Well, no Polly, not really

How much would Labour abolishing non-dom status raise? No one knows – and it’s not the point. We can’t tell how much these 116,000 super-rich have got stashed abroad, so any windfall will be pure bonus. The message, not the money, is what matters.

We also want to know how many will bugger off and thus pay nothing at all.

The current betting being that the income will be negative.

38 thoughts on “Well, no Polly, not really”

  1. Surely those who stay/come will now ensure they’re non-resident so we’ll lose those here to work, create wealth/employment/pay tax and keep those for whom it’s a convenient occasional port of call and store of (just about still) safe value.

  2. “The message, not the money, is what matters.”

    Yes, forget about sorting out Trident, the NHS, the deficit, welfare; what we need are some ideologically sound futile gestures.

    Message to wealth creators: fuck off and take your money with you, Venezuela here we come!

  3. What message is that Pol?

    Labour hates rich people?

    Do much self-hate, eh Pol?

    Oh, that explains everything.

  4. May I suggest a tax on second homes abroad owned by UK domiciled residents. I am sure there is a good argument for it and the revenue raising possibilities should be good. In the name of social justice for all those who have one home.

  5. So Much for Subtlety

    Ljh – “May I suggest a tax on second homes abroad owned by UK domiciled residents. I am sure there is a good argument for it and the revenue raising possibilities should be good. In the name of social justice for all those who have one home.”

    An excellent suggestion. After all, while someone is at their other home in, say, Umbria, they are not consuming goods and services in the United Kingdom. They are, if you like, avoiding tax. They are structuring their financial affairs in such a way that they are not paying VAT among many other taxes. Clearly this should be illegal.

  6. The message is intended to win votes to return Polly’s cronies to power. The money doesn’t matter because once they are in power they can take it from someone else instead.

  7. “May I suggest a tax on second homes abroad owned by UK domiciled residents.” Too late, I’ve been advocating that for years. I’ll grant that my inspiration was the same as yours i.e. La Toynbee.

    P.S Hasn’t she got her arithmetic wrong? I thought that the number of nondom super rich was a few thousand, not a hundred thousand.

  8. Words like ‘nondom’ and ‘super rich’ are mere playthings, to mold as we wish. Labour would consider as ‘rich’ someone who earned above 50k.

  9. So Much for Subtlety

    You know, in fairness the Labour Party won’t have to do much. I swear I heard the news say that the police took four days to respond to the security alarm at that safe deposit box place. Four days.

    I assume everyone who is concerned about being robbed, raped or murdered is considering their options. Especially given Britain’s gun laws. I mean, when danger strikes, the police are half a week away?

  10. SMFS, wasn’t that because the alarm had gone off several times already, and they’d been false alarms? I can’t entirely blame the police, if so.

  11. So Much for Subtlety

    JuliaM – “wasn’t that because the alarm had gone off several times already, and they’d been false alarms? I can’t entirely blame the police, if so.”

    Was it? That is a Peter O’Toole/Audrey Hepburn film whose name I can’t remember right now. Nice to see people still watch those oldies.

  12. The current betting being that the income will be negative.
    Really? Where do I take that bet?

    I thought that the number of nondom super rich was a few thousand, not a hundred thousand.
    A hundred thousand or so is the number of people claiming non-dom status. A lot of them will be rich rather than super rich, and just taking advantage of the option to pay less tax if you happen to have a foreign father.

  13. bloke (not) in spain

    “wasn’t that because the alarm had gone off several times already, and they’d been false alarms? I can’t entirely blame the police, if so.”
    Mmmm… (Ponders)
    Thing to do is set up you’re alarm system so it posts abusive Tweets. Should get an police armed response unit round in about twenty minutes.

  14. SMFS, wasn’t that because the alarm had gone off several times already, and they’d been false alarms? I can’t entirely blame the police, if so.

    It was classified as non-urgent because it wasn’t a hate crime.

  15. b(n)is

    The abuse must constitute a hate crime, e.g. Mo was a pedo, the Islamic State are evil, murdering scum acting in the name of Allah will do it. White men are racist bastards and all rapists won’t raise an eyebrow down at plod HQ.

  16. “It was classified as non-urgent because it wasn’t a hate crime.”

    Since the ‘victims’ were presumably rich and, maybe, non-doms it was hardly a crime at all.

    A community service, really.

  17. Quite so, GeoffH, I think we can all agree that people who use safe deposit boxes are tax avoiders. But that means the robbers have actually stolen money that really belongs to the state which makes it a truly heinous crime as serious as a hate crime, heads must roll at the Met.

  18. bloke (not) in spain

    If this is the robbery at the “Garden”, the safe deposit box users would have been largely Jewish. Even worse, Orthodox Jewish.
    Positively a blow for freedom in the battle against Palestinian oppression.(TM)
    Medal time, surely?

  19. Was it? That is a Peter O’Toole/Audrey Hepburn film whose name I can’t remember right now. Nice to see people still watch those oldies.

    How to Steal a Million Of course they’re stealing their own forgery. (Well, technically it belongs to Hepburn’s dad.)

  20. There is a half-page in today’s FT. They say (and I assume thatthey’ve done their homework) that there are 110,700 non-doms of whom roughly three-in-five pay UK tax on their world-wide income. “In 2012-3 the number who paid the remittance charge was only 5,000”. The other 41,700 haven’t been here long enough to be obliged tochoose between paying tax on global earnings and the remittance basis.
    If we assume that the recent arrivals have the same income mix as the earlier ones then the number of those affected will be only about 3,000 – not enough to affect the housing shortage in Kensington.

