Queen Avoids Tax By Putting Money In Offshore Tax Havens

Discussion in 'Headline News' started by Angela Channing, Nov 5, 2017.

  1. Angela Channing

    Angela Channing Soap Chat Superstar

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    Last month I completed my tax return for the year 2016-17. I was relieved to finish it relatively early as often I procrastinate and do it shortly before the deadline on 31st January. I dutifully sent off my cheque for my tax bill even though I didn't earn a lot of money in that year.

    Today, we've had the revelation that Queen Elizabeth II has been avoiding paying some of her taxes by hiding money in an offshore tax haven. She is one of the richest women and must be laughing her head off to think that people like me pay all our taxes while she behaves like a free-living parasite on the backs of other hard-working people.

    [​IMG]

    Huge leak 'reveals Queen's private estate invested millions of pounds offshore'
     
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  2. Alexis

    Alexis Soap Chat Winner

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    Not really surprising. She's said to have the largest jewellery collection in the world. Most of it plunder and the very first blood diamonds.
     
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  3. Angela Channing

    Angela Channing Soap Chat Superstar

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    The Queen is protected by the police but dodging tax reduces funds available for them. When her husband was in hospital recently his care was paid for by taxes which she choses to avoid paying. It's an absolute disgrace that the taxes of ordinary people are higher and our services are being cut because people like her are dodging paying their fair share of taxes.

    [​IMG]
     
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  4. Sarah

    Sarah Super Moderator Staff Member Original Member Since 1998

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    It is disgraceful. Over privileged people who do virtually nothing while there are hard working people who can't catch a break and people starving on the streets not far from where the Queen lives. I'll never understand the need for this sort of hierarchy.
     
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  5. Snarky's Ghost

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    Are the costs offset by the tourism it brings in?
     
  6. Alexis

    Alexis Soap Chat Winner

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    I wouldn't imagine so at all. But that's the usual cry we hear from people defending them.
     
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  7. Snarky's Ghost

    Snarky's Ghost Soap Chat Oracle

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    I'm from another country, so I have no vested interest. Why do their defender defend them -- nostalgia?
     
  8. Alexis

    Alexis Soap Chat Winner

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    Probably or wanting things to remain as they once were, fear of change... I mean look at brexit. All that fear mongering over Britain becoming a multicultural society. It's ok for them to invade and takeover half the globe but how dare someone foreign come to Britain and want to work. Also a lot people are just thick. Must be a British thing, to enjoy belonging to a part of history or whatever. Even if that history is really just a blood spilled list of war, atrocities and theft. But you'd have be an idiot to say that they should just be allowed to live a life of forever privilege and luxury when they do nothing really worthwhile. All we get is cutbacks and taxes and a failing NHS and yet it's justifiable for the Queen to spend 370 million on redoing Buckingham palace. Somewhere most of the British people will never set foot in.
     
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  9. Angela Channing

    Angela Channing Soap Chat Superstar

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    Because we are stupid!

    Why else would we give them million of pounds when we are cutting state support for disabled people? Their defenders say "but the Royals attract tourists" but so do the pigeons in Trafalgar Square but no one gives them £50 million every year. Their defenders say "but the Royals work so hard" however I don't consider going to the ballet, shaking a few hands and smiling to be hard work. Real hard work is going into Grenfell Tower while it is burning around you but those firefighters had their pay cut in real terms while the Royal got an increase in their sovereign grant. The stupid British public say we should leave the EU because it's undemocratic but we support a tax dodging head of state voted for by precisely no one.

    I have never heard one convincing argument why we continue having a monarch as a head of state in a country that claims it's a democracy. It's total lunacy and hearing that they dodge paying taxes while other people in Britain dutifully hand over their taxes shows the affection that the British people have for this family is not reciprocated. Remember this is the family who were teaching our current Queen to give Nazi salutes while our government was considering going to war to defeat Nazism.

    [​IMG]
     
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  10. Alexis

    Alexis Soap Chat Winner

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    Ohh! You went there... I was gonna! lol But then I scaled it back a bit for fear of being attacked. But fair dos! :)
     
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  11. Angela Channing

    Angela Channing Soap Chat Superstar

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    People are welcome to attack me and my views and I will robustly defend everything I said.
     
