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Changes to transfer of assets abroad rules

Author: ICAEW Insights

Published: 06 Mar 2024

New legislation announced in the Budget will prevent individuals from using a company to bypass the transfer of assets abroad (TOAA) anti-avoidance provisions.

Changes to the TOAA rules will apply to income arising to persons abroad on and after 6 April 2024. It follows the Supreme Court decision Commissioners for HMRC v Fisher [2023] UKSC 44.

The government plans to revise the legislation by adding two new sections. Both apply to transfers made by a closely-held company. The first treats the transfer as being made by an individual with a qualifying interest, where the individual will have the power to enjoy the income arising abroad. The other will treat the transfer as being made by an individual with a qualifying interest, where the individual will have received a capital sum as a result of the relevant transactions.

The TOAA rules are notoriously difficult to navigate. The Supreme Court noted that the rules “have continued to perplex and concern generations of judges faced with the task of construing them”. In giving her judgement, Lady Rose observed that if the decision of the Supreme Court creates a gap in the TOAA provisions, the government will need to think carefully about how to fill that gap in a fair, appropriate and workable manner.


Further reading

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