EVENT: Smith & Williamson Brief ABA Corporate Members on Changes to UK Tax Regime
Date: 30th January, 2015 Time: 12:30 pm - 02:30 pm
Tax and wealth management specialists from Smith & Williamson, hosted the ABA's first Corporate Members' lunch of 2015 with a briefing on changes to the UK's tax regime that will affect high net worth individuals and offshore corporations.
Roy Baldwin, a Partner in the firm's Tax Investigations & Disputes department, told attendees that the tax authorities ("HMRC") had been levying tax surcharges on people who they believed had been trying to evade tax by moving assets through several tax jurisdictions. He also described the increased capacity of HMRC to locate taxable income and to identify assets that had not been mentioned on a tax return. For example, HMRC is now easily able to collect information from the UK Land Registry to verify whether an individual is not disclosing properties that they own; and HMRC is also able to collect flight and travel information, to verify how many days an individual has spent in the UK.
Lee Blackshaw, Head of Private Client Services, discussed HMRC's heightened attention to inheritance tax. Whereas in the past the focus of HMRC's investigations had been almost exclusively on capital gains and income, there is now a fully-staffed department dedicated to identifying and prosecuting people who try to avoid paying inheritance tax.
Andrew McKenna, one of Smith & Williamson's partners who works with clients who are the subject of HMRC investigations, discussed optimum tactics that should be used when a demand or an inquiry is received from HMRC.
The key message from the three Smith & Williamson executives was that HMRC is increasingly able to identify taxable revenue, and that it is taking an increasingly hard line against those who try to avoid paying what is due.
Attending the lunch were Country Managers and wealth management specialists from several UK-based Arab banks. The event was held at the ABA's offices in London's Mayfair, with lunch catered by Maroush.
Smith & Williamson has around 1,500 people and operates from 11 principal offices in the UK, Ireland and Jersey, providing accounting, investment management and financial advisory services to private clients, professional practices, mid-large corporates and non-profit organisations. The contact details for the three Smith & Williamson executives are:
Roy Baldwin, Partner, Tax Investigations and Disputes, email@example.com
Andrew McKenna, Partner, Mediator, firstname.lastname@example.org
Lee Blackshaw, Head of Private Client Services, email@example.com
The firm's website is www.smith.williamson.co.uk
Three photos from the lunch are posted below. They show, (L-R), Bert de Ruiter (QIB UK) and Faisal AlShowaikh (ABC International Bank); Sami Tamim (Al Ahli United Bank) and Hanan Al-Najjar (Gatehouse Bank); Mathew Tucker (BLME) and Lee Blackshaw (Smith & Williamson).
The photo at the top of the page shows Hemant Mistry (BLME) and Roy Baldwin (Smith & Williamson)
More in Events
On 13 February we held a seminar on the fight against financial crime. It was sponsored by Mishcon de Reya and FTI Consulting.
We hosted a meeting of senior Arab bankers in London and officials from the Prudential Regulation Authority, as part of our efforts to promote dialogue between our members and their regulators.
Our Christmas party attracted nearly 100 members and guests and was a fitting end to a successful year for the Arab Bankers Association.
Our Annual General Meeting was held on 22 November. The annual accounts show that the the Association is in strong financial health, with corporate memberships at record levels.