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Private Client International

Personal tax and trusts – international

Do you have any international issues and you’re not sure how they may affect your UK personal tax position? We can help you understand how you are taxed in the UK and provide UK tax advice with our team of specialists.

Some of the issues we can help with include:

  • You are expecting or thinking about leaving or returning to the UK
  • You are a UK resident but not domiciled in the UK
  • You are a UK resident with overseas investments
  • You are a non-UK resident wishing to acquire property in the UK
  • You are a non-UK resident selling UK property
  • You are a beneficiary of an offshore trust
  • You are wondering whether to import your offshore trust to the UK
  • You need to tell HMRC about foreign income or gains (current or historical)

The tax legislation involving overseas income and gains can be very different to that applicable for UK income and gains.  Foreign tax may be applicable or a double tax treaty may limit a country’s right to tax. Anti-avoidance legislation needs to be considered for UK residents with certain offshore interests or where an individual moves abroad temporarily.  Even determining if you are UK resident is not necessarily straightforward if you are overseas but wish to spend time in the UK.

That’s why it’s always best to seek advice as early as possible to avoid unexpected tax liabilities and potentially costly penalties.

You may already be concerned about a letter from HMRC asking about your overseas income or residence status and we can help with those too.

It’s all about you

We offer UK tax advice that is completely designed around you, whether you’re an expat living overseas or are living in the UK receiving overseas income or gains.

We’ll ask the right questions, we’ll listen and work with you to fully understand your circumstances, considering your background, your wealth, your ambitions and where you live, so that we can give you fully tailored advice that is just for you.

Why choose PKF Francis Clark?

Expertise you can count on

Our breadth and depth of international expertise providing best in class bespoke advice is hard to match – we’ve got plenty of ‘Big 4’ firm experience but with an accessible, human touch.  We know that experience really matters and have a dedicated international team in the UK.  Our range of experience means we have the skill and capacity to help you deal with your international query or to help you bring your tax affairs up to date.

Joined up accountancy services

We belong to an international network of firms.  We can only advise you on your UK tax position, but where you need tax advice for another jurisdiction, our PKF global network can help. We have close ties with our partners throughout our financial planning and accountancy practice, so that we join all the dots for our clients, to deliver a seamless service that avoids the multiple to-ing and fro-ing that can be experienced with other practices.

Client care first

We put client care right at the heart of everything that we do. That’s because our care is closely aligned with our values of commitment to put our clients first, compassion to respect everyone, courage to be ambitious, expertise to continually deliver excellence and the responsibility to care for one another. All these values flow through to our approach to our clients.

Service is our priority

We will let you know what our turn-around time is for the advice or work sought.  Many clients come to us and stay with us because they weren’t getting advice quickly enough from other firms. Our timely delivery is enabled by state-of -the-art back-office systems, a genuine open-door culture, an expert team who knows how to find solutions fast and our ‘client first’ mindset to make things happen.

Very often, we give a mixture of advice. Some people may have a variety of the above issues – we always aim to break it down and set out our advice in a clear, concise manner; for example, we recently advised a family who came to the UK for their children to benefit from UK schooling and as part of that we advised on their residence status; the impact of coming to the UK in respect of their offshore trust and how they could tax efficiently bring in monies from their substantial investments held overseas

Our Approach

We don’t believe that one size fits all. We are geared to you personally and because of that, our advice is very specific; we invest in building a deep understanding of our clients’ needs and circumstances. No two plans or reports are the same. And we won’t give advice we don’t think is relevant to you.

On top of that, we’ll cut through the complexities to keep our advice, plans and reports as simple as possible and develop a structure that works for you. And our promise is that we won’t try to sell you tax avoidance schemes – ever.

Whether you’re in the UK or overseas, we’ll work how you want to work. We can have video calls, communicate by email or over the phone, to suit you.

None of our team works in isolation – our clients always have a Partner or Director alongside their day-to-day manager to contact.

You’ll be entitled to a free first meeting so we can understand your circumstances and requirements for tax advice or if you just need a tax return service in respect of reporting your foreign income or gains.

