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Standard reopens IHT plans after tax talks

Standard Life has reop-ened its inheritance tax product five days after withdrawing the fund bec-ause of pre-owned asset tax rules.

The company consulted with a leading QC to see if its gift and loan plan fell under the new Inland Revenue guidelines.

All the firm&#39s estate planning products were withdrawn from the market while it was in talks.

The Revenue says new pre-owned asset rules are designed to target people who have entered into contrived arrangements to dispose of valuable assets while retaining the ability to use them.

The main purpose of arrangements subject to the charge is to avoid inh-eritance tax but the Inland Revenue indicated this week that loan trusts will not be included in the new tax regime for pre-owned assets.

If Standard&#39s inheritance tax plan did not prove compliant, it would have meant revisiting about 10,000 clients.

Senior technical manager John Lawson says the company at first thought that all its plans fell under the new rules.

Providers were thrown into disarray when the new legislation was unv-eiled as there was a lack of clarity over which inheritance tax plans would fall under its scope.

Canada Life is also set to unveil a range of products designed to combat the new rules. It has updated its inheritance protection bond and is offering three new offshore trusts.

Lawson says: “We are the first people to take expert advice on this matter. It has proved an exceptionally complex issue. I would not be surprised if we saw a number of firms looking at their estate planning products.”


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Pension Wise — now taking calls…

Those with decent-length memories will recall that in the 2014 Budget statement George Osborne announced the new (and entirely unexpected) pension freedoms. The new rules come fully into force in less than two weeks.


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