Our focus is you

We provide legal and tax services for private individuals, trustees, business owners, partners and employees, and explore tax solutions for accountants and financial advisors to consider for their clients.

Examples of the types of services offered to our clients include:

Private Individuals and Trustees

Inheritance Tax before and after death, including:

  • considering exemptions and reliefs such as Business Relief and Agricultural Property Relief,
  • how to make tax efficient gifts in your lifetime,
  • how to transfer tax-free amounts within your family,
  • establishing a trust under a Will to protect assets and mitigate exposure to tax, and
  • arranging Deeds of Variation post death.

Capital Gains Tax on disposals of personal and trust assets, including:

  • how to make gifts in a tax efficient way,
  • how to maximise and use any capital losses and exemptions, and
  • how trustees should arrange disposals of assets held in trust.

Stamp Duty Land Tax implications of acquiring land interests, including consideration of:

  • new, and assignments of, leases,
  • lease terms continued under the protection of the Landlord and Tenant Act,
  • shared ownership, and
  • collective enfranchisement
  • reclaiming SDLT paid on past transactions e.g., multiple dwelling relief, uninhabitable property, residential and commercial mixed use
  • advice on SDLT reliefs available on current transactions.

Domicile and residence impacts on a private individual’s tax position.

Business owners and partners

Capital Gains Tax implications of past and intended disposals of business assets held by owner-managed businesses and partners.  Considering allowances and reliefs including Business Asset Disposal Relief (formerly known as Entrepreneurs’ Relief), Hold-over Relief on gifts out of the business, Business Asset Rollover Relief, and Incorporation Relief.

VAT advice on electing to tax a property, and making Transfers as a Going Concern.

Considering the interaction of the full range of taxes to develop tax efficient strategies in order to:

  • extract value from your business,
  • protect assets for future generations,
  • exit and retire from a business,
  • set up a lettings business,
  • establish a Family Investment Company, and
  • transfer assets into onshore and offshore trusts.

Employees

Employee Share Schemes of all types, including consideration of the tax advantages of accepting shares under such schemes, and how and whether to exercise share options held as an employee.

Consideration of tax implications of working as a self-employed consultant, freelancer, contractor, or intermediary.  Covering IR35 legislation, agency rules, umbrella companies and the off-payroll working rules.

 

Frequently asked questions

How can I keep control of my company whilst passing shares to my children without incurring Capital Gains Tax and reducing Inheritance Tax?

By amending your articles of association, you can create a new class of shares, retaining voting or dividend rights as you instruct us but to issue growth shares to your children which represent the future growth in the value of the company thereby reducing future inheritance that may otherwise be due and with minimal CGT implications.

An alternative would be to gift your shares to your children. Shares you hold in your company are your assets, and if you pass these on you are disposing of them for Capital Gains Tax purposes, even if you do not receive anything in return.  We will consider whether you can make use of reliefs such as Holdover Relief to defer any charge, and whether you can reduce CGT further by setting up a trust to hold the shares, or by passing them to your spouse.

We will also help you to consider how to reduce potential future charges to Inheritance Tax which may become due on an increase in value after you pass the shares on, for example through the application of Business Property Relief and exemptions.

My father set up a family trust in his will which provides my mother with an income. What should we do to ensure IHT on my mother’s death is minimised?

Our team understands that Inheritance Tax can be a significant factor in arranging family assets.

A life interest trust is a trust set up in a will by one spouse, which provides the surviving spouse with the right to receive the income from, or to use property comprised in, the trust.

On the subsequent death of the surviving spouse, the underlying trust assets form part of their estate for Inheritance Tax purposes.  Clearly this can result in a substantial charge.

Our team can help you to consider ways to minimise Inheritance Tax on your mother’s death by considering whether there are powers within the trust to make distributions to the children or to trusts for the children, directly from the trust during your mother’s lifetime or looking at the investment profile of the trust to utilise inheritance tax exemptions such as Business Property Relief.  In certain circumstances it may be possible to make a variation to his will to redirect the property.  Alternatively or perhaps additionally, you may wish to consider other options to keep the charge on your mother’s estate to a minimum, for example by reducing the value of other assets within her estate before her death.  This could be achieved through transferring these into trusts, or by making gifts. Our team can explain all the options to mitigate inheritance tax.

