LLM Programme

The taught modules offered on the LLM programme vary from year to year. Please check the full list of taught modules list for details of modules running in specific academic years. We make every effort to ensure that every module will be offered, but modules are subject to change and cancellation. You are therefore advised to check this site regularly for further updates throughout the year preceding entry to the LLM programme.

Credit value: 15 credits (6 ECTS)
Module Convenor:
Monica Bhandari
Intercollegiate teaching: No
Teaching Method: 10 x two-hour seminars
Who may enrol: LLM students
Prerequisites: None
Barred module combinations: None
Core module for specialism: International Banking and Finance Law , International Commercial Law
Practice Assessment: 2 practice essays will be set during the module
Assessment method for Masters students: 2-hour unseen written examination
Module Overview

Module summary

This module will consider the taxation of trusts in relation to the three main taxes of Income Tax, Capital Gains Tax and Inheritance Tax. We will examine each of these taxes individually and also consider how they work together to form a coherent system, and how one can affect the other. We will then be able to look at some tax planning methods using these taxes. The UK tax system will be used as an example system, but the principles and theories that we will look at are applicable in any jurisdiction.

Module syllabus

Summary of English trust law
What is equity? What is a trust?
Trust formalities
Types of trust and trust powers

Summary of UK tax law
History and constitutional elements
The UK tax system
Statutory interpretation

C Income taxation of annual payments and the income taxation of trusts
Interest, annuities and other annual payments
The income taxation of trusts
The tripartite nature of trust taxation: Taxing the trustee and taxing the beneficiary

Capital gains tax and trusts
The charge to CGT, computation and reliefs
Bare trusts and settled property
The significance of death for CGT

Inheritance tax and settlements
The charge to IHT, transfers of value, gifts and potentially exempt transfers
Exemptions and reliefs
Gifts with reservation/Preowned assets
Collection, liability to IHT and collection
IHT trusts

Methods to reduce tax liability

Recommended materials

CCH British Tax Legislation 2012/2013
LexisNexis Yellow Tax Handbook 2012/2013

Lee Revenue Law Principles and Practice (most recent edition)

Tiley - Revenue Law (6th ed., 2008, Hart Publishing)

Tiley and Collison’s - UK Tax Guide 2012-13 (Oct 2011, LexisNexis)

John Thurston – Estate Planning for the Middle Income Client

Preliminary reading

Lee Revenue Law Principles and Practice
James Penner – The Law of Trusts
Hayton & Marshall – Hayton & Marshall: Commentary and Cases on the Law of Trusts and Equitable Remedies
Alistair Hudson – Understanding Equity and Trusts Law
David Hayton – The Law of Trusts

Other information: N/A
Prizes for this module: There are currently no prizes available for this module.


The application process for the 2014-15 academic session, for entry in September 2014, is now closed.

Information regarding applications for September 2015 will be updated on the website in September 2014.

IMPORTANT NOTICE : Updated 28 May 2014

The Home Office issued an update about the acceptance of ETS tests (including TOEFL). They have now confirmed that Higher Education students applying for a Tier 4 visa may use a TOEFL test taken after 17 April, if a Higher Education Institution is willing to use its academic discretion. For those students entering in September 2014, UCL will continue to accept the TOEFL even if it was taken after 17 April. However, if an applicant still needs to book a test then we recommend that they take an alternative test to TOEFL. Those who have already arranged to take a different test following the previous advice from the Home Office, we encourage you to go ahead with taking the alternative test.

The TOEFL test will continue to be accepted for 2014 entrants who have been asked to take an English language qualification as part of their offer condition, and do not need to apply for a visa to study in the UK.