A taxing time

An extract from Mr. Norwin’s Exile that has some resonance today.


When Mr Norwin had spent some time in his new home, he was told that he might not have to pay tax in his own country or in the country where he now lived. He had several meetings with tax advisors and was told of the advantages he might get by becoming a tax exile. “I don’t want to pay tax to governments that don’t represent my interests,” he decided. “Why should I pay for policies that I don’t agree with?”

He paid the financial advisors to submit a lot of complicated paperwork to a number of government offices, and eventually was called in for a meeting to discuss his tax affairs.

The officials were polite and thorough, taking him through all the ramifications of the way his tax returns had been submitted.

“It was such a relief when they told me I owed no tax. I don’t have enough income or enough assets,” said Mr N. “Perhaps people in exile never have to pay tax, or perhaps writers never earn enough anyway.”