  21. @ PaulB
    According to the FT only 0.1% of the 4.9 million alleged by The Telegraph to be eligible to claim non-dom status are using the remittance basis to pay less tax.

  22. “The message, not the money, is what matters.”

    Of course the money doesn’t matter … when it is someone elses money that is.

  23. Switzerland also operates a fixed income tax / no questions asked policy. (I understand Roman Polanski takes advantage of it.)
    Of course they pay property taxes and VAT in the usual way on top. IIRC the sum is about the same as in the UK.

    The Swiss, being keen on referendum, had one about it. The lefties lost, but not by much.

  24. PaulB

    John77 is spot on, if 4.9million or whatever are taking the option to pay less tax then there are 4.9million tax evaders. But there aren’t; stupid article.
    However, your point about happening to have a foreign father is well made. Thay aspect could be changed without any loss of yax yield or remittances/investment into the UK.

  25. “If the Tories can’t recover those lost UKIP voters this month… the socialist terror will begin on May 8…” — Guido

  26. @ Ironman
    Maybe I am one of the UKIPgraphs 4.9million since my great-great-grandfather came over (from, my cousin who has done the research thinks, Hanover) while William IV was both King of England and Elector of Hanover. As far as I know, not one of my family has ever considered claiming non-dom status and we paid death duties (“IHT”) when my father died (not that he had any assets outside the UK and only modest amounts he could have moved enough of them outside the scope of IHT).

    Polly assumes all those entitled to non-dom status are money-grubbing evil whatevers. I think that she is money-grubbing (remainder censored)

  27. I hate the dysfunctionality of this website
    Try ” …only modest amounts *in the UK but* he could have moved enough of them outside…”

  28. So Much for Subtlety

    DocBud – “It was classified as non-urgent because it wasn’t a hate crime.”

    There is obviously a market for a burglar alarm that doesn’t just go off, it preaches from Leviticus. Although in this case I would guess the police would arrest the wrong person once they turned up.

  29. The vast majority of those non-doms who aren’t liable to pay anything as they haven’t been here long enough will be foreign employees of international companies doing a stint in London.

    Hardly a seam of gold to be mined I suspect, the only difference for them will be additional bureaucracy and a somewhat higher tax bill, with the company paying the difference (as tax neutrality is usually a feature for senior employees doing an international stint).

    More likely, as Tim suggests, the removal of non-Dom status for these folks will simply be an incentive not to come here in the first place, which is a behavioural response that is almost impossible to measure in our tax system except in aggregate and even then it is open to interpretation.

    I suspect the bigger effect might be on house prices in the posher parts of central London.

  30. SMFS, wasn’t that because the alarm had gone off several times already, and they’d been false alarms? I can’t entirely blame the police, if so.

    So the moral of the story appears to be: if you want to rob somewhere, set the alarm off several times beforehand, then the police won’t be arsed to come and check while you actually do break in.

  31. So the moral of the story appears to be: if you want to rob somewhere, set the alarm off several times beforehand, then the police won’t be arsed to come and check while you actually do break in.

    Which beats the alternative of what? Police running themselves ragged, chasing after every faulty alarm? paid for by the taxpayers of London?

    I’m not saying the actions of the police were justified as I don’t know the details, but they may well be.

    Equally, if the Holborn fire was set alarms off left-right-and-centre then that is smart thinking on the part of the criminals, especially when they get caught and serve an additional 10-years for arson.

  32. Which beats the alternative of what? Police running themselves ragged, chasing after every faulty alarm? paid for by the taxpayers of London?

    They could at least admit that they can’t be arsed to do their job, and would prefer to sit in a nice, comfy CCTV control room, eating doughnuts and drinking tea. If they’re not going to prevent theft, why should companies be paying taxes to fund them?

    Around where I used to live, the police would take a day to respond to a burglary, but never seemed to have a problem finding half a dozen to sit at the side of the road protecting us from cars with expired tax disks. The fat-cats further down the street all had private security, because they knew the police would be useless if someone broke in.

  33. Ironman,

    The only reason to take the option is to pay less tax but that does not make a person a tax evader. One has to nominate as a non-dom on one’s tax form which then requires providing the IR with more information to justify this nomination. If satisfied, the IR will classify you as a non-dom. If the IR is happy you are a non-dom, you can hardly be evading tax. I don’t think one is even avoiding tax, it is more tax planning, ensuring that the UK only gets what it is entitled to and that the jurisdiction of one’s domicile gets the tax it decides is due on your earnings there.

  34. DocBud,

    You make a very good point that seems to missing in this debate. People forget that the Taxman – Tax vultures – will take his bite, in any country you live. We seem to resent the fact that another vulture got to tax carcass before our own lot lands next to the prey.

  35. DocBud

    Yes I know, I work in a tax – related field. My point is only a few thousand tick the box and “take the option” because only a few thousand have the offshore income that would make it worth their while. If it’s 4.9million “taking the option”to pay less tax then they must be evading not avoiding. But there aren’t 4.9million; I was being facetious.

  36. If a non-dom opts not to pay the annual non-dom levy and pays a lower actual amount of tax instead, is he avoiding tax?

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