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  12. Sarah

    Sarah Super Moderator Staff Member Original Member Since 1998

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    It's nothing to do with tourism. It would just be too difficult to get rid of them at this stage. I wouldn't wish the Queen any harm but the lifestyle is ridiculous. I really do object to Charles ever being King.
     
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  13. Emelee

    Emelee Soap Chat Dream Maker

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  14. tommie

    tommie Soap Chat TV Fanatic

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    Queen of Sensible Tax Planning :loveit:
     
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  15. Angela Channing

    Angela Channing Soap Chat Superstar

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    What's sensible about being a free-living parasite on the backs of poor people? She benefits from public services like everyone else so why shouldn't she pay her share? Maybe she just isn't patriotic enough to want to support the country that does so much to support her lavish lifestyle.
     
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  16. Zable

    Zable Soap Chat Fan

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    o_O @Angela Channing I'm mystified. From where do you get the idea that Queen Elizabeth was hiding money, and that the purpose of that was to avoid paying taxes in the UK?

    If you've watched the video at the link you posted, then you’ll know that the British monarchy is exempt from having to pay any type of taxes under UK law.

    And that Queen Elizabeth voluntarily pays taxes on all the net personal income she receives. As I understand it, the bulk of her private income comes from the Duchy of Lancaster estate.

    The Duchy of Lancaster estate was established some 700 years ago to provide the monarch of the day with private money (which is why Queen Elizabeth is the Duke of Lancaster). As such, the Duchy of Lancaster has crown asset status: because the estate is an asset held in trust for future monarchs. The Duchy is also a corporation, and its money is it's own. But it is exempt from (corporation) tax because it has crown asset status.

    FYI, the Queen also voluntarily pays all capital gains tax too – even though she isn’t allowed to touch such money (capital gains) because it's meant to generate income for future monarchs.

    The queen appoints a chancellor (a cabinet minister) and the Duchy Council to administer the estate’s affairs. The chancellor delegates oversight to the Duchy Council, apparently, but is still answerable to Parliament about the crown asset's affairs. The Duchy Council members rely on the help of others....

    The money in the offshore tax havens was invested by the Duchy on the advice of fund managers and investment advisors.

    The investment in a fund in the Bahamas was from 2004 to 2010. The investment in a US-managed fund in the Cayman Island was made in 2005 and is thought will continue until 2019 or 2020. (Accounting for the 10.2 million pounds in off-shore tax havens.) Elsewhere off-shore, the Duchy has also invested in a fund in Ireland.

    In 2007, the US fund managers in the Cayman Island asked some 47 investors to contribute to 5 projects, 2 of which were in the UK. The Duchy contributed US$450,000. Folk now think the Duchy received bad information on the contribution to the projects. What may have been thought to be "white-night" help for projects could have been something more grubby. This is the alleged scandal, as far as I know.

    It’s no secret that the Duchy makes investments: an annual report of its affairs and summarized accounts are given to Parliament. There is no requirement to give Parliament a breakdown of its investments …or contributions.

    Yet documents will and do exist that detail the details. Private legal papers. Leaked, in Germany. Some 13.4 million records of "the financial dealings of politicians, celebrities, corporate giants and business leaders".

    (So now journos from 67 countries are combing through the private affairs of ‘personalities’ around the world to look for any manner of supposed wrongdoing. The juicier the better.)

    Queen Elizabeth II hiding money? Dodging tax? Come on. The money invested in funds should come home eventually, back to the Duchy of Lancaster, not the Queen's pockets.

    The theory is that more money should return to Britain than what went out because of the profit added that didn’t get taxed all those years parked in ‘tax havens’.

    But when it does comes back in, the profits can’t be touched by the UK taxman either, because all the money belongs to a crown body exempt from tax.

    But should the Duchy give that money to the Queen as net income from the estate, then we should all be glad, because she will pay all the taxes. (Yes, even at age 91+, that still working Mam.) Why wouldn’t she since that’s what she’s been doing for a while now.

    Similarly too, Charles, Duke of Cornwall voluntarily pays taxes on net income from the Duchy of Cornwall.

