It seems the enthusiasm for leaving the UK is still as strong as ever. More than 80 wealthy individuals, companies, hedge funds, wealth management firms and banks attended a Swiss tax seminar in London this month.
The event was jointly promoted by canton Lucerne, accountants BDO and Relocate to Switzerland and aimed to promote the canton’s new tax levels due to take effect in 2012.
But will this enthusiasm really turn into the mass exodus that experts have been predicting? Some have even suggested there will be a rush of people moving to their foreign holiday homes for five years to beat capital gains tax on the sale of their British assets.
The upside to leaving the country and selling your assets while abroad, of course, is that you do not have to pay CGT to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC). But this will only work if you do not return to Britain for five years - otherwise you will be charged retrospectively.
While the rise in the CGT rate to 28 per cent will be a tipping point for many individuals and for others it is the rise in income tax to 50 per cent for those earning over £150,000 I can’t imagine there will be a stampede to relocate.
And I suspect the recent figures showing that senior bankers in London are still typically earning twice as much after tax as those in Geneva and Zurich in spite of the new 50p tax rate will help to keep people in the UK.
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