The truth behind those quotes about people leaving

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There are a lot of accountants and lawyers who are saying that there are people queuing up to leave the UK. I’m not so sure. I think this may have more to them drumming up business opportunities for themselves.

How do I know? Well, Withers LLP, one of the firms of lawyers with whom it is fair to say I do not see eye-to-eye on with regard to taxation issues was kind enough to send me a flyer for an event they are holding in January. I can’t find it on their web site, so I’ve posted it here since I’m sure they won’t mind if I drum up a little business for them.

What’s the event called?

Should I stay or should I go?

fair weather or foul for UK tax residents?


Now what could that be about? Here’s a sampler:

The changes to the UK taxation of resident non-domiciliaries in 2008 and the proposed introduction of a 50% rate of income tax, has increasingly caused businessmen, entrepreneurs and high net worth individuals to question whether the UK is the most appropriate jurisdiction to base themselves.

This interactive seminar will look at the recent tax changes and whether the UK can still be seen as a tax haven for non-UK domicilaries and how those who are thinking of moving here (or are already here) should structure their affairs.

We will also examine the position for those who want to leave the UK and what steps need to be taken to successfully achieve this and to escape the long arm of HMRC. For those that do want to, and can, leave the question is; which jurisdiction should they move to? Switzerland and Monaco are traditional locations for ex-pats and remain highly popular. We will also look at the USA and Italy as alternative ‘high-tax’ jurisdictions, which can still offer tax efficient residency for foreign nationals, as well as Hong Kong - examining the residency issues for those looking to move further afield and to access the emerging markets of the Far East. Finally we will look at the rules for non-domiciliaries in the UK, to see if UK residency is still the most attractive option.

As they say

We hope you will be able to join us for what we expect to be an interesting and thought-provoking afternoon.

So now we get to the nub of all those claims that people are thinking of leaving: they’re just a marketing exercise for a firm so desperate for business that it has to put on free afternoon seminars to see if anyone is even interested in the idea. let’s be honest: if the queue was really as long as they claim this would be completely unnecessary: they'd be inundated already.

So, for all those who rather hoped that people bankers are rushing to leave I’ve got sad news to impart: it really doesn't like like that’s the case.