Non Doms

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Woodchopper
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Re: Non Doms

Post by Woodchopper » Mon Apr 11, 2022 8:15 am

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Sun Apr 10, 2022 4:19 pm
it wasn't actually Stranger Mouse who wrote:
Sun Apr 10, 2022 12:05 pm
it is against the law to leak someone’s tax status.”
Is there a good reason why?

I'm struggling to think what downsides there might be to having tax status as transparently public information.

Plus full returns of politicians, officials (including royalty) and major political donors (over idk £100k).

Lots of countries are less financially secretive than the UK - what problems do countries with public tax info encounter?
Tax affairs are sensitive personal data and so a leak would be a personal data breach. Individuals can be prosecuted for doing that.

Countries which release income data need to have specific legislation in place.

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Re: Non Doms

Post by Stranger Mouse » Mon Apr 11, 2022 9:17 am

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Sun Apr 10, 2022 4:19 pm
it wasn't actually Stranger Mouse who wrote:
Sun Apr 10, 2022 12:05 pm
it is against the law to leak someone’s tax status.”
Is there a good reason why?

I'm struggling to think what downsides there might be to having tax status as transparently public information.

Plus full returns of politicians, officials (including royalty) and major political donors (over idk £100k).

Lots of countries are less financially secretive than the UK - what problems do countries with public tax info encounter?
I’m all for people like politicians being compelled to release stuff like this (I think that the convention in the US that Presidential candidates should release their tax returns should be made law) but the idea that people should be able to just leak other people’s details without potential repercussions would cause chaos. I think most people here would agree that someone leaking what benefits someone was on would leave the path open for massive amounts of harassment as would selective leaking of one politician’s tax affairs but not another.

Sunak’s decision to push for a hardcore inquiry is a political mis-step and I think he’ll regret it as it looks awful. I firmly believe that people with exceptional levels of responsibility should have increased disclosure requirements. But “you can leak whatever you want” is such a recipe for disaster that people who think it’s a good idea can not have considered what will happen when people use it against them rather than people they don’t like.
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Re: Non Doms

Post by noggins » Mon Apr 11, 2022 9:37 am

Meh. If you are a politician, arrange your financial affairs as if they were public knowledge.

If you don't want to do that, f.ck off and do something else.

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Re: Non Doms

Post by Stranger Mouse » Mon Apr 11, 2022 9:51 am

noggins wrote:
Mon Apr 11, 2022 9:37 am
Meh. If you are a politician, arrange your financial affairs as if they were public knowledge.

If you don't want to do that, f.ck off and do something else.
That is how I feel too. We are, of course, talking about public servants. I’d be happy for this to be made law that they should do it. I just don’t like the idea of a Wild West of leaks without appropriate repercussions for those who do the leaking (with exemptions for whistleblowers and allowances for public interest)
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Re: Non Doms

Post by Opti » Mon Apr 11, 2022 10:15 am

I've been struck by the number of people defending Rishi Sunak and his wife along the lines of "I don't see the problem, it was all legal".

That's the problem, right there.
Time for a big fat one.

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Re: Non Doms

Post by Bird on a Fire » Mon Apr 11, 2022 10:21 am

I'm not saying leaking is necessarily ok. I'm questioning why tax status should be secretive in the first place - why shouldn't it be public info?
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Re: Non Doms

Post by Stranger Mouse » Mon Apr 11, 2022 10:33 am

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Mon Apr 11, 2022 10:21 am
I'm not saying leaking is necessarily ok. I'm questioning why tax status should be secretive in the first place - why shouldn't it be public info?
Your post here specifically asks why leaking is illegal

viewtopic.php?t=3270
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Re: Non Doms

Post by Stranger Mouse » Mon Apr 11, 2022 11:12 am

Opti wrote:
Mon Apr 11, 2022 10:15 am
I've been struck by the number of people defending Rishi Sunak and his wife along the lines of "I don't see the problem, it was all legal".

