Douglas Smith - 																					Partner

Douglas Smith

Stuart Court
Salisbury Road
Romsey SO51 6DJ

023 8093 0329

Partner - Succession & Tax

For over 30 years, Douglas has been advising high-net-worth clients on tax matters and plans for the future of their estates. He supports those based in the UK and abroad and has a strong understanding of the legal processes in multiple jurisdictions.

As a legal professional who relishes a challenge, he often takes on complex cases and is experienced in dealing with HM Revenue & Customs’ Heritage team in relation to tax issues for clients owning valuable works of art and chattels. He also has experience in draft pre-paid funeral plan trusts.

Douglas is highly skilled at establishing appropriate tax arrangements for his clients, including offshore mitigation structures in the form of trusts, foundations, companies and other entities. His in-depth knowledge of a broad range of taxes enables him to provide holistic advice and build long-term relationships with clients. He is ranked as Tier 1 by Legal 500 for 2019.

Key experience

  • assisting beneficiaries of a Will trust in obtaining their entitlement to estate assets completely free from inheritance tax following the settlement of an Inheritance (Provisions for Family and Dependents) Act 1975 claim brought by the deceased’s widow
  • saving over £400,000 in potential capital gains tax on the distribution of an offshore trust’s gains arising before 6 April 1999 between UK and non-UK residents (prior to 6 April 2018)
  • advising clients from the Middle East on the UK tax consequences of owning UK assets (including properties) through offshore trusts, companies and other entities, and dealing or assisting with any necessary UK tax compliance such as the annual tax on enveloped dwellings (ATED), non-resident capital gains tax, and self-assessment tax returns
  • informing US clients on the UK tax implications of existing US grantor trusts they had established before becoming UK residents and/or domiciliaries
  • acting for the trustees of two family trusts owning works of art worth in excess of £50m, which are conditionally exempt from tax. Avoiding an attempt by HMRC’s Heritage team to vary the terms of an undertaking agreed  before 31 July 1998 from appointment-only access to the conditionally exempt works to open access, which would have caused the trust significant annual costs
  • obtaining membership of the Funeral Planning Authority for a national pre-paid plan provider
  • successfully avoiding inheritance tax on pension death benefit transfers made by the deceased within six months of his death where HMRC was claiming tax on such transfers as failed potentially exempt transfers and the odds were heavily stacked against the taxpayer