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Monaco, government, politics, tax, finance

29th September 2009
By Roger Munns in Taxes
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Motivated businessmen and wealthy millionaires in the past have been faced with a dilemma - save tax by moving to Monaco, famous for its zero per cent tax rate - or stay at home, pay the taxes, and know you're contributing to your country?

But that dilemma for many in recent months has been firmly knocked into touch with the revelations in Britain that politicans - including those at The Treasury - have themselves maximised their expense claims and avoided Capital Gains Tax when selling a second home, which has been funded by the taxpayer.

As a result of the outlandish claims made by some Members of Parliament for their expenses and desire to minimise their tax bills, the number of enquiries for Monaco property has surged since the revelations began, according to the country's leading Monaco property specialist who say:

'In the past we've had enquiries from people considering moving to Monaco who have decided against it as they feel they should pay their taxes in the UK, despite the fact that many have already contributed hugely financially to the British economy - a lot of the new enquiries are people who have considered Monaco in the past and now see no reason why they should contribute more when Members of Parliament are doing all they can themselves to minimise their tax bills and claim all they can on expenses - which are funded by the taxpayer.'

One way Members of Parliament bumped up their expenses and the money they have made in recent years is something that has been dubbed as 'flipping homes' - and this has led to many businessmen and women considering buying a Monte Carlo property to see no reason why they shouldn't move to a tax haven and buy real estate.

MP's are allowed a second home allowance - vital for those who have constituencies well outside of London - and the purpose behind the second homes allowance is to enable them to live in London during the working week to attend Parliament, and represnt their constituents there.

Monaco Harbour

But some were telling the Expenses Office they needed repairs done to their second home, but moving their second home residency to their original house, and then later changing it back to the London home and having repairs done there too - flipping between the two, hence the phrase 'flipping homes'.

With the increase in London property prices in recent years many MP's have seen the value of their London property soar in value, sold it, and kept the profit themselves - with the mortgage funded by the British taxpayer. One of the most notorious expense claims was to build a Duck House on an MP's lake - the chances of making money were far higher in Parliament than the Monte Carlo Casino!

But if people do decide to move to Monaco, what can they expect to find there? After all, Monaco is only a square mile in size.

Importantly for people with money, security is often high on their agenda, and the security Monaco offers them is second to none, with one policeman for every hundred residents. Backed up with cctv that looks after the residents and visitors for the hotels in Monaco, for many it's a good reason to choose Monaco.

Equally important for many is the financial infrastructure of a country, and how secure their money is. With all the major banks having either a direct presence or partners, just like with the physical security residents have, people do feel safe that their money is deposited in one of the banks in Monaco. Add to that the Grand Prix, tennis, yacht show and social activities it's perhaps no wonder that Monaco is a favourite destination for the wealthy.

And they won't have politicians telling them to pay more tax while themselves try to pay no tax.

More information about Monaco including the casino and accommodation at the hotels in Monte Carlo are at
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