I have been an English language trainer and consultant in Germany for thirty years and assist German companies, including law firms and factoring companies, to improve the quality of the spoken and written English of managers, partners and employees. I am in no way a professional accountant but I am hoping this web site will help to keep me abreast of changes in tax law and to help keep me familiar with the jargon and terminology used in English in this field.
Nobody seems to bat an eyelid in England about sacrificing ever more land to construction, for which the weasel word "development" was invented and is used to sugar the poisoned pill. Building means in the main turning live land into dead land. Should anyone wish to turn over part of their garden to building, I am in favour of the hardest possible tax liabiliities being imposed upon them as a deterrent. I long for the day that environmental considerations become part and parcel of all real estate tax provision, but I know I am a voice in the wilderness. All factors are playing in favour of the powerful construction lobby. Instead of tax penalties for extra residents in single homes how about tax relief for those who take people into their home? Bit off subject but anyway.
Thanks for the article! It is a pity that there was no mention of the possibility of abolishing VAT in this piece. The United Kingdom could (and in my opinion should) replace VAT with an individual purchase tax after leaving the EU. It existed prior to VAT. VAT is a European Union tax, regressive, bureacratic and deeply unfair and inflexible and unecessarily hard on the poorer members of society. Presumably this regressive tax has only not been criticised over the years because all countries in the EU have to impose it. Of course that isn't relevant to the main point in this article about unfair competition, through the sale of tax-free goods from outside the given tax zone (would apply whether one had VAT or purchase tax) . The obvious observation to make is that this will always be a major drawback of any kind of end tax on retail prices. Two points-the lower the tax the more the problem is reduced, secondly, the more tax laws are generous in relation to what is tax deducctible on the purchase by the self employed and small businesses of retail goods, the less of a problem this is, so for example if VAT is deductible on VAT expenses for say the purchase of furniture than tax free furniture will not be at an advantage, and of course the entire problem only applies to the end user anyway. Companies deduct their VAT costs and are indifferent to whether there is VAT on goods or not. But so far as the individual consuer is concerned, it is certainly a fact that imported goods where there is no sales tax or VAT, enjoy a considerable price advantage. Something to be considered if the problem becomes too acute could be a tariff on imports of the relevant goods. That would mean that goods selling from abroad even online would have to show a tax on their price. Tricky and messy. How nice it would be not to have any tax on end goods anyway, but where would the state make up for the lost revenue?
Evidence of residency
Another ha'pence worth from me: in Germany there is a law, much decried by many English ex-pats, which requires every resident to register at the so-called "Einwohnermeldungsamt" which is an office at the town hall, where residents' names and addresses are collected. Had the defendants claimed residency in Germany, the matter would be easily settled. If they were not registered at the Einwohnermeldungamt, they could not be regarded as residents and if they were, they would have automatic documented evidence that their first place of residency was abroad.
I assume you mean by the way and not buy the way.
(Or are you saying that they would buy on their
What is the period of prescription for revising tax assessments in the UK? In Germany where I live it is 10 years. It sounds as though the tax authorities just got judgement in in tme but maybe it works diferenty in the UK.
There are not enough details to make deifnitive comment but what strikes me is that they would surely have had an official country of residence for purposes other than tax reasons. For example, which is their country of residence so far as health insurance is concerned? If is Portugal, I should have thought they had a excellent case for arguing that their tax liability is also in Portugal. However, if they failed to declare in each country on the basis that they were liable in the other, then theirs is a humdrum case of tax evasion.