Monday, October 21, 2013

Founder of Virgin Group Changed UK Residence for Private BVI Island

Sir Richard Branson, British entrepreneur and investor, named by Forbes as Britain’s sixth richest resident this year, and best known as the founder of Virgin Group which includes more than 400 companies, has revealed that he had been a tax exile to the BVI for the last years.

Branson moved his main residence to the private island in the British Virgin Islands. This island, named Necker, was bought by the businessman in 1979, and has become his tax base. Now he can spend in the United Kingdom only 46 to 183 days a year. As a non-resident, he must pay tax on UK income but not on any personal earnings outside of Britain. His companies are paying corporation tax.

Branson commented on his decision to move to the Caribbean island, saying it is done for the sake of his health rather than for tax reasons.

Branson’s fortune is estimated at £3.5bn, now he earns about US$11m a year, and donates much of his income to the Virgin Unite charity, which supports entrepreneurs around the world. He does not take dividends from Virgin Group Holdings, which owns his stakes in the Virgin operating companies and is registered in the British Virgin Islands.

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