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 :)

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

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

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

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

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),

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

Expat Civil Servants Unpaid As Pension Project Falters

Expat Civil Servants Unpaid As Pension Project Falters

Thousands of expat civil servants are facing money problems because a government flagship pension payment scheme has broken down. MyCSP was meant to deliver fast and efficient pension payments to 1.5 million former civil servants as a joint government venture with private sector firm Equiniti. The system was meant to pay out more than £4

Expat Saving Rates: November 19, 2014

Expat Saving Rates November

The Bank of England has still to make any official announcement about interest rate rises, but noises off stage hint that offshore savers will have to wait perhaps another year before seeing any worthwhile changes. Banks and building societies have yet to respond to the latest inflation figures – a notch up at 1.3%. The

1m Retirement Savers Put More Cash Into Pensions

1m Retirement Savers Put More Cash Into Pensions

More than a million retirement savers are hiking their pension contributions in response to the governments new pension freedom proposals. Half are saving an extra 5% a month, while 25% are stashing extra 10% cash into their pensions as a result of the new rules, says pension provider AXA Life Invest. The firm argues that

How Gifting Cash To Band Aid Can Save You Tax

How Gifting Cash To Band Aid Can Save You Tax

The Band Aid 30 charity single Do They Know It’s Christmas is selling ‘like crazy’ according to veteran rocker Bob Geldof. Geldof announced the song had raised £1 million in just few minutes to help fund the fight against the spread of the deadly Ebola virus in Africa. Many of the leading names in British

QROPS: Why Transfer an Army Pension?

QROPS Why Transfer an Army Pension

The military have always provided excellent benefits to those in their service, and rightly so. A Military pension is paid into by the Army on the behalf of its recruits, and can be drawn at 65. The scheme has always been solid (aside from a few notable exceptions relating to individuals), but should anybody with

33 Super Rich Join Ranks Of World’s Wealthiest Daily

33 Super Rich Join Ranks Of World’s Wealthiest Daily

An astonishing 33 people a day are minted as ultra-high net worth individuals with personal fortunes of more than £19 million. Just over 12,000 wealthy people joined the ranks of the world’s richest individuals in the past 12 months, according to a new report by Swiss bank UBS and market research firm Wealth X. The

Alternative Finance Plugs Entrepreneur Funding Gap

Alternative Finance Soars As Banks Shun Businesses

Alternative finance is starting to plug a multi-billion pound funding gap for entrepreneurs and startup businesses. The market has mushroomed to a £2 billion a year business from almost a standing start just two years ago, according to new research by innovation charity NESTA. The finance is equivalent to high street banks lending to 7,000

Week in Expat Money Matters 10th November – 16th November 2014

Below are the articles from last week, documenting events from the world of expatriate finance, as reported on iExpats and from other places across the web: From iExpats: Alternative Finance Soars As Banks Shun Businesses Banks are still not comfortable with offering start-up businesses the necessary funding to get things off the ground. As a

Tax Avoidance FAQ

Tax Avoidance FAQ

The tax man is sending out thousands of letters to individuals and companies allegedly involved in illegal tax avoidance schemes. Around 43,000 letters are in the post, with 33,000 going to individuals. Recently HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) issued a list of myths about tax avoidance and here are some of the key points: Do

Getting a QROPS Recognised by the USA

Getting a QROPS Recognised by the USA

A Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme (QROPS) can be a great option for those now living in the US, but with an accumulated UK pension remaining in Britain. There are tax advantages and investment flexibility options offed by a QROPS which are not available in the UK, as well as a choice of currency denomination

QROPS List – November 15, 2014

QROPS-List

Gibraltar QROPS are proving one of the offshore retirement market success stories with 20 new schemes opening in the past year. Three more QROPS were added to the Gibraltar portfolio in the past two weeks, making a total of 44 pensions available in the financial centre. Australia, Ireland and Guernsey have all more new QROPS

Teachers Flock to QROPS

Teachers Flock to QROPS

As coverage of the torrid situation the UK public sector pension market is in continues to be the subject of various articles and forum debates, QROPS providers have reported a huge increase in the number of enquiries they are receiving, particularly from teachers. Many teachers from the UK now work in the same profession overseas,