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UK Pensions – All Change

UK Pensions – All ChangeThe UK government took everyone by surprise in March by announcing a series of radical changes to pensions. The measures are the most significant pension reform since 1921, and give retirees much more freedom over their pension pot.

For most people, their pension funds are a very significant part of their wealth. Retirement planning is an essential component of your new life here in Portugal. 

The UK Tax Residence Test

The UK Tax Residence TestThe UK’s Statutory Residence Test is now a year old. It was a welcome development after the old system, and provides much more certainty. However for more complicated cases it can still be rather complex and it is important to understand the detail of the test.

Understanding pension jargon!

QROPSThe 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.

What Next For UK Inheritance Tax?

What Next For UK Inheritance Tax?  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?

Should I pay my mortgage off with my savings?

MortgageI’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.)

UK’s Tough New Penalties for Offshore Tax Evasion

UK’s Tough New Penalties for Offshore Tax EvasionThe 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 Agrees New Savings Tax Directive

EU Agrees New Savings Tax DirectiveEU 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.

Tracing your UK Pensions

Tracing your UK pensionsMultiple 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.