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#375536 - 05/04/10 03:00 PM Ashcroft pays no personal taxes in Belize
Marty Online   happy
For some working class Belizeans, the claim by foreign business interests that Belize is a “tax haven” sounds like a dry joke, to others an insult to their intelligence. Everyone knows that it is tax dollars that turn the wheels of the Government of Belize’s economic machinery. It is contrary to a fair taxation policy for the wealthy to be exempt from the tax burdens carried by ordinary citizens.

Amid a painful hike in the General Sales Tax (GST) to raise over $40 million in government revenue for the new budget year, questions have resurfaced in Belize over the tax status of British billionaire and campaign financier Michael Ashcroft, who also holds citizenship in Belize, holds several key business interests here and has financed both major political parties.

Simultaneously, the issue of Ashcroft’s tax status has been ventilated in recent months in the United Kingdom, Ashcroft’s place of origin. General elections will be held in Britain on May 6. Lord Ashcroft’s party, David Cameron’s Conservatives or Tories, had been enjoying a huge lead before that lead began to shrink following attacks on the Lord Ashcroft’s privileged tax status by Gordon Brown’s ruling Labor Party and the hard charging Liberal Democrats of Nick Clegg.

Amandala today had an opportunity to ask Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Dean Barrow to respond to queries over Ashcroft’s tax status in Belize.

Barrow told us that there is no way the Government can show that Lord Ashcroft makes personal earnings, even through dividends, since there is nothing on record to fix him as owner of his businesses. This is because of the labyrinthine, Byzantine arrangements which establish “legal distance” between the Lord and the companies in which he has interests. With reference to Ashcroft’s earnings, the Prime Minister said, “The Government of Belize has never been able to point to any.”

Prime Minister Barrow said that the Government of Belize is in a dispute with about 5 Ashcroft affiliates over personal income tax payments, including former Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL) director, Dean Boyce, Jose Alpuche and Phil Osborne.

They claim that under their agreements with the Belize government, granted under the Said Musa administration, they are tax exempt, Barrow explained. According to him, the affiliates have taken the Government of Belize to court to get a declaration that the government cannot collect taxes from them.

Barrow noted that it has also been a struggle to get the Ashcroft-affiliated companies (such as the Belize Bank and BTL under its former management) to pay taxes, although, he noted, the Belize government has so far succeeded in most of those court cases.

In the UK, there have been reports that Ashcroft, a political financier in the UK as well, has maintained “non-dom” (non-UK domiciled) status, which also comes with special tax exemptions.

The Barrow administration had reported that the Ashcroft group of companies had repatriated $70 million from Belize Telemedia Limited, via a transaction involving Belize Bank, in 2008.


#375540 - 05/04/10 03:32 PM Re: Ashcroft pays no personal taxes in Belize [Re: Marty]
Inplub Offline
Ashcroft does not pay tax here and he has not paid for the last 10 years he has lived here. they worked it out that he should have paid £120,000,000 in TAX over the last 10 years. He should have paid tax when he became a Lord.

Edited by Inplub (05/04/10 03:32 PM)

#375556 - 05/04/10 05:02 PM Re: Ashcroft pays no personal taxes in Belize [Re: Inplub]
Peter Jones Offline
It was a stated condition of his elevation (to the peerage) that he would become domiciled in the UK, which would mean he would pay UK taxes. That never happened - I wonder whether it was a stitch-up between Ashcroft and John Major (the then PM) to fool the public? And Parliament.

You can be sure that with the new Conservative government that looks certain to be elected on Thursday he will not be required to put any of this right. It's one law for the (mega)rich, another for the poor(er).

#375563 - 05/04/10 05:30 PM Re: Ashcroft pays no personal taxes in Belize [Re: Peter Jones]
Inplub Offline
It was a CON, he got what he wanted and the Conseratives got £4,000,000 last year from him.

#375570 - 05/04/10 06:34 PM Re: Ashcroft pays no personal taxes in Belize [Re: Inplub]
Peter Jones Offline

#375571 - 05/04/10 06:35 PM Re: Ashcroft pays no personal taxes in Belize [Re: Peter Jones]
Amanda Syme Offline
And we think Belize is corrupt!

#375576 - 05/04/10 06:52 PM Re: Ashcroft pays no personal taxes in Belize [Re: Amanda Syme]
Peter Jones Offline
They learned from expert masters.


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