Expatriate Tax

Highlighting expatriate tax rules and regulations and helping those living abroad to understand their expatriate tax status

British Taxpayers’ Guide to Passporting to Lower Taxes

Where can Britons, dissatisfied with the state of their nation, move to live abroad in Europe and pay less tax?

Lower tax in Europe

If you thought the rioting and rampaging, the mindless hooliganism, theft, violence and arson that has swept across parts of the UK over the last few days was bad enough, did you know that British taxpayers may actually have to foot the bill for all the damage?  It’s true!  Thanks to the Riots (Damages) Act of 1886 the police authorities may be forced to foot the bill…and the police authorities are of course funded by the public purse.

This won’t have any bearing on the lawless, feral mobs who tore up Britain – they don’t work or pay tax anyway.  But for the rest of Great Britain its reason enough to think about leaving!  And if you are thinking about moving abroad, you might like to look and see where you will pay less tax and be less likely to encounter the underclass that the UK has bred over recent generations.

After all, taxes have increased in Britain and yet they are seemingly paying for less, (I’m talking about all the public spending cuts), so if you could live abroad and pay less tax but have a better life, it’s got to be better than sitting in bankrupt and burning Britain and waiting for things to change.  This is the British taxpayers’ guide to passporting to lower taxes and a higher standard of living in Europe…

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Will You be Badly Affected by Changes to UK Tax Residency Rules?

HMRC’s proposals for a statutory residency test to determine whether an expatriate needs to pay tax in the UK or not have been defined. The taxman now wants your opinion on whether the test is fair. We examine the proposals and how they may impact negatively on some British expats living abroad who like to visit the UK.

At first glance, some of the proposals under HM Revenue and Customs’ consultation on the statutory definition of residence for UK tax purposes are very restrictive.  The proposed number of days one may be able to visit the UK for may be greatly reduced for example.

As we warned in our recent article ‘Statutory Definition of Residence Theoretically Good News for Expats,’ if the rules become even tighter to prove the residency/non-residency rule, some expats will be extremely negatively impacted.

So, will you be badly affected by the proposed changes to the UK tax residency rules?  Have you had time to read through the 37-page consultation PDF?  If not, don’t worry, today we’re providing you with an overview of what’s being proposed and how you can voice your opinion.  Who knows, perhaps HMRC will actually listen to those of us who legitimately live abroad permanently, but who would like to retain the right to occasionally holiday in the UK!

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Where Can Expats Escape Abroad and Pay Less Tax?

You might think you’re over-taxed in the UK, but according to the OECD the UK’s taxes and take home pay for workers is about average – meaning that there are nations such as France and Belgium that will tax you more! So where in the world can you move to live abroad and pay less tax…

Where Can Expats Escape Abroad and Pay Less Tax?You may think that Britons resident and working in the UK have a particularly high tax burden, but according to the latest findings from the OECD’s annual Taxing Wages report, Britain comes in close to the OECD average in terms of the amount it takes in the form of income taxes, social security payouts and employers’ taxes…which suggests that there are plenty of nations out there which will actually tax you more!

So, expats need to tread carefully if they want to escape abroad and actually pay less tax – which is why today we’re going to take a close look at the OECD findings and break them down into bite sized pieces to determine where in the world an internationally mobile worker may be better off.

The latest Taxing Wages report from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development reveals that the average tax and social security burdens on employment incomes rose in most countries in 2010.  In the UK Britons are only too aware of the double squeeze impacting their take home pay - i.e., higher taxes and high inflation – but elsewhere in the world things aren’t always quite as bad, proving that if you do your country based research carefully, you could find a lower cost of living, lower taxes and therefore better take home pay at the end of the month.

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Expats Agree EU, UK & OECD Stifle Entrepreneurialism with Tax

We interviewed 25 Shelter Offshore readers who are working abroad to get their take on the news that a Swiss based company is set to become London’s largest ever float, and to discuss how tax competitiveness is important for the development of entrepreneurialism

Expats Agree EU, UK & OECD Stifle Entrepreneurialism with TaxFollowing the news that the Swiss commodities trader Glencore is set to become London’s largest ever float, we decided to ask a select handful of our readers for their views on the news, and to comment on the argument for or against global tax competitiveness. 

We asked 25 of our opted in British expatriate professionals to discuss the pending float, and to tell us whether they felt that the company’s strategic positioning in Switzerland has advantaged the overall development of Glencore.  We also asked our sample group to comment generally on their fiscal position as expatriates, specifically remarking on whether moving to live and work abroad had improved their financial standing.

Having encouraged the dialogue, the email exchanges we have been a party to highlight the fact that our professional readership all agree that the stifling tax practices in the UK, the EU and encouraged and developed by the OECD restrict entrepreneurialism – and that had Marc Rich set Glencore up in London back in 1974 instead of Switzerland, the company’s financial position today would be a lot less attractive and impressive.

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Expat Tax Update: QROPS Changes, Increasing Taxes, Decreasing Privacy

We take a look at the closure of QROPS tax loopholes and how the EU and OECD want to increase tax and broaden the scope of exchange of information directives to further erode expatriate freedom and tax competitiveness

Expat Tax Update: QROPS Changes, Increasing Taxes, Decreasing PrivacyMost people accept that not only is tax inevitable, it’s essential for the smooth running of day-to-day life in civilised nations.  However, no one likes paying tax, and no one is required to pay over and above their personal due.  These facts seem straightforward enough, and the vast majority of people pay what they owe, even if they do so begrudgingly!

