That great civil libertarian, Clive Stafford Smith

Seems to think that we should all be slaves to the State even if we decide we don\’t want to live in the UK.

The latest contretemps about Lord Ashcroft acting out the role of Conservative party honcho, while refusing to disclose whether he files taxes in the UK, raises a broader issue: why can any British national living abroad avoid taxes in this country?

Such \”tax exile\” status has come up with increasing frequency of late, in the wake of the 50% bracket reintroduced by Labour. Various people, including Michael Caine and Tracey Emin, have grumbled about their obligations, and threatened to go to live elsewhere.

He urgegs that the American system be adopted, that we are taxed by the Treasury wherever we live in the world. This could be avoided of course, siomply by giving up one\’s passport as in the US system.

What he fails to note is that in the US system when you do so you have to pay all the taxes that you would have paid if you had not given up your passport.

No, really, they assess what you would have paid over the next 10 years and then charge you that as an exit fee.

Weird that a civil libertarian would argue for such slavery to a State.

11 thoughts on “That great civil libertarian, Clive Stafford Smith”

  1. I know a couple of Americans who are permanently living abroad (one here and one in Aus) and they have both stuck 2 fingers up at the US Treasury and appear to be getting away with it. They can’t go “home” though.

  2. “why can any British national living abroad avoid taxes in this country?”

    Er, because we don’t live there, don’t earn money there and don’t spend money there either? Just take your confiscatory British taxes and shove ’em.


  3. Tim, Peter, I agree that British nationals living abroad, without UK sourced income, should not have to pay tax here, except for this point:

    he gets to sit in the House of Lords, and vote on our legislation

    Anyone deciding our laws should have to not only pay tax here but actually live here (at least say 80% of the year) and thus be subject to said laws.

    British nationals should not be slaves to the State. British politicians should be slaves to the British people.

  4. Well said Ed. In the vanishingly unlikely event of my being elevated to the Lords I would, of course, go back to live in Blighty. But I have no political ambitions…

  5. CSS trucks out this pro USA line often and in many different instances. One wonders whether this is because he is a naturalised American, living and working in the USA in a politically charged environment and he is, therefore, a suck-up out of self interest.

    The ten year rule applies only where the ex USA citizen has not entered another “high tax” system. So, a Yank moving to the UK and relinquishing their citizenship would not be caught, but if they moved instead to, say, Jersey, they would.

  6. and – you have it right. basically, the US way of taxing passport holders is a form of taxation without representation…they have got away with it so far but the 1o year stuff is just a figment

  7. Actually the people who decide the majority of our laws sit in Brussels and most of them pay no British tax.

    ed, I’m well aware of this. I see two possible solutions:
    1. The EU parliament, commission and the other heads of state move to be based in the UK.
    2. We leave.

    Their choice. 🙂

  8. Can anyone provide a cite for the claim that the US demands 10 years, upfront, for global (not just US) income? Cos I’ve provided one that strongly implies it’s false.

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