HMRC Slammed For Failing To Advise Taxpayers

HMRC Slammed For Failing To Advise Taxpayers

If you want to know more about tax, the last place to seek advice is from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC), according to a new report. HMRC should have a more open and honest attitude to dealing with individuals, business and tax agents and do more to help people sort out their tax problems. For

Expat Saving Rates: December 11, 2014

Expat Saving Rates December 11, 2014

Banks and building societies are holding fire with any wholesale changes to offshore savings rates for expats. The banks see no need to offer attractive rates when so much cheap money is available from government bond schemes and the markets. Couple this with failing oil prices and the likelihood that central banks have no need

Property prices fail to impress

Property prices fail to impress

Property is the latest commodity to disappoint investors, according to new research. Only the Middle East is showing any real growth in prices with a 9.6% average increase in house prices, says the latest Global House Price Index for the quarter ending September 2014. The rest are ‘anaemic’ with the next best, South America, posting

Phone Tricksters Scam A Record £24 Million

Phone Tricksters Scam A Record £24 Million

Fraudsters on the phone tricked bank customers out of nearly £24 million last year by posing as detectives or bank staff. The bogus callers call victims and request details of bank accounts and security questions so they can access any cash. Financial Fraud Action UK says crooks have stepped up this type of fraud because

State Pension Increase Confirmed

State Pension Increase Confirmed

The basic state pension is increasing by 2.5% a week in April 2015 in line with the government’s triple lock guarantee. The rise amounts to £2.85 and means a single pensioner will pick up £115.95 a week. The triple lock is measured against adjusting the state pension by the highest of the annual inflation rate

Autumn Statement 2014 – No help for expats

Autumn Statement 2014 – No help for expats

Chancellor George Osborne’s Autumn Statement 2014 delivered little to improve the financial lot of expats. Having already announced capital gains tax changes for non-residents earlier in the week, probably the main issue that needs resolution for expats is index linking the state pension in countries where pay outs are frozen. However, Osborne seems to have

Expat Saving Rates: December 3, 2014

Expat Saving Rates: December 3, 2014

Expat savers are still suffering from the lowest interest rates in history giving them little return from money on deposit with offshore banks and building societies. Rates have stuck at the same level again this week, with just a couple of changes on fixed term bonds. Nationwide has sliced 0.45% off a three year bond,

Mayor Of London Gets FATCA Tax Bill

Mayor Of London Gets FATCA Tax Bill

Just how the US Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) is impacting on the lives of Americans in sometimes unintended is illustrated in the tax troubles of the Mayor of London. Boris Johnson, a former British MP, has dual British and US nationality. He was born in New York but left the USA for Britain

Tax Is Too Taxing For Millions Of Workers

Tax Is Too Taxing For Millions Of Workers

Despite what HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) might tell you, tax is too taxing for most people and the system needs to change, according to a think tank report. Too many of our tax laws are made on the hoof, with the result that the British tax code is a bulky and disjointed mess, says

Skilled Expats Escape Kuwait Visa Crackdown

Skilled Expats Escape Kuwait Visa Crackdown

Kuwait is planning to place a five-year residency cap on expats and to ban them from taking their families to the Gulf State. The proposals also include limiting the number of expats in the country to 10% of the population of 1.25 million. The Kuwaiti expat community numbers around 2.5 million. The right of return

FATCA Tracker – December 01, 2014

FATCA Tracker

The latest Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) list shows almost another 7,000 financial institutions have registered under the tax reporting law. The FATCA List is the US government’s database of foreign financial institutions that have agreed to report tax information about US citizens to the IRS. The list published on

Expat Saving Rates: November 25, 2014

Expat Saving Rates November 25 2014

Short term fixed rates are becoming the vogue for offshore savers as banks and building societies ponder what will happen to interest rates over the next two years or so. The imponderables are a general election next year which could see a shift in the balance of power away from the Tories. Quite how the

If you’re 53, your best years are already behind you

If you’re 53, your best years are already behind you

If you are over 52, your best years are already behind you, according to a new survey. A quarter of over 50s reckon they felt most content at 52 years old. At that age, two-thirds of over 52s said they felt more grown up and experienced with the ability to handle more situations. A third

HMRC Gets Power To Raid Taxpayer Bank Accounts

HMRC Gets Power To Raid Taxpayer Bank Accounts

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) will have a new power to take tax debts directly from personal and business bank accounts that is expected to raise £100 million for Treasury coffers each year. Direct Recovery of Debts (DRD) plans have been green-lighted by the government following a public consultation, but extra safeguards have been built

UK Commercial Property Sucking In Overseas Money

UK Commercial Property Sucking In Overseas Money

Money from overseas investment is continuing to flood into British commercial property. Investment was up nearly 50% to £58 billion in the 12 months to the end of June 2014, according to a study by commercial real estate services firm Cushman & Wakefield. Around 40% of this cash was from overseas as foreign investors were

Call To Let Business Angels Share SEIS Tax Reliefs

Call To Let Business Angels Share SEIS Tax Reliefs

Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) tax breaks are so good that other investment incentive schemes ought to share them as well, claim business leaders. In particular, Simon Walker, director general of the Institute of Directors wants Chancellor George Osborne to add inheritance tax breaks enhance Venture Capital Trusts (VCT). Walker says SEIS and the Enterprise

QROPS Providers Sign Up To Fight Pension Liberation

QROPS Providers Sign Up To Fight Pension Liberation

Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme (QROPS) providers are joining forces with pension liberation campaigners in a bid to stop scammers. They are working with Project Bloom, a government task force tackling pension liberation scammers. Besides pension trustees, the task force also includes big hitters such as The Pensions Regulator (TPR), the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA),

Too Many Are Expecting Too Much Retirement Cash

Too Many Are Expecting Too Much Retirement Cash

Too many people have unreasonable expectations of how much income they will need in their retirement, according to new research from a leading financial firm. This means just 6% of workers are on track for the retirement they expect, says the report by Aegon. The study shows that in less than a year, people are

Sterling On A Slippery Slope Against The US Dollar

Sterling On A Slippery Slope Against The US Dollar

The Bank of England has signalled an early warning to expats that the value of Sterling is on the slide and is like to continue slipping against other world currencies for some time. The main reason is the possibility of inflation dipping below 1% looming over the coming months. The target rate is to hit

SEIS Fund Becomes Shariah Compliant

SEIS Fund Becomes Shariah Compliant

The UK’s first Shariah complaint Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) fund has now been introduced by IFAAS – the Islamic financial consultancy –and Portillion Capital. The fund – called The Portillion Capital Shariah Compliant SEIS Fund enables participants to invest in a socially and ethically responsible way, by doing so in compliance with Shariah law.