- HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:
Heart to Heart with Hillary
Learn to Live to Learn
Graham Macdonald MBMG International Ltd.
To Be or Not To Be ... Domiciled (Part 2)
Last time we analysed the case of a pilot, Mr. Shepherd,
where the commissioner decided Mr. Shepherd had left the UK only through
“occasional residence abroad”, meaning he fell within s334 of ICTA 1998, which
states that the commonwealth citizen whose ordinary residence is in the UK will
remain taxable in the UK if they left for occasional residence abroad.
The consequence of this case was that, once again it was
proved that the residence rules in the UK are far from black and white. It is
not enough merely to count days in and days out; one must go further and
genuinely go abroad for settled and permanent purpose. The case only suggests
that the Revenue are getting a bit tougher on those who claim to be
non-residents. It was something of a shock in that it went against what had
previously been understood to be Revenue practice. In order to ensure that one
is not a UK-resident for tax purposes, it had been usual to follow Revenue
guidance, in their publication IR20, and limit return visits to less than 90
days per year. However, this case shows that reliance on this rule is not always
Particularly vulnerable to attack will be those who work
abroad, but who are employed directly by a UK company, especially if their
families remain in the UK and they habitually return to the family home, for
example working away from home during the week and returning at weekends.
Other points made by the commissioner are worth nothing:
- A reduced presence in the UK of person whose absences are
caused by his employment and also are temporary absences does not necessary mean
that the person is not residing in the UK
- The availabilities of living accommodation in the UK is a
factor to be borne in mind in deciding if a person is resident there
- That the fact that an individual had a home elsewhere is of
- There is a difference between the case where a British
subject has established a residence in the UK and then has absences from it and
the case where a person has never had a residence in the UK at all
- Where there is evidence that a move abroad is a distinct
break, that could be a relevant factor in treating an individual as non-resident
- That a person could become non-resident even if his
intention was to mitigate tax
Time Apportionment Relief
This offers a very valuable relief against income tax for
policyholders who have held an offshore life policy whilst abroad and have then
returned to the UK and surrendered such a policy. The reduction assumes that the
policy has never been held by offshore trustees or companies and is calculated
on the following basis:
Period following as a UK resident (days)
Period policy has been in force (days)
Example: Mr. Bloggs has made a gain of ฃ100,000, has had the
policy for 10 years and has been UK resident for only half this period. The gain
is reduced by time apportionment relief:
1825 days x £100,000 = Gain reduced by £50,000
If the investment was a UK life policy this relief would not
be available but there should be a basic rate tax credit attaching it to a UK
policy. If funds directly were held any gains would be subject to Capital Gains
tax which has its own tax regime.
Following the case of the unfortunate Mr. Shepherd and also
the HMRC’s publication of its proposals for the revised Residence Pages to the
UK Self-Assessment tax return, there are substantial amendments which, if
finalised, will necessitate a far more thorough disclosure on residence than
previously required. Particularly affected will be those who fall into one or
more of the following categories:
- Have a property available for use in the UK
- Perform duties of employment in the UK (includes attending ad-hoc meetings)
- Have immediate family resident in the UK
- Make many frequent visits to the UK
The clearest case should be where an individual moves abroad
for full time employment which lasts for a period of at least one full tax year
(6th April to the following 5th April), but even here the rules have been
tightened and, as can be seen from above, all duties must now be performed
overseas. Additionally, if an individual accepts a two year appointment abroad
and, for understandable reasons, chooses to leave his partner and children in
the UK, this would be regarded as something other than a “clear and distinct
break” and non-resident status could not be assumed. Even if these factors don’t
come into play, the issue of maintaining a UK property or of frequent UK visits
can murky the water.
Without doubt, simply moving abroad to avoid UK tax is
becoming much more difficult than it used to be, and HMRC is paying continued
and careful attention to those wanting to adopt non-residence status. For anyone
moving or living abroad a carefully planned strategy is vital if you want to
achieve your objectives. It is critical to act sooner rather than later in this
important area, to ensure that your tax planning strategy works with the
changing guidelines and we would suggest an immediate review of individual
circumstances in light of the new guidelines.
