Monthly Archives: January 2020

The New Global Talent Visa

The government has announced a new fast-track visa scheme that will open on 20 February 2020. The new ‘Global Talent’ visa is a significant boost for UK science, technology and research institutions and it is aimed at enhancing their ability to attract top research talent to the UK.The new visa will create a new fast-track route for UK-based research projects to recruit top global talent. This will be of particular benefit to higher education institutions, research institutes and public sector research establishments. The new scheme will also have no limit placed on the number of ‘Global Talent’ visas that can be issued.The new visa will offer a greater level of flexibility than the previous Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) visa. It will allow applicants to apply for settlement when they have been in the UK for three years, and provide an exemption from the absence rules for researchers, and their dependents, should they be required to travel overseas during their research work or employment. This is a significant exemption because it means they will not suffer any penalty for such periods of absence if they subsequently apply for settlement in the UK.From the 20 February 2020, UK Research and Innovation will be able to endorse applicants from the scientific and research community to qualify for this accelerated path to obtain a visa. UK-based institutions and research projects that have received recognised awards are at the front of the queue for getting their ‘top talent’ fast-tracked using this new route.The new Global Talent Visa will therefore provide a flexible immigration route into the UK and is aimed at enabling UK institutions to attract top global talent. We await further announcements of the detail of the scheme from the government in due course.

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Entrepreneurs Relief Reform

The Conservative Party committed itself to “review and reform” Entrepreneurs Relief in its 2019 General Election manifesto. The Conservatives further stated that it has not “fully delivered on [its] objectives” and so, with the Conservatives having been returned to government …

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Libor transition and loans – what borrowers in the real estate market need to know

The London Interbank Offer Rate (LIBOR) is the benchmark reference rate commonly used in commercial loans to calculate interest payments in variable (floating) rate loans.  LIBOR is now being phased out meaning significant changes for the loan and interest rate …

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Home ownership aspirations – is the ‘Bank of Mum and Dad’ in London starting to run dry?

Home ownership remains the ultimate goal for ‘Generation Rent’ yet aspirations to buy a home within the next five years are dimmed compared to just a year ago according to the second annual Collyer Bristow Home Ownership Attitudes and Aspirations …

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How are your cryptoassets taxed?

Cryptocurrency has been firmly brought under Benjamin Franklin’s two certainties of life as HMRC published a revised guidance on cryptoassets on 20 December 2019. It came in the form of two documents ‘Cryptoassets: tax for individuals’; and ‘Cryptoassets: tax for …

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Prime Minister’s remarks increase Entrepreneurs Relief concerns

In what The Times described on Saturday as “…the clearest sign yet that the relief is going to be curtailed by Sajid Javid, the chancellor, in March”, Boris Johnson reportedly commented to a group of women entrepreneurs in his Uxbridge constituency that the Treasury is “fulminating” against Entrepreneurs Relief.  The reason given was that it made “staggeringly rich” people “even more staggeringly rich”.The Prime Minister’s remarks give entrepreneurs and business owners who were expecting to capitalise on Entrepreneurs Relief a foretaste of a likely ethical pitch for scrapping or restricting the relief.  The difficulty for affected taxpayers is that in relative – and, often, absolute – terms, the Prime Minister and the Treasury are correct, which makes an ethical argument such as this so very hard to counter.  In the popular imagination, dry economic arguments as to the utility of Entrepreneurs Relief are unlikely to prevail against the unmistakable appeal to basic fairness implicit in the Prime Minister’s words.  And in tax, as with much else in politics, winning the PR battle is crucial.Notwithstanding the speculation in The Times as to the timing of any change to Entrepreneurs Relief, we do not yet know what the Chancellor is planning to announce in his Budget on 11 March.  As such, the nature of any proposed changes to – or the outright abolition of – Entrepreneurs Relief is still unknown.  In parallel, there is not yet any information about whether the Chancellor will increase the headline rate of CGT (which would amount to a double hit for business owners).Just as importantly, it is not clear when changes to Entrepreneurs Relief would take effect.  This makes it difficult for taxpayers to know how to react: they will want to defer action as long as possible if they can, but on the other hand they won’t want to miss out if change is coming soon.  All we can say for now is that the prudent business owner would not bet against changes being announced in the March Budget, to take effect from 6 April this year.Fortunately, there is still time before the Budget (and, especially, the new tax year on 6 April 2020) to take steps to “lock in” to the current favourable tax regime.  I have written about this here.One suspects that the Government will not object to taxpayers triggering CGT disposals in the current tax year, as this will accelerate much-needed tax receipts for the Exchequer.  It will be for each business owner to decide whether or not to do so.

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How to make use of Entrepreneurs Relief

In its General Election manifesto, the Conservative Party promised to “review and reform” Entrepreneurs Relief, noting that it has not “fully delivered on [its] objectives”. Now that the Conservatives have formed the new government – with a significant majority – …

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How do the family courts approach international child cases?

As international relationships are becoming more common, so too are disputes over where a child shall live when parents separate. The recent case of AB v CD [2019] EWHC 3543 (Fam) highlights this. The case involved a British father and …

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Sue, Chef? Protecting a Chef’s name

A professional chef who generates excitement and comment about the dishes they create enhances not only the reputation of the restaurant where they work, but also their personal professional reputation. They quite literally make a name for themselves and the …

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How do I solve my transatlantic inheritance tax problem?

I am a US citizen who has lived in the UK for nearly 20 years. As an only child  I stand to inherit significant assets from my elderly mother, who has most of her money in individual retirement accounts in …

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