Almost a third of British billionaires have moved to tax havens or are in the process of relocating, research has found. Those living offshore must obey local tax laws but avoid paying HMRC 38.1% on dividends or 20% on the sale of shares.
HMRC said it did not have official figures on how much this costs, but previous estimates have suggested the UK misses out on £1billion of tax a year from those living in Monaco alone. The principality was the most popular destination for British billionaires, followed by the Channel Islands, Switzerland and the Isle of Man. But HMRC has now escalated its crackdown on individuals with undeclared offshore assets, sending a request for information to thousands of taxpayers with possible liabilities or their advisers.HM Revenue & Customs said it was following up on information shared by more than 100 countries. This includes data obtained from banks and other financial institutions, including those based in countries previously considered tax havens.
Landlords in cheap buy-to-let race
Buy-to-let landlords can now choose from more than 2,000 mortgages according to a financial information website Moneyfacts. In October 2007 there were 3,305 buy-to-let products on the market, but the 2008 crash changed the face of the mortgage industry. The buy-to-let sector has born the brunt of tax and rule changes in recent years, but finally, things are looking up. Today, landlords can choose from 2,162 mortgages, including 467 for limited company landlords not using special purpose vehicles; the highest number available in over a decade. There might be more deals to choose from, but the rates for buy-to-let mortgages are not falling, as Moneyfacts confirms an increase in the average two–year fixed rate of 0.20% since September 2018 and a steady increase over the past 18 months. However, rates may be on an upward move, but lenders, it seems are using lower deposit mortgages to tempt landlords onto their books. Vida Homeloans are now offering an 85% loan-to-value (LTV) buy-to-let mortgages and is one of the highest LTV products on the market. Vida joins both Kent Reliance and Kensington Building Society which both offer 85% LTV buy-to-let mortgages. Lower deposits mean that existing landlords can look to expand their portfolios without having to stump up the hefty 25% down payment.
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