Tax planning advice for UK citizens abroad
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If you live outside the UK, or plan to do so in the near future, Blacktower's professional and knowledgeable local advice can prove invaluable in helping you understand your tax obligations, both in the UK and in your expat place of residence.

Making sense of tax requirements can be difficult at the best of times, so, when you add cross-jurisdictional and foreign language complications, it's not hard to see why some expats worry about taxation issues, particularly when they have assets located in more than one country.

If you want to meet all your taxation responsibilities, be certain you are paying tax in the right place, and take steps to protect your wealth and income from any avoidable taxes, we can help. In fact, living abroad is rich in opportunities to develop tax-efficient structures that will work to your benefit.

And it's worth noting that being poorly prepared or oblivious of your obligations is not considered a legitimate reason for not paying tax or declaring assets. If you fail in your responsibilities, it  can result in severe financial penalty or even prosecution.

Blacktower, Helping you Protect and Grow your Wealth

The Blacktower Group was formed in 1986 to provide independent wealth management advice and a bespoke service for both individual and corporate clients and has been specialising in offshore advice since 1996, opening its first non-UK office in Portugal’s Algarve in 2000.

Our service is committed to high level of attention to detail and professionalism, and we can assist you with all of the following taxation issues:

  • UK taxation obligations
  • Tax requirements in your expat country of residence
  • Tax residency and domicile determination
  • Establishing tax efficiency
  • Making timely and accurate taxation declarations
  • Keeping abreast of changing reporting, regulatory and legal obligations

As a UK-originated firm with offices in 15 non-UK locations, Blacktower is ideally placed to give you the advice you need to understand how your obligations and interests in one place affect your obligations and interests in another.

Whether you are based in Germany, France, Spain, Portugal, Malta, Sweden, the Netherlands, Gibraltar or elsewhere, we can provide tax planning advice to help you protect your income, savings, investments, pensions and general wealth from unnecessary taxes and inefficient financial planning.

Capital Gains Tax

Neither Gibraltar nor the Cayman Islands impose any form of capital gains tax. However, most countries impose some form of this tariff on transactions involving property or other assets, typically on a sliding scale or at a fixed rate.

Many countries, including, Portugal, Spain, Germany and France impose capital gains on profit from real estate, wherever in the world it might lie. Some other countries, including Malta, only impose the tax on local real estate.

It is important to note that since April 2015, UK capital gains tax has been due on gains on British residential property, even if you are non-resident in the UK, although the tax only applies to gains made since this date.

Double tax treaties between the UK and other European countries generally mean you should not be taxed twice on the same gain.

If you have any questions or issues relating to capital gains tax and the best way to manage your obligations, contact Blacktower today.

Income Tax

In some countries, income tax rates can exceed 50% and are imposed on a progressive scale, with higher rates applying to higher earnings. The tax typically applies to worldwide income, including that which is derived from pensions, earnings, investments and rental property.

However, it may be possible to reduce liability through a combination of prudent planning and authoritative advice.

Double tax treaties should ensure that you do not have to pay the maximum level of tax twice on the same income – in such cases, tax credits usually apply.

Income tax obligations are complex and are constantly changing, if you would like to know how the rules in your country of residence affect you and your worldwide assets, talk to Blacktower today.

Wealth Tax

There is no wealth tax in the UK. However, Spain imposes a wealth tax on residents whose assets – including real estate, jewellery, art, furniture, savings and investments, cars and boats – are valued above a certain threshold, as well as on some UK residents who own significant assets in Spain.

Portugal and France also have a wealth tax, but it only applies to real estate.

Wealth tax can pose particular problems for people who are asset-rich, but on a low income. Prudent planning for those in this situation should be considered essential.

Fortunately, there are structures in place and steps you can take to reduce liability due on your assets. If you have moved to one the above countries or you are about to, you should contact Blacktower at your earliest available opportunity.

Inheritance and Succession Tax Planning

Cross-jurisdictional inheritance tax planning can be complex and arduous, particularly if you have assets and beneficiaries in more than one country.

Planning in this area is essential if you are to ensure that your assets are distributed in accordance with your wishes and without an avoidably punishing tax bill. This includes taxes on gifts made during your lifetime and taxes payable on death.

It is important to note that countries such as France, Spain and Portugal have quite strict succession laws and that if you follow these, or die without having made the necessary arrangements,  you will be obliged to distribute your estate in a certain way, for example along “bloodlines”. However, since 2015’s introduction of Brussels IV, it has been possible to nominate UK succession law to apply to your estate. There can be significant advantages to this, although it is recommended that you take advice as to what will work best for you.

Take Control of your Tax Planning Today

Contact Blacktower today for tax planning advice from specialists who understand all the relevant issues affecting you in your expat country of residence.

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