Sunday, 4 April 2010

Sunday, 4 April 2010

QROPS, QNUPS & a Seminar

One of the hardest parts of becoming an ex-Pat is knowing where to get the best financial advice to ensure that your decision is sustainable. Since our business was established in 2001, we have been searching for such a business partner, and we have now concluded negotiations with one of the leading International Independent Financial advisers.
They now have offices in Niort (79), so are convenient for most readers of this magazine. Anyone who would like to receive advice on their financial situation, either before or after they have moved to France is welcome to contact us using the details at the end of this article for further information.
Protecting assets from tax during your lifetime and on death is an important issue for many expatriates. Particularly if you are unsure of the exact regime for a country, such as France, with it’s complex succession rules. They can provide and advise on a comprehensive range of asset protection structures which can help you – a) Minimise your tax liabilities during your life and in the event of your death, b) Pass assets to your heirs in an efficient manner, c) Control your assets after your death . You will probably need to change your approach to investment management to ensure that your wealth is invested in a tax efficient manner reflecting the taxes of the country where you live. Within tax efficient vehicles, it is possible to work closely with you to establish your investment strategy.. The strategy will be based on diversifying your holdings and the asset types you invest in, as this will assist in reducing risk and preserving your wealth in real terms over the longer term. To introduce you to these ideas, a free invitation based seminar is planned for May 6th (morning), entitled “Tax Mitigation, Pensions and Wealth Preservation”. The seminar will explore the tax mitigation and wealth preservation opportunities available to UK nationals who are currently tax resident overseas, whether they should become non-UK tax residents, and advice for those who may repatriate back to the UK in the future. The agenda covers private wealth and UK pensions, taking the opportunity to explore tax and investment strategies for preserving your capital, improving your investment income and maximising the value of your UK private pension funds in France. Certainly if you have over £100,000 of savings/investments and/or pension funds totalling over £100,000, you should reserve your place at this seminar, but it is suitable for most ex-Pats. Of special interest are 2 recent pension schemes which I will touch on briefly below. Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Schemes (QROPS) are pension schemes located in a jurisdiction outside the UK and which HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has approved to receive transfers from UK registered pension funds. They provide many benefits for British expatriate retirees. Most UK private pension funds can be transferred provided you have not yet bought an annuity or, if it is a Final Salary Scheme, that you have not commenced taking your pension. On the 15th February 2010, a new UK HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) statutory instrument came into force, which creates significant opportunities for British expatriates to save local taxes in the country in which they are tax resident as well as UK inheritance tax (IHT). The UK legislation created a new type of trust known as Qualifying Non-UK Pension Schemes (QNUPS). The tax rules for both of these pension schemes are generally more favourable than other investment structures. Some British expatriates will return to the UK at some point, whether this is to be closer to family or on the death of a spouse or a partner. Most defer seeking tax and financial advice until they have actually returned to the UK, however the key to effective tax planning is to plan early before repatriating. This way you may be able to structure your assets in a far more tax efficient environment than you could achieve by waiting until you have arrived back in the UK. Between now and the next issue of Impressions a General Election will be held in the UK. At the time of writing many experts are predicting a hung parliament, which would not be good news for the UK economy or for the £. Which leads me nicely on for a word about currencies. The graph below shows the 90 day movement :
Peter Elias (Agent Commercial) http://www.allez-francais.com/ Tel 05 49 27 01 22 or e-mail allez-francais@wanadoo.fr for details of the seminar or any other information contained in this article.
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