A merger between the UK's newest regulatory bodies for pensions - the Pensions Regulator and the Pension Protection Fund - has been floated by Paul Thornton, the man appointed to conduct an independent review of pension regulation, says the Financial Times .
Less likely is a merger between the Pensions Regulator and the Financial Services Authority (FSA) – as opposed to improved collaboration – although Thornton stressed he is keen to hear views both for and against.
More likely may be some limited rationalisation among the clutch of bodies which provide advice and dispute resolution over pensions: the Pensions Ombudsman (who also covers the Pension Protection Fund), the Pensions Advisory Service, and the Financial Ombudsman Service.
In a consultation paper published on Wednesday, Thornton said he has so far seen no evidence the regulatory landscape is not “fit for purpose”, despite its complexity and the involvement of nine different bodies, says the paper.
But he added there was a case for bringing together the Pensions Regulator, which oversees work-based pension schemes, and the Pension Protection Fund, which provides compensation to members when companies go under.
NON-DOMICILED people living in the UK face a crackdown by HM Revenue & Customs which has added extra questions to the coming year’s tax returns, according to the Times.
From 6th April, non-domiciled residents filling in a self-assessment tax return will be asked to declare on what date they changed their domicile and will have to confirm if they have ever been domiciled in the UK as well as stating the date on which they came to live in the UK.
Angela Beech, tax partner at Blick Rothenberg, said: “Up until now non-domiciled people simply had to confirm that this was their status. Now it looks like the Revenue is getting ready to challenge them. It is a stealthy way of doing this. They are not changing legislation, but it seems likely that there will be more investigations into non-domiciled taxpayers.”
Those born abroad or who have changed their domicile can claim to be non-domiciled even if they have lived in the UK for years.
They pay no income tax, capital gains tax or inheritance tax on any assets outside the UK, making it a favourite option for wealthy foreigners living in the UK.
THE TREASURY will also raise the spectre today of a stealth tax on private equity which could drive large swathes of the profitable industry to abandon the UK, says the Daily Telegraph.
Ed Balls, the Economic Secretary to the Treasury, will launch a potentially damaging review into the tax treatment applied to private equity funds, a move which could add billions to the Treasury's coffers.
It will investigate the growing use of so-called "shareholder loans" in highly leveraged structures put in place by private equity funds when they construct a deal.
Shareholder loans form part of the money which private equity funds plough into such structures, alongside normal equity, but such "loans" are merely equity badged as debt and any returns are free from capital gains tax.
The Treasury raised the prospect of clamping down on such financial engineering, which it feels has created an uneven playing field.
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