Today Sir Richard Branson slipped the surly bonds of Earth’s taxation laws, becoming space’s first tax exile.
“I was driven to this,” said Mr Branson. “They call the British Virgin Isles a tax haven but the land tax costs me literally hundreds, and it’s hard to find money like that after buying two islands and a spaceship.
“I had a choice between becoming resident in space or making some quick cash by selling the Unity on Autotrader,” said Mr Branson, referring to his personal spacecraft VSS Unity, a.k.a. USS Vanity.
“Sadly, the value of sub-orbital rocket-planes depreciates so quickly the best I could do would be a part-exchange for an old Ford Fiesta.”
At the apex of their flight, Branson and his passengers experienced four minutes of zero-gravity, and six minutes of zero tax, providing Branson with ample time to sign and date prepared documents making him a legal resident of space and a tax return showing him owing zero pounds and zero pence.
This paperwork was then launched from the VSS Unity in a capsule which is expected to continue to orbit the Earth at high speed until 2024, when in a perfect expression of Mr Branson’s selfishness it will collide with the International Space Station, causing irreparable damage.
Mr Branson played down these concerns, reassuring journalists that if his paperwork were involved in a catastrophic space disaster, he would file new documents promptly to prove his tax-free status.