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Where are the Best Tax Havens for Traders & Investors?
After Darling’s 2009 budget announcement, many high earners are looking to pack their bags and move abroad to avoid the new 50% tax rate. Lee Hadnum from TradersTaxClub looks at the options.
Where to go?
If you’re earning good profits from your investments there’s no real reason why you need to be in the UK. You could just as easily trade from overseas as you could your UK home.
One of the key questions though is where to go. There’s no point in ‘jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire’. You need to ensure that anywhere you move to overseas will reduce your overall taxes. Your essentially have three choices:
• Nil tax havens
• Foreign Source exempt havens
• Low tax havens with special rules that share investors/traders can benefit from.
Nil Tax Havens
These are simply countries that do not have any of the three main direct taxes:
• No income tax or corporation tax
• No capital gains tax, and
• No inheritance tax
Many of the nil tax havens you’ve probably heard of or read about in novels. You may even have holidayed in some of them. They include:
• The Cayman Islands
• St Kitts and Nevis
• The Bahamas
• The Turks & Caicos Islands
Although there are no taxes in these jurisdictions, the tax haven governments still need to generate some revenue to provide public services. They may therefore impose small fees for company incorporation documents or annual registration fees for companies. However, these charges are fixed and usually small.
If you’re looking at living in one of these jurisdictions and generating profits from financial investing or trading most of these charges won’t apply and you should be able to live with little state involvement in your affairs. The only tax charges that would then affect you would be import duties or local sales taxes.
Foreign Source Exempt Havens
These countries do levy taxes and sometimes they can be pretty high. However, what makes them tax havens is the fact they only tax you on locally derived income. In other words, if all your income is derived outside the tax haven you will not pay any tax.
Good examples of foreign source exempt tax havens are:
• Costa Rica
• Hong Kong
Many of these also don’t have any CGT. The net result is that share or financial investors could certainly live in one of these countries to avoid tax on an overseas investment portfolio.
If you are actively trading from the country there is a risk that the local tax authorities could tax the income. In practice though many financial traders, providing they are trading on international markets, would not be subject to any local taxes.
Low Tax Havens
The final group of tax havens are countries that do have a system of taxation and impose taxes on residents’ worldwide income. You may be wondering why these are still classed as tax havens.
• Some countries may have special concessions that offer considerable tax advantages in terms of capital gains tax avoidance.
• Some countries can apply a remittance basis of tax for non nationals so that they are only taxed on overseas income and gains if the income or proceeds are brought back into the country (like the UK does with non doms).
Some of the good low tax havens for share traders and investors are:
• Malta (remittance basis & no CGT)
• Barbados (remittance basis)
• Ireland (remittance basis)
• Switzerland (no CGT)
• Channel Islands (no CGT)
• Isle of Man (no CGT)
So there you have it. As you can see there are a lot of countries where share investors and traders could live to reduce or avoid taxes.
Deciding which is the best for you will depend on the nature of your activities as well as your personal preferences in terms of where you want to live.
You can learn more about Tax Havens at www.traderstaxclub.co.uk >>
TradersTaxClub is the only UK website offering tax planning specifically for traders and investors in shares, CFDs, Options, Forex and Commodities.
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