LONDON: The typical “non-dom” in the UK is based in London and pays more than £100,000 in tax a year, according to figures that experts said highlighted the importance of these people to the British economy. Non-doms are usually people who are resident in Britain but claim their domicile is overseas, and this status enables them to pay no tax on their offshore income and capital gains unless the money is brought into the UK.
HM Revenue & Customs on Thursday for the first time voluntarily issued information about the number of non-doms, which regions they live in, and how much they pay in tax. There were 121,300 non-doms in 2014-15, up 1 per cent compared with the previous year, and together they paid a total of £9.3bn in income, national insurance and capital gains taxes. Of these 121,300, 85,400 were UK residents in 2014-15, and they paid £9bn in tax. It means that on average they each paid about £105,000 to HMRC — reflecting how many of them pay tax on large amounts of income generated in the UK.
Non-doms based in London and the south-east contributed 86 per cent of all the tax paid by these 85,400 people, according to the HMRC data. Steven Porter, partner at law firm Pinsent Masons, said: “Non-dom taxpayers make a huge contribution to HM Treasury and the UK economy as a whole — far more than most people realise.” The figures also showed “the sheer concentration of international super-wealthy in London and the south-east”, he added. Famous non-doms have included Lakshmi Mittal, the steel magnate, media baron Viscount Rothermere and Roman Abramovich, owner of Chelsea football club. Successive governments have been gradually curtailing the tax perks enjoyed by non-doms. Since 2008, people claiming non-dom status have been required to pay a “remittance charge” if they have lived in Britain for seven years. The most recent reform affecting them, introduced in April, abolished permanent non-dom status for anyone living in Britain for at least 15 of the past 20 years. Some advisers to non-doms now argue the UK risks driving these people out of the country.