    So Angela, I look forward to your robust defense of your quoted words. :)
     
  17. Angela Channing

    Angela Channing Soap Chat Superstar

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    Well @Zable, the idea that the Queen voluntarily pays taxes on all the net personal income she receives is just not true, for example she pays no tax on her Sovereign Grant income (which recently rose to £82 million). She pays £1,337 for council tax on Buckingham Palace in central London which is less than I pay for my terrace house in outer London. Is that fair? When the Queen dies her family will pay no inheritance tax when up and down the UK families will be forced to sell their family home to pay inheritance tax bills.

    For most of her reign she paid absolutely no income tax and it only changed in in the 1990s when the public were rightly outraged that she expected tax payers to fund the repairs to Windsor Castle following a fire, when she, one of the richest women in the world, refused to pay anything.

    In what was largely public relations exercise to deal with the negative media she was receiving at the time, she had to agree to pay tax on some streams of her income but not all of it. Why the Paradise Papers are so damning, is that even on the limited tax she has agreed to pay, she is channelling some of her income off shore to avoid paying tax on it.

    What she's doing may not be legally wrong but it's morally wrong. If we all did what the Queen is doing, we would have less money for the health service which treat her family, and ours, and less money for the police that protect her, and us.

    We need a tax system that treats people more equitably. No one should be able to avoid paying tax, including the Queen, because it just means that everyone else has to pay more.
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2017
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  18. Zable

    Zable Soap Chat Fan

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    I meant to write the Queen voluntary pays taxes on her net private income (not the wider personal income, which includes her salary out of the British monarchy’s public estate).

    Her Sovereign Grant salary income is her income which represents 15% of the Crown Estate’s annual revenue. I guess that’s why the Queen pays no taxes for that – because the properties & other holdings from which the Crown Estate derives its revenue belong to the monarchy.

    The Crown Estate is not part of the monarch’s private estate. In the mid-18th century all the revenue (not the property) from the Crown Estate was placed directly in the hands of the British government to run the country. In return the govt maintained the properties (the geese which laid the golden eggs.)

    I don’t know if all the money paid to the royals on the civil list came out of the Crown Estate revenue or not prior to 2012.

    In 2012, the govt agreed to pay the monarch a yearly salary that was a flat rate of 15% of the annual Crown Estate revenue. (If there are bad years in property or agriculture, tough luck on the Queen & her successors.) So the 85% of the Crown Estate revenue going to the Treasury since then has been for the nation.

    With the repair & refurbishment of Buckingham Palace now happening over the next 10 years, the Queen’s yearly salary rate will be 25% of the Crown Estate’s annual revenue for that period. After that the salary rate will return to 15%.

    The political and subsequent public braying over the Queen’s pay rise stems from the drop in the percentage of Crown Estate revenue going to the nation for the next 10 years. It’s less money for the people from that particular source of funds. Taxpayers think they pay for/fund everything, when in reality they have long been getting the benefit of the bulk of the huge Crown Estate revenues.

    Since the British monarchy has given away so much of its personal fortune to the nation over the centuries and continues to do so, so I guess they do have an expectation of no tax to pay or lesser council rates in return.

    The Queen and the Duchy of Lancaster are 2 separate entities, each with their own tax status. The Queen may derive a private income from the Duchy, but she is not entitled to all its funds. Is not the sole beneficiary of all its money.

    The Paradise Papers data in this instance covers the Duchy’s monies placed in a fund in the Bahamas and a fund in the Cayman Islands. (The investments in the Cayman Islands fund is apparently less than 1% of what the Duchy is worth.) Duchy money isn’t taxable in the UK in the first place. So tax avoidance is not the issue. Questionable investment advice to the Duchy is the concern. (There’s a story to that that I haven’t gone into.)

    Suffice to say, these Duchy monies in off-shore funds in so-called tax havens (simply, countries that charge foreign investor's low taxes) are not monies already in the Queen’s hands as private income received. I find no support for what you say she is doing, Angela: channelling her private income earned out of the country to avoid tax in the UK.

    If British taxpayers all do as the Queen does in giving away biggish chunks of their money to the government to help run the nation, there’d be a whole lot more in the blooming kitty. Just a thought.
     