The above data and research was compiled from sources
believed to be reliable. However, neither MBMG International Ltd nor its
officers can accept any liability for any errors or omissions in the above
article nor bear any responsibility for any losses achieved as a result of any
actions taken or not taken as a consequence of reading the above article. For
more information please contact Graham Macdonald on
Snap Shots: by Harry Flashman
Your own time capsule
There are many time capsules buried all over the world, all with
the intention that ‘sometime’ in the future, it will be dug up
and our descendents will avidly study the contents, saying “Look
at what they wore in 2007!” and similar. Things will be very
different in 2107. (For starters, none of us reading this will
still be around. In fact, will the world as we know it still be
However, returning to time capsules, take a look at
these two photographs, taken in 1911, of the Niagara Falls. Global
warming was obviously not a problem, it was rather global freezing.
These two photographs would have been very suitable for a time capsule,
as they portray a condition of the world that has certainly changed
since 1911. Photographically, they are also very good. Note the
inclusion of the figures which give an indication of the size of the
falls. I have mentioned this before, but when taking photographs of
“things”, if you can incorporate a person in the photograph, you have
immediately given a sense of scale to the “thing”.
Now some of you will be thinking, “Where do I get a
waterfall that has frozen over in Thailand?” The simple answer is that
you won’t, but there are many situations in Thailand that are likely to
change by the time someone opens your time capsule in 2107.
If you think back at how your city or village looks
today, compared to how it was 5, 10 or even 20 years ago, you will find
there have been great differences. I remember that 30 years ago
Sukhumvit Road in Bangkok was two bitumen lanes with dirt shoulders each
side in the Soi 11 Ambassador Hotel area. The Ambassador itself was
about three storeys high, and nothing like it is today. Now imagine what
your village is going to be like in 30 years from now. “Ordinary”
photographs of your local area will be a wonderful reference in another
30 years. And in 100 years will become exhibits in the local museums.
There are countless subjects that you can put in your
personal time capsule, and obviously technology changes so fast that
photographs of techo items should be included. Think back to the
airplanes of Louis Bleriot or before that, the Wright brothers. Today’s
aircraft are the Sopwith Camels of tomorrow. Wireless internet, iPods,
Bluetooth, Blackberry, LCD screens - all the cutting edge of today will
be the blunted edge in 100 years.
Now one important decision you have to make is the
format for your photographs. Sure you can burn them onto DVDs, but will
there be something you can play a DVD on in 100 years? Remember the
eight track stereos, or the five and a half inch floppy disks or even
Beta-Cam? Try playing one of those even today. Your DVD might be the
same in 100 years. How do you download the information?
In my time capsule I will put prints, done in
archival quality, and at least I know that my great grandchildren will
be able to view the scenes and items and people of 100 years prior.
Sometimes simplest is best.
I do encourage you to exercise your brains and think
about what might be interesting in 100 years. And photograph it today.
by Dr. Iain Corness, Consultant
Your computer is killing you
Sorry about the attention grabbing headline, it’s an old
journalistic trick. Your computer really won’t kill you, but sitting at your
computer for hours on end, can! And backing up this contentious claim is one
of the world’s respected medical publications, the New Zealand Medical
Journal, with the results tabled at the annual conference of the Thoracic
Society of Australia and New Zealand.
Now everyone in the world, other than a few farmers in
outer Mongolia, has heard of the “Economy Class Syndrome”, in which you end
up getting blood clots in the legs from being squeezed into seat 176A at the
rear of the Economy section of Fright and Flight airlines. The rationale is
that after sitting in 176A for the 12 hour flight to bring the bad news to
Outer Mongolia, the blood flow in the legs slows so much that clotting forms
and you end up with yet another acronym, this time called DVT, or more
correctly Deep Vein Thrombosis, or even Deep Venous Thrombosis. This has
produced a group of nervous airline passengers, cowering in fear, waiting
for hijacking or DVTs.
