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Has HMRC’s clampdown on QROPS gone too far?

Yes, says David Trenner. Many jurisdictions that operate reputable schemes have been caught in the crossfire, with Guernsey in particular a deliberate target

31 May 2012

Before pensions simplification in 2006 anyone wishing to transfer pension funds overseas needed advance permission from HMRC. Anecdotal evidence suggests that getting this approval could take so long that if you were not certain of staying overseas for five years it was not worth applying.

Pensions simplification came up with a genuinely simple solution to this problem. A cynic might say that European legislation meant that the UK had to open up its stance on overseas transfers, but for whatever reason the end result was some fairly simple rules. Instead of each transfer getting approval, each receiving scheme had to be ‘recognised’ by HMRC, and once this recognition had been given any transfer could take place without prior reference to HMRC.

Gradual expansion

Getting recognition was fairly easy. The scheme had to undertake to keep HMRC informed of paymen...

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