Lisa Smith, Editor and Writer

Expat for over 15 years with my wonderful two children. A teacher and a writer and in my spare time (which is very little) a surfer. You can usually find me at the beach or in a cafe reading or writing. Currently doing a great deal of research and reading in to expat pension and retirement plans such as QROPS and QNUPS. I would love to hear your comments on any article I write, it really does fuel my passion for journalism :)

Expats Face Jail And Deportation In Visa Crackdown

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Expats in Saudi Arabia face fines, jail and deportation for visa violations as the police crackdown on illegal workers. Saudi Arabia has around 9 million expat workers – down a million from last year after the government offered an amnesty to those living and working in the country illegally. The Saudi government decided to enforce […]

EU House Prices Still Stuck In The Doldrums

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House prices nudged down slightly at the end of last year – but the biggest price drop was in Eurozone countries. Across the European Union (EU), values fell a negligible 0.1%, while the single currency zone saw prices fall 1.4%. The figures come from Eurostat, the official statistical body for the EU and cover the […]

When to use a ‘third country’ QROPS

When to use a ‘third country’ QROPS

Since 2006, individuals with a UK pension who either plan to live or do live abroad can transfer their funds into a Qualified Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme – or QROPS. Once a transfer has been made, and the member has lived outside of the UK for five years, the fund begins to follow the legislation […]

Frozen State Pension Campaign Gets Icy Response

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British retired expats have taken their fight to unfreeze their state pension payments to the heads of state of the Commonwealth nations. In a campaign fronted by Tory MP Sir Peter Bottomley, thousands of expats have battled with the UK government to have their state pensions index-linked in the same way as retirees in the […]

Osborne Declares War On Offshore Tax Avoidance

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Chancellor George Osborne wants to make stashing cash in secret bank accounts and investments offshore a crime for British taxpayers. In a legal U-turn, proposals for a new law shift the balance of proof from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) to the taxpayer. So, instead of the tax authority having to prove someone has offshore […]

QROPS Pensions Still Opening At One A Day

QROPS Pensions Still Opening At One A Day

Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Schemes (QROPS) are still opening at the rate of one a day as the number of pensions worldwide hit a new peak of 3,364. During the past two weeks, 15 QROPS opened while four were suspended, moving the gross number of the offshore pensions up 11 from 3,353. Compared with 12 […]

FCA Disappointed With Secretive Financial Advisers

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Investors need straighter talking from financial advisors who are not as upfront as they could be about charges for their services. A review by the Financial Conduct Authority revealed many advisers are failing to give their clients key information about their status, services and costs. The review was designed to reveal if firms calling themselves […]

8 Questions You To Ask About Funding Retirement

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If you are over 50 and thinking about retirement, American economist James Poterba has come up with eight vital questions you need to ask to find out if you have enough savings for your later years. Like all ‘if what’ questions, the answers rather depend on your lifestyle and how you plan to spend your […]

IRS Reveals List Of FATCA Compliant Countries

IRS Reveals List Of FATCA Compliant Countries

The US government has revealed the list of 49 countries considered as having a valid Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) inter-governmental agreement in force. The list is split in two, with 27 nations already inking their agreements, while the rest are finalising their FATCA treaties but are far enough along the line to be […]

Forex Failings Push Model Train Firm Off Track

Model train maker Hornby has hit the buffers in a lesson to any expat or business involved in foreign exchange transactions.

Model train maker Hornby has hit the buffers in a lesson to any expat or business involved in foreign exchange transactions. The firm has signalled to the markets that £1.2 million was lost in the last three months of 2103 due to foreign currency exchange rate fluctuations – and warned another £200,000 has gone up […]

Key Points For Expats As New Tax Year Kicks In

Key Points For Expats As New Tax Year Kicks In

It’s a new UK tax year and it’s limped in with a pile of new rates and thresholds for savings, pay and pensions. To help expats make the most of the changes, the key point is proving residence for the 2014-15 tax year. Whatever has gone before, any financial opportunities were locked down on April […]

Week In Expat Money Matters March 30 – April 5, 2014

Below is what happened in a week in Expats Finances, as reported on iExpats and from other places across the web. From iExpats.com: Santander Fined £12.4m For Giving Bad Financial Advice Yet another bank has been fined for handing out flawed advice to a number of different customers.  The FCA has handed Santander fine of £12.4 for […]

QROPS Tracker – April 1, 2014

QROPS Tracker – April 1, 2014

It’s difficult to work out where the money is going as around 10,000 expats and international workers transfer their money out of UK onshore pensions to Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Schemes (QROPS). Nevertheless, looking at the latest QROPS List published by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) on April 1, 2014 gives some clues. HMRC did […]

Osborne Ready To Tax Expat Private Pensions

Osborne Ready To Tax Expat Private Pensions

Chancellor George Osborne is making quite clear to expats that they are either in or out of the UK tax system and cannot expect to rely on financial favours from the British government any longer. Hot on the heels of Osborne’s confirmation that capital gains tax is on the way for non-residents, he has also […]

FATCA Update – Hong Kong, Luxembourg and Caribbean

FATCA Update – Hong Kong, Luxembourg and Caribbean

As the inexorable countdown towards FATCA starting on July 1, 2014 continues, every few days see more nations signing up to the US Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA). FATCA is an international network of tax authorities and financial institutions reporting to the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) on the offshore banking and investment affairs […]

CGT Change Is A Relief For SEIS Investors

CGT Change Is A Relief For SEIS Investors

Capital gains tax relief on selling assets to raise cash for Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) investments was rubber-stamped as permanent by Chancellor George Osborne in his Budget 2014 speech. According to specialist web site seis.co.uk, Osborne introduced SEIS in his Budget 2012 to help entrepreneurs raise start-up cash after the banks turned their back […]

Tax Amnesties Clear The Way For Global FATCA

Tax Amnesties Clear The Way For Global FATCA

Expats should put their financial affairs in order while they have the chance as governments around the world prepare a global tax net aimed at wiping out avoidance. The operation is headed by the Organisation of Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) and closely follows the lines of the controversial US Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act […]

Slashing Airport Tax On Long-Haul Flights

Slashing Airport Tax On Long-Haul Flights

Expats can save some money on long-haul flights when after Chancellor George Osborne has axed the two highest rate bands. The changes do not take effect until April 2015, but will do away with the current ludicrous tax based on the distance from the UK to foreign capital cities instead of actual destinations. Currently, for […]

Week In Expat Money Matters March 23 – March 29, 2014

Below is what happened in a week in Expats Finances, as reported on iExpats and from other places across the web. From iExpats.com: EU Ready To Ring Changes Over Roaming Charges Residents of the EU may feel a rise in their telecom costs as the ban on EU-wide roaming charges comes into play. SEIS Capital […]

Buying A Home Online With Bitcoin

Buying A Home Online With Bitcoin

Home owners wanting to sell quickly are increasingly accepting payments in Bitcoin – even though governments are denying the virtual currency is money and taxing holdings as an investment. The latest property deals to go through with Bitcoin are from a Sydney, Australia estate agent. Forsyth Real Estate will accept deposits on homes paid in […]