Posted by Catherine Hawkes, Solicitor
The country is facing its first December General Election since the 1920s. But which party will play Scrooge to the other’s Santa this Christmas?
Hawksmoor’s recent error – accidentally serving a £4,500 bottle of wine instead of a £260 bottle of the same vintage – wasn’t ideal for the restaurant. But if a similar mistake had been made by a wine investor, he or she might have lost out on a tax-efficient return
A significant change to the taxation of non-UK residents came into effect on 6 April 2019 which means gains on all UK property* (commercial as well as residential) are subject to UK tax. Gains on disposals by individuals and companies will be within the scope of UK tax. The changes are wide reaching as the rules can apply to direct disposals but also to disposals of shares in property rich companies.
Despite the country and government’s preoccupation with Brexit, this week heralded good news for the reform of divorce law following the results of a public consultation last year. The Ministry of Justice will introduce ‘no-blame’ divorce “as soon as parliamentary time allows” with the need for evidence of adultery, desertion or unreasonable behaviour to be replaced with a statement of irretrievable breakdown. The changes will also be reflected in the dissolution of civil partnerships.
There are a number of income tax advantages for Furnished Holiday Lets (FHLs) which are not available to owners of regular buy-to-let properties – these advantages are making FHLs an increasingly attractive option for landlords.
Following the National Portrait Gallery’s public refusal to accept a significant donation from the Sackler family, the Tate and the Prince’s Trust also announced their intentions to refuse any future donations from the family. These are the latest in a series of charities making difficult decisions regarding so called ‘tainted’ donations. We look at the importance of the need for trustees to understand their responsibilities in relation to fundraising.
In the recent case of Cowan v Foreman a widow attempted to make a claim on an estate 17 months after the relevant deadline had passed. The judge refused to give permission for her late claim, suggesting a stricter approach should be adopted by the court in the future. However, a recent decision in the case of Bhusate v Patel, to allow a widow to make a claim over 25 years out of time, suggests that this strict approach may not be adopted for every case.
It has long been established that a Will can be challenged on the grounds of undue influence. However the evidential threshold to prove undue influence has been set high by the courts so successful cases are few and far between. This week one of these rare cases has been reported in the context of three daughters contesting their mother’s Will on the grounds that their father and brother pressured their mother to leave her whole estate to their brother.
With the uncertainty around Brexit and talk of a potential general election, some are considering their options as to whether to remain in the UK or leave. We look at the some legal and tax issues that people may want to consider to make sure their affairs are in order in the UK before leaving.
The recent case of Blyth v Sykes brought up some interesting issues regarding conditional revocation of a Will. There is little case law in this area of Contentious Probate and establishing whether or not a Will has been effectively revoked is not always as straightforward as it might seem.
In our previous article we focused on the uncertain inheritance tax treatment of furnished holiday lets (FHLs) and whether they can be classified as business assets which attract business property relief.
The position in relation to income tax and capital gains tax (CGT) is however much clearer – qualifying FHLs are considered to be trading businesses for both income tax and CGT purposes.