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Plus ca change

Focusing on the disappointment of what the Finance Bill omits should not detract from the positive changes it introduces, says James Badcock

20 January 2012

For those of us advising international private clients, November’s Autumn Statement was as much about what will not change (yet), as about what will, bringing to mind Lady Astor’s observation: “The main dangers in this life are the people who want to change everything... or nothing.”

The big story was the delay in the introduction of a statutory residence test. But, as a consequence, what will change has not received as much prominence as it deserves. For once, there is a development in the taxation of non-doms that, as well as being good news for them, should be good news for all of us. The new relief allowing remittance basis users to invest foreign income and gains in UK businesses without being liable to tax on those funds is a change that should have real positive implications for the economy (and we’re not hearing much of that at the moment). Also, I am not sure the current law on residence needs to provok...

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