As entrepreneur James Caan pointed out to Piers Morgan in a recent interview where they were discussing why the rich should be allowed to effectively avoid tax by living in havens such as Monaco, ‘there has to be some reward for all that hard work,’ – and increasingly, greater numbers of Britons feel the same.
(Forgive me Mr. Caan for paraphrasing you please.)
Instead of being jealous of those who have achieved the lofty heights of extreme success and wishing them ill for escaping tax by moving abroad, Brits are banding together against a government that’s throwing them all into deeper debt and despair by bailing out banks and even potentially the car industry, (what car industry?), and leaving them with the legacy of a lifetime of public debt.
Well, if you’re thinking the bail out bill is unfair because of the tax burden in places upon us and our children and grandchildren, this article will show you how you can beat it by using legal tax havens. After all, if it’s good enough for Britain’s million and billionaires, it’s good enough for the rest of us too. We are all free to leave, and the sooner the government realises that they are pushing increasing numbers of us to actively look at ways of escape, perhaps the sooner they’ll put the breaks on their destructive plans?
When we talk about ‘legal tax havens’ we’re talking about the nations in the world that choose to set their own rates of tax…places such as Cyprus, Panama or Belize, or places where there are government backed incentive programmes in place to actively encourage overseas citizens to relocate there such as Malaysia. We are not talking about corrupt nations or places like Monaco where property costs upwards of £40,000 a square meter, or even ever secretive Lichtenstein where you’d be the only expat trying to forge an honest days living! But as soon as you mention the term ‘tax haven’ you’re deluged with a swarm of negative publicity as people assume you’re advocating the illegal evasion of taxation (See George Monbiot’s misinformed representation of us in the Guardian).
Please be assured, dear reader, that what we’re going to show you in this article is how certain countries in the world make it very appealing and enticing for you to go and live there legally tax-free or on a reduced rate of tax.
What’s in it for them?
They do so because their economy benefits from having you live there in other ways – you buy cars and houses, you shop for all your groceries there, perhaps you even employ a local person as a cleaner or a nanny or even an accountant. You don’t take jobs there but you do remit your internationally sourced income to the nation because you can do so tax free and just enjoy spending it.
Other nations have used similar incentives for attracting businesses and inward foreign direct investment in other ways – the Celtic Tiger economy that Ireland built and benefitted from massively was created by offering attractive tax packages to businesses for example. Oh, and Great Britain had its own incentives for attracting high net worth non doms (or expats) to live and work in the UK in recent years. Okay, so the current government has eroded many of these benefits – but the UK still has its very own offshore tax centres to attract international investment. And finally, don’t forget that the good old US of A with Obama at the helm still has the tax advantageous state of Delaware within its fold that helps boost Americas coffers!
So, before you believe those who aggressively berate anyone for considering their taxation reduction options – we would just like to point out that practically every nation in the world is free to set its own taxes, and that many have interesting loopholes and incentives for attracting inward foreign direct investment. It’s just that some are more open and honest about what they do – these nations include the following: –
If you’re looking for a place to retire abroad where your income will not be eroded by high rates of taxation, Cyprus could well suit your needs. It has a maximum taxation rate of 5% on pension income. As Cyprus is a fully paid up member of the European Union, you can hardly call it a dodgy offshore tax haven! It is a nation that welcomes international retirees who all move there, buy property, support an economy otherwise heavily reliant on tourism and whom it only taxes at 5%. I think it’s what you call a ‘win win situation!!’
Malaysia has a government backed incentive programme to attract qualifying international citizens to stay in Malaysia on a multiple entry visa for as long as they like. Qualifying individuals have to fulfil the following criteria: –
“Applicants are expected to be financially capable of supporting themselves for ten years on this programme in Malaysia, without the need to work in the country. Besides fulfilling the basic financial criteria of Fixed Deposit placement of RM150,000 (for those aged 50 and above) or RM 300,000 (for those aged below 50), applicants should furnish documentation on their financial position to strengthen their application.”
In other words, if you have the funds to allow you to do so, you can move to Malaysia under the terms of their ‘Malaysia My Second Home’ programme and the benefits you gain include being allowed to remit your internationally sourced income free of tax. You can also own property in the country, import your personal belongings tax-free, and generally enjoy the delights of this stunning and vibrant country.
Belize has a retired persons’ incentive programme in place that means that anyone from the likes of the UK, U.S.A., Canada, Europe or other Commonwealth countries who is over the age of 45 can move there and enjoy any income they earn or receive from outside the country 100% tax free. They can also import a car or a boat tax free, buy a property and just generally enjoy chilling out in this former British colony where the sun shines almost every day!
If you’re a qualifying pensionado, (retiree), then Panama wants you too! It will give you discounts on everything from plane flights to prescriptions, from doctor’s visits to money off your utility bills…and what’s more, your internationally sourced income is also 100% tax-free in Panama.
So you see, there are plenty of diverse and wonderful places in the world where you can escape the bail out bill in the UK, and live well in comfortable surroundings whilst legitimately paying no tax at all.
Morally Obliged to Bail Out Britain?
And finally – we would just like to add one more comment to this article. Why are we, as British taxpayers, obligated to bail out the government and the banks through our taxation payments? Why are we obliged to bail them out of the situation that they themselves created? As individuals our responsibilities lie with our families and ourselves, with keeping a roof over our heads, food on the table and our children at school, educated and well brought up. Whilst we reside in the UK we are obligated to pay UK taxes, we have no way of controlling where that tax revenue is spent – whether it’s used to buy arms for someone else’s war or to give a banking fat cat a whopping bonus. We also have no way of restricting the amount of tax we are required to pay – and let’s face it, we all know tax rates are going to have to rise and rise and rise to pay for the mess that the UK has been pushed into. But we are allowed to move abroad, we are allowed to vote with our feet, we are – thankfully – allowed to go in pursuit of a better, fairer life elsewhere. We are in no way obliged to remain and bail out Britain.