Tax haven companies own 23,000 UK properties


A quarter of the real estate in England and Wales owned by foreign companies held by the company registered in the British Virgin Islands, the BBC’s analysis has found.

The Caribbean archipelago is the official home of companies that own 23,000 properties, more than in any other country.

They are listed in the possession of 11,700 companies in the overseas territory.

The findings emerged from the BBC’s analysis, carried out by the land register data on overseas property.

The research found that it held approximately 97,000 employees properties in England and Wales, by foreign companies starting in January 2018.

It adds to concerns that the company, based in British-controlled tax havens used to avoid tax.

Close behind the British Virgin Islands (BVI), which has a population of 30,600, Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man.

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Map built by Carto. If you can not see the map, please click here to open the same story on the BBC News website.

Note: property locations are approximate based on the center of the zip code they fall. As such, they were removed when the map is zoomed to detailed levels. Property information such as the name of the company and the country to refer to the ultimate owner of the property, not necessarily the person or company that can rent or occupy the property.

Many foreign UK owners are also officially based in Hong Kong, Panama and Ireland.

The analysis provides a new image of property by foreign companies in England and Wales, following a decision last November that the database is publicly and freely accessible.

Almost half (44%) of all real estate owned by foreign companies in England and Wales are in London
More than one in ten (11,500) of the properties that are owned by foreign companies in England and Wales in the City of Westminster
More than 6,000 properties owned by foreign companies, in the London borough of Kensington and Chelsea.

The government of the British Virgin Islands said it is wrong to label the country as a tax haven.

He said that there were many practical reasons why the UK properties may be in the possession of companies in the BVI.

He argued that the BVI companies can bring together multiple investors and owners, which can be useful for large commercial real estate deals, investors in more than one country.

The BVI also said that it shared “the necessary information” including ownership details with the competent authorities.

Among which, the entries in the database, revealed a price, the most expensive is the former headquarters of the Metropolitan Police, New Scotland Yard, 8-10 Broadway.

The site was bought by the Abu Dhabi Financial Group for the year of 2014 for £370m from the mayor of London’s office. But it is officially owned by a Jersey-based company by the name of BL development.

In 1967, the multi-storey block has now been demolished to make room for “a luxury collection of one-to five-bedroom apartments on six architecturally distinctive towers”. These range in price from £1.5 m to more than £10m.

The lease of Admiralty Arch, the former government building off Trafalgar Squar, moves to one end of The Mall, was investment for £141m sold to hotel developers Prime. It is a Guernsey-based entity, Admiralty Arch Hotels Ltd. is registered

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While the most expensive building commercial properties such as hotels and office buildings in prime central London locations, many of the spaces are residential real estate rather than business.

Take Green Street, London W1 – a residential street in highly-desirable four-storey redbrick Victorian terraces, led by smart wrought iron railings.

Walking East to West, you will pass a row house residence possession, according to the latest records of the Turks and Caicos Islands, which is from a company called Allianz Immobilien AG. Next door, another residence registered in the possession of Lily Holding & Finance Inc., in the BVI.

In all of the 15 properties on the road registered in the British Virgin Islands, four in Jersey and the Isle of Man. are in the possession of the company Other owners in Italy, Hong Kong and Singapore.

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Book holders can be used to recommend an offshore company, that foreign buyers of real estate in the UK as a means to avoid the inheritance tax, if the owner is deceased.

“Until April 2017, if you are not resident in the UK and held a residential property through a company, it was not counted as an asset for the UK-based inheritance tax purposes. Seen in this way, a property is meant by an offshore company, you escaped inheritance tax,” says Mark Giddens, the auditor and consultant with UHY Hacker Young.

However, since last year, the government announced plans to close the gap, reduce the attraction of offshore ownership of residential property.

Offshore jurisdictions, such as BVI still offer buyers who want to get their name out to the public area with more privacy than you would enjoy if you bought your property as an individual.

While most of the tax have agreed oases, take part in the automatic exchange of information, to discover that the law enforcement authorities, the beneficiaries of the beneficial owners of an offshore company, your name will not appear in the published data.

In contrast to residential real estate in the possession of individuals, the country of registration does not always release “price figures for real estate paid for” – in the possession of the company.

Add to the 27,835 properties, their most recent sale prices, we know that the price paid was only £55 billion euros.

Notes: The BBC analysed. January 2018 foreign companies Ownership data made public by the HM Land Registry. The data is recorded correctly and up to January 2018 and contains approximately 97,000 employees title records of freehold and leasehold property in England and Wales registered company outside the UK. The map shows 71,000 the 97,000 employees addresses. The missing had incomplete data.