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It is often said that the UK’s current anti-avoidance rules for “offshore” structures are inconsistent with EU law, and it comes as no surprise that HMRC have published a consultation document proposing certain reforms to these rules.

The key message is that genuine economic endeavours carried on overseas will no longer be caught the relevant anti-avoidance provisions, but that the rules will continue largely unchanged where there is no commercial reason for a non-UK structure to be in place. This all seems very sensible, and should help to make the UK a more attractive place to do business.

More specifically, it should provide a better foundation for UK resident entrepreneurs looking to extend operations overseas, and it should also offer significant opportunities for non-UK domiciled individuals based in the UK. These groups in particular should review their business structures prior to the advent of these rules from 6 April 2013. Please contact us for more details.