That's the problem, right there.
Indeed. When people say that I give them a thought experiment which goes along the lines of:
A minister is found to knowingly have sizeable investments in a company in a foreign jurisdiction which produces computer generated images of the most extreme p.rnography which is legal in that jurisdiction (but would be illegal even in that jurisdiction if the images were of real events) Lawyers confirm that due to legal loopholes no laws have been broken. Should they resign?
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Re: Non Doms

Post by Bird on a Fire » Mon Apr 11, 2022 12:53 pm

Stranger Mouse wrote:
Mon Apr 11, 2022 10:33 am
Bird on a Fire wrote:
Mon Apr 11, 2022 10:21 am
I'm not saying leaking is necessarily ok. I'm questioning why tax status should be secretive in the first place - why shouldn't it be public info?
Your post here specifically asks why leaking is illegal

viewtopic.php?t=3270
Sure, the first sentence wasn't well-phrased. The more interesting aspect for me was the rest of it:
Bird on a Fire wrote:
Sun Apr 10, 2022 4:19 pm
I'm struggling to think what downsides there might be to having tax status as transparently public information.

Plus full returns of politicians, officials (including royalty) and major political donors (over idk £100k).

Lots of countries are less financially secretive than the UK - what problems do countries with public tax info encounter?
Obviously if it were already public information there'd be no need to leak it. It clearly can be in the public interest. So, to ask again, is there any good reason why this stuff is kept secret by default?
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Re: Non Doms

Post by Stranger Mouse » Mon Apr 11, 2022 1:07 pm

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Mon Apr 11, 2022 12:53 pm
Stranger Mouse wrote:
Mon Apr 11, 2022 10:33 am
Bird on a Fire wrote:
Mon Apr 11, 2022 10:21 am
I'm not saying leaking is necessarily ok. I'm questioning why tax status should be secretive in the first place - why shouldn't it be public info?
Your post here specifically asks why leaking is illegal

viewtopic.php?t=3270
Sure, the first sentence wasn't well-phrased. The more interesting aspect for me was the rest of it:
Bird on a Fire wrote:
Sun Apr 10, 2022 4:19 pm
I'm struggling to think what downsides there might be to having tax status as transparently public information.

Plus full returns of politicians, officials (including royalty) and major political donors (over idk £100k).

Lots of countries are less financially secretive than the UK - what problems do countries with public tax info encounter?
Obviously if it were already public information there'd be no need to leak it. It clearly can be in the public interest. So, to ask again, is there any good reason why this stuff is kept secret by default?
For everyone or just people in certain positions? And what information do you envisage being publicly available by default? Whether somebody is no dom for tax purposes or their entire tax file which by definition may also contain all types of non tax personal information?
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Re: Non Doms

Post by Bird on a Fire » Mon Apr 11, 2022 1:28 pm

Well the quote was about "tax status", which is basically just non-dom-or-not. We could start there.

But for instance Finland, Sweden and Norway make everyone's tax returns public. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-pana ... SKCN0X91QE
Ironically, Denmark -- where tax records are not public -- is the one Scandinavian country where politicians’ taxes have caused controversy. Then Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt was forced to admit in 2010 she had made “big and sloppy mistakes” when records were published by a tabloid showing she was not eligible to tax deductions on her Copenhagen residence.
So I'm wondering what big problems that causes them, and whether on balance those problems are better than worse than having most of the country's privileged elites, including many of its politicians, sneaking around in what are often very grey areas indeed.
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Re: Non Doms

Post by Gfamily » Mon Apr 11, 2022 1:38 pm

Norway publishes summary details of everyone's income tax.
My avatar was a scientific result that was later found to be 'mistaken' - I rarely claim to be 100% correct
ETA 5/8/20: I've been advised that the result was correct, it was the initial interpretation that needed to be withdrawn
Meta? I'd say so!

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Re: Non Doms

Post by Stranger Mouse » Mon Apr 11, 2022 1:54 pm

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Mon Apr 11, 2022 1:28 pm
Well the quote was about "tax status", which is basically just non-dom-or-not. We could start there.

