.  Again proper advice needs to be taken if reliance is to be placed on these possible exemptions.

If exemptions do not apply then there are two types of reports required.  Firstly an event type report that inter alia, describes events such as death, new pension trust members or those terminating the arrangement.  Secondly, there is the annual report, giving names and addresses of pension trust members with associated trust values at 1st January.  The reporting is then made in each June following.

This reporting is in effect a “cross-check” by French authorities as a French resident person has these obligations already to file such information on their wealth tax reports and for those members that are doing this and paying the levy where relevant, it appears nothing more is required.

The complexity of this issue remains the conflict between our understanding of trusts from an Anglo Saxon point of view and French Tax Articles seeking to describe what a trust is using Civil law principles.

Concept are expecting to receive an adjournment to 30th September 2013 to allow matters to be clarified with French authorities – it is however likely that with the possible exception of Occupationally funded pensions, those persons otherwise exempt or those who have correctly personally filed and paid their wealth taxes in France – we as Trustees will be required to report and pay from members funds the levies due.

Concept expects shortly to be contacting members and their advisers with documentation to allow members to certify any relevant exemption.

Further technical detail is available within the IFA portal under downloads/general/technical guidance notes.

French Taxation of Offshore Trusts & Reporting Obligations – Chapter 1

By | News, Tax, Trust | No Comments

View from Below the Eiffel Tower 1887-1889 Paris, FranceConcept are currently in the process of contacting all of their French resident scheme members with interests held within a personal pension trust, such as the range of Aurora International Pension Plans, including the “former” Aurora QROPS.

There have been a number of recent legislative changes in France that directly affect offshore trusts, their reporting to the French authorities, and the trusts’ liability to French tax. We understand, also, that any trust, even if the Member is resident outside France, where relevant French situs assets form part of the underlying investments, may also have obligations to report. Concept has written directly to the French authorities to seek clarification on this matter and the application to pension trusts, but has to date received no response.

This is a complex area of taxation on which your member may well have already taken advice, if they have not, we would strongly recommend that they do so.

Concept is giving its French resident members, in certain circumstances, the option to transfer their personal pension trust to a non-trust based pension arrangement, such as the Aurora Libertaï Retirement Benefits Contract. This type of scheme arrangement may fall outside of this new French legislation as the interests are not held within a trust based pension.

Concept’s default position will be to make reports to the French Authorities and will require sight of supporting tax advice for any member not wishing to report.

Roger Berry, Managing Director of Concept has recently been quoted in relation to this matter  in International Adviser