There is of course a small minority who seek to exploit tax loopholes and thereby avoid tax – and an even smaller minority who seek to flout the law and evade tax.  (Note: tax avoidance and evasion are absolutely not the same thing – I think it was Denis Healey who said: “the difference between tax avoidance and tax evasion is the thickness of a prison wall…”)

The British government is cracking down on those expats exploiting certain QROPS tax loopholes for personal gain, the OECD and EU are cracking down on personal rights to freedom allegedly to prevent tax evasion, and at the same time law abiding expats and citizens around Europe are being squeezed dry by increasing rates of taxation that are set to soar – let’s look at the facts.

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Statutory Definition of Residence Theoretically Good News for Expats

If all expats could be confident that rules relating to residency and non-residency were legally binding in the UK, it would make their tax situation easier...but what if the rules change for the worse?

Statutory Definition of Residence Theoretically Good News for ExpatsSo far the ConDem coalition has brought very few decent policies to the table in the UK.  All they have done is rush through massive spending cuts, ‘reform’ the NHS and allow for an increase in tuition fees for all students - and in so doing they have probably managed to alienate the vast majority of Brits!  Other than that, what is this coalition currently famous for?

Well, perhaps they will go down in history as having encouraged the largest number of Britons to emigrate?  However, aside from that they did actually manage to slip something of potential benefit into their recent budget.  They have announced that they will consult on the introduction of a statutory definition of residence to provide greater certainty for taxpayers.

This statutory definition of residence is theoretically good news for expats as we will now discuss – however, let’s not get too excited just yet, because we have yet to see how the definition will actually be defined!  Also, what impact might it subsequently have?  Everyone is hoping that a clarification of the rules will be a good thing – but what if the rules change for the worse?

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Financial Reasons to Move Abroad & Offshore in 2011

We look at all the reasons why Britons are better off moving abroad and offshore in 2011 – including how you can save more money when you invest it offshore, legitimately avoid tax when you live in certain countries around the world, and how you can improve your life and your finances by moving to live overseas in 2011

Financial Reasons to Move Abroad & Offshore in 2011If you were looking for any more reasons to kick start your new life abroad in 2011 – besides the obvious ones of being bored at work, fed up of the weather in the UK and in desperate need of a change of scene – allow us to give you the top financial reasons to move abroad and offshore this year.

First things first there are all the tax increases in the UK that will be eroding a significant hole in the state of your family’s finances, secondly there are all the offshore savings and investment benefits waiting for you offshore, and then there are the tax incentives often open to expats once they become non-resident for tax purposes in the UK!

Want to know more?  Want to know how and why you could be financially better off thanks to a move abroad and offshore in 2011?  Read on to be inspired into booking that one-way ticket out of your currently high-taxed, low-quality lifestyle in the UK!

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Where Can Expats Live Abroad and Pay Less Tax?

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Where Can Expats Live Abroad and Pay Less Tax?Now that the highest rate of tax in the UK has gone up to a whopping 50%, (with historical evidence weighted more firmly in favour of the fact that most taxes in Britain are seldom removed or reduced once they’ve been created), there are plenty of places around the world where we can all move to live, work or retire if we specifically want to reduce our tax bill – which is very good news!

Britain was once considered a fairly taxed nation – but those days have long gone.  And with governments having knee jerk reactions to claw back money that they unwisely spent or gave away to banks, we can all see clearly that the UK is no longer a nation in control of its economy.

If you’re unhappy with the amount of tax you have to pay, with the proposed spending cuts or you’d just like an adventure abroad and ideally you’d like it to be in a country where you can retain more of your salary each month, we’re going to be exploring where expats can go and live abroad and pay less tax.

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Would You Be Better Off Offshore?

Would you and your family be better off if you moved abroad, avoided the inevitable tax hikes coming Britain’s way, and made the most of the offshore advantages available to you once you expatriate?

Would You Be Better Off Offshore?Well, the time for debate is over in the UK apparently, and it’s now up to British citizens to make their minds up about which government they want to elect and which tax hikes they therefore want to adopt.

A highly respected think tank has analysed ways in which the budget deficit in the UK can be brought under control, and it has revealed that there will have to be serious and sustained tax increases on every individual household in Britain to bring debt back to anywhere near a manageable level.

So, this begs the question, would you be better off offshore?  I.e., would you be better off if you packed your bags, moved abroad, worked overseas and managed your money offshore as is entirely legitimate for many expats to do?  In this report we look at the likely reality of life in the UK over the next decade, versus the offshore and expatriate benefits and advantages you could enjoy if you moved abroad.

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Britain’s Bleak Black Hole of Debt

This week’s Budget in Britain is expected to be about pandering to the public in an effort to win votes – whereas the true state of the nation will only become clear in May following the General Election – expats watch with interest, whilst onshore Britons are forced to brace themselves for the worst

Britain’s Bleak Black Hole of DebtThe Chancellor in the UK is set to launch his final Budget of this Parliament on Wednesday – and because he belongs to the political party that has got the country into the financial mess it is in in the first place, and that political party is not odds on favourite to win the next election, funnily enough - he is not expected to rock the boat any more and upset anybody with what he plans.

In other words, don’t bank on the forthcoming Budget to show Britain’s bleak black hole of debt – the truth will only out after the election is done and dusted.  This is what we’ve been saying for weeks, and now the popular press in the UK is backing our point all the way to the polling stations in May.

But how is this of relevance to you?  Well, if you’re planning on moving abroad to escape the state of the UK, you may want to leave sooner rather than later – i.e., before the truth is revealed at which point our currency could sink even lower and our housing market could be back on its knees.  Or if you’re thinking about repatriation to the UK, take your rose coloured glasses off, because chances are, things in Britain are a lot worse than when you left.

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