Xavier's principal areas of work comprise personal taxation, trust and estate planning for individuals and trustees in the UK and overseas. Many of his clients are non-UK domiciled, and much of his work has an international dimension.
Xavier advises UK domiciled clients on wills, trusts and personal taxation. He has experience in advising those with family businesses or other business interests. He works closely with the Real Estate team at Forsters to advise clients on the tax implications of UK property ownership and investment.
On the international side, areas of particular expertise include pre-arrival tax planning for individuals wishing to become UK resident, remittance basis planning for UK resident non-UK domiciliairies, the establishment and taxation of investment holding structures, and succession planning for those with assets in more than one jurisdiction.
Xavier trained and spent the first four years of his legal career at Macfarlanes LLP, where he qualified as a solicitor in 2007. He joined Forsters in 2009, and became a partner in 2013.
Xavier speaks fluent French.
The Office of Tax Simplification recently published a report that made recommendations to the government to reform inheritance tax. The proposal that has received the most attention is the reduction of the period during which a lifetime gift remains subject to inheritance tax in the hands of the person making the gift (the donor) from seven to five years. A number of other changes have also been suggested – including in relation to agricultural property relief and business property relief.
Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) recently surprised many with a statement that the government does not intend to remedy a defect in recently introduced legislation relating to the tax treatment of non-resident protected settlements. The defect means that gains realised by non-resident trustees on the disposal of offshore funds that are not registered with HMRC as having "reporting status" will be subject to income tax as they arise once the settlor is deemed domiciled in the United Kingdom.
The territorial scope of UK income tax for non-UK resident persons is generally limited to certain types of income that have a UK source. To help Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs collect the tax due on the interest received by a non-UK resident lender, the debtor is required to deduct income tax at the basic rate from the interest payments. The Court of Appeal recently confirmed that the multifactorial test is the correct approach for establishing the source of such loan interest.