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Tax and Jurisdictions

Tax is never far from the headlines in an average year, but it has demanded particular attention in 2009. Conscientious wealthy families and their family offices have been reassessing their tax arrangements in light of this hiatus of activity. However, it is important to remember that tax planning is much more than a simple financial calculation.

Within the family office the role of the trustee is to safeguard assets and present investment options to the family. In today’s litigious society failure to manage these duties can be severe. Henry Frydenson outlines the pitfalls for trustees and offers advice on ways to avoid problems

The Swiss government announced yesterday it would seize UBS banking records rather than allow the US government to access the identities of 52,000 American UBS account holders, who include wealthy families.

On 17 February, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Tax Act of 2009 was signed into law. The Act included $300 billion in tax relief so if you own a business in the US or invest in a business in the US, it’s important to understand these changes and capitalise on them now.

One of the best ways to reduce inheritance tax (IHT) on your death is to give away assets during your lifetime. The problem is, a gift can trigger a large capital gains tax (CGT) bill if the asset has gone up in value during your period of ownership. That has always been a big disincentive to lifetime giving.