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Where's Zac's Tax?

20 April 2016

TSSA is launching a new tax justice campaign in the run up to the London Mayoral election demanding to know more about the tax affairs of Conservative candidate Zac Goldsmith.

Called Where's #ZacsTax?, the campaign will pressure the trust-funded Tory banking heir to come clean about the benefits derived from his non-dom status.

Eton-educated Goldsmith only registered for tax in Britain six years ago when he stood as an MP for Richmond. Until then, despite having homes in Britain, he was registered as a non-dom to avoid paying taxes here on his huge fortune.

Explaining his non-dom choice to BBC's Newsnight in February Goldsmith himself said: "Being non-dom allows you to make lifestyle choices to avoid paying tax."

Since 2010 he has made has made more than £10m in income and capital gains since becoming an MP in 2010, his office has disclosed.and last year alone he received 22 times as much money from his trust fund as he earned in salary as an MP.

Goldsmith’s taxable income since 2010 is more than £6m, the vast majority of which comes from a family trust set up by his billionaire father, Sir James Goldsmith. He has made a further £4.3m in profits from selling assets.

His average annual income over the last five years was £1.2m – 36 times the median salary of £33,203 for full-time workers in the capital, putting him in the highest-earning 0.05% of UK taxpayers.

Goldsmith's father, Sir James, was legally resident in France, so his estate could not be taxed in the UK. Non-domicile status is usually reserved for foreign nationals or people with roots overseas allowing them to avoid tax on money earned outside Britain, unless they bring the money back into the country.

When Goldsmith Snr. died in 1997 leaving a £1.2bn fortune, he passed on his non-dom status to his son and the fortune was placed in a trust run from Geneva for the benefit of his children. Nothing is known of Zac's tax affairs between 1997 and 2010.

Said TSSA General Secretary Manuel Cortes, "The Panama Papers have shown the creative lengths the rich go to to avoid paying tax and ordinary folk are sick to the back teeth of it.

"It's not their wealth we mind, it's not even their inherited wealth, we get that people want to pass on stuff to their kids, but the fact rich individuals and or companies won't play fair and pay up their fair share of tax due is simply no longer on.

"By his own admission, Zac Goldsmith has avoided paying tax as a lifestyle choice. And in another of his playboy life-style choices he now wants to run London - a city he's spent his life living in but didn't love enough to pay a penny towards it.

"Zac's not in it together with Londoners. He has nothing in common with my members working on the tube or on the buses who have spent their entire working lives having their tax deducted from their pay at source to pay for the city's public infrastructure.

"Zac's only in it - up to his neck in it - with Eton's finest hat-trick - Dodgy Dave, Dodgy George and Dodgy Zac. He chose not to pay his taxes here for years so he has hardly earned the right to be a mayor here.

"Our Where's #ZacsTax campaign will show this man is a national tax deserter who has no place representing the hard working, full tax-paying, people of London."

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