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Channel Islands and BVI hold two thirds of UK

Property in England and Wales worth £122bn or more is held through companies in offshore tax jurisdictions where ownership is tricky to establish, according to Land Registry data analysed by the Financial Times.

Channel Islands and BVI hold two thirds of UK

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The detailed report showed that around two-thirds of the 91,248 foreign-company owned properties were held through the Channel Islands and British Virgin Islands, with Jersey topping the list of jurisdictions in terms of the total Land Registry figure for the amount of property held, at over £70bn.

British Virgin Island structures accounted for just over £40bn, Luxembourg (£22bn), Guernsey (£21bn), and the Isle of Man (£17bn).

The other, significantly smaller jurisdictions in relation to total property in the top 10, were Gibraltar, Cyprus, Ireland, Bermuda and Panama.

The FT also listed the top ten jurisdictions with titles where price was not known, where Jersey came in with the highest percentage (51%), followed by Luxembourg (46%), Bermuda (38%), Gibraltar (35%), Panama (33%), Isle of Man (31%), Guernsey (28%), British Virgin Islands (23%), Cyprus (19%) and Ireland (19%). 

The FT compiled the report by requesting data from the Land Registry on all companies registered outside the UK that owned properties in the UK.  The data showed how many properties bought between 1 January 1999 and May 2014 were bought through these companies.

To read about law firm Berwin Leighton Paisner’s view of the latest tax treatment on UK property held by offshore structures, click here.

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