News: Monaco homeowners use loophole to work in UK

Rich British business people are exploiting a tax loophole that allows them to work in the UK for the majority of the week but live in Monaco and so avoid higher income tax rates.

The dodge was exposed in an investigation by 'The Guardian' into the directors of 650 UK-registered firms living in Monaco.

The loophole, which dates from the steamship age, allows non-residents 90 days a year in Britain, plus the day of travel out and the day of travel back. However today’s super-rich can easily commute and work on the same day so they can effectively add two working days a week to the 90-day allowance. A helicopter shuttle along the coast to Nice airport takes just seven minutes.

This means businessmen can fly in on Monday morning, work four days, fly out on Thursday night, and do this for many weeks in the year without breaking the rules.

The tax authorities also allow non-residents to keep a UK house without losing their status. Coupled with the laptop and a mobile phone, this makes it easy to run a British business from Monaco.

Where once Britons used to sell up their firms and retire to Monte Carlo with their wealth free of capital gains tax, now they are being joined by the thirty- and forty-somethings who treat the busy principality more as a tax-free British suburb.

According to the newspaper, the top 10 wealthiest Monaco residents alone currently control family assets worth £15bn.

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