Robert Gaines-Cooper Wins Right to Appeal

Jack Humphrey, Regulatory journalist
August 16, 2010 /

Robert Gaines-Cooper, who has been the topic of a long-running battle with HM Customs & Excise over UK residence status, won the privilege to plea to the Supreme Court.

As reported by the Telegraph, the Seychelles-based British multi-millionaire is fighting on behalf of other taxpayers who lost his case in the Appeal Court in February and was once known to be pursued for tax going back to 1982.

The controversy surrounds the application and interpretation of HMRC’s guidance in IR20 (1999 version), with respect to the taxpayer’s residence status in a number of tax years.

In February, the Appeal Court ruled that he hadn’t made a ‘clean break’ from the UK since he retained a family home in Henley-on-Thames, possessed an assortment of classic Rolls-Royces and toured to Ascot.

The previous claim of HMRC on £30m corporation tax from business operations has been settled by Gaines-Cooper by paying more than £600,000. But according to the reports he said that the lack of transparency in the tax system of UK implies that the guidance from the UK tax authorities cannot be relied on by any taxpayer and that the ongoing case is not merely for him but it is also about fighting for clarity in the tax system of UK.

He said that ever since leaving the UK, he has stuck on to the rule that grants non-residence status to anyone spending less than 90 days a year in the UK.

A barrister Ximena Montes Manzano practicing from Atlas Chambers, said that it demoralizes the confidence of public in the courts supervisory role over the Revenue. The taxpayers will keep on struggling in order to shed their residence as well as ordinary residence status in the UK for shaking off additional tax burden.


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