PBR 07: Mazars warns of unintended consequences

The investment industry will pile into the loophole created by the CGT
changes, Mazars has suggested.

The change, which sees a rate of up to 40% swapped for a straight 18% rate,
will mean huge opportunities for tax planning.

Partner Paul Willans said: ‘This will be manna from heaven for the UK’s
investment industry, who will seize this, perhaps unintended loophole, and will
be creating low-risk investments that will be subject to CGT rather than income
tax. Of course, capital based investments may not be suitable for widows and
orphans, but the potential for halving the tax burden will make an element of
volatility acceptable.’

‘Of course, we have yet to see the full details, and that is where the devil
is, but if there are no time eligibility requirements, then Mr Darling has given
the investment industry the green light to move money from cash deposits paying
up to 40% income tax to capital gains-generating investments that could generate
tax-free returns of up to £9,200 a year from April 2008 and pay only 18% tax on
the remainder.’

‘In summary, unless the Treasury changes its initial proposal and guidance,
canny investors need never pay more than 18% tax on their investment portfolios.
Is this what Alistair intended?’

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