New overseas beneficial ownership register in the UK from 2021

The government has announced the launch of a register aimed at reducing the opportunities for criminals to use shell companies to buy properties in the UK to launder their illicit proceeds.

The overseas beneficial ownership register will be launched by early 2021 and will reveal the owners of overseas companies buying property in the UK. It will be the world's first public register to require overseas companies that own or buy property in the UK to provide details of their ultimate owners.

HMRC published guidance on the serial tax avoidance regime introduced by Schedule 18 to the Finance Act 2016. The regime targets taxpayers (individuals, corporates and unincorporated bodies) who repeatedly use tax avoidance schemes that are defeated. Its objective is to encourage compliant behaviour and deter and penalise the use of avoidance schemes.

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