Gaines-Cooper judgment expected in next 12 weeks

THE LONG-RUNNING CASE involving the residency status of Robert Gaines-Cooper was heard in the Supreme Court last week and will be decided in the next 12 weeks.

The case began last Thursday and is still being heard. Gaines-Cooper is appealing against the 2010 High Court judgment that he was qualified as a UK resident in a case worth an estimated £30m.

The multi-millionaire businessman moved to the Seychelles and followed HMRC guidance to ensure he stayed no longer than 91 days in the UK each year. Yet HM Revenue & Customs decided that his close connections with the UK – including ownership of a large estate and regular trips to Ascot – meant he was a resident and liable for a backdated tax bill.

Peter Vains, head of tax at the London office of solicitors Squire, Sanders & Dempsey, which is representing Gaines-Cooper, told The Daily Telegraph it was “difficult to say” what the outcome would be.

“It’s been a very big case and we expect to hear the judgment in two or three months,” he said.

In a statement, Gaines-Cooper said: “I have every confidence in my advisors and in the British legal system and so will be following proceedings over the coming days with interest, as you might imagine.”

The government last month issued a consultation on a statutory residency test to provide certainty about whom is to be treated as a resident in the UK for tax purposes.

Related reading