Another interesting tax bit

Another wide-ranging treaty with Switzerland to encourage all Britons to come clean, which came into force in 2013, also proved a failure. The Swiss ​Bankers’ ​Association said: “This is mainly due to the fact that many clients have resident non-domiciled status. These clients are not liable to taxation in the UK and thus do not fall under the agreement.”.One great advantage for Britain’s non-doms is that, when ticking the box on their tax form, they are not required to disclose the existence of any Swiss accounts, though any income brought into Britain does become liable to domestic tax.

People paying every penny of tax due is not really a failure now, is it?

45 thoughts on “Another interesting tax bit”

  1. Can journalists please get straight the concepts of “Briton”, “British Resident”, “non-resident British citizen”, “non-dom” and so on.

    How many of the supposedly British accounts that get counted were, like mine, those of somebody with a British passport who is not resident in the UK, neither physically nor for tax purposes?

  2. The irony of all this is that compulsive tinkerer, Gordon the Moron, was the person who increased the complexity of the tax system tenfold.

    Strangely, none of this affected the state of non-doms.

    Surely, if the leftys thought it was only even of marginal importance, they would have done something about it in the 13 years they had in power?

  3. And our favourite economic/tax /legal expert has today opined on our domicile rules. They are apparently racist. And illegal under the Race Relations Act. Fancy that, taxes acts illegal under another act; I didn’t know English Law worked like that.

  4. So Much for Subtlety

    Ironman – “And our favourite economic/tax /legal expert has today opined on our domicile rules. They are apparently racist.”

    So Ritchie has sunk to irresponsible, irrational and unfair accusations of racism has he?

    Don’t you hate it when people do that? Good thing it would never happen around here.

  5. I wholly agree. But when the racists acknowledge they are racists it doesn’t appear quite as irresponsible does it.

  6. It’s a failure in Ritchieland because he thinks according to the principle that the law should embody a certain moral principle, and that everyone desiring to obey the law should act according not to the law, but to the fulfillment of that moral principle- that moral principle being defined in Ritchie’s mind- and anyone who doesn’t is doing the Devil’s bidding.

    Or he’s just thick. I’m still inclined to that explanation myself.

  7. From the (what’s the opposite of maestro?) himself, demonstrating his usual polemic ignorance:

    This term is not defined in UK law, but broadly speaking a person is domiciled in the country in which they have their permanent home. That is their place of national origin, irrespective of their race, ethnicity or nationality.

    Err, no. People move. Take our Mr Newman or Stefano Pessani, as examples.

  8. Surreptitious Evil

    Permanent home might well be an indicator of domicile of choice. However, it does NOT, even broadly speaking, define domicile. And as you note, the statement is anyway logically inconsistent.

  9. The thing I hadn’t understood is how banks segregate provision of services by domicile rather than by nationality. I would have expected it merely to be a matter of a bit of paperwork and a series of irritatingly compounding €20 per-deal fee for an Indian to open an account at a Brazilian bank while working in Dubai and then to use the money from the Brazilian account to buy shares through an Australian stockbroker; I expected that an English person working for a French company in Nigeria would be paid by direct-credit to his English bank account, and occasionally have to pay a withdrawing-money-abroad fee to get Naira out of an ATM in Lagos.

    But apparently capital doesn’t flow that freely for mere humans.

  10. So Much for Subtlety

    Ironman – “I wholly agree. But when the racists acknowledge they are racists it doesn’t appear quite as irresponsible does it.”

    If only we knew anyone who admitted they were racists. A shame isn’t it?

    Instead we just have Ritchie-lite. It is amazing how far the Guardian’s world view, and tactics, have crept into normal life, isn’t it?

    Surreptitious Evil quoeth: “This term is not defined in UK law, but broadly speaking a person is domiciled in the country in which they have their permanent home. That is their place of national origin, irrespective of their race, ethnicity or nationality.”

    So ….. a Black South African, who acquires British nationality, and then retires to the south of Spain (and it could happen), is …. Spanish? Not Black African by race? Not British by nationality?

    How interesting Ritchie’s world is.

  11. Ritchie’s description of domicile is just wrong. Can we all stop discussing what isn’t real. There is no Ritchieworld here, not even on the Tax Research UK blog.

