Over the last few days the Paradise Papers have been splashed across the front pages of many newspapers across the world. Once again, they like the Panama Papers have shown us how the rich tend to avoid tax on an industrial scale. One of the tax haven’s enabling them to do this, is the Isle of Man.
The most important feature of a tax haven – and it is a defining one – is that local politics is captured by financial services interests (or sometimes criminals, and sometimes both), and meaningful opposition to the offshore business model has been eliminated. (Nicholas Shaxson)
Our man Geoffrey George Boot, a member and Minster of the Isle of Man government who is “a Sandgate man” has helped and enabled the wealthy to continue to avoid tax. Geoffrey Boot is a qualified pilot and has his own Isle-of-Man-based ex-Burkina Faso Military SF260 aeroplane, just like Lewis Hamilton
Here’s Geoffrey pictured third from left on the 10 Sept 2015 when he first got elected to the Isle of Man Parliament – yes that is Cllr Monk and Gillian Monk his wife.
Geoffrey (2nd from left) was re-elected to the Isle of Man Parliament again on the 22nd Sept 2016 and again Cllr Monk is by Geoffrey’s side.
In the 1980’s the Isle of Man became a Tax Haven, Geoffrey moved to the Isle of Man permanently in the late 1980’s, after the Isle of Man had become a Tax Haven.
The British Government has paid the Isle of Man more than £300 million this year, in a revenue sharing deal that critics claim is subsidising the Islands zero corporation tax. Campaigners say the British taxpayer is in effect subsidising the Island to be a tax haven
Geoffrey George Boot born Dec 1953 along with another incorporated a company which later became A.M.T. (South Eastern) Ltd on the 30 Oct 1980 according to paperwork lodged at Companies House. A fellow director was Mr Keith Bernard Mary of Hythe, who gave his occupation as a solicitor. Geoffrey gave his occupation as a Farmer & Estate Agent.
A.M.T. (South Eastern) Ltd is owned by MF & L Ltd, an Investment company registered in the Isle of Man. By 1991; after moving to the Island in the late 1980’s Geoffrey had become a director in MF & L Ltd. Geoffrey is still a director an Shareholder presently. On the 21st Sept 1998, Geoffrey and his Isle of Man company MF & L Ltd bought Sandgate Castle. According to Geoffrey’s linkedin page, he becomes Chief Executive of MF & L Ltd in 2001.
Shortly after purchasing Sandgate Castle, Geoffrey stands for election as a Conservative in the May 1999 Shepway District Council elections. He was elected by the people of the Folkestone Sandgate ward with 539 votes on a turnout of 29.2%. And while Geoffrey was an SDC Cllr, he meets and mingles with our own Cllr David Drury Monk . Geoffrey stood for re-election to SDC for the Folkestone Cheriton ward in 2003 & 2007, but on both occasions failed to get elected. In 2007 he was elected to Sandgate Parish Council where he became Chairman and also embroiled in controversy when he tried to change the status of Sandgate Parish Council into Sandgate Town Council. There is no difference between the two – except a parish has a chairman and town has a Mayor, Mayor Boot. Also in 2007 Geoffrey donates £1,125 to the local Folkestone & Hythe Conservative Association.
In an article written (around 2008/9) by Geoffrey titled – A lasting memorial Geoffrey states “I’m a Sandgate man and I want my name to endure in Sandgate”. So in 2011 our Sandgate Man, Geoffrey did not stand again in Sandgate but instead stood as a candidate in the Isle of Man elections, where he failed to get elected, to the parliament, but did get elected as a parish councillor to the German Ward in 2012 -2015. So truly a Sandgate man then!
So coming back to MF & L Ltd where Geoffrey is a director, the address – Derby House, 2nd Floor Athol Street, Douglas Isle of Man (Formerly Ernest Young) – the company gives and its agent both appear in the Panama Papers. In 2006 Ernst & Young fiduciary business on the Isle of Man, evolved to become Equiom, following a management buy-out.
In 2015 and 2016 Geoffrey is elected to the Isle of Man Parliament and in 2016 Geoffrey rises to the position of Minister for Environment, Food and Agriculture. As a member and minister of the Isle of Man Parliament, Geoffrey receives £62,019.75. A general expenses allowance of £7012.64 (tax free and without production of receipts). Travel expenses and free secretarial and mailing support.
Now for those of you who do not know, Geoffrey is a rather large property owner in the district of Shepway. He owns or has owned the following properties either leasehold or freehold (and possibly more):
1-5 lade fort cottages, lydd;
1-7 coastguard cottages lydd
26, Vinelands, Lydd, Romney Marsh, TN29 9BH Title K650150
Ground Floor Flat, 13 Douglas Avenue, Hythe, CT21 5JT Title K729654
Flat 10, Laburnham Court, Westbourne Gardens, Folkestone,, CT20 2HZ Title ID K481431
Flat 51a, 51 St Michaels Street, Folkestone,, CT20 1LS tITLE K856170
26, Walton Road, Folkestone, CT19 5QS Title ID K319065
13, Surrenden Road, Folkestone,, CT19 4DY Title ID K87785
7, Links Way, Folkestone,, CT19 5LW Title ID K358019
10, St Marks Close, Folkestone, CT20 3LY Title ID K383500
Sandgate Castle, Castle Road, Sandgate, Kent, CT20 3AG Title ID K789170
These are, or have been owned by and in the Investment company MF & L Ltd in the Isle of Man.
Companies in the Isle of Man who own properties in the UK gain lots of tax advantages such as:
A zero percent (0%) corporate tax rate, there are no capital taxes in the Isle of Man which means that any capital gains on the disposal of the property are tax free for the investment company
If the property is owned by an Isle of Man company no Inheritance Tax is due if the shares are held by a non-UK domiciled individual (or a trust established by a non-UK domiciled individual).
Companies incorporated and managed in the Isle of Man can register for VAT as though they were based in the UK which enables them to recover the VAT on the purchase of the property and all other expenses incurred in respect of the property business
So no capital gains tax, inheritance tax or stamp duty.
So Geoffrey gains a lot of advantages tax wise by holding the properties in the Isle of Man.
So who is Geoffrey George Boot? Well he is a dear friend of Cllr David Drury Monk, a pilot who owns his own plane (pictured); in the Isle of Man and a Multimillionaire. He is also not paying much tax, just like so many others named in the Panama and Paradise Papers. Yes, he is legally avoiding taxes on properties he holds; but he is also enabling others as a Minister & member of the Isle of Man Parliament to avoid taxes on an industrial scale; while being subsidised by the UK taxpayer to the tune of £300 million pounds, so critics claim.
Oh and of course MF & L Ltd has moved from the financial heart of the Capital, and are now registered at First Floor ; Jubilee Buildings; Victoria St; Douglas IM1 2SH and appears in the Panama Papers. The company – or agent is known as Equiom. And it is real close to Utopia.
Geoffrey of course still owns Sandgate Castle, so making him a truly Sandgate Man.
As the proverbs says: birds of the feather, flock together.
The Shepwayvox Team.
There are legitimate uses for offshore companies and trusts. We do not intend to suggest or imply that any persons, companies or other entities included in this blog post have broken the law or otherwise acted improperly, unless found so by a court of law.