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HMRC’s family investment companies unit targets HNWIs

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According to Pinsent Masons, HMRC’s new family investment companies (FIC) unit represents ‘the new frontier in HMRC’s crackdown on ultra-high-net worths’.

HMRC set up the unit last year to conduct risk reviews of private companies used by family offices and high net worth individuals to manage their wealth, which may include moving assets offshore.

Steven Porter, a partner at Pinsent Masons, said: ‘setting up this new unit is a clear statement of intent, to ensure that HMRC maximises revenues from the UK’s richest families’.

Changes in the trust rules since 2006 have prompted many wealthy families to move away from trusts in favour of FICs. Funds paid into FICs typically escape the 20% upfront IHT, but are instead subject to corporation tax on the profits the company makes, or when capital is released.

Natalie Sherborn, a partner at Pinsent Masons, said it was not yet clear whether the new unit would result in an increased appetite at HMRC for criminal prosecutions.

Issue: 1478
Categories: News