The UK government has set up a specialist unit within HMRC to crack down on possible tax evasion within UK family offices.

News broke last week that since April 2019, HMRC has had a secret unit which focuses solely on investigating Family Investment Companies (FICs).

Despite the unit being set up before Boris Johnson's Tory party won the December 2019 election, reports have suggested that the unit is part of the new government's plans to eliminate "arbitrary tax advantages for the wealthiest" – one of the pledges laid out in its manifesto.

David Webster comments in eprivateclient that HMRC has been short on specific details: "It may be that they have concerns that FICs are being used in a non-standard way for the purposes of unacceptably aggressive tax avoidance, either in their own right or as part of wider artificial structuring arrangements"

HMRC specialist unit set to crack down on family offices is available to read on the eprivateclient website via subscription. 

David is a partner in the corporate and commercial team and advises clients across a range of sectors, including real estate, financial services, professional services and family businesses.