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The UK tax system is ‘wildly, unnecessarily complex, which is unfair on taxpayers’, says Withers partner Sophie Dworetzsky, highlighting the regular change of underlying policy – such as the non-dom rules – which leads to huge uncertainty. ‘From the country’s point of view, if you have extremely wealthy taxpayers who don’t know what their tax position will be until just before the law is announced, giving them no time to plan makes us a less attractive country.’
Having started out in corporate tax law, Dworetzsky was occasionally presented with the odd private client matter, which appealed to her ‘because it straddled that slightly strange divide between personal and commercial’. Well versed in the financial elements of transactions, she has since carved out a niche advising fund managers and principals on tax-efficient remuneration structures.
Aside from the intellectually stretching nature of the work, the most rewarding thing is being a trusted adviser over the years, she says, ‘watching the client mature, and their objectives change, and helping them meet their much broader life and philanthropy objectives and really making those structures work for them’.
Dworetzsky is unequivocal, meanwhile, about the benefits trusts can have for a family’s peace of mind: ‘Nothing quite replaces the tax structure in terms of excellent succession planning.’