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Until these are answered, the industry will not be able to assess whether the threat to the domestic art market has been lifted, says British Art Market Federation (BAMF) chairman Anthony Browne.

Non-doms, as they are known, are British citizens with interests abroad who have registered for “non-domiciled” status, exempting them from paying tax on earnings made outside the UK. Under plans due to come into force in April, this privileged status will cost them an annual fee of £30,000 on top of taxes for UK earnings.

While many of the richer non-doms would be content to pay this sum, the major sticking point under Chancellor Alastair Darling’s plan was that they would also be required to disclose details of their income and assets offshore and abroad.

The resulting outcry has seen many of the super wealthy, who are fiercely protective about their confidential financial arrangements, make plans to quit Britain for tax havens like Switzerland.

Now the Treasury are hoping to stem the tide by ditching this aspect of the policy, and this includes allowing important works of art to come onshore for loan exhibitions without being subject to punitive tax measures.

The status of art being traded in relation to Capital Gains Tax is less clear, however.

“As far as we can see, the revision in this highly complex matter will alleviate some fears, but we are still seeking clarification on vital aspects of the policy that could seriously affect the competitiveness of the British art market,” Mr Browne told ATG.

By Ivan Macquisten