UK Property Law
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Please note that the UK tax regime for non-residents investments is extremely favourable. If the property (or indeed a portfolio of properties) is acquired by an offshore company, then the UK property asset is converted into a foreign-situs asset (the shares in the offshore company) for Inheritance Tax purposes. Note, that individuals who are domiciled in the UK are subject to inheritance tax (IHT) on their worldwide assets, no matter where they are resident. Individuals who are neither domiciled nor deemed domiciled for IHT purposes, and trusts settled by such individuals, are also subject to IHT, but only on assets they own directly in the UK. Foreign assets owned by non-doms and such trusts are excluded from the scope of IHT – such assets are referred to as excluded property.
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Your solicitor is wrong. THERE IS NO INHERITANCE TAX on property acquired by an offshore company.
At present, more often than not, UK residential property is held within an offshore company by those not domiciled in the UK, to avoid UK inheritance tax. The government proposes that, from 6 April 2017 the value of shares in ‘closely-held’ offshore companies attributable to UK residential property will be subject to inheritance tax. The proposals are subject to consultation on the detail.