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Book reviews

16 December 13

Reviews of The Lands Tribunal for Scotland: Law and Practice (Todd and Wishart); Tax Planning for Domiciled and Non-Domiciled Individuals (Finney)

by Brian Inkster, Tom Duguid

The Lands Tribunal for Scotland: Law & Practice

Andrew Todd and Robbie Wishart

PUBLISHER: W GREEN

ISBN: 9780414018891

PRICE: £80

Andrew Todd and Robbie Wishart have written “the first and only in-depth treatment of the Lands Tribunal for Scotland since implementation of the new regime set out in the Title Conditions (Scotland) Act 2003”.

As the Clerk to the Lands Tribunal for Scotland, Neil Tainsh, has pointed out in a letter (Journal, February, 6), the book limits itself to only one part of the Tribunal’s work, the discharge and variation of title conditions and development management schemes under the Title Conditions (Scotland) Act 2003. It does not cover the Tribunal’s work as a forum for resolution of disputes about valuation, or in areas such as tenants’ right to buy or appeals against the Keeper of the Registers.

So maybe the title of the book could have been different. “Volume 1”, perhaps. However, this is minor criticism of what is an excellent, thoroughly researched and well written legal textbook.

I found it a particular easy read, with useful examples given of the application process and tips to assist you. Clauses that you might expect to see in deeds are given, and a comprehensive but concise summary of Tribunal decisions is provided. This book is essential reading for any practitioner with a requirement to discharge or vary title conditions.

Brian Inkster, Inksters Solicitors
                                              

Tax Planning for Domiciled and Non-Domiciled Individuals

Malcolm Finney

PUBLISHER: SWEET & MAXWELL

ISBN: 9780414028524

PRICE: £125

Malcolm Finney’s new publication is designed to introduce practitioners to the basics of private client taxation, before exploring some of the more complicated corners of the tax system for both UK domiciled and foreign domiciled individuals.

Part I of six parts is devoted to basic issues, including common features of tax systems worldwide, an overview of the UK tax system, source of income and situs of assets. This detailed introduction usefully sets the scene for the more specific topics that follow. A practical, rather than theoretical, approach is adopted throughout the book, with unobtrusive references to legislation and case law.

There is a thorough discussion of the concepts of domicile and residence. Because of the timing of the publication, the book refers to the consultation document regarding the statutory residence test rather than the final legislation, a topic covered in greater detail in Malcolm Finney’s more recent book The Statutory Residence Test: A Practical Guide 2013/14.

Part II sets out more detail on capital taxes, including discussion of capital gains tax, inheritance tax and the taxation of trusts. Those discussions all provide a useful starting point for technical matters and include many informative examples. In the following section trusts, including relevant property charges and the often complex tax treatment of non-UK resident trusts, are discussed in a clear and logical manner.

There is an introduction to the tax treatment of specific assets including investments, insurance bonds, homes, holiday lettings as well as tax efficient investments such as EIS, seed EIS and VCTs.

A detailed section titled “The International Dimension” provides a useful point of reference for the increasingly complicated areas of the remittance basis regime, the relatively recent business investment relief for non-domiciliaries, double taxation agreements, the EU Savings Directive and a full introduction to offshore planning.

It should be noted that sections of the book deal principally with English law, including the chapters on joint property ownership, trusts, wills and probate, but each of these will be a helpful guide for the Scottish practitioner dealing with cross-border issues.

Overall, even though the number of textbooks in this area continues to grow ever larger, Tax Planning for Domiciled and Non-Domiciled Individuals stands out with its helpful broad coverage. The inclusion of many (realistic) examples throughout the text is particularly useful. Although this is a fairly lengthy work, at 1,057 pages, the volume of topics discussed does occasionally mean that some sections are quite brief. For example, the chapter on the law of trusts is quite basic, but that is no doubt the author’s intention given the number of other specialist works available to deal with particular topics in more detail. Whilst not a one-stop solution to all technical matters of private client taxation, Malcolm Finney’s book is to be recommended with its thorough and practical coverage from an accomplished and reliable author.

Tom Duguid, Turcan Connell

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