These case studies, 1-5, demonstrate the methods we employ when assisting our clients over the past 12 months.

We think you will find this to be informative and illustrate the breadth of our services and how we approach and resolve our clients' issues:

  • Case Study 1 - Formation of an international company

    A client Miss Y, who resides in Monaco, needed to know why she needed to form an international company to hold a substantial portfolio of US securities she held in her own name as she lived in Monaco and was not liable to pay taxes on her wealth or income. She has never visited or lived in the United States. She said her father advised her to do so.

    With US securities if they are held in an individual’s name, no matter whether they are US citizens or not, then they are liable to US estate duty at 40% on their death less an exemption of US$60,000 for non-resident aliens which Miss Y would be classed as. Unless she sells the securities she could place them into an international company that will continue after the individual’s death. We confirmed her father’s advice.

    We were able to offer her a selection of jurisdictions, the costs and the requirements of such a company. This company being administered from Monaco but not being formed in Monaco, is not liable to taxes here. Once she had selected the name and jurisdiction we were able to form the entity, open the company with her bank and arrange the transfer the US securities into it. We were able to provide the directors and continuing secretarial support to the company from our offices in Monaco.

  • Case Study 2 - Monaco Residency

    Mr and Mrs B with 2 children of school age were looking to move from an EU country where they resided to Monaco. They themselves were EU citizens. As they could remain in Monaco for 3 months at a time without a residency visa they decided to rent a flat and see if they liked living here. Once they decided to live here permanently they contacted us to discuss their residency application.

    As they were EU citizens they did not need to apply to the French Consulate for a long term visa to reside in Monaco. In order to proceed with their application they needed to provide the following documents at their police interview:

    - A lease on an apartment in Monaco suitable for their family.
    - A bank letter from a Monaco bank confirming that they have a minimum bank deposit account balance of Euros500,000.
    - A criminal record confirmation from the country where they lived during the past 5 years.
    - An electricity contract from SMEG.
    - The usual personal details such as a valid passport, CV’s, and birth and marriage certificates.

    Following the interview they were issued, after 8 weeks, with their resident’s cards, valid for 1 year. Their children, once they reach 16 years of age, will need to apply for their own residents’ cards.

    As part of our service we also provided information on local schools for their children, where they could find doctors and dentists and how to obtain their Monaco driving licenses.

  • Case Study 3 - Formation of a SARL

    Mr and Mrs T, having moved to Monaco over 5 years ago, decided to set up a business from Monaco. They were aware that they required approval from the government to operate a business from Monaco but they needed advice on which type was best suited to their requirements, an SNC, SCS, SARL or SAM. Their projections showed that the business would grow rapidly especially in overseas markets where they saw their main growth. They asked us to advise them as to how best to incorporate their business and what the benefits of this would be.

    Following an examination of their business plans, their projected trading history over the next 3 years, and their working capital requirements we suggested that they incorporated their business with limited liability. As they were undertaking commercial trading activities a SARL was chosen. It would be liable to register for corporation tax and VAT.

    The benefits of the SARL include:
    1. Limited liability.
    2. An entity that they could sell or attract additional shareholders if capital was needed to expand at a later date.
    3. Greater acceptance with overseas trading partners bankers and suppliers being formed as a limited company.
    4. Ease of operating and less management time taken up by compliance issues.
    5. Ability to attract staff and employ them as they were covered by the local pension and social security schemes.

    We assisted them to prepare their application, obtained the necessary documents and arranged for it to be filed them with the Government. The authorisation was granted within 3 months and they proceeded to open their offices, employ staff and develop their business.

    Further assistance was provided by us to assist them register with the tax and VAT departments as well as the social security offices for payroll and pension matters.

  • Case Study 4 - Inheritance tax exposure

    Mr Y, a non-UK domiciled citizen, called us on the matter of renewing his Monaco residency card. We directed him to our website that gave the details of what he needed to do. In passing he asked about a Monaco Will which then led on to his domicile status with regards to UK inheritance tax (IHT). He was sure because he had lived in Monaco for over 11 years and was not UK domiciled that he was not liable to this tax. However, from a few preliminary questions from us he was not so sure. He said that he owned several UK residential properties in his own name and that some were let commercially. He asked us to quantify his and his wife’s on their exposure to this tax.

    Even though he is not domiciled in the UK, his UK situate properties will fall within the charge to IHT. Since 6th April, 2017, this applies to all UK residential property held by individuals including those let commercially. (It also applies to UK residential property being held via non-resident companies and trust structures). The way the property acquisitions were funded would need to be considered, as loans for the purchase, maintenance or improvements to his UK residential properties as well as any collateral he has provided for such loans are now within charge to UK IHT.

    The current rate is 40% of the market value of the properties, less debt in certain circumstances. Transfers between spouses are usually exempt but as the spouse is this case is non UK domiciled the transfer is limited to £325,000.

    Based on the information we obtained and discussions with the client and his wife we were able to quantify their potential exposure to UK IHT, both for properties and loans, and UK CGT relating to their UK properties. (As they had not sold any of their UK properties they were not aware that UK Capital Gains Tax would apply on any sales of their UK properties since 6th April, 2015 for non UK residents).

    As part of this exercise we would also review with them their property funding arrangements, their UK and Monaco wills, their gifting strategies for their children and grandchildren as well as consider life insurance policies to cover their IHT exposure. We believe that we can assist them with their on-going planning and keep them abreast of current and future tax implications that may arise from their property investments in the UK.

  • Case Study 5 - Tax Residency

    Mr H, a client who was living in Monaco with his family had left the UK over 3 years ago but now wanted to visit the UK for investment opportunities and family reasons. He understood that he could visit the UK for 90 days a year without being UK tax resident under the UK’s Statutory Residence Test (SRT). He needed to know if this was possible before he started to visit the UK.

    Under two of the SRT “Automatic Overseas” tests he was not UK resident in any of the three previous years as he had not visited the UK for more than 15 nights in any of these years. This was confirmed by us from examining his records that included an analysis of his daily diaries, his airline travel and credit card statements during these 3 years.

    Under the third “Automatic Overseas” test he could still visit the UK for less than 91 days in the tax year and not be UK resident if he was in full time employment outside the UK and that when he was in the UK he worked for no more than 30 days over 3 hours a day. He confirmed that this was possible for the work days. As a director and employee of a Monaco company with a valid work contract this would be evidence that he was in full time employment outside the UK. However, the test has a number of detailed requirements that must be fulfilled to ensure that the test is met. These include keeping detailed records of travel, details of the meetings in the UK, overall hours actually worked, disregarded days, holidays, sickness, maternity leave, and any breaks from work over 31 days in a year. Detailed records would need to be kept to support this claim should he be asked by HMRC to do so.

    From our analysis of his records to date, his wish to take 3 months off work in the tax year and the projected days to be spent until the year end meant, using the specific calculations under this test, that he would not meet the requirements this tax year. Accordingly, he decided that he would visit the UK this year under 46 days and in doing so be automatically non UK resident.