Tax avoidance from the Game of Thrones characters

So I’m new to blogging…but here’s my starter for ten.

Famous people love tax avoidance.  Game of Thrones characters, despite being mythical, are no different.  Some of their main attempts explained below:

Tyrion LannisterTyrion Lannister:

– As hand of the King, Tyrion is part of the government.  This enabled him to claim Casterly Rock as his primary residence, and his lavish King’s Landing property funded as a second home by the taxpayer.

– He managed to argue that all expenditure on alchemist wages and materials for the Wildfire used in the Battle of the Blackwater qualified for R&D relief.

– Tyrion’s father Tywin handed Casterly Rock down as a potentially exempt transfer for IHT.  Whilst Tyrion resents his father, he’s hoping the old man outlives gift by 7 years to avoid IHT on his death.

Eddard (Ned) Stark:Ned Stark

– As the North is a “disadvantaged area”, the Starks were able to gain NIC holidays on salaries for their troops, enabling them to fund an army cheaper than their enemies.

– Ned’s proud of living at Winterfell.  What’s less well known is he was moved there by the council after having a sufficiently large family (including bastard sons and hostages) that they outgrew all the local council houses.

– As any Stark will tell you, “Winter is coming”, so Ned and his family are very grateful to Gordon Brown for bringing in the winter fuel payment.

Daenerys TargaryenDaenerys Targaryen:

– Daenerys does not live on Westeros, so is not tax resident there, giving her many tax benefits.

– She was careful to receive the dragon eggs as a gift from her husband only after their marriage.  This meant they were exempt from capital gains tax as a transfer between spouses.

– Now the dragons are growing and increasing in value, she’s convinced HMRC that dragon rearing is a trade rather than investment.  This is vital, as it means on any future disposal they’ll benefit from entrepreneurs relief.

Theon Greyjoy:Theon Greyjoy

– Theon is a “non dom” as he was born on the Iron Islands and retains family there, but having lived on Westeros for a while he is tax resident.  This enables him to choose whether or not to use the remittance basis.

– Having recently had his manhood removed, Theon is looking to see what additional disability benefit this may entitle him to.  Relative to other characters his disability is minor, but he’s still trying to argue it reduces his earning potential.

Petyr BaelishPetyr Baelish:

– Petyr’s income mostly comes from his brothels.  Whilst evasion rather than avoidance, as most transactions are in cash, he keeps a lot of the profit off the books, thus out of the taxman’s hands.

– The above hasn’t proved too much of a problem for Tyrion or Theon, regular visitors.  They don’t ask for a receipt as they know full well that even the best tax advisers in the Seven Kingdoms can’t justify a prostitute as a tax deductible expense.

Jon SnowJon Snow:

– Jon took the “cut off your nose to spite your face” attitude to tax avoidance.  By becoming a member of the Night’s Watch he gave up any entitlement to land or riches, meaning there’s less for him to pay tax on.

– A benefit of the Night’s Watch is that living accommodation on The Wall is considered necessary for proper performance of his duties.  This enables him to pay for it out of his pre-tax income.


The above is in no way endorsed by HBO, images courtesy of GameofThrones wiki.

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