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Once upon a time,

I had an IFA who sold me an offshore 'portfolio'. This was a life assurance policy linked to the value of a series of equities, unit trusts, investments etc..

This policy is actually quite expensive, about 2% per year and had a whopping up front charge of about 8%. Still, I was hooked, especially with all the claims of no capital gains or income tax ( until I try to bring the capital back onshore that is).

Anyway, what I really want to know, is whether the tax breaks on offshore investments have any merit to a standard 20% tax payer such as myself. If I became unemployed, could I surrender the polocy and avoid income tax?. Also, what is the tax situation with an onshore unit trust? Is income tax taken on the growth each year or when the policy is surrendered?

(I am naive with regard to these issues, so appologies if my question is a little lightweight).

Thanks, Paul.

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