Current tax position of FURBS

Published by Ian Jones on

The tax advantages of Funded Unapproved Retirement Benefits Schemes (FURBS) have been eroded in recent years as part of a program to make the use of trusts less tax-efficient. As a result of this erosion, funds held within these types of trusts are now taxed in line with general trust rates.

FURBS are trusts used for saving for retirement that have fewer restrictions than normal pensions, but less tax advantages as a result.  Although FURBS are no longer used existing ones still need to be managed.  Below is information on tax for general trusts:

Income Tax

The first £1,000 of gross income (excluding capital gains), known as the Basic Rate Band, will be taxed at the previous preferential rates, being 20% on savings income and 7.50% (previously 10%).  Dividends are now paid gross and there is no tax credit, with any gross income above the Basic Rate Band being taxed at the higher rate tax levels.

For the 2016/2017 tax year, income tax above the Basic rate bad is taxed at 45% with the exception of dividends, which are taxed at 38.10% (preciously 37.50%).

Capital Gains Tax

The Capital Gains Tax Rate is 28% on the sale of residential property and 20% on the sale of other property, assets and gains.  The annual exempt amount is £5,550 for the tax year 2016/2017 and £5,650 for the tax year 2017/2018. Full details on capital gains tax (which is not just specific to trusts) can be found on the Revenue’s website www.hmrc.gov.uk/cgt/index.html 

Inheritance Tax

The Inheritance Tax position depends on whether the funds arose from contributions made before or after 6 April 2006.  Funds paid out on the death of a member will normally escape Inheritance Tax if they relate to contributions made to the FURBS before 6 April 2006. If contributions have been paid both before and after, the fund should be apportioned.

Tax on retirement

The position depends on when contributions were made.  Benefits paid on retirement in respect of a fund arising from contributions paid before 6 April 2006 can still normally be paid as a tax-free lump sum.  This is provided that some company contributions were taxed on the employee as a benefit-in-kind at the time they were made.

For funds arising from contributions made after that time, the company will receive tax relief on the funds and the member will have to pay income tax on those funds as and when they are paid out to the member: there is no tax-free lump sum relating to contributions paid under the new regime.

Find out how we can help with your FURBS

Contact Ian Jones