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Month: October 2018

Inheritance tax: another day, another government U-turn

Inheritance tax: another day, another government U-turn

Inheritance tax: another day, another government U-turn

IHT treatment of specialty debts

The government has back-pedalled on a controversial decision on inheritance tax after widespread criticism. HMRC came under fire when it decided that a type of debt which had historically been exempt from inheritance tax would now be subject to it – going against centuries of legal precedent.

After discussions with professional bodies, it has now changed its position again – though things still aren’t back to how they were before. Let’s take a look at what’s going on.

What’s the history?

The controversy relates to a type of debt called a ‘specialty debt’, which is one owed to someone who is not domiciled in the UK. It’s a kind of debt created by a deed or a seal, not just a normal contract.

Historically, such debts, when owed to a non-dom, have been exempt from UK inheritance tax if the document recording the debt is held outside the UK. In 2013, however, HMRC decided that specialty debts should usually fall under the country where the debtor lived instead – so if the debtor lived in the UK, the debt would now fall under UK tax law.

Yeah, so what?

Under the Inheritance Tax Act, property outside the UK is not subject to inheritance tax if the person inheriting it is not domiciled in the UK. And although ordinary debts come under the country where the debtor lives for tax purposes, specialty debts are considered to be a special kind of debt, and it is a long-established UK legal principle that their legal location is that of the document recording the debt.

The principle goes back to the Elizabethan ecclesiastical courts, which held that “the debt is where the bond is, being upon a speciality; but debt upon a contract follows the person of the debtor”.

HMRC’s position was widely criticised for seeming to have come out of nowhere and conflicting with these established principles. Taxadvisermagazine.com described its change of mind as “an unexpected U-turn seemingly unsubstantiated by either legal or technical analyses”, adding:

“The practical reality is that specialty debts are an established category of formal contract in common law that has been in existence for many years, and entering such arrangements may not always be a result of only the overwhelming desire to mitigate inheritance tax exposure that HMRC believe has penetrated the non-dom society.”

Legal firm Forsters pointed out that UK resident non-doms often took out life insurance policies in the form of offshore deeds to protect them from inheritance tax.

So what’s the latest position?

HMRC’s new position is that the legal location of specialty debts will now depend on whether the debt is secured or unsecured. Broadly, where the debt is solely secured on land or other tangible property in the UK, the debt will also be in the UK.Where the debt is not secured, it will usually be where the document recording the debt is.

But if the creditor and debtor both live in the UK, but the deed … Read the rest ...

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Tips for Choosing the Right Recruitment Agency

Tips for Choosing the Right Recruitment Agency

The job market is suffering from candidate skills shortage. People seeking employment should use a recruitment agency specializing in their sector. Working with a recruitment firm takes pressure off the seekers and make the search more fruitful. Recruiters also offer a job seeker the opportunity to work for noble employers. How do you make sure that you’ve selected the right agency?

Tips for Choosing the Right Recruitment Agency

Assess Your Needs

Before contacting an agency, you should be familiar with your needs. What are you looking for in the job industry? What’s preventing you from achieving your dreams? To identify the support you need from a headhunter, it’s vital to assess your portfolio as well as career prospects.

Do Your Homework

To choose the right recruitment agency, do your homework. Look at the firm’s LinkedIn profile for the experience. Is there a sign of experience in your area of specialization? Do they demonstrate the claimed experience in your conversation? Look for a recruitment agency that’s willing to cater to your needs.

Do You Need a Specialist or Generalist?

Are you designated in a particular sector or exploring your options? Perhaps you’re open to a variety including a career change. A generalist would be your first option. If you’re a trained specialist, such as an engineer, you should find a recruitment firm that connects you to your niche. The firm should understand the trends as well as quirks of the sector. If you’re a salesperson, get professional IT sales recruiters to assist you.

Inquire from Your Peers

Searching for a recruitment agency can be as simple as inquiring around. There’s a possibility that your peers know about the firm’s reputation through their network. They have possibly been in touch with the company. Since recruiters are social, you might find invaluable information online. Ask your peers to recommend the best.

Refer to the Website and Resources

When looking at a firm’s website, begin by looking at the profile. You’ll find their experience, strengths, and expertise of the consultants. Scroll through the board to see job descriptions matching your preferences. Read through their resources and note their achievement.

Interview Recruiters like Job Candidates

Interview prospective recruiters like you’d interview candidates seeking employment. Ask if they have candidates for your position in their database. Ask how they will assess candidates for available positions. Recruitment firms can be rigid about talent procurement contracts. The best agencies provide flexible terms. They are also nimble and geared towards success.

Follow the Firm’s Social Media Sites

Find a recruitment agency that observes the current developments in the industry. Since social media is a primary communication medium for many, a good recruitment agency will post regular updates to stay in touch with clients and candidates. Pick the agency you feel can offer the right package.

