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New rules could force Britain's tax exiles to pay up!


Dec 29, 2008
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Seems the UK are doing the same as the Germans and US did, so UK's rich tax payers have to watch for new solutions and possibilities in order to hide there earnings and investments.....! Not the best news..

The government is unleashing a tough crackdown on Britain's super-rich tax exiles in a move that will increase the pressure on dozens of the country's wealthiest business figures and celebrities.

The Treasury has advanced plans to clarify tax rules by introducing a "statutory residency test" which could affect tax exiles such as the racing driver Lewis Hamilton and the Barclay brothers, owners of the Telegraph group, who live abroad but have substantial interests in the UK.

Thousands of tax exiles have already been unnerved by a court of appeal judgement earlier this week which is expected to trigger a slew of investigations into whether the super-rich have truly severed their ties with Britain or are playing fast and loose with tax protocols.

The court ruled that Rupert Gaines-Cooper, a Seychelles-based multi-millionaire, is now liable to pay £30m in back taxes because England remained "the centre of gravity of his life and interest" even though he adhered to existing rules by spending less than 91 days in the UK.

The HMRC confirmed they began receiving calls from worried tax exiles demanding to know whether they face huge tax bills just hours after the judgement was made yesterdayon Tuesday.

The Guardian has learnt that the Treasury is in talks with the country's top wealth advisers and accountants to introduce a new law on residency. The working party is soon to conclude its study and the law could be introduced next year if Labour retains power at the next election, according to a senior accounting professional.

Despite less punitive tax than other European countries, many wealthy Britons have moved abroad. As well as Hamilton, who lives in Switzerland, high-profile tax exiles include the beleaguered boss of EMI owner Guy Hands and property moguls the Candy brothers, Nicholas and Christian. The pair, who are behind plans to redevelop a luxury residential complex in Knightsbridge, west London, are worth an estimated £330m and commute to London from Monaco.

Thanks to the huge wealth generated by the city, an increasing number of leading business figures commute in and out of the country on private jets, thus blurring residency rules. Mike Warburton, tax director at Grant Thornton who was an expert witness in the Gaines-Cooper appeal, said: "If you want to be a tax exile we thought it was about 90 days. But now the first hurdle is: Is your house here? Is your family here? Are you a member of a club here. You have to demonstrate you have truly left the country."

source: New rules could force Britain's tax exiles to pay up | Business | The Guardian

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