For non-domiciled individuals: uncertainty prevails

The Government sought to move a backlog of draft legislation through its final stages to Royal Assent ahead of the dissolution of the Parliament on 3 May 2017. Amongst the key pieces is the current Finance Bill which was debated in the House of Commons on 25 April 2017.

Last updated: 25 April 2017

Ahead of the debate the Chancellor of the Exchequer gave notice of his intention to oppose the questions from the Chair on a significant part of the Bill, with the effect that those provisions so opposed will be left out of the final  Bill. (The Chartered Institute of Taxation reports that this results in 72 of the 135 clauses, and 18 of the 29 schedules effectively being dropped.)

Amongst the many provisions that will not be enacted are those relating to deemed domicile and to overseas settlements (clauses 41 to 44, and schedules 13 to 15).

We have been talking to many of our clients about the consequences of these provisions throughout the draft legislation process. As of today these rules will not be enacted as law: individuals will not be deemed domiciled once resident in the UK for 15 years, there will be no re-basing of overseas assets at 6 April 2017, there will be no opportunity for cleansing of mixed funds, the proposed changes to the taxation of offshore trusts will not be implemented.

What we now have is uncertainty. After the General Election of 8 June, 2017 the elected government will bring a budget before the next Parliament, there is nothing to stop that government resurrecting these provisions and nothing to stop them having effect form 6 April 2017 as the original draft of Finance Bill intended. Equally there is nothing to stop the provisions being dropped from government program entirely.

We will continue to monitor developments as they affect our clients and offer updates accordingly.

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