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Get in touch to find out how our Private Client International specialists can help you today:

Moving overseas

If you are planning to move abroad, you’ll need to understand how your residence status will be determined for UK tax purposes and your ongoing UK tax reporting obligations. We can help you with the following:

  • How to achieve a non-residence status by reference to the Statutory Residence Test.
  • Your UK tax filing obligations if you’re a non-resident living abroad
  • How many days you can stay in the UK as a non-resident
  • How your connections to the UK factor into your residence or domicile status
  • If you wish to sell land or property when you are non-resident, we can advise you of your obligations
  • If you are a landlord of a property in the UK whilst you’re overseas (a non-resident landlord), we can help advise you of your UK income tax obligations and offer a tax return service
  • If you are expecting to remain overseas for less than 5 years, we can advise you regarding the temporary non-residence legislation that can cause income or gains to be taxed when you return and how to ensure you don’t accidentally become UK resident before you want to
  • If you are resident in another country, we can advise you regarding the relevance of a double tax treaty
  • If you are leaving the UK for a long period of time or permanently, we can advise you on your domicile position and the likelihood of adopting a domicile of choice in the country that you are moving to

Moving abroad can change how you are assessed for tax in the UK and can provide some tax advantages for UK tax purposes, however, we urge our clients to really consider where they are moving to and what the implications of moving abroad are. If you are expecting to remain overseas for less than 5 years, this can cause certain income and capital gains to be charged in the year you return, negating some of the tax benefits while you are non-UK resident.

We can support you with expert advice on the above that you can rely on including assisting with your UK tax return and fulfilling your filing obligations.

Although we can only provide services and advice in respect of UK tax, it is important that you understand the tax implications and obligations of the jurisdiction you are moving to. We can put you in touch with member firms of the PKF network if you don’t already have a trusted overseas tax adviser.

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Moving to the UK

You may have been working abroad for several years and wish to return to the UK; or perhaps you have lived abroad and wish to retire in the UK, to be closer to family. You may have never lived in the UK previously and would like to become UK resident or are simply coming to the UK for work.

Whichever the case, we can advise on when your UK resident status will be triggered under the Statutory Residence Test, the UK tax implications on becoming UK resident and your filing obligations. If you are regarded as resident in another country as well as the UK, we can provide advice on your residence status under the double tax treaty between the UK and the country you are also a resident of to ensure that you are not doubly taxed on your income and gains. For example, if you’re moving to the UK from the US and you have a Green Card, you will still be considered a resident of the US. Where you have a dual UK/US residence status, the double tax treaty between the UK and the US includes a test to determine your treaty residence status.

If you have offshore income and gains, as a UK resident you will be liable to tax in the UK on these sources. Where tax has been withheld in the country of origin, we can advise on whether a double tax treaty is in place and if relief is provided for under the treaty.

Prior to your move to the UK, it is beneficial to get advice for any planning that can be done before triggering UK residence to mitigate your UK tax position. This might be looking at investments you hold with large gains or selling land and property in the UK. The earlier you can start, the better, ideally starting the process during the tax year before you intend to return. You will also need to bear in mind the tax implications of where you are before implementing any UK tax planning actions and we can put you in touch with our PKF network in other countries if you don’t already have a trusted overseas adviser.

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Non-Domiciled UK residents

If you are non-UK domiciled and have moved to live in the UK, it is possible that you have overseas assets that generate income and gains. You may wish to bring money/assets from overseas to the UK or perhaps you need advice on inheritance tax planning and you need to understand the UK tax implications.

You may be non-UK domiciled but have been a long-term resident of the UK and are approaching the UK deemed domicile deadline of 15 years of living in the UK. You might need to take advice about your offshore assets so that you can start planning in advance of your UK deemed domicile status being triggered. You may even wish to stay in the UK permanently which may cause a change in your domicile position.

It’s important to be aware that there are specific tax implications for ‘non doms’ as generally, they can elect to pay tax on their foreign income and gains on the remittance basis if they are not long-term residents.