But for instance Finland, Sweden and Norway make everyone's tax returns public. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-pana ... SKCN0X91QE
Ironically, Denmark -- where tax records are not public -- is the one Scandinavian country where politicians’ taxes have caused controversy. Then Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt was forced to admit in 2010 she had made “big and sloppy mistakes” when records were published by a tabloid showing she was not eligible to tax deductions on her Copenhagen residence.
So I'm wondering what big problems that causes them, and whether on balance those problems are better than worse than having most of the country's privileged elites, including many of its politicians, sneaking around in what are often very grey areas indeed.
I can see an argument for doing it although having been in the financial services game many years ago I think people may be over optimistic about how effective it will be in stopping jiggers pokery with dodgy financial arrangements. I think the devil is in the detail though. In a country with a very powerful right wing media like this one I can see it being the basis for lots of selective reporting.

In summary I think:

Leaking should be potentially open to a variety of proportionate contractual, civil and criminal penalties with allowances for whistleblowing and public interest but impossible to sum up in a sentence.

Universal public disclosure of tax status. Probably ok subject to some thought about details.

Much higher levels of compulsory disclosure for certain occupations where there is an obvious public interest or potential for conflict of interest but I wouldn’t get my hopes up about it having a massive effect in this country when considering things like the Owen Paterson f.ck up.
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Re: Non Doms

Post by Stranger Mouse » Mon Apr 11, 2022 1:56 pm

Gfamily wrote:
Mon Apr 11, 2022 1:38 pm
Norway publishes summary details of everyone's income tax.
True. Wish it had a greater effect on inequality https://sciencenorway.no/economics-equa ... ce/1866424
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Re: Non Doms

Post by Stranger Mouse » Mon Apr 11, 2022 2:05 pm

Gina Miller is apparently not nom dom which didn’t stop this rag trying to do a hatchet job. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/articl ... iller.html
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Re: Non Doms

Post by discovolante » Mon Apr 11, 2022 3:18 pm

I do wonder how this could feasibly work in practice: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfr ... as-piketty
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Re: Non Doms

Post by Sciolus » Mon Apr 11, 2022 6:55 pm

Gfamily wrote:
Mon Apr 11, 2022 1:38 pm
Norway publishes summary details of everyone's income tax.
But subjects are told who has looked them up, which reduces casual snooping. Transparency is also good for gender pay equality. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-40669239

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Re: Non Doms

Post by Millennie Al » Tue Apr 12, 2022 4:04 am

El Pollo Diablo wrote:
Mon Apr 11, 2022 7:56 am
shpalman wrote:
Mon Apr 11, 2022 6:47 am
Aren't we talking about Rishi Sunak's green card here?
Yes, yes we are.
Ok. Then I'll address that and break it down a bit. When he obtained his green card, is there any reason to disbelieve his assertion that he intended to move permanently to America? When he moved back to the UK, is there any reason to believe that he was sure he would stay here forever? And finally, why is it impossible for people in those classes to intend to work abroad for a long period with the intention of returning?

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Re: Non Doms

Post by Millennie Al » Tue Apr 12, 2022 4:14 am

Opti wrote:
Mon Apr 11, 2022 10:15 am
I've been struck by the number of people defending Rishi Sunak and his wife along the lines of "I don't see the problem, it was all legal".

That's the problem, right there.
That's because the attack is a personal attack of malice and envy. The attack is that one or two specific individuals are wrong despite having obeyed the law. If the attack had been that the non-dom system was wrong and cited anonymised examples of individuals, then any defence would have addressed that.

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Re: Non Doms

Post by Allo V Psycho » Tue Apr 12, 2022 6:35 am

Millennie Al wrote:
Tue Apr 12, 2022 4:14 am
Opti wrote:
Mon Apr 11, 2022 10:15 am
I've been struck by the number of people defending Rishi Sunak and his wife along the lines of "I don't see the problem, it was all legal".

