Tax Planning In The Modern World 2018-08-07T11:13:45+00:00

Tax Planning In The Modern World

OVER THE LAST DECADE THERE HAS BEEN A SIGNIFICANT TIGHTENING OF ANTI-AVOIDANCE PROVISONS BUT MANY OPPORTUNITIES STILL

Over the last decade there has been a significant tightening of anti-avoidance provisions both in the UK and generally amongst developed countries throughout the World.

In the case of the UK, many of the traditional benefits enjoyed by non-domiciled but ordinarily resident individuals have dissipated but notwithstanding this considerable benefits still remain especially for those who have recently made or intend to make the UK their home. However, to avail of these remaining benefits expert advice is required and SCF has been successfully advising this constituency for over 20 years.

NEW SUBSTANCE OVER FORM TESTS

Since the 17 July 2013 the UK has had ‘substance over form’ legislation similar to that introduced many years before in countries such as Canada. In the UK, it is called the General Anti-Abuse Rule (GAAR) and enables HMRC to review structures to ensure that they have substance and have not been created merely to avoid taxation. GAAR is not a replacement for previous anti-avoidance legislation, such as the controlled foreign company (CFC) legislation, but complimentary and seeks to ensure that technicalities cannot be used to avoid legitimate tax liabilities.

The consequence of the above certainly does not mean that companies and individuals cannot plan and/or seek to mitigate their tax exposure but rather that structures must be part of an overall personal or business strategy that independently makes sense notwithstanding any pecuniary benefits.

TRADITIONAL OFFSHORE COMPANIES HAVE LITTLE USE SAVE AS INTERMEDIARY AND/OR HOLDING ENTITIES

Offshore or ‘International Business Corporations’ (IBC’s) established in traditional havens such as the British Virgin Islands, Belize or even our own Channel Islands have far less practicable use than ever before. The reason, especially for trading companies, is that these jurisdictions either have no or limited tax treaty networks and often fully expose those using them to the full rigors of applicable anti-avoidance rules AND maximum withholding tax on dividends and/or income or worse.

SCF has access to a wide range of professionally qualified staff encompassing certified accountants, chartered accountants and specialist international tax lawyers based both in and outside of the United Kingdom. In fact, it is our belief that SCF is uniquely positioned to provide a full range of domestic and international accountancy, legal and tax planning services perhaps not available outside of the largest accountancy firms but at a fraction of the cost. We also believe that being smaller gives us a more personalized relationship with clients and probably explains why we still have so many of our original clients still with us after more than 20 years in business.

BREXIT INCREASES THE NEED FOR UK BUSINESSES TO PLAN

The decision by the United Kingdom to leave the EU is without doubt one of the most momentous decisions ever taken and will impact on every UK based business. At least for the first decade or more after leaving the EU, the UK will have far less favorable trading conditions than previous making tax planning more important than ever before if the impact of BREXIT is to be successfully controlled. The ‘issues’ that most tax planners foresee include but are not limited to:

  • Tax Treaties can often take 5-7 years to negotiate and the UK is leaving the EU without any of its own treaties in place;
  • World Trade Organization (WTO) terms are not favorable to countries very dependent (as is the case with the UK) on the service and/or banking sectors;
  • The ‘historic’ ties to former Dominion countries such as Australia, Canada and New Zealand have been weakened for many decades;
  • The United States is very much in an ‘America First’ mood;
  • India is seeking to make favorable access to the UK for its nationals a priority to any future tax treaty which would be at odds with the reasons for the Brexit vote in the first place;
  • Brain Drain – London is already witnessing the departure of some very skilled professionals to the EU resulting in reduced property prices in key prestige areas;
  • Sterling has reduced in value by at least 15%

PRIORITY ENQUIRY FORM

(Strictly Confidential No Obligation)

SCF International is the trading name of SCF Corporate Services Limited

Address: 1st Apriliou 47, Limassol, 3117 Cyprus

Telephone: +357 99 186 888    Email : enquiries@scfgroup.com

Registration number HE 341030

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© SCF INTERNATIONAL 2018

A FULL RANGE OF LEGAL, ACCOUNTANCY & COMPANY MANAGEMENT SERVICES

The SCF International specializes in providing accountancy services for Cypriot limited companies, Cypriot company management services including the provision of (where necessary) domestic directors, domestic company secretaries, registered office address services, trading offices, value added tax (VAT) registration and management, payroll (Pay as You Earn PAYE), opening up and managing bank account facilities, raising invoices and any and/or all other services required to establish a bone fide managed and controlled UK limited liability company.

The SCF International also specializes in providing accountancy services for Irish limited companies, Irish company management services including the provision of (where necessary) domestic directors, domestic company secretaries, registered office address services, trading offices, value added tax (VAT) registration and management, payroll (Pay as You Earn PAYE), opening up and managing Irish bank account facilities, raising Irish invoices and any and/or all other services required to establish a bone fide managed and controlled Irish limited liability company.

Our in-house team of legally and accountancy qualified experts can also provide advice on current UK & Irish tax laws/provisions including anti-avoidance provisions, EU directives and regulations, the impact of BREXIT for both UK and EU based businesses and other relevant. In addition, where required the SCF Group can also set-up and arrange the management of companies in tax attractive EU based jurisdictions such as Cyprus, Luxembourg or Malta or indeed any jurisdiction in the world including those in the Middle and Far East.

Property de-enveloping services – In conjunction with leading UK firms of solicitors SCF International can help transfer companies currently held by what were known as ‘offshore’ companies into either more tax efficient UK companies or directly back into the names of individual beneficial owners’ often without attracting stamp duty land tax (SDLT) but still avoiding the advance tax on enveloped dwellings (ATED). For more information please see http://www.de-enveloping.co.uk

Our fiscal migration and tax planning department is operated by qualified lawyers and accountants and can advise both domiciled and non-domiciled individuals on how to mitigate their individual and corporate tax exposure be it in Cyprus or internationally. Our legal & business department can provide specialized advice on all domestic and international tax planning issues but also upon ‘key’ issues such as asset protection be it in the form of trusts, private interest foundations (PIF’s), pre-nuptial and post-nuptial agreements, divorce and general family law, legal drafting, leave to remove applications etc