Many agencies are specializing in recruitment. Some offer generalized recruitment while others provide headhunting for particular sectors. If a job hunter is seeking employment from a specific industry, it’s prudent to find a recruitment agency that focuses on recruiting for … Read the rest ...

The Importance of Reading Safety Signs

The Importance of Reading Safety Signs

We’ve all experienced a time when we’re trying to enter or exit a place, and someone is either trying to get out or in. You find yourself looking up at the sign to make sure you’re in the right spot. Not everyone reads these safety signs. That’s why it’s important to read on your own instead of following a crowd. Some people engage in unsafe or hazardous activities, knowingly and unknowingly. Following these select few can lead you and themselves right to harm. Safety signs you may really want to pay attention to are exit signs, entrance signs and do not enter signs.

The Importance of Reading Safety Signs

Exit Signs

Being observant of your surroundings not only means acknowledging who or what is in your environment. These days you also need an escape plan. Exit signs are a breath of fresh air when you need to get out of somewhere quickly. Take note of where they are. Even if you don’t feel like you’ll remember, this information may come back to you in a time of need. Another thing to note is exits are not made to be blocked. If you’re one of the shoppers that tend to stand outside of the store checking items or receipts, please be courteous and stand off to the side. Do not block the exit. That can be a safety hazard.

Entrance Signs

If you’ve ever gone to the store and had someone walking out of the clearly defined entrance and you’re walking in, then you know how important it is to read this sign. Entrance signs help the flow of traffic. Generally, all the people that follow the entrance sign are headed in the same direction. You don’t want to find yourself standing outside of a door that doesn’t open. Usually locked or blocked doors will have an arrow that points to where the entrance is. It’s not a joke. That is exactly how the company expects the traffic to flow into the inside. Other signs that might let traffic know what’s going on is the fancy open and closed digital signs. If you’re interested, search for things like Digital Signage Displays.

No Entry Signs

These signs are there to prevent hazards. In stores, they may be a path for the forklift or areas where only employees are permitted. You don’t know what is waiting for you behind doors or the lane that the sign is blocking. Usually, one-way traffic is permitted through or in work areas it might be an area for large equipment or vehicles might be moving around. A person walking or driving in no-entry areas could face serious injuries. Follow the directions on these signs and find another way to get where you’re going.

All signage is important to read, but especially signs that can save your life. Pay attention to your environment. Use the signs that were installed to help you navigate your way through an office, building or warehouse. Use those same safety precautions when you’re driving so you don’t risk … Read the rest ...

Requirements for a Farm Loan

Requirements for a Farm Loan

Farm loans can help ranchers and farmers obtain capital to run their agricultural activities. The U.S Department of Agriculture administers these loans, and ranchers and farmers who have met the requirements of the program are given guaranteed support. Here are some of the qualifications for the various farm loan programs in the United States.

Requirements for a Farm Loan

Emergency Farm Loans

These loans exist to help ranchers and farmers recover from losses caused by events such as food quarantine, flood, or draught. However, farms or ranches of the applicants of any emergency Sproutag farm loans must be located near a natural calamity-prone area. The rancher or farmer must also have a ranch or farm that has been in operation for quite a while. The rancher or farmer must also have experienced a significant production or financial loss due to a catastrophic event. The lender will also impose collateral or credit requirement on the applicants, and ranchers and farmers must prove their ability to repay the loan.

Beginners Loan

The beginner loan program provides guaranteed and direct loans to farmers and ranchers that aren’t eligible for a commercial credit. The applicant can be an entity or individual that has been in the agribusiness for less than a decade. However, farmers and ranchers aren’t allowed to own a farm that exceeds 30% of the farm or ranch they reside in, and they must also meet all the requirements of the program. The applicants must also have been in charge of their farm for at least three years, and each member must qualify for the loan and be related if the farm is family-owned.

Socially Disadvantaged Loans

These loans are for socially disadvantaged groups and farmers and ranchers that belong to racial minority groups. They only allow applicants to operate a family-sized ranch or farm. Applicants considered for socially disadvantages loans include Pacific Islanders, Hispanic-Americans, and African-American.

Guaranteed Farm Loans

These loans are for ranchers or farmers who are often not eligible for loans provided by commercial lenders, which include credit unions, farm credit system institutions, and banks. Guaranteed farm loans provide up to 90% guarantee of the amount of money given to a farmer or rancher. Interestingly, these loans let lenders ease some of the loan requirements to make it easier for ranchers and farmers to access funds.

Direct Farm Loans

These are funds that FSA gives to farmers and ranchers directly as farm ownership loans. A local FSA agency office is responsible for setting the qualifications for a direct farm loan. Ranchers and farmers should contact their local FSA office to understand the criteria for direct farm loans, as they tend to vary across jurisdictions.

First-time ranchers or farmers can have trouble qualifying for a farm loan. Like any venture, borrowers with a poor track record of sales may struggle to get financed. Fortunately, a lot of options that nearly every rancher or farmer can qualify for are slowly emerging. The government backs farm loans, and these funds come with lower interest rates, so … Read the rest ...