  12. Ritchie is on fire in the comments:

    “I am asking to change a bad law
    I am not accusing anyone of anything bar governments who have maintained discrimination”

    “You clearlybcan’tb tell the difference between residence and domicile which makes all you say utter nonsense
    If I was a teacher with would be D-, do again and get your facts right”

    “It is, in my opinion, accurate
    You can disagree with my legal interpretation but not, I think, my sentiment”

    “Oh come on
    Positive discrimination overcomes disadvantage
    Non-Dom confers privilege
    Don’t talk crap”

    Sic all spellings, grammar and syntax. The repeat prescription must have been late arriving.

  13. Ian B,

    One of the most worrying aspects of political discourse, and embodied by the likes of Ritchie and Hodge the Dodge, and also Cameron, is a sense that people should do the “right” thing.

    One of the strengths of the Anglosphere for many centuries was the idea of due process of the law, and this used to be central to politics. That if someone out there was doing something that parliament thought was wrong, the way of resolving that was by changing laws.

    If lots of people in this country don’t respect that idea (and I think a large minority don’t any longer), we will descend into arbitrary mob rule. Haul the head of Amazon into a courtroom under the broad “Enemy of the People” act and let a jury lock him up for not paying the tax they think he should pay.

  14. Hang on, Ritchie is a dual national. His statement doesn’t even make any sense in his own situation!

    And of course his British bank accounts are “offshore” to the Irish 🙂

  15. The Stigler

    Agreed. I had a similar discussion on another blog this week. The blogger -a sensible and thoughtful commentator, indicated in response that he had only wished to suggest morality should inform our individual tax decisions. But there lie precisely my 2 problems with this.
    1. Morality is personal and subjective. My morality would be roundly condemned by Richard Murphy. But I find his double standards immoral.to say the least.
    2. Those who invoke morality (except nutcases like Ritchie) invariably end up backtracking and asking only for a moral flavour or something like.

  16. Applying his “domicile is permanent home which is place of nationality”, my kids both simultaneously have 2 “Ritchiciles”, in which neither of them have ever lived.

  17. Ritchie’s description of domicile is just wrong. Can we all stop discussing what isn’t real. There is no Ritchieworld here, not even on the Tax Research UK blog.

    This is probably tending towards an appropriate response now that his star is waning in the east but when we consider the level of influence he looked like having on the low wattage intellects of the Miliband inner circle, the country needed him to attract all and any appropriate correction and condemnation.

    Luckily his incessant narcissistic pillockdom has largely done for his wider media exposure.

  18. @SE ‘incessant narcissistic pillockdom’

    I like it.

    The way he treated his near-fellow traveller Jolyon whatisface was reminiscent of Trotsky and the ice pick – the key with that kind of thing is to be very careful who whom.

    I think he’s probably been too rude too often to too many people whose egos are too big to suffer him.

  19. I mean, we bicker a bit on here, but the way the left fall out is – well it’s been sitcommed (Wolfie, Life of Brian etc) so it must be inherently funny.

  20. “This term is not defined in UK law, but broadly speaking a person is domiciled in the country in which they have their permanent home. That is their place of national origin, irrespective of their race, ethnicity or nationality.”

    Well, that definition certainly isn’t defined in English Law. It is absurd. Just to read it is to refute it.

    What is it that scientists say: “it isn’t even wrong”?

  21. I thought the HMRC publication on domicile was quite clear. Clearly, ritchie cannot read, or has not read it.

    Or, he read it, decided he didn’t like it, so made up his own nonsensical definition that, as Rob states, does not make any sense at all. Particularly in an era of mass em-/immigration.

  22. I mean, we bicker a bit on here, but the way the left fall out is – well it’s been sitcommed

    The left all want to be The Great Leader, and, well, there can be only one. So, at the slightest sign of a chance of power, they devolve into a war of all against all, where other lefties are either competitors or idiots to be used and tossed aside, and compromise is just a sign of weakness.

    The right mostly want to be free, so they just bicker about exactly how free they should be, and are willing to compromise on things they don’t much care about in order to get the things they do.

  23. In this era of mass immigration there IS a debate to be had on domicile. Ritchie and Miliband offer nothing to it, however.

  24. abacab,

    It’s actually quite interesting. I’ve taken five minutes out to actually read the HMRC guidance.

    So, what Ritchie refers to as “national origin” is close to the concept of “domicile of origin”. With the clear exception that domicile concerns jurisdictions rather than nations (i.e. Scotland versus England & Wales – you can argue whether you have one nation or three but you clearly have most of one state and two jurisdictions.)