However, Professor Richard Beasley of the Medical
Research Institute in New Zealand has studied the folk admitted to hospital
with DVTs and found that only 21 percent had traveled on long distance
flights, whilst 34 percent were sedentary office workers who would sit in
front of their computer screen for three to four hours at a stretch without
getting up, and do this for up to 14 hours a day. This showed two factors.
Firstly their work habit was dangerous, allowing the blood to pool up in
their legs, and secondly, they had magnificent bladder control.
Whilst I was joking about the bladder control, I would
postulate that to be able to sit for four hours at a time, these office
workers were not drinking enough fluid, leading to thickening of the blood,
and even more likelihood of blood clots. Look around your office, how many
of the staff have a water jug, or even a glass of water on their work
station? In my office of 12, only two of us have water on the desk.
That’s enough on the factors leading to DVT, what can a
DVT do? What happens is very understandable. The clot breaks off from the
deep vein and then travels upwards towards the heart. In doing so, it will
go from major, large diameter blood vessels into smaller and smaller again.
Eventually, depending upon the size, the clot will become wedged in a very
small vessel and shut off the blood supply to that area.
If the blockage occurs in the lung, the condition is
called a Pulmonary Embolism (PE). This is potentially fatal. It is estimated
that each year more than 600,000 patients suffer a pulmonary embolism. PE
causes or contributes to up to 200,000 deaths annually in the United States.
One in every 100 patients who develop DVT dies due to pulmonary embolism.
There is some good news in all this, if pulmonary
embolism can be diagnosed early and appropriate therapy started, the
mortality can be reduced from approximately 30 percent to less than ten
Still, 10 percent is a little too high for my liking. So
what can you do to prevent getting a DVT? Apart from the obvious maintenance
of good health with sensible eating and drinking and regular check-ups, the
important preventive factors include getting up and walking around at least
every hour (both in the office and from seat 176A), drinking plenty of water
and taking 100 mg of aspirin every day. By making it less likely that a clot
can form, you remove the dangers of DVT.
Go and get a glass of water now! And use it to swallow
Heart to Heart with Hillary
Dear Hillery (sic),
A couple of weeks ago one of your writers complained about some woman
who had been kicked out by her boyfriend and said you shouldn’t give anyone
anything because it gets taken the wrong way. This is stupid. Things only
get taken the wrong way when people don’t know what’s really going down. I’d
like to hear the other guy’s story. I reckon the guy who wrote in won’t get
the rent money he lent out either, so who can he trust? You’ve got to do
what you think is best, but you’ve got to let your partner know what you are
Or is that “not conVinced”? In my reply to JMS, I did say, “Perhaps there
were other events leading up to this? You are only giving me one side of the
story (the one you are being given by the lady), and in any relationship
there are always two sides.” Then again, maybe we are not hearing all of
JMS’s side either? Some days it is hard being an Agony Aunt, Vince my Petal.
Very hard. Now you can understand why I need a constant diet of chocolates
and champagne to cheer me up. By the way, my name is Hillary, not “Hillery”.
Just where did you get that from?
My work colleagues have all decided that I am gay because I don’t live
with anyone, while they all are living with a succession of local girls.
Every week I hear another tale of woe and how they have been cleaned out.
Every week I thank my lucky stars that this is them and not me, but they
just go straight back into another relationship, which ends up just like the
previous ones - a disaster. They seem to think that I have something against
women, while I don’t, but they keep on saying over and over, “Got a feller
yet?” I haven’t got anything against gays either, it’s just that I’m not
one. How do I get them to understand at work?
