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Standard Life to pay platform clients’ 2013 rebate tax bill

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Standard Life has agreed to pay all its customers’ platform rebate tax liabilities for 2013.

The move sees Standard pay all liabilities for the rest of the year relating to rebates on both Standard Life Wrap and FundZone.

Standard says it will pay HM Revenue & Customs directly which will mean clients do not have to include the income in tax returns and avoid the added paperwork.

Standard Life head of platform propositions David Tiller says: “We disagree with HMRC’s analysis of the relevant legislation and believe customers and advisers should have been given time to make alternative arrangements. 

“In order to reduce the administrative implications for advisers, we have agreed a method of calculation with HMRC, based on the volume of rebates received by our platforms in 2013, which means we do not need advisers to tell us what their clients’ tax position is.

“This allows until the end of the year to move clients to clean and super clean share classes, eliminating any potential rebate tax liability in the future.”

HMRC confirmed in March that all platform rebates would be taxed from 6 April.

Last month, Standard Life Wrap confirmed a move to a clean share class only model from the beginning of the 2014/15 tax year following the HMRC announcement.

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Comments

There are 6 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Probably more to do with their inability to change their clunky systems than some very generous gesture – forgive my cynicism, but we all know what they’re like 😉

  2. Well done Standard.
    I’m not sure how easy this is going to be and I am sure that HMRC will find some additional hurdles but it is good to see such an important player in the platform space dealing with the impact of this.
    Let’s hope they are just the first to act and not the only ones.

  3. Fair play on Standard Life but it’s likely to simply delay the inevitable… and whilst providers are still rolling out clean share classes, many clients are facing a tax liability as a result of the decision.

    In the meantime, additional work is placed on advisers in order to keep client’s assets well managed…. Plus ‘RDR 2’ on the horizon concerning the abolishment of trail commission….. resulting in more admin and correspondence for advisers and clients alike.

    It would be nice to focus on the clients needs rather than chasing after moving goalposts!!!

  4. I hope they know what they are doing! Remember the Standard Life Commission Accelerator? When Stakeholder pensions came in Standard Life made ridiculous commission payments of up to 10 – 15 years projected fees based on growth assumptions that could never be achieved and all without clawback.

  5. @Albert Smith – regardless of how slick or clunky their systems are, it would cost a fortune to develop a system for reporting to clients and HMRC on the levels of rebate paid to each investor. Considering that SL intend to move towards clean share classes, this would be a complete waste of money. Surely this approach will save clients and investors money, and also save investors the hassle of adding the rebates onto their tax returns.

  6. Simon Mansell. I’m not sure how your comment about a contractual commission structure on a product has any relevance in the context of a one off tax payment? Perhaps you can expand?
    I think that it is a fantastic gesture, funny that the people’s champion Nucleus have already confirmed that they won’t follow. I suppose this is the benefit of having deep pockets. Well done SL, saves a lot of people the hassle of an unnecessary tax return.

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