We can help you with:

  • Remittance tracking and tax advice – when bringing funds to the UK or wishing to invest in UK assets.
  • Advice regarding the remittance basis; how to plan ahead, how to make a claim and explaining what may be regarded as a ‘remittance’
  • Offshore trust advice – you might be a beneficiary or wish to set up your own offshore trust as settlor
  • Planning in advance of your UK deemed domicile status.
  • Inheritance tax planning – for example, how the spousal exemption works if you and your spouse/civil partner have different domiciles; how to protect your foreign assets if you are expecting to be UK resident for 15 years or more
  • Liaising with overseas advisor, such as our PKF network to seek tax advice in another jurisdiction

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Offshore trusts

You may be a beneficiary of a family trust outside of the UK and are taking benefits or distributions while you are UK resident. If so, it is very likely that you have a HMRC reporting obligation and tax liability.

Or you may be a non-dom thinking of coming to the UK and want to set up an offshore trust before you become UK resident. We can consider your circumstances and advise if this would be appropriate for you and the tax implications of setting up an offshore trust.

UK resident beneficiaries or settlors of offshore trusts need to consider their UK tax position. Unfortunately, the legislation regarding offshore trusts is complex so it is important your adviser understands the rules and how to report correctly. We have specialists who deal with this on a daily basis so we can help you understand your UK tax position and report it on your UK tax returns.

Perhaps you are an offshore trustee and require assistance with relevant income and stockpiled gains – we can help with calculations and help you communicate to your beneficiaries about their UK tax obligations in respect of distributions or benefits they may receive.

Weve helped a beneficiary of an overseas trust to understand the UK tax implications of taking a loan from the trust to help fund their lifestyle in the UK. Some people wish to take cash out of the trust or assets from the trust such as UK property held in an overseas trust. If an overseas trust directly or indirectly holds UK residential property, we can advise on the UK tax implications.

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Those in the UK who need to report offshore income or gains or bring their tax affairs up to date

You may find yourself in the position where you have offshore income or made capital gains from disposals of overseas investments but for one reason or another these have not been declared to HMRC and you are unsure how to report these now to HMRC.

You may have received a prompt letter from HMRC asking you to confirm whether you have past foreign income and gains to report and you need to brig your tax affairs up to date.

Penalties can be high for undeclared offshore tax liabilities, so it’s really important that you disclose your income and capital gains from overseas assets in your tax returns annually so that you avoid penalties for not doing so and end up paying more to the ‘tax man’ than you need to. If you have past offshore income and gains that have not been reported, we can help with the worldwide disclosure facility for reporting such liabilities.

It’s important for UK residents who have accounts overseas to be aware that there is an exchange of information between most countries internationally and HMRC is likely to be notified of accounts and portfolios held overseas.

If you haven’t declared your overseas income and gains or have an overseas account, if HMRC become aware that this has not been disclosed on a self-assessment tax return, you may find yourself the recipient of a phishing letter asking you to make a disclosure of the undeclared income and gains.

If HMRC has written to you, don’t ignore it! Consider taking advice. Our private client international team are able to provide advice and can help with calculating the tax liabilities, the disclosure to HMRC and will liaise with them on your behalf to help you avoid paying penalties later on down the line. This can be a very stressful time for people when liaising with the government, but we can step in to guide you through the process to make it as painless as possible and liaise with HMRC on your behalf.

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Non-UK residents selling UK property

As a non-UK resident, you may be considering selling land and property that you own in the UK. This may be as a result of previously living in the UK or holding it as an investment.

In April 2015, new legislation was introduced which now means that non-UK residents are liable to pay capital gains tax on disposals of UK residential property. The rules changed again in April 2019 to widen the scope to other UK property, land and shares held in certain property rich companies (where at least 75% of the gross asset value of the company is made up of UK land or property). Anybody who is non-UK resident and selling UK land or property or shares in property-rich companies will need to consider their reporting obligations to HMRC.

If you are considering selling UK residential property, we are able to help with calculating the capital gains position and whether rebasing the property to April 2015 is beneficial. We are also able to assist with preparing the CGT form that needs to be submitted to HMRC within 60 days of completion. If a UK capital gains tax liability arises on the disposal, this also needs to be paid within 60 days of completion.

There are late filing penalties and interest to be aware of if you do not file and pay the tax within 60 days of completion.

For non-residential property and disposals of certain shares in property-rich companies, there isn’t a requirement to file within 60 days but the disposal is still within the scope of UK capital gains tax. Where land or non-residential property was held as at 5th April 2019, a non-resident can choose to use that value as their capital gains base cost. We can advise you if you are disposing of such property to ensure that you are UK tax compliant.

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