The hottest topic over the past few years in QROPS, what does this mean I hear you ask? On 6th April 2006 it was announced by Her Majesty Revenue and Customs (HMRC) that people with UK based pension schemes could move their pensions offshore to a Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme.
The UK imposes one of the highest inheritance tax burdens in the world, and this is a tax that continues to impact UK nationals even if they have been living abroad for a while. Prime Minister David Cameron has suggested he would like to raise the threshold – what are the chances this will happen?
I’ve met a number of clients recently who have a mortgage and want to know if it is a good idea to pay off the mortgage with their savings. This is a difficult question to answer and a few things have to be considered - how you feel about debt, What savings would you have left when the mortgage is paid off and what is your long term plan (ie can you afford the mortgage long term, do you have maturing pensions or lump sums in the future.)
The UK government has taken another significant step forward in its war against hidden offshore bank accounts, announcing plans to make it easier to prosecute offshore evaders, with a possible prison sentence for those found guilty.
The proposals could see criminal convictions handed down to people with undeclared offshore income, even if HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is unable to prove an intention to evade tax.
EU Member States have formally adopted the revised Savings Tax Directive. Tax Commissioner Algirdas Šemeta described this major breakthrough as a major step forward in the fight against tax evasion.
The agreement came after Austria and Luxembourg dropped their opposition to the reforms; a sign they believe that countries like Switzerland will also extend their tax transparency under the Directive.
Multiple pensions - Where are they now? It is very common during our work life to have 5 or 7 employers each with their own pension schemes and trying to keep track of them can often be quite difficult. Pension providers over the years have often been taken over or merged with other companies, which only heightens this problem.
What is investment risk? Before you start any financial plan you need to understand the risk, many of us aim in life to avoid risk, but there is no such thing in today’s world. Whether you’re simply walking down the street to buy a pint of milk or investing your savings in the stock market there’s a risk!
Over the last 15 years we have reported on a number of new initiatives to clamp down on offshore tax evasion, each one whittling away at financial privacy as we knew it. The Savings Tax Directive in 2005, with its automatic exchange of information on savings income, was revolutionary at the time, but not the end of the story. Far from it, in fact. Next year will see the introduction of a global automatic exchange of financial information, covering a wide range of income.
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