Hundreds Of QROPS Removed By HMRC

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Written By Saeed Maleki

HM Revenue and Customs has removed 432 Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Schemes (QROPS) from the latest list of recognised offshore pensions, according to a report by iExpats.

HMRC has made no comment about why the QROPS are not on the list but speculation within the industry suggests the move is linked with the defeat in the High Court over the excluded Singapore ROSIIP QROPS, says the story on iExpats.

Most of the QROPS deleted from the list appear to have opened after the last major tax rule changes in April 2012.

Although 18 QROPS financial centres have seen pensions suspended, HMRC has not removed any centre – the last were Cyprus and Slovakia in 2012.

Providers are waiting to hear from HMRC, but several allege the current QROPS regime does not work for providers or investors and they expect a new raft of regulations linked to a public policy statement from HMRC ordered by the judge in the case.

One QROPS provider said: “HMRC seem to be in a mess over the rules introduced in April 2012. They have suspended the schemes without telling any provider why. We suspect this relates to the Singapore ROSIIP court case.

New QROPS rules expected

“There needs to be a halfway house where HMRC talk to providers about QROPS rules rather than taking unilateral action with any explanation.

“We are expecting new draft regulations tied in with the High Court policy statement sometime in the next week or so.”

HMRC has made no comment about the QROPS list removals.

QROPS are taken off the list generally for three reasons:

  • HMRC excludes the scheme as QROPS rules are broken
  • The scheme administrator  has requested removal from the list
  • HMRC has suspended the scheme pending further inquiries

“HMRC may also temporarily remove a scheme from this list in certain circumstances while it carries out a review,” says HMRC on the list. “Such removal will not necessarily mean that the scheme has been excluded from being a QROPS by HMRC – but the scheme will be removed from the published list until HMRC has completed its review.”