by Richard Branson
I read today that some people believe I am only living in the British Virgin Islands for tax reasons. Nothing could be further from the truth. I have chosen to move my assets to that ‘tax haven’ because that’s just what an everyday bloke with a 74-acre private residence in the Caribbean does. The very idea that a down-to-earth multi-billionaire like myself would have known that the British Virgin Islands were a lucrative place to have as a main residence is laughable.
Sure, the BVI may be known to many as a notorious jurisdiction where 41% of offshore companies are formed and where trillions of dollars are channeled annually to avoid tax. But let’s not get too excited about these coincidences. Why, before too long you’d be pointing the finger at every billionaire tycoon who suddenly upped and left the country they were born in to base themselves in an overseas territory!
The truth is that for the last decade I’ve focused on expanding my brand globally; now I’m going to focus on locally. And by locally, I mean local to Necker Island, where my wife and I have built our humble home on a completely standard tropical island. For this is a place where my family and I are able to truly relax, safe in the knowledge that we’ve completely by chance happened upon a lucrative tax haven. What are the odds?
I have been very fortunate to accumulate a great deal of wealth in my career, more than I could possibly want other than through insatiable greed. The idea that I, a multi-billionaire, would live somewhere I don’t want to for tax reasons is laughable. Which is why it’s such an incredible coincidence that there’s a tax haven in the Caribbean where I happen to have chosen to retire to for the rest of my days. Bye!