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  19. Angela Channing

    Angela Channing Soap Chat Superstar

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    And that's how rich people justify avoiding tax but expect poor people to cover their shortfall .

    I'm glad @Zable that you agree that the Queen doesn't pay tax on all her income: she has the luxury of choosing which of her income streams she pays tax on.

    I'm also glad you pointed out that revenue from the Crown estate belongs to the people of the UK and it is from this that the Queen receives the Sovereign Grant. So she is given our money on which she does not pay tax.

    Prior to the introduction of the Sovereign Grant the Queen and other members of the Royal family received money from the Civil List which was funded directly from general taxation, i.e. money from call centre workers, cleaners, dinner ladies, teachers, nurses, etc going to one of the richest women in the world who pays a tiny amount of tax based on her entire income.

    You are correct in pointing out that the Duchy of Lancaster is exempt from paying tax. This was by some ancient agreement when the then government was even more subservient to the monarchy than it is today. However, the Queen is trying to have it both ways. On the one hand, to avoid bad Press she claims to be paying tax on this income but on the other hand some of this money is being invested in offshore tax havens where it is not included in her income which is taxed thereby reducing the amount she pays.

    Most British tax payers, in percentage terms, give more money "to help run the nation" than the Queen does but the difference is that we have to pay it no matter what. When we need to fix our roof or repair the electrics in our homes we can't choose to pay less, we can't hide some of our income from the Treasure in offshore investments that can't be taxed by the UK Government.

    If the Queen paid tax on all her income in the same that most workers do,"there’d be a whole lot more in the blooming kitty. Just a thought."
     
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  20. Zable

    Zable Soap Chat Fan

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    1. When it comes to the Queen’s financials, don't you think it’s important to distinguish between what is the Queen’s as reigning Sovereign of the UK & what is the Queen’s as that individual, Ms E. Windsor? To fairly decide who is getting taxed for what precisely.

    I didn’t do that earlier, so sorry if that’s truly why you can’t seem to differentiate between what income each might earn from what, and what is actually taxable new income or capital gains for either one of them.


    2. I was wrong to (a) refer to the Sovereign Grant as “the salary out of the British monarchy’s public estate” and wrong to (b) say that the SG was the Queen’s “public income” & to refer to it as “her Sovereign Grant salary income”.

    (i) No salary is paid to the Queen as Sovereign by HM Government. I doubt anyone is paying a salary to Ms. E. Windsor, that mother of 4 Mountbatten-Windsors.

    (ii) The SG is funding by the central government for the official expenses of the Sovereign, arising from Elizabeth II’s dual role as head of nation of the UK & head of state of both the UK and the 15 independent countries that form the Commonwealth Realm.​

    I fell into the trap of taking terms & things the mass media has parroted for so long, like “salary” & “pay-rise” and “the taxpayer’s money” at face value. Yet, often times, they’ve turned out to be not true. Some researchers writing briefs for Parliamentarians fall into the same trap, or create it. Then Parliamentarians base their remarks off them, and when they’re quoted in the news without the reporters pointing out what might be off in the comments, things become distorted. Add into the shitty mix a preference by some to be spoon fed, the lack of will to correct & agendas of misinformation…


    3. I feel that what you described as “income” or “income streams” for the Queen are monies that in actuality don’t all amount to income or capital gains earned by her personally.

    This is my understanding…. the Queen (Ms E. Windsor &/or Elizabeth Regina) receives funds/monies directly or indirectly from 3 main sources: The Crown Estate (the Sovereign’s public estate); The Duchy of Lancaster (the Sovereign’s private estate); private investments.

    1. 25-15% of the net revenues of the CE is channelled to the Sovereign Grant via the Consolidated Fund.

    2. 100% of net revenues of the Duchy of Lancaster is channelled to the Privy Purse (which ‘holds’ the private income of the Queen), and is primarily used for private expenditure but helps meet some official costs of the Royal Household. New monies in the Privy Purse are liable to be taxed as personal income to the extent that they are used for private spending and not used for official expenditure.

    3. Private investments are a source of the personal income of Ms. E Windsor, the Queen as an individual, so very little information is (or should be) in the public domain as for any other person. Like everyone else, she’ll be taxed on new monies, including gains on the disposal of private assets.

