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Trusts - down but not out

Legalisation and public perception have reduced the popularity of trusts as wealth structuring tools, but they still hold great value says James Ward

27 March 2015

A recent paper published by HMRC documents a steady decline in the number of trusts required to complete a full self-assessment tax return. Many commentators have taken these figures as showing a fall in in the use of trusts by individuals for inheritance tax mitigation and succession planning.

In some respects, they are not wrong. A combination of the government's 2006 attack on accumulation and maintenance trusts, by removing their inheritance tax exemption after 18 years, and the introduction of the transferable nil-rate band in 2007, have both played their part in reducing the use and attractiveness of trusts.

Steady decline

While the changes have meant that trusts for children and young adults pay more tax, they have not necess...

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