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Last updateTue, 24 Feb 2015 5pm

Sadiya Choudhury reviews a case considering the IHT consequences of the transfer of a reversionary interest to an offshore settlement

In Michael Lawton Salinger and Janice Lawton Kirby v Revenue and Customs Commissioners [2016], the First-tier Tax Tribunal (Judge Anne Redston and Mrs Elizabeth Bridge) (the FTT) considered the inheritance tax consequences of the transfer of a reversionary interest to an offshore settlement. The arrangement at issue has since been the subject of anti-avoidance legislation in the form of s74A Inheritance Tax Act 1984 (IHTA), introduced in 2012.

Hayley Watson and Duncan Bailey examine HMRC’s proposal to penalise ‘enablers’ of tax avoidance schemes

The government’s most recent attempt to clampdown on tax avoidance comes in the shape of the consultation paper ‘Strengthening tax avoidance sanctions and deterrents: discussion document’, published by the HMRC on 17 August 2016. This comes as no surprise, given the reoccurring theme to tackle tax evasion/avoidance in recent Budgets, with the last being no different. The government is now looking at ways to target those who ‘enable’ tax avoidance plans/schemes which are later defeated in court.

A recent case shows that constructive trusts can be used to justify an arrangement which has neglected the formalities. Jody Atkinson explains

Ely v Robson [2016] is another of the many cases involving unmarried couples fighting over the ownership of their home. Almost a decade ago the Law Commission recommended the introduction of a statutory jurisdiction which would give the courts power to alter interests in property when unmarried couples separate, which would have been similar, but more restricted, than those that the courts have on divorce. However, the government has refused to implement those recommendations. The result is that unmarried couples are largely treated like any other two people having a dispute over property, and are forced to rely on the law of trusts, as it has been developed by the courts over the years (and some would say that the desire to do justice to unmarried couples has had the result that the law of trusts has been bent out of shape). Rather than taking all the circumstances into account and reaching a fair outcome (which is the approach and aim of the matrimonial legislation) disputes between unmarried partners can often turn on conversations had many years ago, as this case illustrates.

Phineas Hirsch and Robin Paul contemplate whether Brexit complicates or clarifies cross-border private client law and the EU Succession Regulation

The cloud of uncertainty which descended on us all following the 2016 UK referendum on EU membership remains dense and confusing. We confidently expect that Brexit will have a much greater impact on some areas of law than others but the expectation is that in the arena of private client law and succession the effect of leaving the EU will be much less eventful. UK succession law and administrative procedures have never been historically congruent with the EU anyway, and the UK had opted out of the European Succession Regulation (ESR) from the start.

Geoffrey Shindler argues that there is still room for personal service in a commoditised world

The New Year is as good a time as any other to think about change. Janus, the Roman god, (January is named after him, according to some) looks two ways, both backwards and forwards. Let us leave 2016 behind and focus on what lies ahead.

Simrun Garcha discusses the lessons from Routier on inheritance tax charity relief and jurisdiction

The Court of Appeal’s recent decision in P Routier and C A Venables v HMRC [2016] explores the inheritance tax relief exemption on gifts to charities and the conditions that apply in order to claim the relief.

Julie Melia outlines the procedure for will-making and probate in Jersey, and the consequences where it is not followed

Jersey’s law of inheritance and probate differs from that of the UK, and creates responsibilities for the executors and administrators of those who leave movable assets in the island on their death.

Guy Rendell and Graeme Fraser give the lowdown on parents helping children to buy property

With stagnant wages and high property prices, the so-called ‘Bank of Mum and Dad’ has become a major player in UK property transactions. According to data released by Legal & General in 2016, 25% of all homeowners received help from family and friends to buy the property they live in, a figure which increases to 32% for London homeowners and 57% for the under-35s.