Nicole is a knowledge development lawyer in the Private Client department. In this role, she is responsible for ensuring that lawyers, contacts and clients are kept up to date in relation to new developments in all areas of private client law. This includes organising training and seminars, and writing client updates on relevant topics including tax for UK and non-UK individuals, UK and international trust and estate planning and wealth structuring generally.
Nicole has authored and co-authored articles for a number of industry publications on topics relating to tax and wealth planning, and is a joint contributing editor and author for "Getting the Deal Through – Private Client".
Nicole joined Forsters with the rest of the Gowling WLG London Private Client team in May 2017. She joined Lawrence Graham (later Gowling WLG) in 2005, having practised for a number of years as a private client lawyer at Herbert Smith, with a particular emphasis on the taxation of non-UK domiciliaries and estate and wealth structuring for high net worth international individuals and their families.
The Supreme Court recently released a judgment which determined that the EU principle preventing restrictions of the free movement of capital applies to gifts of UK assets to charities in Jersey. Accordingly, persons making such gifts are entitled to inheritance tax relief in the same way as they would be if they made such a gift to a UK-based charity. For UK advisers, the case serves as a salutary reminder of the need for careful tax planning at the earliest opportunity.
Publicly accessible registers have come under fire in France and the country's public trust register was ruled unconstitutional in a recent Constitutional Council decision. A similar case for withholding public access to such registers could be made in the United Kingdom, in this case as a breach of the right to respect for private and family life under the Human Rights Act 1998. This could have important implications for those wishing to maintain the privacy of individuals connected to trusts.
Her Majesty's Treasury has published its long-awaited consultation on two of three proposed changes to the taxation of individuals domiciled outside the United Kingdom. The measures are far reaching and will represent a fundamental change in the taxation of non-domiciled individuals from 2017 – particularly those with a UK domicile of origin, for whom the benefits of that status will be curtailed if they return to live in the United Kingdom.
Individuals domiciled outside the United Kingdom might have been justified in thinking that they would be safe from significant changes in the 2015 Summer Budget. However, Chancellor George Osborne announced new measures in the budget to target perceived unfairness in the treatment of foreign-domiciled individuals compared with those domiciled in the United Kingdom.
Following reforms announced in the chancellor of the exchequer's 2014 Autumn Statement, the stamp duty land tax (SDLT) charge for high-value properties may be significantly higher than would have been the case under the old rates. A number of significant changes have also been made to the regime governing the annual tax on enveloped dwellings which affect high-value properties.
The UK Finance Act 2015 received royal assent on March 26 2015. This included final legislation for the introduction of a capital gains tax charge on non-residents who dispose of UK residential property. The new charge applies to such disposals made on or after April 6 2015. This update outlines the new rules and considers potential issues and planning considerations arising from the new tax.
Surprise measures to increase the scope of certain taxes on high-value residential property acquired by and/or held through corporate envelopes were recently announced by the chancellor in the UK budget. In addition, the Treasury has published its promised consultation on the introduction of a capital gains tax charge on non-residents who dispose of UK residential property.
The Supreme Court has confirmed that there is no separate jurisdiction available under Section 24 of the Matrimonial Causes Act to pierce the corporate veil of a company in order to access its assets for the benefit of a spouse in ancillary relief proceedings. The case reinforces the message that wealthy individuals should ensure that they undertake careful wealth structuring, bearing in mind the potential risks of a future divorce.
The Finance Bill 2013 recently came into force, which includes provisions governing the statutory residence test. Although there has been some welcome loosening of the time limits for days that an individual can spend in the United Kingdom while remaining non-resident, in other areas the proposed test has become stricter and more complex.
A recent First-Tier Tax Tribunal decision highlights the importance for trustees of maintaining their independence and impartiality and exercising their discretion in strict accordance with the terms of their trust. The case involved the use by Rangers Football Club of employee benefit trusts to make loans to footballers and other employees.
The government has published its summary of responses to the consultation on proposed changes to the taxation of high-value UK residential property acquired and owned by companies and other 'non-natural persons'. Offshore persons considering a new acquisition of UK residential property or with an existing property-holding structure that may be affected by the changes should review their options as soon as possible.
Last year the government consulted on the proposed introduction of a statutory residence test and announced that the test would be delayed until April 2013 to allow time for further consideration and consultation. A summary of responses to the consultation was published this summer, together with additional consultation questions and draft legislation. Further draft legislation is expected soon.
An ongoing consultation will help to determine the final form of two proposed measures: a 'mansion tax' on UK residential properties owned by non-natural persons and a capital gains tax charge on disposals of such properties by non-UK resident, non-natural persons. Those potentially affected by the proposals should already be considering their options for mitigating the likely effects.
The government has published draft legislation for its proposed changes to the remittance basis of taxation applicable to UK resident non-domiciliaries, accompanied by a summary of consultation responses. The decision to delay the statutory residence test will disappoint many international individuals who were looking forward to a degree of certainty in relation to their UK tax residence status.
Two sets of UK taxpayers recently sought to challenge the interpretation by Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs commissioners of their own guidance on residence and domicile. Although of only historical interest to most taxpayers and their advisers, the judgment could yet prove relevant for some.