Are you ready for the challenges which 2017 may present?

Now a second opinion from an expert is just one phone call away – PART II

2017 is likely to present a number of new challenges to individuals with offshore structures. Exchange of information will take place for the first time in many jurisdictions under the Common Reporting Standard (“CRS”). And for structures within scope of the new UK tax rules for non-UK domiciliaries, there will be a whole raft of new legislation to understand. When you combine the issue of complex tax legislation with automatic exchange of information, it is increasingly likely that enquiries will be opened by HMRC in relation to offshore structures and perhaps increasingly likely UK tax issues have been overlooked or not correctly dealt with.

Navigating the UK tax rules in relation to offshore structures presents a real challenge to trustees and directors of such structures. Even if tax advice was obtained when the structure was originally made, given the volume of UK tax changes in recent years and, in particular, the re-write of the non-dom rules in Finance Bill 2017, it is highly likely any tax advice will now be out of date. Of course, up to date tax advice can be obtained; however, if the rules being discussed are both complex and wide reaching, how will offshore directors and trustees ensure that the advice is implemented correctly? What if changes are made to the structure after the advice is issued? What if the tax status of key persons, for example trust beneficiaries, change in the future? Will the possible implications, both for the beneficiary and perhaps for the trustee, be identified?

At a time when tax authorities will be receiving information in relation to offshore structures automatically, ensuring there are processes in place to manage tax risks is crucial. Have you considered how these risks will be managed in relation to your offshore structure? Do you have reservations about whether your existing trust company will correctly deal with the challenges 2017 will present? Will the key tax risks impacting on you and your structure be identified?

At Abacus, we have a dedicated team of in-house tax specialists. Our tax team work with a client’s tax advisor to ensure that any advice received is implemented correctly. Having tax expertise on-hand allows our team of administrators to ask questions about how the tax advice impacts on a particular transaction or situation. Where changes to a structure take place after the tax advice has been provided, such as a change of tax residence of a key person to a structure, having in-house tax specialists ensures any tax consequences can be identified and where required, follow-up questions can be asked of the tax advisor. Nobody wants unidentified tax issues to only come to light as part of an enquiry from HMRC. Utilising the services of a trust and corporate service provider with in-house tax expertise will go a long way to preventing that from happening to you in relation to your offshore structure.

If you have concerns that your service provider is not well prepared for the challenges ahead, why not contact us. It will cost nothing, except a small amount of time and effort, to see if another provider, such as Abacus, can deliver that much needed confidence and peace of mind. If you would like to know more about the services we provide or speak to a member of our team, please visit our website at