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MPs call for overseas property register

MPs call for overseas property register

Monday 22 November 2021

MPs call for overseas property register

Monday 22 November 2021

More than 40 MPs from across the political spectrum have called on the Prime Minister to create a register of offshore entities that own UK property amid a rise in Crown Dependency ownership.

Their campaign comes as new research showed that the number of properties with overseas owners in England and Wales has trebled since 2010.

Compiled using statistics obtained via Freedom of Information requests, the Centre for Public Data found that this amounts to 247,000 properties – around 1% of all in the UK.

Of those, around 47,000 were registered to addresses in Jersey, Guernsey, the Isle of Man and BVI.

Some have suggested that the rise in overseas ownership shows wealthy investors are pricing locals out of the housing market.

Others worry that the figures could point to something more sinister – property being used as a vehicle for concealing assets and paying less tax.

Aerial Jersey 850x500.jpeg

Pictured: Close to 50,000 properties were linked to Jersey, Guernsey, the Isle of Man and BVI.

Legislation to clamp down on ownership – and possible economic crime – via individuals and companies based in jurisdictions like Jersey and Guernsey has been ready since 2018 in the Economic Crime Bill.

The Times reported that 17 Conservative peers and backbenchers are among those urging Boris Johnson to table it, and have written to him on the matter. 

As well as calling for the creation of an overseas property register, the group also wants improvements to be made to the current Companies House register, which they say is vulnerable to abuse.

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Posted by Glenn Cowie on
If governments don't like the current legal allowances or 'loopholes' within legislation, to minimise tax on overseas property ownership, then close them. It isn't difficult. However, given the number of politicians this will likely affect, given their own interests and/or holdings in offshore property ownership structures, I won't hold my breath this happens anytime soon.
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