Tax residency

07 October 2013
Today, if I have calculated it correctly, is the 183rd day I have been away from the UK this tax year. As a result of this I am no longer UK tax resident, which is a major milestone given that not wanting to fund unhinged public servants was what ultimately made me opt for emigration. Incidentally, due to differing definitions of tax residency in different countries, i suspect that I will not be tax resident anywhere until next summer.

Of course HMRC is notorious for moving goal-posts by doing stuff like requiring three years of non-residence and having an opaque UK connections test, so anyone who believes the concept of British Fair Play most realise this does not extend to any form of officialdom. Ironically a side-effect of this is to repulse me from the UK even more, because i can foresee circumstances in a few years where i might actually get caught out by this rule due to overseas investments. At the end of the day citizens have to take reasonable steps to protect themselves, and in the absence of set-in-stone rules, the only sure option is to disassociate completely.

The underlying problem with the UK, and less generally Europe, is this delusion there is always some pot of money that can be tapped. The government's own report into the 50% income tax rate was brave enough to suggest a negative yield, and now the evolving assumption is that there is this huge pile of undertaxed income that can be plundered. This is the real reason why Swiss banking is no longer secret, and as a side-effect of the latter Swiss banking is also finished as all that business is migrating to Singapore and Shanghai. At the end of the day the only people able to cope with over-regulation are those who actually have something illicit to hide, and they bolted long ago.