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Finding a haven

John Rhodes and Michael Parkinson ask whether it is still worth taking private clients offshore

6 September 2002

The avoidance of UK capital gains tax is probably the most common reason why UK private clients consider going offshore. This means changing from UK resident to UK non-resident status. A person will be treated as UK resident if he spends either 183 days or more in the UK in any tax year or an average of 91 days or more here over four tax years. However, a person who is currently UK resident will not immediately become non-resident by starting to spend enough time outside the UK to fall outside these two tests. In addition, he must either:
  • leave the UK to work full-time abroad under a bona fide contract of employment for at least one complete tax year; or
  • demonstrate an intention to fall outside the tests for at least three complete tax years. If the Revenue is satisfied that a person fulfils these criteria he will normally be treated as being non-resident from the date of departure from the UK. Otherwise he may have to wait until the relevant period has expired. ...
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