What do Tax Avoidance Laws mean for IFAs?

What are the latest HMRC actions against tax avoidance and what opportunities do they present to financial planners?

Jon Standring 11 October, 2013 | 11:25AM
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Jon Standring: Today I'm here with Tony Wickenden from Technical Connection to talk about tax planning. 

Hello, Tony.

Tony Wickenden: Hello, Jon.

Standring: So, we're here with the IFP Annual Conference. What brings you here today?

Wickenden: Well, just killing time before the Arsenal versus Napoli game, but aside from that, I'm here to have a look at the latest revenue actions against aggressive tax avoidance and look at those in some detail, and then to look, perhaps most importantly at the opportunities that this gives for financial planning.

Standring: Okay. Can you give us a little more detail about HMRC’s approach to aggressive tax avoidance?

Wickenden: Yeah. It's largely a three-pronged approach. It's driven really by them trying to close the tax gap basically to get more money in the business plan of UK plc's increased revenue, which has caused part of the revenue increases getting more taxed. So, a three-pronged approach, really the naming and shaming, because that gets the public’s ire up and brings it to public’s attention, which is really, really important.

Targeted Anti-Avoidance Rules continue to abound, and I'll be looking at a few of those this morning, especially those that affect the financial planning process. Then lastly, having a look at the big new addition to the HMRC's armory in the shape of the General Anti-Abuse Rule, the GAAR. 

Standring: So, what opportunities to plan are we be considering?

Wickenden: Quite few actually. Hopefully, I fit them all in. The first one will be looking at the influence of wrapper selection once you made your all-important portfolio selection. Then looking at estate planning, trust and product combinations, and what you can still do even with this new tax anti-aggression world that we're living with; share class conversion and facilitating advisor charging through products, and then having to look at, I think it's really important issue, integrating protection, insurance basically, into the wealth creation and wealth management process.

Standring: Good luck with your presentation today.

Wickenden: Thanks very much, Jon.

Standring: Thanks for speaking with us.

Wickenden: My pleasure.

Standring: For Morningstar, I'm Jon Standring. Thanks for watching.

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Jon Standring

Jon Standring  is Adviser Liaison with Morningstar UK.