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The Importance Of Tax Residency – Don’t risk an unexpected Tax Bill

Unwanted Tax BillA recent tax residency court case involving a couple living in Portugal and my recent article on the subject, A Tale of Two Leavers, have generated quite a bit of interest.  This is an important subject for British expatriates and worth visiting again.

If you want to stop paying income and capital gains taxes in the UK, you must ensure you are non-UK resident.  It is not enough to look at Portugal’s tax residency rules, you also need to understand the rules governing UK tax residency, follow them carefully each year and keep records if necessary.

The Crackdown on Tax Fraud

The Crackdown On Tax FraudThe crackdown on tax fraud and offshore tax evasion remains very much a key issue in 2014.  Governments are working to detect and prevent tax evasion, and collect unpaid tax.  Their investment into new technology and skilled tax investigators is paying dividends.

Interest Rates to remain low – Bank of England

Interest rates to remain lowCould UK interest rates rise this year? There has been speculation about the possibility since unemployment figures fell faster than expected.  However the Bank of England responded by saying that rates will remain “well below historic norms” in the medium term.

The Bank of England (BoE) base rate has been held at 0.5% for 58 months now, benefiting borrowers but harming savers.  

The meek Mr Osborne and your estate

The meek Mr Osborne and your estateThe meek shall inherit the earth, according to the Bible.  In the case of the UK tax authority, the meek Chancellor levies 40% inheritance tax on estates.  If you have two or more heirs, it could mean that George Osborne’s office takes the largest share of your estate unless you plan carefully.  

The situation is getting worse, with Mr Osborne’s measures expected to drag tens of thousands more British families into the inheritance tax net over the next five years.

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high Yielding investmentDon't miss out on these Investment Opportunities.....In our definitive guide to high yielding income generating investment opportunities, we focus on Safe Secure asset backed fixed rate returns, helping you choose the right investment that will produce you consistent income.

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HMRC issues new guidance on QROPS

QROPSOnce you reach retirement age you need to carefully consider all your options for your UK pension funds, and how they affect your retirement income and the transfer of any balance to your heirs on death.  British expatriates have the further option of Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Schemes (QROPS) to consider, and need to take the local tax implications into account.  

Retirement planning is an essential component of your new life here in Portugal.  You need to be armed with all the facts and thoroughly review what you have to enable you to make the best overall decision for your personal situation.  Seek specialist advice before you start drawing your pension or transfer any funds.

EU and Portugal

euThe European Union was flawed in its conception. The idea that more than a dozen disparate European nations could come together permanently in a monetary union without a much tighter fiscal and political union was always unrealistic given the gapping differences between the member nations in terms various criteria: economic, social, political, and, perhaps most important of all, cultural.

Now the member states of the EU are reaping the frightful harvest of this extraordinary misadventure in ways that will harm them for at least a generation.

The Importance Of Long-Term Relationships

The Importance Of Long-Term RelationshipsMany British nationals have made their home in Portugal, and when you consider the lifestyle and attractions it is easy to understand why.  However there are some drawbacks.  You have to deal with unfamiliar local bureaucracy and a foreign tax system.  Your new circumstances mean you have to rethink your investment strategy.  You may need to consider all the complex options for your UK pensions, and how they work for a Portugal resident.