I’d like to sell my UK property but I don’t live in the UK. What are the tax implications and how do I keep these to a minimum?

If you live outside the UK, but are domiciled in the UK (ie consider the UK to be your permanent home), you are chargeable to UK tax on any UK income and gains.  If you sell a UK property, any resulting gain will be subject to Capital Gains Tax.

If you are domiciled abroad and sell a UK property you will also be subject to UK tax on capital gains.

Our team can help you to establish your domicile and residence, and to consider how to make best use of exemptions and reliefs to keep any Capital Gains Tax to a minimum.  For example, you may wish instead to transfer ownership of the property to a spouse, rent out the property, and/or set up a trust to hold the property thereby deferring the tax chargeable gain.

My business is growing and I’m think of setting up a limited company. What taxes will I be subject to and are there other more tax efficient options?

Our team appreciate that a growing business can be exciting and rewarding, but can result in additional worries and risks. We can help you to consider all the options for reducing these risks, including whether incorporating a company is the best way ahead.  Tax can be a significant factor in your decision-making.

We will explain the potential charges to Capital Gains Tax which may arise on transferring any assets into your newly incorporated company, and consider whether reliefs and exemptions, most significantly Incorporation Relief, can be used to defer or reduce such charges.  We will also help you to understand how, following incorporation, the charge to Corporation Tax will impact on your business, and what your tax reporting obligations will be.

Instead of incorporating a private limited company, you may instead wish to consider continuing in business as a sole trader, joining with a partner to form a partnership, or by setting up another company structure such as a company limited by guarantee.  Our team can talk you through the tax implications of your options, including employing staff, to help you to be confident that you have made the best decision for you and your business.

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Sarah Kench

Recent work

Operating a lettings business – taxation of the business and protection of assets for future generations

Advising a client with numerous rental properties held jointly with spouse, considering whether they were operating as a business, advising on tax savings and setting up various Trusts in order to protect assets for future generations and provide Inheritance Tax savings.

Trust Reorganisation

Our team reported to clients on the practicalities of consolidating four family trusts to streamline trust management with a view to reorganising the four trusts into two trusts of roughly equal size. Our team considered various tax regimes including Income Tax, Capital Gains Tax and Inheritance Tax as well as the financial position of the beneficiaries who were all on means tested benefits.

Emergency Will – consideration of domicile and tax issues and scope of Will

The client needed a Will urgently but was unsure of their current domicile status and, therefore, whether a Will could deal with their worldwide estate and the tax implications on death. Our team explained domicile issues and which jurisdictions took precedence, then set up a Will trust protecting the client’s assets for their children but also looking after the client’s partner.

Deed of Variation – mitigating the impact of Inheritance Tax

The client was recently widowed. His spouse had left everything to him and he intended to leave everything to his children, at that point in their 60s and affluent. Our team advised the client to agree a Deed of Variation, which would provide him with a life interest to retain the spouse exemption on first death, but then on his death the trust fund would continue for the benefit of his children. This meant that the funds would not form part of their estate on the children’s death, setting up a family bank for his future descendants.

SDLT implications of the acquisition of property by a disabled person’s trust

Our team advised a client who was considering buying a property to be held within a disabled person’s trust. They requested assistance with understanding the SDLT consequences, however our team helped the client to explore other ways of holding the property which might be more advantageous from an SDLT perspective.

Inheritance Tax loss relief claim after death

The deceased was the life tenant of a trust which held shares. A loss was made on the sale of the shares in the trust after the death of the life tenant, but within one year of their death. An application for loss relief was made obtaining a reclaim of Inheritance Tax on the life tenant’s estate.

News and insights

Penalties for breaching environmental legislation

Insights

An overview of the environmental regulator’s approach to the enforcement and prosecution of environmental offences which outlines the potential penalties and other implications for a businesses who breaches environmental legislation

25/02/2015

Enforcing possession orders – how not to do it

Insights

We explain how not to enforce possession orders, as shown in London Borough of Southwark -v- AA [2014] EWHC 500 (QB)

29/09/2015