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UK’s wealthy prepare
to flee tax increases
Agents and financial planners in the law firm Sykes Anderson, told OPP.
UK are seeing a growing number of “We’re being inundated by wealthy
enquiries from people looking to clients who are seeing their tax bill
escape incoming tax rises. increasing by as much as £80,000.
Obvious tax havens such as “In particular, we’re dealing with
Switzerland and Monaco appear people in their mid-50s who were
to be the main beneficiaries, but planning to leave in a few years time
less traditional destinations such but are now going early. They’re buying
as Portugal and Mauritius are also good quality homes as they plan to
receiving interest. retire there and aren’t put off by the
Tax changes including a planned exchange rate.”
50% rate of income tax, a clampdown
on non-domiciled residents and a Agent response
50% levy on bank bonuses are all Upmarket agents have also recognised New horizons
Hamptons is opening a Geneva office to cash in on UK emigration
contributing to the desire of high the growing interest in permanent
net worth individuals to move their relocation abroad. Hamptons in Zurich,” Dean Foley, Hamptons’’ intellectual property tax in the UK.”
main residences and their property International plans to bring on more international sales manager, told OPP. But the tax increases are also
investments abroad. listings in traditional tax havens to Many would-be emigrants still benefiting less traditional destinations.
meet demand. want access to European financial Hawkins pointed to the growing
Buyer exodus “In Geneva we’re partnering with centres, said Andrew Hawkins, head of popularity of Mauritius’s tax-
DESTINA “There is an exodus going on, the a new affiliate office to cash in on the international at Chesterton Humberts. advantageous integrated resort
likes of which I have never seen in 20 trend for high net worth individuals “Geneva, for example, has become scheme, while Anderson said recent
years in the business,” David Anderson wanting to escape the 50% tax increase, perfect for many companies relocating changes to the tax regime in Portugal
(pictured), partner in tax and property and we may do something similar their head offices because of a new were attracting a lot of interest.
US investor-immigrant
numbers triple in a year
The number of US visas granted to 2009’s EB-5 visas were issued to Asian
foreign investors has nearly tripled nationals, of which 1,979 were given to Double benefits
Visa holders often buy homes as well as their qualifying investment
in the last fiscal year, as the recession Chinese citizens.
encourages local governments to look Even with the surge in applicants, hoping to take advantage of the us, although it will probably only be
for new capital to boost their economies. however, the number of allocated visas increased interest in the scheme. dozens who get through in the end. As
From October 2008 to September was less than half of the 10,000 allowed, “We’ve seen an increase in the volume well as agreeing to invest the money,
2009, the number of EB-5 visas for highlighting the potential for further of enquiries from the UK we’re getting they must pass a background check and
immigrant investors rose from 1,443 growth. The programme has been about the visa programme,” said Bill prove that the money is from legitimate
to 4,218, according to the State extended until 30 September 2012. Cowie of British Homes Group. sources and isn’t borrowed.”
Department. Almost 80% (3,340) of A number of agents are already “Hundreds of people have contacted
The US provides the best opportunity for capital Spain was more than twice as popular than any other
growth according to an organisation representing country on German portal
over $800 billion of real estate investment. Over 50% in December 2009. The site received over 163,000
of Association of Foreign Investors in Real Estate enquiries about Spanish property, easily beating
(AFIRE) members identified the US as their preferred nearest rivals Austria (81,000), the US (70,000) and
investment destination, up from 37% in 2008. Italy (65,000).
FEB10_OPP_MAG.indd 4 28/01/2010 15:19
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