Key tax ruling may hit UK non-doms

INTERNATIONAL entrepreneur Robert Gaines-Cooper lost his UK residency appeal in the Supreme Court yesterday, in a case that could have repercussions for other non-domiciles facing back-dated tax bills.

The court ruled in favour of HMRC that the millionaire must pay tax under UK law, despite having lived in the Seychelles since 1976.

Commentators said the judgement highlighted the need for more clarity on UK laws on tax residence, which are due to be reformed with the introduction of a statutory residence test in April 2012.

“The introduction of a statutory residence test ... cannot come soon enough for anyone contemplating working, living or retiring abroad,” said Ronnie Ludwig, partner in the private wealth group at accountancy firm Saffery Champness.