Sajid Javid: ‘Question marks’ over Health Secretary’s claim to non-dom status, tax experts say | Economic news

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There are “question marks” surrounding the validity of Sajid Javid’s claim to “non-dom” status, according to tax experts.

The Health Secretary previously told the Sunday Times that he had detained non-domiciled status for six years between 2000 and 2006, which would mean not having to pay UK tax on his overseas income.

He said he was right to this because his father was born in Pakistan and said he gave up this status in 2009, before being elected to parliament.

But this is just one of many tests an individual must pass to qualify for the tax benefit.

People with non-dom status are those who live in the UK and are tax residents here but have their permanent residence outside the country.

Usually, their domicile will be the country that their father considered their permanent residence when they were born and to which they intend to return eventually.

They must prove to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) that their domicile is in another country.

Tax experts said that for Mr Javid’s claim to be valid, his father would have had to be domiciled in Pakistan at the time of the health secretary’s birth.

Ray McCann, tax consultant and former HMRC inspector, told Sky News that only those who are very wealthy realize they can claim non-dom status to save on taxes.

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Eustice: ‘I would never ask for non-dom status’

He said he would have been “astonished” if Mr Javid’s father had claimed it given all that has been said about his modest background.

He said it was difficult to know the circumstances without the health secretary sharing the information, but some areas are “not free from doubt”.

“There are question marks,” he said.

Dan Neidle, a former tax manager at Clifford Chance, the law firm, also said he found it “surprising” that Mr Javid’s father was given non-dom status when he was born.

“For most immigrants to this country there comes a time when it becomes clear that they will not return, and at that time they acquire a home of choice which is the UK,” he said. he told Sky News.

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‘Is the non-domicile status correct?’

He said it doesn’t seem ‘particularly believable’ that Mr Sajid could have argued his long-term future was not in the UK given he has spent most of his life in the country .

“It looks like a pretty surprising and racy position,” he said, adding that “we can’t be sure without seeing the facts.”

Nimesh Shah, chief executive of Blick Rothenberg, an accounting firm, also questioned whether Mr Javid had enough personal ties to another country to justify the claim.

“That’s where my skepticism comes in: Sajid Javid has lived in the UK most of his life,” he said.

In 2006, Mr Javid moved to Singapore and was therefore no longer a tax resident, which changed when he returned in 2009, saying he had “voluntarily chosen” to give up his non-dom status.

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Starmer: “No non-doms in my firm”

Mr Shah pointed out that in 2009 the government introduced a £30,000 levy for those claiming non-dom tax status, which had previously been free.

“It seems too fortuitous that he decided to declare himself now domiciled in the UK in the same year, or around the same time, that the government introduced this lump sum charge,” he said, adding that there appeared to be a “little flaw” in the way Mr Javid was framing the decision.

Mr McCann said that from his perspective as a former HMRC inspector Mr Sajid’s case appeared to be ‘borderline’ by today’s standards, but at the time there was less scrutiny of these allegations .

He thinks the health secretary could have used his time in Singapore and his trips to the US as an investment banker to express ‘uncertainty’ about where he would spend the rest of his life , and that might have been enough.

Mr. Javid declined to comment.

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