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Brexit Minister Provides Assurances of “Cooler Heads”

Raab spoke in some detail on the subject of expat pensions, reminding the assembled journalists that member states would only be punishing their own economic interests if they restricted access to pensions. “If you look at pensions, it’s hardly in the interest of southern Spain to do harm to the UK pensioners out there,” he said by way of example. “And what you would expect, and hopefully we will see, even in the unlikely event of no deal, is actually cooler heads prevailing and the kind of practical cooperation to make sure that contractual issues, whether pensions or otherwise, are navigated through.”

Continuing the theme, Raab offered his view that even if there was no deal, there would be no cause for panic. He said that the government was committed to making sure that it provided greatest possible levels of reassurance and practical support to British expats abroad.”

However, Raab was quick to dismiss the idea that Britain had given up on the prospect of achieving a workable deal. He said that although the government was busy planning for every possible eventuality a “no-deal” outcome was “not what we want and not what we expect”.

His comments follow a period in which the Association of British Insurers director Hugh Savill has come under criticism for making potentially unsettling statements regarding the future of expat pensions and cross-border financial services. Raab really does seem to be giving hope that cooler heads will indeed prevail.

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Blacktower Financial Management offers expat financial advice including assistance with SIPP and QROPS expat transfers to help you protect, preserve and grow your wealth.

For more information about how we can help you successfully manage your wealth during the uncertainty of Brexit, contact us today.

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Job opportunities rapidly accelerate in France

The Eiffel TowerAs a popular destination for British expats, France offers many opportunities and can provide a high quality of life, with lots of exciting opportunities. And now it appears that there are burgeoning employment opportunities as well.

Like so many other countries, France was hit hard by the financial crisis of 2008 and the country’s economy was damaged, as was its job market. However, France has made a gradual recovery and new statistics suggest that recently its pace of recovery has rapidly accelerated.

Research from RegionsJob has shown that the number of jobs being created in France shot up to 200,000 in the third quarter of 2017, which is an increase of over 40% when compared with the same period in 2016. France has not seen as many vacancies created since the financial crisis.

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RTC Deadline Looms

Clocks and TimepiecesTime is fast approaching for UK taxpayers and expats with UK tax obligations to ensure they meet the 30 September 2018 deadline laid down by HMRC for the declaration of all UK tax liabilities on overseas income and assets that fall under the auspices of the Requirement to Correct (RTC) legislation, Finance (No 2) Act 2017.

Non-compliance, even if it is inadvertent, has the potential to be met with uncompromising penalties, so anyone who is any doubt about their tax obligations regarding offshore investments – if you have expat regular savings or wealth management concerns outside of the UK – should contact their financial adviser immediately as a matter of urgency.

The penalty for most breaches is 200% of the tax that has been avoided. However this may be reduced to 100% depending on the taxpayer’s perceived level of compliance. That said, the minimum is 150% in cases where disclosure has been prompted by HMRC. Larger non-disclosures may be punished by further penalty of 10%

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