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All change for non-doms…or not?

27 Apr 2017

After a long awaited build up, many amendments to the proposed draft UK tax legislation and a hive of activity pre-6 April 2017 experienced by advisers (on the not unreasonable assumption that the Finance Bill 2017 was relatively settled) it’s all change: Theresa May has thrown in a curved ball.  The general election on 8 June 2017 may mean many things for the UK but for tax advisers who have tried to do the best for their clients (having faced uncertainty up until 6 April 2017 anyway) the rug has been pulled from underneath them with the announcement that the much heralded non-dom changes, amongst other key tax measures, have been pulled from the Finance Bill and so are ‘put on hold’.  What does this mean?  The new rules were designed to be retrospective anyway but now many things could happen.  If the Conservatives get in with a majority on Election Day, then the now old legislative changes are likely to be tabled again quickly (perhaps as soon as July) and enacted retrospectively, they may be modified or, depending on the election outcome, they may not happen at all -  one thing that the last year or so should have taught us all is to expect the unexpected in elections!  Some tax advisers and their clients may have taken steps which are irreversible and may be smarting, others may have taken a ‘wait and see’ approach.  Both could be right depending on the balance of power.  It seems in today’s political world there is no such thing as certainty until the ink is dry.

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