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Jitu Shah is not happy with the way the government is handling tax legislation. ‘They keep bringing in new legislation in different areas on a rolling basis,’ he says. ‘One minute clients are worried about the non-dom regulations and inheritance tax is fine, then suddenly it flips and clients are facing a whole new set of worries.’
Of the non-dom fandango, he says: ‘It’s too radical a change – it’s frightening the richer clients and giving them motivation to leave the country… Clients have done extensive planning based on the law at the time: they’ve made all the arrangements. The government has changed the law so significantly – all the planning they [HNWs] did in the past has to be thrown out of the window.’
Shah says his inbox has been inundated: ‘Those who didn’t take action in the light of the new legislation have found themselves in a rather sticky situation because of the backdating. I now have quite a few new clients.’
However, for overseas clients – especially those who hold properties through companies – it’s been relatively easy for him to deal with the new non-dom regulations by arranging for assets to be reverted to privately owned properties. ‘I’ve moved a lot of property out of the country,’ he explains to Spear’s.