Sir Richard Branson leaves UK for British Virgin Islands

Sir Richard has decided to leave the UK and live in his holiday home. He wants more time to surf, kite surf, play tennis and stay limber practising pilates. He says that his decision is not dictated by tax considerations. His personal wealth is estimated to be £3.5bn which means he can spend several million pounds a year for the next 50 years and still be a wealthy man.

He’s done all the right things to justify a non-resident tax status in the UK; sold his family home in the UK, albeit to his children, and the implication is he will run his global empire from Necker Island, part of the BVI group. He will still pay tax in the UK on his earnings made in the UK. According to the Sunday Times, Virgin Group Holdings is controlled by family trusts based in the British Virgin Islands. Income tax rates in the BVI will not present tax planning problems for Sir Richard, they are 0%.

Hopefully, we have not seen the last of Sir Richard on home turf. He can revisit the UK for a certain number of days each tax year without unbalancing his non-residence tax status.