Compliance is the biggest challenge for private client practitioners

Accurate record keeping and complying with the burgeoning regulations associated with Automatic Exchange of Information (AEOI) on tax are the biggest challenges faced by private client practitioners going forward according to Gill Steel of LawSkills Ltd, an acknowledged authority in the areas of Probate, Trusts and Tax.

Speaking to an audience comprising Trust and Estate practitioners from across the country at thewealthworks’ annual user group conference, Gill Steel provided an update on managing AEOI and the developments in the new transparent world of disclosure of trusts to revenue authorities both in compliance with EU law and international agreement.

She also spelt out the legal obligations that trust administrators now face with particular emphasis on Common Reporting Standards (CRS) reporting.

She said:

“Compliance should be top of the trust administrator’s list of significant plans at the moment. There is much to do. Practitioners need all the help they can get with understanding AEOI and its ramifications for the trusts they manage. In addition to understanding what is required, administrators have to design and use tools to engage and capture all the relevant information from settlors, trustees, protectors, beneficiaries and persons with significant control over the trusts they manage.”

A particular danger is data input errors which can have a ripple effect across a number of reporting requirements for different tax regimes including FATCA, CRS, CDOT (Crown Dependencies and Gibraltar Regulations) and DAC (EU Directive on Administrative Cooperation in tax matters) all of which requires separate submissions.

Mick Jones, managing director at thewealthworks, said:

“Accurate and reliable software dramatically reduces the chances of data input error.  Our development of one stop solution for trust and estate management, reflects the need for a single entry providing effortless fulfilment of reporting obligations across all the tax regimes.”

Gill Steel added:

“One of the great strengths of computer use is the ability of software to capture data once and use it appropriately in different parts of a programme to reduce the danger of operator error each time that data is needed.

“When data submitted to one regulatory authority is shared to counterpart organisations around the world reliable software makes it less likely that incorrect client information is replicated to other tax authorities thus avoiding jeopardising the client’s worldwide reputation.”

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