Friday, February 17, 2017

Non-doms: New Mixed Fund Cleansing Opportunity

Individuals who have been taxed on the remittance basis will have a window of two tax years from April 2017 to rearrange their mixed funds held in overseas bank accounts. Where adequate records have been kept, some amounts can then be remitted to the UK from such accounts free of tax.

The opportunity will be available to all non-UK domiciled individuals who have paid tax on the remittance basis at some point prior to 6 April 2017, even if they have not paid the remittance basis charge. This includes those where the remittance basis applied without being claimed (for example when an individual's foreign income or gains were less than £2,000). It is not available however to individuals born in the UK with a UK domicile of origin who would have become non domiciled at a later date.

This will provide a valuable opportunity for many non-UK domiciled individuals to "top-up" clean capital accounts to finance UK expenditure. The individual will need to analyse the sources of funds in the account such that an amount equal to or at least less than the clean capital can be identified. This could prove to be a time-consuming and potentially expensive process for accounts which have been in existence for some time and / or where there has been plenty of activity, particularly in terms of additions, acquisitions, disposals and withdrawals.

No election is needed under draft legislation but the un-mixing of funds has to be nominated by the account holder. It is not yet clear in what form and timeframe a nomination will need to be made. But there will be no requirement for the non domiciliary to make a remittance from their newly segregated accounts in any particular order or within any particular time limit. This will mean that an individual who separates their mixed funds may, if they wish, remit funds from each separated fund, even if that remittance takes place in a later tax year after the transitional period has ended.