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Dedicated to the taxpayers of Britain, and the employees of Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC), who have to endure the monumental shambles that is HMRC.
Monday, 30 November 2009
High Net Worth
The Sunday Times has a slightly "shouty" headline "Taxman targets exiles who keep UK toehold":
"RICH Britons who claim to have moved overseas could find themselves back in the clutches of the taxman if they have hung on to a car, a mobile phone number or even a golf club membership in the UK."
The article goes on to explain that HMRC's "new high net worth unit, which monitors the tax contributions of the country’s wealthiest 5,000 people, will examine the non-residency claims of the super-rich."
All very well maybe, the unit may be new, but the principle of "severing ties" is not new. I well recall my tax studies (when I was young, bright eyed and bushy tailed) whereby we were taught that those who claimed to be exiles had to demonstrate that they had fully left the country (eg by rescinding club memberships).
It seems that the rules haven't changed so much, but that the "alertness" of HMRC (in the face of the reality of Brown's Bankrupt Britain) has.
As to whether this new found "alertness" and "zeal" will benefit the country's finances in the long term or not remains to be seen.
Most certainly those classified as "super rich" will avoid the UK like the plague, as they have no intention of paying 50% tax.
Whilst this may provide some people with a certain schadenfreude, it will not in the long run do our country any good wrt attracting/keeping high achievers. These are the people, who through their energies and ambitions, build businesses that make significant contributions to the nation.
Tax does have to be taxing.
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