Gaines-Cooper is still fighting the taxman from Seychelles


UK industry veterans will remember Robert Gaines-Cooper, founder of Gainesmead Group, a national jukebox operator who sold the company in 1971.

Gaines-Cooper retired to the Seychelles and has since been fighting the UK tax authorities who have pursued him for backdated tax for the period 1992-2004. This week Gaines-Cooper failed in an appeal in the Supreme Court against previous verdicts in favour of HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC). The law lords, by a majority of four to one, denied his appeal, but Gaines-Cooper insists that he will continue his fight, the outcome of which could affect many UK tax exiles.

The European Court of Justice would be the next level for Gaines-Cooper’s appeal. He has argued that since leaving the UK for the Seychelles in 1976 he has followed all of the rules giving non-resident status and tax benefits to anyone spending less than 90 days a year back in the UK.

The High Court and Appeal Court, however, have ruled that there was not a ‘clean break’ in that Mr. Gaines-Cooper has a family house in the UK and other assets.

by David Snook

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