UK tax regime likely to prompt more people to move abroad, especially business owners, research suggests

by Ray Clancy on January 21, 2010

More British people are hoping to emigrate with entrepreneurs in particular looking for countries with more favourable tax rates, according to research.

Only 17% of entrepreneurs believe that the UK is an attractive place to launch new business, according to a report from Investec Private Bank and the Entrepreneurs’ Organisation. While 88% were confident that revenue from UK business would increase in 2010, many indicated a desire to emigrate and transfer their money and their business abroad.

‘It would appear that they (entrepreneurs) feel there is considerable room for improvement in the overall regulatory and tax environment in the UK,’ said Ed Cottrell, from Investec. ‘These people will be key to helping the country recover from the recession, so it is alarming to see many considering moving their operations abroad to more favourable environments,’ he added. The survey also shows that one in ten plan to move their residency away from the UK.

Sally Ernst, president of the Entrepreneurs Organisation, which helped compile the research, said: ‘Although entrepreneurs are more positive about the economic environment, we should not gloss over the fact that many feel there are challenges facing the UK business community.’ Switzerland has always been a popular European location for wealthy businesses, with an advantageous tax system allowing those in the highest income bands to keep more of their profits and there is anecdotal evidence that more are considering a move there.

Meanwhile another report shows that 34% of Britons hope to emigrate in the next decade. Of those who said they want to leave the UK, 61% said it is because of the way the country is run, according to the survey from experience day provider Intotheblue.co.uk. A high cost of living, the search for a warmer climate and rising rates of immigration were other reasons given for wanting to leave.

The latest figures from the Office of National Statistics, published in November 2009, show that 427,000 people emigrated from the UK in 2008. This was an increase of over 100,000 from the year before.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Lou from the U.S.A. February 16, 2010 at 2:31 pm

But that’s exactly the line of thinking that exacerbated the failing U.S. economy, of course the big banks, Wall Street and the Federal Reserve helped push us over the edge, not to mention the taxpayers funding of the big bail-outs. People looking for loopholes, tax breaks and cheap labor overseas literally slammed the door shut to American workers…the backbone of this country. If we all emigrated somewhere else because of the situation we’re in, we might as well say goodbye to America, and more Brits want to leave over the next decade…to where do the former 427,000 U.K. citizens flee? All countries have their problems but the citizens of democratic countries like the U.S. and Britain are the only ones that can take a stand and make a difference. Americans certainly aren’t happy with the way the errant government is running and ruining our country, but for certain, the grass isn’t any greener on the “other side”.

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Glenhope May 4, 2011 at 4:01 am

All these headlines are media hype. The hype overlooks the fact that Britain once had an empire, on which " the sun never set", the largest empire in world history, where Britain ruled 2/3 of the world's population. You couldn't do that in the 18/19th century using modern communications. It required people on the spot. Britain has always been a country of emigrants and Britons are very adaptable. Of course, the fact that the weather is often miserable and the place is overcrowded provides added incentive. They are also very vocal in complaining about UK and sometimes the places they move to. Post WWII, Britons were offered the opportunity emigrate to Australia at the cost of 10 pounds. Many took advantage of this offer and whilst many settled, significant numbers didn't like it and returned home. Australia has a warm climate, but the summer can be unbearably hot and dry. A Brit by birth, I've lived in many countries and I call Australia home now but it does take getting used to. There is a lot to complain about in Oz, but the same applies to other countries including Britain. Nowhere is perfect.

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Don Avoili September 13, 2010 at 1:58 pm

I own a small little business that operates a little into the European market….

I've found it's just best to employ a decent, reputable company when dealing with such complicated matters. There are a lot of VAT specialist companies out there, some good. some bad. I'm speaking from experience.

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