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10 July 2018 Written by Wilford Smith Category: Financial Crime

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has published a proposed set of new rules that will make it easier for victims of bank transfer fraud, sometimes referred to as ‘authorised push payment' fraud, to raise complaints with banks.

03 July 2018 Written by Wilford Smith Category: Commercial Conveyancing

According to the most recent Investment Property Forum UK Consensus Forecasts report, retail parks are expected to offer substantial returns for investors in upcoming years. The report, which collates the views of 26 of the commercial industry's most prominent fund managers and advisors, predicts that the retail park sector will outperform all other traditional commercial property subsectors in 2020, 2021 and 2022.

01 June 2018 Written by Wilford Smith Category: Financial Crime

HMRC is set to pursue up to £30 million pounds worth of unpaid stamp duty following a court victory involving the buyers of two £2 million properties who used a scheme, which has now been declared unlawful, to avoid paying more than £160,000 in tax. A complex arrangement had been set up on the buyers' behalf in the hope of enabling them to avoid paying tax on the houses, with a number of companies created solely to make the purchases. After these were completed, the buyers then immediately received shares in the companies equal to the values of the properties. The buyers had sought to challenge demands made by HMRC for payment of the outstanding stamp duty, however these appeals were recently thrown out by a tax tribunal.

31 May 2018 Written by Wilford Smith Category: Estate Planning

The most recent report from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) on the make-up of households in the UK has shown that more couples than ever are choosing to cohabit without getting married. In ‘Families and Households: 2017', the ONS found that there are 3.3 million cohabiting families in Britain, a figure that is more than double the number reported in 1996. These findings confirm that cohabiting families, that is partners living together either with or without dependent children, are the fastest growing family type in the UK.

08 May 2018 Written by Wilford Smith Category: Commercial Conveyancing

Recently released figures have shown that commercial property lending in the UK saw a substantial increase in the second half of 2017, with new commercial property lending reaching £26.8 billion for this period. This marks a significant improvement on figures previously released for the first half of 2017, which had shown that lending in this sector had dropped by 24 per cent. But research conducted by the Cass Business School, one of Europe's top business training institutions, demonstrates that this trend has been reversed.

08 May 2018 Written by Leslie Walton Category: Financial Crime

Prison sentences handed down to those found guilty of committing tax fraud have increased by 25% according to the Ministry of Justice’s most recent figures. Experts have suggested these figures, which show the average custodial sentence is now four years and one month, are an example of the increasingly determined approach being taken by HMRC and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) when it comes to combating these types of offences.

08 May 2018 Written by Leslie Walton Category: Financial Crime

Incidences of financial abuse perpetrated against elderly people are on the increase according to investigations carried out by a prominent charity. Age UK, which performs a wide range of research into helping improve the lives of elderly people in the UK, has recently carried out a review of evidence that suggests older people are at greater risk of financial exploitation than previously thought.

Age UK’s findings established that approximately 130,000 people over the age of 65 in Britain have been the victims of financial abuse. While anyone can find themselves subject to such abuse, it is acknowledged that older people are at particular risk given that many are seen to have substantial savings and are considered to be more vulnerable than younger people.

09 March 2018 Written by Leslie Walton Category: Commercial Conveyancing

The UK’s commercial property sector has seen an increase in investment of 66% in January 2018 when compared with the same period last year, a new industry report has shown.

06 March 2018 Written by Leslie Walton Category: Blog

We are pleased to announce that Wilford Smith has been shortlisted for the 2018 Yorkshire Business Masters Awards in the professional services category.

This award is for 'outstanding performance from a professional services firm in the region'.

13 February 2018 Written by Leslie Walton Category: Estate Planning

A more aggressive approach by HMRC in investigating people's estates has seen the amount of money collected by the Government through Inheritance Tax increase by nearly 15% in the current financial year, according to experts. With figures released by HMRC showing that Inheritance Tax receipts from the beginning of the 2017-18 tax year stand at £3.6 billion, rising by £472 million or 14.6% on last year, it is believed that tax authorities are taking a more heavy-handed approach when it comes to challenging Inheritance Tax avoidance.

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