Proving that you are not a UK resident for tax purposes can be a tricky business and many people have mistakenly believed that all they need to do is to keep the number of days they spend in Britain down to fewer than 91 in any one tax year.
The falsity of that assumption was revealed by one case in which a businessman received a £5.5 million Income Tax demand despite insisting that he had moved to Monaco and spent all but 65 days of the relevant tax year outside the UK.
The businessman, aged in his sixties, had received a £24.59 million dividend on the sale of his family property business. He claimed to have made his home in Monaco, but HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) insisted that he had not broken his business, social and family links with Britain.
In an important decision which illustrated the extent to which English judges can aid foreign courts in the gathering of evidence, the High Court opened the way for a sample of blood taken from a deceased billionaire to be shipped to Russia.
The Georgian businessman was staying in a London hotel when he died following heart surgery. Samples of his blood and other tissues were retained in a university’s toxicology department at the behest of a coroner. His widow was engaged in an inheritance dispute in Russia with a woman who claimed to be his daughter. The latter’s paternity was the central issue in that litigation.
In those circumstances, the alleged daughter asked the Court to authorise release of a blood sample so that it could be sent to Moscow for DNA analysis. In granting that application, the Court found that ...