Dear Getting Annoyed,
Jai yen yen! Maintain a cool heart! They are only keeping this up because
you continue to rise to the bait. When they get no reaction from you, they
will eventually stop. It may seem hard, but just a “suit yourself” response
and nothing else, will produce the desired result. By the way, don’t comment
on their relationships and they will give up commenting on your (lack of
Every week I see all these old men tourists with young girls in the
streets with the nightlife. Bold as brass, down the street they come, arm in
arm or holding hands with girls one quarter of their age. From the leers on
their faces you know what they are thinking. Surely they must know they are
a joke? These girls are after one thing only and these old codgers are too
stupid to see it. They certainly don’t have any sex appeal left. Don’t you
think something should be done about it, or at least tell the old duffers to
stop making fools of themselves?
You are all spiced up, aren’t you, Petal. The problem here is just who is
“making fools of themselves”? The old dears I see on the streets seem to be
enjoying themselves no end. Well, most of them seem to have smiles from ear
to ear. Is there a law against enjoyment in this city that was passed by the
city fathers and I missed it? I do not believe that the “old codgers” as you
call them, think that they have managed to find their dream girl out the
front of Moonlight-a-Go-go. What they have found is someone who is prepared
to look after them on their holiday, don’t complain and make no judgments of
their behavior. So what if the girls are “after one thing only” - if the
visiting tourist is happy to look after his side of the bargain and the
locals are happy to supply what the visitor wants, then why are we (sorry,
you) pointing the finger of scorn? Lighten up, Ginger. Live and let live
needs to be your motto. Or did this letter stem from just a teensy-weensy
bit of jealousy?
The beautiful girls of Thailand amaze me the way they can sit sideways
so gracefully on the rear of a motorcycle. I have even seen one girl calmly
drinking a glass of red wine as they threaded their way through the traffic.
Do you know when did this custom start and do they fall off?
Traditional Thai dress has included the long wrap skirt for many years and
the Thai women have ridden buffaloes, elephants and oxen, long before the
invasion of the Japanese motorcycle. Riding side-saddle is an example of
Thai practicality. Imagine wearing a tight skirt and trying to throw your
leg over the rear of the Honda/Yamaha/Suzuki 125, the ideal motorcycles for
a family of four. Impossible! But you can sit sideways. Do they fall off?
Yes they do, but only if the rider loses control.
Learn to Live to Learn: with Andrew Watson
Adding substance to style
Ian Hill (2002) adds substance to style when he
attempts to unravel a rather complicated world by listing what
amounts to necessary conditions for international education:
1. Curriculum (‘education about the world’)
• Knowledge: languages (bilingual where possible
but at least a second language), global issues (including forces
of good and evil), political literacy, citizenship, roots and
• Skills (to reconstruct the world): critical
thinking, collaboration, problem-solving, adaptability, awareness of
other points of view
• Attitudes (leading to action): ethical literacy,
respect for cultural diversity, commitment to peace and justice,
responsible citizenship, commitment to sustainable development
(including the solution of global issues).
2. Intentions: pragmatic, pedagogical and idealistic
3. Derivation: from an equitable representation of
the world’s best practices
4. Assessment: culturally sensitive
5. Currency: recognised around the world
6. Teaching Methodology: appropriate to the
knowledge, skills, and attitudes to be developed and to students’
7. Values: grounded in shared human values (such as
empathy, respect for other points of view - see ‘attitudes’ above) and
addressing cultural diversity (raising questions of ethical absolutism
versus cultural relativism)
• A context in which international education is
• A context in which the knowledge, skills, and
attitudes are applied (‘for the world’).
Whilst it might be easy to concur with Hill, as he
goes some way towards bridging the gap between clich้s and action, his
points also illuminate the complexity of the situation. What do the
theorists like Hill in their glass towers imagine happens, ‘on the
It can be strongly argued that what happens on the
ground is pragmatism. The role of idealism in a global culture of
immediate gratification is in many ways defined by pragmatism. As
Tsolidis (2002) says, “We live in increasingly pragmatic cultures where
idealism is denounced or at least pushed and pulled so that it can be
jammed into frameworks established by the ‘real’.”
