“My guiding star always is, get hold of portable property.” Charles Dickens

The ugly head of tax avoidance has again made a big splash in the tabloids recently when it was claimed that at least £100billion of properties in London were bought by wealthy investors. There is an interesting twist to this story. Two-thirds of these properties were bought through companies based in four “British” tax havens - Jersey, the Isle of Man, Guernsey and the British Virgin Islands. These tax havens are presumably used by investors because they are considered to help them avoid paying certain taxes.

The interesting fact here is although they may seem British – to some extent they are, they are not part of the United Kingdom, which means they make their own laws – Tax being one of them. So, these investors aren’t breaking any laws; they’ve just found a way of “reducing” it, but does it make it right? I don’t think so, especially when everyone else has to pay their share why so shouldn’t these investors? Although the government has clamped down in the last couple of years, there is still a lot of work to be done. These buyers should take note – If you want to buy in the UK, you should pay your share!

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AIMS Accountants for Business are the largest independent association of professionally qualified accountants in the UK specialising in accountancy for small, local and independent businesses. AIMS are no ordinary accountants and we are more than just number crunchers!


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