Rossi evades taxes; the UK an Offshore Financial Center
September 3, 2007 8:07 AM   Subscribe

Valentino Rossi is a very successful, well-compensated motorcycle racer and winner of numerous Grand Prix World Championships. He is under investigation by Italian authorities for tax evasion, which The Doctor allegedly accomplished in part by relocating to London and possibly taking advantage of the Non-domicile classification [link to google cache to avoid registration] for tax purposes. According to UK authorities, in 2003, for instance, his declared income was £650. Even a priests is becoming vocally upset at Rossi and the public's reaction. On a far larger scale, the UK was earlier this year identified as an Offshore Financial Center in an IMF white paper [34 page PDF]and there are those who think the purported tax-haven monster should be confronted. The Norwegian government agrees and wants to "facilitate the recovery of assets illicitly stacked away in tax havens" by way of a global coalition, of which the UK is not part.
posted by preparat (12 comments total)
This is my first post, so I welcome any bashing critique you wish to deliver. Honestly.
posted by preparat at 8:11 AM on September 3, 2007

What's the matter, F1 drivers wouldn't let him live in Monaco like they all do?
posted by Space Coyote at 9:14 AM on September 3, 2007

well played, I thought about doing this FPP when the story was on italian newspapers, but I was on the beach, far away from computers of any kind.

BTW the reason this is causing so much noise in Italy is that Valentino Rossi before this was a likable guy, not an heartless champion like Michael Schumacher or Casey Stoner.

After his response on italian television he deserves a 'christwhatanasshole' tag, really.
posted by darkripper at 9:16 AM on September 3, 2007

Alright then. More inside is your friend.

Also, this is a pertinent and interesting subject, but not necessarily best of the web.

Anyway, tax havens are a good example of one rule for the rich and another for the poor and as such should be abolished. Paying tax is an integral part of membership in modern society. What I find amusing is the number of adverts for tax-free savings in the Guardian Weekly, which is a publication otherwise very much left-wing in it's editorial stance.
posted by asok at 9:17 AM on September 3, 2007

It's funny when people talk about the cost of immigration to the UK and refer to poor people coming from Eastern Europe or Africa to do minimum wage jobs as some kind of threat. Yet, these people generally pay taxes (and if they don't it's probably because of unscrupulous employers), they contribute to this country in many varied ways and in return are rewarded with some of the highest living costs in Europe combined with some of the lowest employment protection in Europe.

Yet if you are a Russian billionaire oligarch/high pitched Italian motorbike driver you will be open to come into this country and pay zilch in tax because 'this generates wealth for the UK'. As far as I can see, the only people that generates wealth for is someone selling a house in Mayfair (and we all know how skint they are), luxury brands and posh restaurants in Kensington.

I do realise that it's more complex than all that but it still pisses me off to see people with fantastic amounts of wealth lord it around the place whereas the government is chasing poor families for small sums in family tax credits that the government erroneously over-paid.

Oh aye, nice post. Thanks.

posted by ClanvidHorse at 9:19 AM on September 3, 2007 [1 favorite]

Just move to Monaco, Valentino- like every F1 driver does. Problem solved.
posted by wfc123 at 9:27 AM on September 3, 2007

I don't see why sovereign governments shouldn't be free to set lower taxation policies without getting bitched at by uncompetitive stagnant countries. Lowering taxes is a viable way to attract high achievers.
posted by Spacelegoman at 9:34 AM on September 3, 2007

darkripper writes "he deserves a 'christwhatanasshole' tag"

Well judging from the video and only from it, seems like he's painting himself as victim of a mediatic attack. I don't get the reason behind the "CWAA" tag ?

Don't get me wrong I believe that the "experts" that did his tax work did everything possible to -elude- tax and probably did WAY WAY too much , because declaring an income of £650 for him is quite ridicolous, I'd love to see where the rest of the millions were spent and how they justify them as deductibles.

I'd question him, the hard quesitoning way, with a line such as : do you think that millions of people should pay an annual amount of tax higher then yours even if their yearly income is a fraction of yours and money is almost VITAL for them, while you can throw away money with neglegible consequences ?

Or similarly : do you think that giving donation to a charity, with or without a tax deduction bonus, helps somehow the fact that hard working researchers, living a live of lack of glamour, lack of sleep and intense study are given a misery, while many pilots are given millions for basically playing an high risk game ?

Yet nothing forbids Vale from earning millions if people decide to make an idol of him.
posted by elpapacito at 9:55 AM on September 3, 2007

Space Coyote: "What's the matter, F1 drivers wouldn't let him live in Monaco like they all do?"

Do you have any idea how real population would be in Monaco if all these bastards really lived there? I' like to know it
posted by zouhair at 10:04 AM on September 3, 2007

Lowering taxes is a viable way to attract high achievers.
Quite handy for drawing in the feckless shitehawks too. My only concern is for the future of our own native idle rich in face of competition from these vigorous incomers. They may well go the way of the red squirrel, although the loss may not be as mourned.
posted by Abiezer at 10:59 AM on September 3, 2007 [1 favorite]

Abiezer writes "My only concern is for the future of our own native idle rich in face of competition from these vigorous incomers."

Oh they will just move somewhere else, when you have millions one place or the other doesn't seem to make much difference. Like capital, it goes away and leaves the ruins behind.
posted by elpapacito at 12:32 PM on September 3, 2007

In Europe there is freedom of movement (you can choose where you live) but for tax purposes this is another matter. Even if I move to Monaco (or Lichtenstein) I need to demonstrate that I truly spend my time there. This is one of the reasons people "resident" in Monaco pay for having the lights of their apartment turned on and off, phone calls made, and so on.
Just ask Steffi Graf (her dad landed in prison because of tax issues related to Monaco and Germany).
"Smart" F1 Michael Schumacher, a Swiss resident, send his kids to the local school, even plays football in the local team to demonstrate behind any doubt that he really lives in Switzerland.
Valentino wanted the low tax status but spent all his time in Italy. So no wonder he got caught. Get a better tax expert next time (or ring Michael for advice...)
posted by elcapitano at 10:20 PM on September 3, 2007

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