That's the problem, right there.
That's because the attack is a personal attack of malice and envy. The attack is that one or two specific individuals are wrong despite having obeyed the law. If the attack had been that the non-dom system was wrong and cited anonymised examples of individuals, then any defence would have addressed that.
Malice and envy? That's not how I feel about it: I don't feel any personal malice, far less envy, towards Rishi Sunak in person. In fact, I was pleased to see the Conservatives embracing diversity a bit more, as a general principle. But I do still think his situation is problematic.
In general, I feel uncomfortable about extremely rich politicians making policies which affect millions of poor people. I fear that their lack of familiarity and experience of life in poverty, and their educational privilege, may lead them to superficial and prejudiced decisions which cruelly affect lives of the disadvantaged.
In some ways, that seems worse if that extremely rich person is not even committed to the country involved on a long term basis. I fully appreciate that many people these days are nomads, and that's fine. But again I would like a person making decisions with long term impacts on a society, to have some long term relationship to these impacts.
Finally, I expect all politicians to be scrutinised over decision making which may affect their immediate family members.
Rishi Sunak causes me problems on all three of these aspects. Furthermore, his responses to challenge, which seemed to me to be petty and vindictive rather than measured, also caused me to re-evaluate him as a person; and the fact that he plainly hadn't considered that these issues might be politically significant, led me to doubt his general good sense.
None of these things have to do with illegality, of course. It is perfectly possible to have strong disapprobation towards legal actions.

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Woodchopper
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Re: Non Doms

Post by Woodchopper » Tue Apr 12, 2022 6:46 am

Gfamily wrote:
Mon Apr 11, 2022 1:38 pm
Norway publishes summary details of everyone's income tax.
It doesn’t. It’s possible for someone to submit a request to see someone else’s tax return. However that process isn’t anonymous and the person whose tax returns are divulged knows who submitted the request.

In practice this means that journalists can easily find out about politicians’ and celebrities’ income and wealth. But neighbours don’t bother to find out about each other.

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Re: Non Doms

Post by FlammableFlower » Tue Apr 12, 2022 8:23 am

Tweet from Alistair Campbell:
Text from one of my few Tory MP friends …. ‘An Englishman, an Indian and an American walk into a bar … “usual, Mr Sunak?” says the barman.’

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Re: Non Doms

Post by IvanV » Tue Apr 12, 2022 9:52 am

FlammableFlower wrote:
Tue Apr 12, 2022 8:23 am
Tweet from Alistair Campbell:
Text from one of my few Tory MP friends …. ‘An Englishman, an Indian and an American walk into a bar … “usual, Mr Sunak?” says the barman.’
And what's that about - dissing people with multiple nationalities? That's not funny, it's nasty. Perhaps not so surprising given its source.

Back to tax. The problem in general with tax issues, or at least as they have been constructed in this country, is the vexed distinction between what's legal and what's reasonable. It's sufficiently difficult distinction that British tax law now has provisions that otherwise legal arrangements become illegal if they are "artificial" arrangements, or are circular movements of money. In other words, the rules for what is legal so are inherently prone to "misuse", and the best they can think of to exclude some of that "misuse" are subjective assessments of what is "artificial".

The fact that even the law, in effect, says that it is illegal to "misuse" legal tax privileges in an "artificial" way, seemingly makes it reasonable for people to point out that Mrs Sunak appeared to be "misusing" a legal tax privilege in an unreasonable way. She seems to have agreed, in bringing the arrangement immediately to an end as soon as it was publicised. Though, as has also been pointed out, it is straightforward even for the domiciled super-rich to limit their tax bills in a way we little people can't.

Although tax details are supposedly private, non-dom status is much mentioned in the public domain. It is no secret that Philip Green's wife is a non-dom, for example, that's how the Green's keep their tax down. Or that Lord Ashcroft agreed to end his non-dom status when elevated to the Lords, and didn't - or at least not for an extended period - although he tried to keep it under wraps.

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Re: Non Doms

Post by noggins » Tue Apr 12, 2022 12:12 pm

Oh get off your crosses.

Sunak is a tory and any dirt that reduces the tory vote is good dirt.

Mercenary nationality arbitrage is fair game .

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Re: Non Doms

Post by bjn » Tue Apr 12, 2022 12:20 pm

noggins wrote:
Tue Apr 12, 2022 12:12 pm
Oh get off your crosses.

Sunak is a tory and any dirt that reduces the tory vote is good dirt.

Mercenary nationality arbitrage is fair game .
I'm a dual national, but I'm not officially resident in one country and in the government of another.

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