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Expats deserve guarantees

There is a compelling need for clarity for expats. For example, before the UK entered the EU and subsequently become subject to EU free movement rules, allowing UK citizens to move freely between and reside in any EU country of choice, it was signatory to a number of deals with European countries that have now been superseded – for example, there was an agreement with France that ensured reciprocity over social security payments to expats. While some commentators have wondered whether such agreements might again become active in the event of Brexit – others feel that this is a case of wishful thinking.

Whatever the situation, UK lawmakers do have the power to positively influence the situation of expats and they should do so as soon as possible. For example, there is nothing to stop both sides of parliament from moving to trigger Article 50 and urging EU states to ensure reciprocity regarding the rights of expats. Doing so would put an end to the limbo currently being experienced by many and would quiet any troubling suggestions that expats might become political pawns in some of the more Machiavellian negotiations inherent in the Brexit process.

Such decisiveness would also give expats more confidence over what they might do with their pensions. Whereas some might currently be tempted to make an urgent QROPS transfer, if they could have guarantees regarding the future of their pensions they might be tempted to keep them in their existing schemes and perhaps make a decision at a later date.

Other News

Planning for a Long Retirement in Spain

PaellaPeople across Europe and the Western world are living longer than ever before. This is likely to be the result of a combination of many factors – for example, good diet, technological and medical advances. and increased access to healthcare.

However, simply moving to a country with high longevity is, in itself, not enough to confer any benefit.

For example, if you move to Spain but eat a ‘Full English’ breakfast every day, followed by fish and chips for lunch and roast beef with Yorkshire pudding for dinner, while all the while smoking 20 cigarettes a day and downing several pints of beer every evening, the Spanish climate and great healthcare is probably not going to help increase your lifespan by a particularly significant amount.

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Changes to the Dutch 30% reimbursement ruling confirmed

Thirty Percent SignRecent news about the 30% tax ruling in the Netherlands could have substantial implications for British expats and their financial planning and wealth management strategies.

The 30% tax ruling for expats in the Netherlands enables employers to offer working expats 30% of their salary tax-free as long as they meet certain requirements. The intended aim is to encourage highly skilled workers from around the globe to bring their expertise to the Netherlands. After all, relocating to the Netherlands is not cheap, and the tax advantage is there to help offset all the expense that comes with relocating. There are approximately 60,000 expats who currently claim the tax break.

As we reported last year, the tax break came under fire in a report published by the Dutch research bureau Dialogic for being far too generous and, therefore, costing the Dutch government too much money for it to be sustainable. When published in June 2017, the report suggested several reforms to the system, including shortening the number of years that expats could claim the tax-relief from eight years to five. This was because research carried out by Dialogic found that the vast majority of expats making use of the benefit (80%) claimed it for fewer than five years; less than 10% actually claimed the benefit for the full eight years.

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