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Steering through the fog

While the government continues to demand transparent tax planning despite clouding the issue, the public want to know what goes on behind the Court of Protection's doors. Matthew Barnett and Chris Moorcroft look back at 2013

23 December 2013

The financial crisis, subsequent global recession, and political and public backlash, have had two significant consequences for private clients in 2013. First, a need for hugely indebted governments to find money to reduce their deficits; second, a big shift in public sentiment (fuelled by the media) against the wealthy. This has meant new tax rates and rules across the globe, and far greater scrutiny of wealthy individuals’ affairs, particularly in the UK.

George Osborne’s Budget clarified the shift in tone. Aside from the usual glut of tax changes, the chancellor made a series of statements designed to reflect the strategic shift in HMRC and the government’s approach. He said it was “unacceptable for a minority to avoid paying their fair share, sometimes by breaking the law. The action we are announcing will help HMRC<...

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