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Cofunds lobbying for tax-free bond transfers

Cofunds is to petition HM Revenue & Customs to allow investors to transfer funds within a bond wrapper without risking a tax penalty.

The platform is linking up with the Tax Incentivised Savings Association to call for tax-exempt transfers within bonds similar to Isas and pensions.

The move follows the news that leading platform providers will allow advisers to bulk re-register in specie transfers of other assets as early as 2008.

Cofunds, which is a member of the UK Platform Group, says it is taking the lead in adopting open standard transfers at an estimated cost to itself of over £1m. It says it is working with other members of the UK Platform Group – Fidelity FundsNetwork, Standard Life and Selestia – to have this in place by early 2008.

Investors cannot currently move single-premium insurance bonds to another single-premium vehicle as the underlying assets are owned by the life company.

Cofunds spokesman Dick Eats says the move would help advisers move clients to the open-architecture model. He says: “We are positive these changes can be made by HMRC as it is as much in its interest to make the move as it is for investors. If a bond is moved and makes more money when it is encashed, HMRC gets more tax.”

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