Hundreds of Qrops delisted following legislation change

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has taken hundreds of qualified recognised overseas pension schemes (Qrops) off its register following the enforcement of new legislation this month.

HMRC’s most recent register, published on 12 April, showed that around 310 schemes, which had appeared on the previous register, had been dropped. Jurisdictions affected include Guernsey, Jersey, the Isle of Man and New Zealand.

The publication of the register comes a few weeks after the 2012 Budget, which stated that, from 6 April, non-residents and residents must be treated in the same way for tax purposes. New information and reporting requirements were also introduced. These changes affect transfers between UK-registered pension schemes and Qrops.

Mark Kiernan, director at Boal and Co, said: “[Previously], schemes had to report any payments that were made if the member was a UK resident or had been in any previous five tax years.

“Now we have to report any benefits paid within ten years of the pension transfer rather than within five tax years of the member leaving the UK, so that makes it a much longer period. If a member transfers now, even if they have not been a resident for five years, then [the scheme] has to report for the next ten years.”

A statement from HMRC read: “The government also made clear at Budget 2012 that, where the country or territory in which a Qrops is established makes legislation or otherwise creates or uses a pension scheme to provide tax advantages that are not intended or available under the Qrops rules, the government will act so that the relevant types of pension schemes in those countries or territories will be excluded from being Qrops.”

Qrops were introduced in April 2006 to allow an individual to transfer their savings in a UK-registered pension scheme to a pension plan that meets the conditions to be a Qrop, free of UK tax.

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