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18 - High-Net-Worth Trusts in the Twenty-First Century

Confiscatory Taxes and Duties?

from Part III

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  19 April 2018

Richard C. Nolan
Affiliation:
University of York
Kelvin F. K. Low
Affiliation:
City University of Hong Kong
Tang Hang Wu
Affiliation:
Singapore Management University
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Summary

The ubiquity of the Trust owes much to its efficacy as a barrier to the extraction of taxes from the super-wealthy. That success is now eliciting judicial condemnation of Trust-facilitated tax avoidance. Courts have been burnishing old principles in favour of creditors, and of civil relationship partners, disgruntled by unfair treatment involving Trusts. Treaties are being concluded to ensure access to Trust information that otherwise would remain hidden “out of jurisdiction”. There is now a formidable consensus that the neo-liberal, “trickle down”, ascendancy was an economic evil, and that it has paved the way for the “past to devour the future”. Unless estate or gift duties reappear, and override Trusts, the rush of wealth to the top could provoke those on the bottom to resort to violence. The adoption of a “no questions asked” attitude by Trust advisers, who give advice that clients want to hear, instead of advice that they need to hear, is tantamount to commercial and professional suicide. Unless the Trust be reined in, and society begins to offer serious help to the many who are poor, it is unlikely to be able to save the few who are rich.
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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2018

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