At a time when Britain is on the brink of bringing in further tax increases and we’re witnessing a surge in the numbers of enquiries from British readers contemplating a move abroad, one nation has gone all out to win over the highest skilled, most wealthy migrants – namely New Zealand.
The nation has already proven that it has weathered the economic fall out from the global financial crisis well, and now it wants to cash in on the brain drain evident in nations like the UK. How better to catch those who want to escape excessive taxation and massive government spending cuts than by introducing personal income tax cuts and new investment based visas, one of which that doesn’t even have an upper age limit.
These benefits are in addition to the fact that English is the main language in New Zealand, business, legal and educational standards are similar to our own in the UK, the climate is decent, the landscape is stunning and the lifestyle opportunities are second to none. So, if you’re looking for a way out of the higher taxes that Britain is about to be hit with, why not move abroad and live in New Zealand and enjoy a lower tax lifestyle?
Tax Free Living in New Zealand
Before New Zealand even contemplated a lowering of personal income tax rates in a bid to attract the best migrants possible and ensure their kick started economic recovery remains on track, the nation already offered migrants a period of semi-tax-free living.
Those who move to the nation can enjoy up to four years tax-free living from certain types of foreign sourced income which can certainly allow for a smoother transition period all round! So, if you have a house in the UK that you let for profit, you have a pension or investment assets that you draw an income from, as long as you become a qualifying tax resident in New Zealand you can potentially enjoy all of that income free of any tax at all in your new nation for up to four years.
Ongoing Tax Benefits of Emigrating to New Zealand
There are rules that apply to your tax status and the qualifying nature of the income’s source – but the up to four years tax-free foreign sourced income benefits were reason enough for many to opt for New Zealand as their new nation of choice before. But now, with the news that all bands of income tax are to be reduced from October, there are even more reasons to consider living in New Zealand.
At the moment income tax is charged as follows: -
12.5% for earnings up to 14,000 NZ dollars
21% between 14,001 and 48,000 NZ dollars
33% between 48,001 and 70,000 NZ dollars and then
38% for everything over and above this 70,000 threshold…
This is in contrast to the UK where the higher rate of tax is now 50%! But, despite the fact that things in New Zealand already look more favourable when it comes to income tax, from October a reform will mean that these percentage figures are reduced to 10.5%, 17.5%, 30% and 33% respectively.
It isn’t all good news as the equivalent of VAT is rising from 12.5% to 15% - but bearing in mind that VAT in the UK is going up 2.5% in January 2011 to reach 20%, things still stack up in favour of New Zealand. You can also factor in the zero stamp duty and inheritance tax charges and I can see that the immigration department could be about to face a run on applications from dissatisfied Britons seeking a tax shelter abroad!
New Zealand Visa News – Investor Visas for All
If you like the thought of living in New Zealand and you’re unsure whether you would be able to migrate based on the skilled migration visa’s qualification requirements, the good news is that there are now two new visa types that may suit you instead. Both are investment class visas, with one certainly favouring retirees as it has no upper age limit. The Investor Plus Visa, as it is known, requires significant investment commitment, but it does allow you to move to live permanently in New Zealand whether you’re retired, skilled or unskilled, well qualified or just wealthy as there is no age limit and no business skills level stipulation. All you have to do is invest 10 million NZ dollars into the nation over 3 years.
If that is too high a sum for you and you’re under 65, you could apply for the straight Investment Visa instead. You have to have 3 years business experience, invest 1.5 million over 4 years and have an additional million in the bank.
If on the other hand you’re skilled, you have qualifications and experience that New Zealand wants and needs, you’re of working age and you and your family are considered ‘attractive’ migrants, you can apply for residency as a skilled individual. More details can be found on the New Zealand immigration department’s website.
New Zealand has long been an attractive nation for relocating Britons, because the transition into a new life in the nation can be relatively smooth due to the fact that culturally the UK and NZ are so similar in so many ways. But now that New Zealand has gone all out to attract the professionals, well skilled and wealthy who are emigrating from Britain in their droves, it has become an even more attractive country to consider. Lower tax rates and easier means of migration for many stack up further in this country’s favour – so why don’t you consider it if you’re looking for a new life abroad?