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resident but not domiciled

These [that is, certain notable people in the history of Israel between BC 2000 and BC 0] died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland.          Hebrews 11: 22 [1st Century circular letter to Jewish Christians]


Jersey's finance industry is facing an upheaval; some might say a serious challenge.

The issue concerns many wealthy people who live in the UK but are not "domiciled" there. They have expensive homes in the UK and enviable lifestyles there - but they are, to use outdated words, "foreigners", "non-natives", "aliens" with regard to the UK. They are "domiciled" - the word means that their home (from the Latin domus meaning house) is elsewhere. They intend one day to return "home", "home" being, generally, the country where they were born - outside the UK.

The UK Government has, for a very long time, recognised that folk like this who are not looking to be permanently "domiciled" in the UK should be given especially favourable tax treatment. In fact, the UK has decided that that it would only tax that part of their income that they actually bring into the UK. So these folk hold their assets, inter alia, in Jersey banks and through Jersey investment managers. Bank interest or dividends then do not suffer UK tax (or Jersey tax because such folk are not resident in Jersey). And the UK does not charge any Capital Gains taxes on their homes in the UK as long as those are ownedby trusts in Jersey.

This UK April Budget will alter this: a real business challenge for Jersey's finance professionals.

Resident but not domiciled? Living in one country but the home they look towards is in another? That's rather like the Christian viewpoint. No country on earth is the Christian's real home.

Such folk (both the UN non-doms and Christians) can rightly say: my wealth is elsewhere; I am a stranger here; my home and real assets are in a better country; I only need a little here in this country in which I temporarily reside; my real wealth is being built elsewhere;  I will go there to end my days.

And that's precisely the way that certain folk thought and lived (see above) 4000 years ago: "For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland". But those BC people were not in a foreign country for tax reasons. The letter to the Hebrew Christians (see above) goes on to say that they actually did not want to return to an earthly homeland: "If they had been thinking of that land from which they had gone out, they would have had opportunity to return......"  

"But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city."

But these people, the BC 'they', were ancient Israelites. What about the 1st Century AD Christians? A few sentences later in this circular letter to the AD them, the writer brings these into the picture: ".....and all these [the BC folk], though commended for their faith, did not receive what was promised, since God had provided something better for us [the AD folk], that apart from us they should not be made perfect."

And that still applies - the BC people who lived by confident trust in Almighty God have seen and greeted from afar their final homeland, as promised, but they are waiting for Christians to join them.

Jersey Christians, resident in Jersey (and paying Jersey Income Tax in full), are not domiciled here. They are domiciled in a better country, a heavenly one, a city prepared by God - as promised for four millennia.    

‘But in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.' (Benjamin Franklin, Scientist, Writer, Politician, 1706-1790)
‘Since, Lord, thou dost defend/ Us with Thy Spirit/ We know we at the end/ Shall life inherit./ Then fancies flee away!/ I'll fear not what men say/ But labour night and day/ To be a pilgrim.' (John Bunyan, Pastor and Author of "Pilgrim's Progress",        1628-1688
Richard Syvret

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