    Ritchie doesn’t consider domicile of dependence (which is probably reasonable in a discussion of taxation.)

    His confusion between nationality, residence, and domicile of choice is a typical example of why we have come to know and loath him.

    His insistence that these differences that he clearly fails to grasp, never mind to actually comprehend, is then sufficiently linked to ethnicity and race to form racism is laughable.

    Of course, the “racist” argument can be dealt with by a small extension of SMFS’s example.

    “Given that a Saffa acquires British nationality and eventually retires to Spain, what differences are there in their tax treatment, under UK law, depending on whether they are white or black?”

    Answer – none. Therefore no direct discrimination.

    You can deal with the indirect discrimination issue by positing a white Saffa and a black Sarf Londoner, both UK nationals and retired to Spain.

  25. “In this era of mass immigration there IS a debate to be had on domicile. Ritchie and Miliband offer nothing to it, however.”

    Indeed. My view is that it is a wierd historical concept that results in unnecessary complication – like for most countries, you should be either tax resident in the UK or not. And for complicated cases, there’s the tax treaties.

    Also, on a related note, the way British inheritance tax discriminates against non-British spouses is quite abhorrent, particularly in the case in which HMRC wishes to claim that a non-resident Brit married to a non-Brit still has a UK domicile for IHT purposes……. (dual national friend of mine in his 70s has HMRC trying this on with him – which would result with his house being IHT’s out from under his surviving spouse at the current threshold, rate and exchange rate. The fact that he is resident in the country of his other nationality doesn’t interest them. The moral of the story is do not own ANY property in the UK, not even non-residential.).

  26. @Surreptitious Evil

    It is interesting, isn’t it? And it should be required reading for all UK emigrés, born-abroads etc. who have no intention ever to return, particularly if they married foreign.

  27. @abacab

    IHT rules changed for non-UK domiciled spouses back in 2013.

    Has your friend taken professional advice? If so, hopefully not from someone like Richard Murphy!

  28. @Andrew C – missed that change (last looked in 2012).

    He did take professional advice, which was to tell HMRC to f*ck the f*ck off. A piece of commercial property on an industrial estate does not a domicile make. But it’s ridiculous that they even came fishing for him.

  29. abacab

    Yes the rules have changed. In the meantime telling HMRC where to go on this does seem like the way ahead.

    And over on TRUK the car crash on domicile is turning into a train wreck.

  30. “I can think of no version of human rights that says discrimination on the basis of an accident of birth is acceptable. Show me one that does.”

    But *he* thinks that discrimination on the basis of accident of birth is acceptable – he wants to subject British citizens resident abroad to double-taxation, thereby treating them worse than both UK residents and the natives of the country in which they live.

  31. Bloke in Costa Rica

    He can fuck right off back to Ireland, the stupid bog-trotting carpet-bagger. Sauce for geese, etc..

  32. it’s his continual ignorance that amazes. He claims only three countries have a concept of domicile then when it’s pointed out that there are many more he accuses the person of ‘nitpicking’.

    Almost as if he revels in wallowing in ignorance….

  33. He’s deleted me!!

    All I.did.was.point out his claim never to have created tax.risk for his client doesn’t survive a look at a couple of old Guardian articles…and he deletes me!!!

  34. And Seamus, by vigorously agreeing with him, causes him to contradict himself.

    But then, apparently he “has never said otherwise”. How silly of us.

    (sorry, in new-found respect for Timmy’s no-linkage policy, you’ll have to check the thread for context).

  35. I’m not sure if Seamus is a satirical genius or a terrifying fascist moron. I think the former, but I could be wrong.

  36. Didn’t his Year Zero coincide with him ditching the Anglicans for the Quakers and trading in the first Mrs M for the current model?
    It’s been long enough – maybe he should see what the Jehovah’s Witnesses or the Mormons have to offer.

  37. I am amazed how Seamus managed to get Ritchie from uncritically agreeing with the US “passport tax” system in all its nastiness to “never having said otherwise” than he has only ever supported the French approach to its citizens in Monaco.

    But it was not 2 weeks ago when Ritchie was agreeing (almost) unreservedly with Our Seamus, and there was that thread back in July 2014 where he was again promoting that people should pay the difference if they live in a, to him, insufficiently taxed jurisdiction.

    But of couse, Oceania has always been at war with East Asia.

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