Fifteen per cent of financial advisers report that clients have been put-off legitimate tax-planning over the last year because of negative publicity around tax evasion and aggressive tax avoidance.
Although the majority of advisers (84%) say their clients are still willing to make use of legitimate tax planning measures, a worrying number have seen a portion of their clients turn away from tax planning as a result of high-profile tax scandals.
The data shows that more than fifteen per cent of advisers have seen some clients that have been put-off legitimate tax planning.
One in ten advisers have seen up to 20% of their clients put-off legitimate tax planning, while 3% said 20-40% had been dissuaded from planning:
Old Mutual Wealth, Adviser Insight survey:*
“What proportion of your clients have shown reluctance to use legitimate tax planning methods as a result of publicity around tax avoidance over the last 12 months?”
There are a wide range of legitimate tax planning measures available to UK savers, ranging from use of gifts and trusts for estate planning, to tax relief when investing in enterprise investment schemes.
But high-profile cases over the last year have impacted on consumer appetite for vanilla tax planning.
Old Mutual Wealth is today warning that publicity around abuse of the tax system and aggressive tax avoidance should not discourage normal savers from organising their finances in a tax efficient way with the help of a financial adviser.
Old Mutual Wealth financial planning expert Rachael Griffin says:
“Efficient tax planning is good common sense and not something to be ashamed of. Those that save for the future and build wealth for themselves and their families should not be put off planning because others choose to abuse the system. But this data shows there is a real risk that normal people feel stigmatised or pressured to pay more tax than is necessary.
“Normal tax-planning tools such as trusts and potentially exempt transfers are permissible under UK tax law and there is no issue with using them to manage personal tax liabilities. The majority of these tools are designed to allow people to pass on their accumulated wealth to their children, grandchildren or other friends and family without giving almost half of it to the tax-man.”
*Data collected from 219 UK financial advisers in April 2016.