What Tsolidis (2002) refers to as the ‘real’ is in
effect, an acknowledgement of the reality of the conditions and context
in which international education exists. A realist perspective addresses
education by its relation to the market. If adopting a critical realist
perspective is useful in analysing the fundamentals (not so much a
‘trend’ as Tsolidis calls it) then it does not necessarily follow that
the market-driven ‘reality’, increasingly evident in education, is in
“stark opposition” to essential characteristics of education, which
according to Tsolidis are related to the “common social good” (a
platitude which remains ill-defined).
Are two such apparently bipolar perspectives
reconcilable? Or are they mutually exclusive? It would be difficult to
argue that both did not exist simultaneously, although such
co-existence, it would appear, is by no means harmonious. So a good
question might be, “to what extent does one affect the other?” Once
again, I rather like Marx’s assertion that “the mode of production in
material life determines the social, political and intellectual life
processes in general.” (Marx, 1968 edn, p.356) Thus a society structured
on capitalist principles gives rise to an educational system inevitably
and by design, almost as a necessary condition, based on competition. It
could reasonably be argued that pragmatism (a philosophy that evaluates
assertions solely by their practical consequences and bearing on human
interests) is a highly appropriate approach to take to education in the
prevailing global economic circumstances.
What is the job of schools, if not to prepare
students for the reality of the world outside? It could be strongly
argued that it is their duty to teach students how to function in a
‘global market economy’. Here idealists such as Tsolidis are perhaps
slightly blind to the possibility of acknowledging a centrist
(politically) strategy which unites ideas of market with idealism,
reminiscent of the politics of Blair’s (1998) ‘third way’.
If this means the model which constructs education
“as a commodity to be bought in accordance with their capacity to pay”
(Bridges & McLaughlin, 1996; Kleinig, 1982 in Tsolidis, 2002) then the
benefits of considering this paradigm should also be acknowledged. For
instance, a “consumer” would be entitled to expect increased
accountability and responsibility for performance and would expect to
see results improve. In this sense, it is difficult to argue against an
ideology such as a capitalist market economy, which can be said to be
grounded in ‘pragmatic’ realism.
Following on from this, in terms of implementing the
IBO mission statement, it appears that one of the central questions is,
“To what extent is ideology the product?” The growth of international
schools can themselves be regarded as a pragmatic response to a market
Without resorting to cynicism, it is perhaps
surprising, in light of Blair’s “Third Way” (1997) which embraced a new
socio-economic reality that he took so long to acknowledge that the IBO
might hold one of the keys to unlocking the door to a better future
(2006). Yet interestingly, he stresses that schools, like other
organisations, do not succeed because of the programme they run, but
because of how they are run.
“A strong Head Teacher. Well motivated staff.
Attention to the basics, but also imparting the thrill of knowledge.
Discipline. Good manners and life skills. Schools succeed that have a
powerful ethos, sense of purpose, pride in themselves and what they do.
In this, schools are like any other institutions in public or private
sector. The premium today - whether in a successful business or public
service - is the ability to be creative, to adapt and adjust, to
internalise external influence and practice.”
Speech at Specialist Schools and Academies Trust
Conference 30 November 2006
It is useful to consider the reality of teacher’s
lives ‘at the coal face’ in relation to the idealistic discourse of
politicians like Delors or Blair. Teachers acknowledge that there are
daily impediments to the implementation of ideology (Dunning, 1993 in
Law & Glover, 2000) and one of the reasons for this (recognised by
MacGilchrist et al, 1995 in Law & Glover 2000) is that staff might have
little or no sense of involvement with decision making and school
At best, the perceived need or response for future
generations to be educated to be more “internationally minded” (Delanty,
2000) has evolved alongside the essentially pragmatic need for a child
to be educated and probably, in many cases, for someone, somewhere to
make some money. Thirty years on from the start of the IBO, there is
little empirical evidence (Walker, 2003) to suggest that whilst the IBO
may have succeeded in developing or producing individuals who embrace a
‘world view of the problems of humanity’ (Sampson and Smith, 1957 in
Hayden, Thompson & Williams, 2002) that any particular good has come of
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