Finding a reliable and knowledgeable tax consultant is not always easy for an expat.
Tax consultants can give expert advice about minimising the amount of tax an expat pays both at home and overseas.
This helps reduce the tax man’s share of income and capital gains.
Many tax consultants gain their training as an accountant or from working with a tax authority.
A good tax consultant will have a strategy for avoiding tax – which is legal – without leading you astray into tax evasion, which is not.
What can a tax consultant do for me?
As a specialist, a tax consultant typically has an area of expertise, like wills and trusts, retirement or business taxation.
Your tax consultant will assist drafting tax returns and find ways to help you pay less tax.
They can also manage tax investigations and represent clients at interviews and tribunals.
Cross-border tax problems
Tax consultants are generally regulated in the country where they are offering advice. Few can give cross-border advice as that would mean gaining qualifications in two or more countries.
If you have property or other assets in two or more countries, ask you tax consultant if they can give cross-border advice or if they can liaise with another professional in another country to give you a rounded strategy.
Choosing the right tax consultant
Tax consultants in the UK have their own professional bodies –
- CIOT –These tax consultants are members of the Chartered Institute of Taxation
- ATT –Tax professionals offering with a qualification from the Association of Taxation Technicians
- ADIT– If you live overseas, you want a professional with the equivalent local qualification or who have passed the ADIT exams.
ADIT is a cross-border, international tax qualification offered under the auspices of CIOT. The network has 1,400 employers in 110 different countries.
Paying for your tax advice
International tax advice for expats is costly. The final bill will depend on the work your tax consultant carries out for you; if the work is a one-off or ongoing and if the advice is cross-border.
Some will charge a rate for the job, others will bill by the hour.
Expect to pay upwards of £150 an hour, but think about the final price in the context of how much money the advice will save.