Singapore QROPS savers granted tax amnesty

Published:  13 Jan at 6 PM
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Expat investors in Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Schemes arranged before 24 September 2008 are being offered a tax amnesty by HM Revenue and Customs.

Retirement savers who set up QROPS suspended by HRMC before that date will not be forced to pay the 55 per cent tax charge, unless it is proven that dishonesty or artificiality has taken place. The recent announcement by HMRC follows an unsuccessful court battle early last year.

Former members of the Singapore QROPS (Roslip) challenged HMRC in the High Court after receiving assessments following Roslip’s suspension. The assessments were the result of a previous High Court ruling that the Singapore QROPS had not met HMRC's QROPS rules.

The UK tax authority was forced to back down after investors insisted that its initial Roslip listing had given the green light for UK providers’ pension transfers. They argued that, had the authority not listed the scheme, the investments would not have been made and no assessments would have been issued.

At the recent hearing, Justice Charles branded HMRC as overzealous, and demanded a written document outlining the authority’s QROPs policy. Although the contents of the document are still under wraps, it’s broadly considered that the offered amnesty is intended to draw a line under the issue.

The fortnightly HMRC listing of currently active QROPS contains a caveat that none on the list are approved by the authority. Inclusion in the list merely indicates, it adds, that the trustees of each scheme have informed HMRC of its compliance with the rules as they stand.
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