Yearly Archives: 2018

It’s beginning to look a lot like Crypto…

HMRC has released the long awaited guidance on how cryptoassets will be taxed on individuals.There are very few surprises in the paper, although there are plenty of caveats made such that HMRC may amend its approach if there are unexpected consequences.There are interesting points to read on forks and mining.  Further, it is good to see that HMRC will allow for the pooling of each asset such that very large latent gains can be watered down somewhat by subsequent purchases.The key take home message is that as the UK has a self assessment regime it is for the taxpayer to keep separate records for each cryptoasset transaction.

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The “Good Work Plan” heralds a new round of employment law reform for employers

A new round of employment law reform is upon us. In an attempt to improve the rights of zero hour, agency and Gig Economy workers (previously identified by Theresa May as “just about managing”), the Government is set to implement …

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Are robots writing your will?

Law firm VWV conducted a poll which found that the majority of people asked are wary about the use of artificial intelligence in the preparation of wills, with almost a third of respondents saying that they would not want any artificial involvement at all.It must be said that, as with many stories, the devil is in the detail. The concept of ‘artificial intelligence’ is one which evokes fantasies of sentient robots when, in all likelihood, the AI being adopted by law firms likely amounts to software which automatically imports information from client identification documents and populates a ready-made template. Hardly Arnold Schwarzenegger.However, the underlying sentiment behind the story is one which should chime with all solicitors and will drafters. Whether or not a law firm uses modern technology as an aid to its business, all lawyers should ensure that the client experience is one of the most important priorities. Clients value a trusted adviser who can listen to their needs, process what they have learned and work with the client to provide a service that is in-line with the their original needs and expectations.Here at Collyer Bristow we offer a wider range of services relating to wills and estate planning: from succession planning for nuclear families, to cross-border HNW and UHNW non-domiciliaries. In 2018 we launched our news offering CB Entrust – a fixed price expert approach to writing one of the most significant documents of clients’ lives. As a firm we push for a holistic understanding of clients’ unique requirements and circumstances. CB Entrust assists clients in understanding the intricacies of their lives and ensuring that they are documented and managed in the manner they envisage. An in-depth consultation with a specialist lawyer as opposed to completing a DIY will form gives clients peace of mind knowing that they have had expert advice on inheritance and taxation planning.

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Whenever, Wherever… no Shakira, you need to keep track.

“Lucky that I love a foreign land for, the lucky fact of your existence”.  Unfortunately despite the very catchy lyrics of Shakira’s 2001 hit, the Spanish Revenue are arguing that she did not in fact love a foreign land enough, and she was in fact resident in Barcelona rather than in the Bahamas, as claimed.”I ain’t guilty it’s a musical transaction”.  Being resident in Spain has similar consequences to being resident in the UK in that (unless you are able to benefit from the remittance basis of taxation) you are subject to tax on your worldwide income, hence why the Spanish Revenue are claiming Shakira owes them £13 million in taxes.Rather than being a “Beautiful Liar” (I promise no more Shakira lyrics) it may be the case that Shakira misunderstood the residency rules in Spain, or miscounted her days.  The UK laws on residency are fairly clear cut, but unless you are automatically resident ensuring residency (or not) relies on counting days in the country, and for international pop stars who travel a lot for work, it can be difficult to keep track of how many days have been spent where.As the article mentions, this is only one of a number of high profile tax cases in Spain in recent times, which should hopefully serve as a lesson to all of us (not just footballers and popstars) to constantly review our arrangements to ensure compliance with relevant laws.

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Taking tax online?

The Office for Tax Simplification has released its first report on how HMRC’s process of collecting inheritance tax could be improved by simplifying forms and making more of the process digital. These are the sorts of changes that might not …

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Could a property ‘Logbook’ speed up the conveyancing process?

At the Annual mortgage Conference held earlier this month, government officials criticised the delays in current conveyancing processes. It was stated that it takes an average of 19 weeks to get from acceptance of an offer to completion. One of …

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Could a property ‘Logbook’ speed up the conveyancing process?

At the Annual mortgage Conference held earlier this month, government officials criticised the delays in current conveyancing processes.  It was stated that it takes an average of 19 weeks to get from acceptance of an offer to completion. One of the speakers, Matt Prior an official from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, said that this was “a hell of a long time to wait”.The solution that was proposed was in the form of a logbook for your house. This logbook would provide a pack of information that is updated by each owner of the property and then provided to the new buyer at the start of the conveyancing process. The rationale behind this is that it would help avoid abortive transactions and therefore wasted costs for all parties – as the information is ready and available from the outset and not some horrible discovery later down the line. This approach is supported by the Conveyancing Association.You could compare the idea of a property logbook to the logbook of a car – which would work in theory. However, unlike with cars, residential homebuyers tend not to be repeat customers, with many people only moving once or twice in their lifetime. This would mean that you have homebuyers with limited knowledge of the conveyancing process being responsible for compiling the information they keep up to date in their own logbook. I would ask whether this is realistic or even possible? Particularly, as something that is a major issue and of real significance to one buyer could be a very minor detail to another. Equally, will property developers and homebuilders be required to produce hundreds of these logbooks when a new development is produced? Or would a central logbook for the development be sufficient, with each individual owner becoming responsible for the logbook to their flat when they come to sell?If this logbook is something that is going to become mandatory, it is going to require a lot more thought and a lot of support and guidance to make it effective in the long run.

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The easiest way to avoid shareholder disputes

A shareholders’ agreement is a contract entered into between some or all of the shareholders in a company. A shareholders’ agreement regulates the relationship between the shareholders – they are most often used to give protection to the shareholders’ investments …

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High Court grants retrospective permission allowing use of disclosed documents to obtain US legal advice

Earlier this year, Collyer Bristow reported on a Commercial Court decision [1] in which The ECU Group Plc (“ECU”) was granted pre-action disclosure of various documents relating to suspected “front-running” by HSBC (“the Disclosed Documents”). In an interesting turn of …

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What are the implications of renting out your driveway?

Associate Mandeep Mattu, a Real Estate lawyer, advises what you need to keep in mind if you want to rent out you driveway. Click here to read the article, first featured in Financial Times on 16 Nov 2018.

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