High net worth Brits quitting the UK for offshore tax havens

Published:  1 Mar at 6 PM
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The threat of increased taxation and even more changes in laws governing the non-domicile status is persuading mega-wealthy British residents it’s time to go.

Leading private wealth advisory firms are seeing an increasing number of high net worth individuals abandoning the UK for tax-friendlier destinations overseas. A January survey conducted by New World Wealth revealed a net outflow in 2017 of 4,000 ultra-rich UK-based millionaires, and a recent Guernsey event organised to attract high net worth individuals to the island resulted in the same conclusion.

Organisers of the Locate Guernsey event saw 130 relocation experts giving their personal insights into reasons behind the exodus, with high property taxes, changes to non-domicile laws and uncertainty over residency statuses topping the list. Speakers at the event also cited political uncertainty and institutional security as first priorities for the mega-wealthy, with several traditionally favourite relocation hotspots such as Barbados slipping down the list due to tax cooperation and new international standards.

New favourites seen as attractive to millionaire would-be expatriates now need to be low-tax jurisdictions firmly embedded within the existing international system, and quality of life factors as well as personal safety are being factored in along with the standards of essentials such as private healthcare and education. Experts at the event agreed that relocation was initiated by the high-net worth individuals themselves, but family concerns played a major part in the destination decision. All agreed that top-quality living standards play a crucial part in the decision-making process.

Basically, the UK has now lost its previously welcoming strategy for non-doms, thus encouraging them to find fresh fields and pastures new in which to relax and enjoy a larger proportion of their wealth. Calculations show the loss to the economy of one departing non-dom equals the tax received from 25 average taxpayers, with relocations expected to increase as their regulatory and tax burdens soar. Increasingly, the UK is now being seen as a far less friendly place to do business.
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