    · All the monies from the SG and some from the Privy Purse go towards official expenditure, including staff salaries and other costs & property maintenance. The SG is to be spent on specific official expenses. That portion of the SG not used up is placed in the SG Reserve by the Keeper of the Privy Purse.

    · A portion of the monies in the Privy Purse go on private payments for things such as the expenses of other royals and the upkeep of Balmoral.​


    4. I was mistaken about the SG being a salary. I wasn’t mistaken about the SG being untaxable.

    I had speculated about royal expectations on taxation. ….I didn’t consider the expense payment nature of the SG, which doesn’t make it revenue to the Sovereign, until after I made my post. ….Nor did I wonder about the tax the Crown Estate itself would have paid on its revenues as a commercial enterprise in its own right until later.


    5. Your claim that “the Queen doesn’t pay tax on all her income…..” If you’re basing that statement on me saying the Queen doesn’t pay tax on the SG, then you’re putting words in my mouth.

    No way was I agreeing that Her Majesty wasn’t paying tax on her taxable income. ….From the 3 main sources of funding I listed above, just 2 of them are the sources of any taxable income for the Queen.


    6. I never said or agreed that the Queen had “the luxury of choosing which of her income streams she pays tax on” either.

    The Sovereign is officially exempt from tax. Her Majesty was never required to pay tax other than VAT. “Choice” wasn’t in the picture in the first place, much less “the luxury of choosing”.

    When the Sovereign and Prince of Wales volunteered to pay “income, capital gains and inheritance tax on a voluntary basis”, the arrangements were set out in the Memorandum of Understanding on Royal Taxation of 1993, and amended in other years, with the 2013 version the most current.


    7. From an earlier post of yours, @Angela's Mulled Wine : “When the Queen dies her family will pay no inheritance tax…”

    Not totally accurate. Again, you need to distinguish between the Queen as Sovereign and the Queen as Ms E. Windsor. The exemptions apply to Sovereign from late Sovereign or to adult Sovereign Child from late parent who is Sovereign Spouse. ….It also seems from the wording that inheritance tax will be payable if there is a gift or bequest to spouse from late Sovereign.

    The MoU on Royal Taxation 2013 reads:

    Section 1.9 Some assets are held by The Queen as Sovereign rather than as a private individual. They are not sold to provide income or capital for the personal use of The Queen and pass from one Sovereign to the next. The official residences, the Royal Archives, the Royal Collection of paintings and other works of art and other assets held by The Queen in right of the Crown fall into this category. It would clearly be inappropriate for inheritance tax to be paid in respect of such assets.

    Section 1.10 In relation to assets which can properly be regarded as private, the arrangements provide that inheritance tax will not be paid on gifts or bequests from one Sovereign to the next, but will be payable on gifts and bequests to anyone else. Tax will also not be payable on assets passing to the Sovereign on the death of a consort of a former Sovereign. The reasons for not taxing assets passing to the next Sovereign are that private assets such as Sandringham and Balmoral have official as well as private use, and that the Monarchy as an institution needs sufficient private resources to enable it to continue to perform its traditional role in national life, and to have a degree of financial independence from the Government of the day.​


    8. The Queen also voluntarily pays council taxes, according to the band in which her properties fall. Most of hers, if not all, are in band H, the band for the most expensive properties.

    Why you pay more for your property in council rates than the Queen does for Buckingham Palace, @Angela's Mulled Wine, has nothing to do with Ms E. Windsor and everything to do with the rates individual councils set for each band. Poor you for not having a property in the Westminster City Council area. Either take WCC to task for setting them too low for your liking, or take your own council to task for setting them high.


    9. The Queen also volunteered to repay, and did repay, the Consolidated Fund monies paid out for the expenses of most of the royals on the Queen’s Civil List (except for herself, the Duke of Edinburg and the late Queen Mother).

    I’m very thankful that Her Majesty has chosen to feed and is continuing to feed the blooming kitty.

    Just as I am for any head of nation, be it a monarch, president, military-backed dictator or mad man (say a latter-day George III), not required by law to put anything in their nation’s coffers yet does so in some form, however limited. From tummy experience, a fat morsel here, and a lean morsel there is better than no morsel at all.
     

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