Dramatic rise in ‘non-dom’ tax avoiders

London, July 8:

The number of people claiming non-domicile tax status in the UK is exploding. Tax experts confirm an unpr-ecedented surge in non-dom applications that enable the world’s super-rich and financiers to avoid income a-nd capital gains tax on earn-ings made in UK and abroad.

The news will embarrass the government, which is under pressure to close a loophole that has led some to call London the world’s first onshore tax haven.

The Inland Revenue revealed this year that 112,000 people filled in a 19-question, self-assessed non-dom form for the tax year 2004-05. But it is thought the figure for 2006-07 could be 200,000 or more.

The surge has been provoked by a Treasury-inspired crackdown on offshore accounts, which Revenue sources admit has led many to fill out non-dom forms to avoid facing hefty fines.

“People are telling the Revenue that they meant to sign non-dom forms - that not filling them in was an oversight. The amnesty is pushing people further offshore,” said one tax expert.