Case Study: Avoiding pitfalls in Switzerland

Robert Drysdale, Tax, Trusts and Wealth Planning specialist at Rooks Rider Solicitors LLP

An Executor of a relative’s UK estate, thought to have been wound up four years previously, was surprised to be notified by a well-known Swiss Bank that the testator had opened an account previously with them and there were significant funds held at the time of his death. The anxious and surprised Executor contacted Robert Drysdale at Rooks Rider Solicitors who had the challenge of how to deal with these assets and to favourably settle the unresolved UK tax liability.

Our approach
The key task was to establish whether the UK tax liability should be settled under the UK / Swiss Agreement, or the Liechtenstein Disclosure Facility (LDF). Alternatively, we needed to ascertain if there was perhaps another channel through which the tax liability should be settled.

The outcome
Following a thorough review of the situation, using our extensive experience in dealing with clients in making disclosures to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) using the LDF and other Facilities, we were able to resolve the situation favourably with a significant tax saving for the client.

Client comment:
Thank you to Robert for sorting out the complex foreign tax affairs associated with my relative’s estate over the last 8 months. It has been a pleasure to work with him… His integrity and competence are evident in everything he does and I especially valued his willingness to empathise with my anxieties in a way which never made me feel patronised. Robert never forgot that I have not been here before and he offered exactly the right level of support and contact.”

Robert concludes:
During our first conversation, my client was understandably anxious. Having dealt with a number of similar situations in the past I did, however, feel confident of achieving a positive result for her. 
Creative thinking, coupled with our in-depth knowledge of tax structures, enabled us once again to meet our primary objective – to preserve and enhance our client’s private wealth. It is always so rewarding to get the chance to make a real difference and I was therefore delighted to reach such a good outcome quickly with HMRC and to report the positive news back to a very relieved client.

At Rooks Rider Solicitors our skills in taxation matters are well regarded. With a global reach extending across all main jurisdictions, our extensive knowledge of offshore and onshore trust arrangements and our expertise in the field of domestic and international tax planning, deliver a notable depth of knowledge which is often not found in many larger firms.

For more information, contact Robert Drysdale via Email: or Telephone: +44 (0)20 7689 7168.

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