Osborne’s crack down on non-doms is a sham

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The FT's reported this morning that (and I make no apology for quoting at length):

George Osborne’s plans to tighten tax rules for wealthy foreigners living in Britain will leave many offshore trusts outside the UK tax net, according to proposals published on Wednesday.

The Treasury’s consultation on “carefully targeted” changes to the rules for “non-doms” — people who live in Britain but do not consider it their permanent home — would reassure clients after the chancellor decided to axe permanent non-dom status, tax advisers said.

David Kilshaw, partner at professional services firm EY, said the planned changes to the non-dom rules — which exempt offshore income from UK taxation unless it is brought into the country — “reinforce the message that the government is keen to welcome new non-doms without driving the existing ones away”.

So in other words we have a change that has no impact at all. I have yet to read the detail, but if offshore trusts are unaffected  by this move then frankly it is a waste of time: these trusts are the way that non-doms hide their income from the UK. If they're outside the scope of the new regime the whole thing is little more than a sham.

The lesson would appear to be that, yet again, this is tax haven UK saying one thing and doing another. It's the second blog on that theme this morning.

Wouldn't it be good to have a Chancellor who actually wanted to collect the tax owing by those who live in the UK?