Wednesday, 27 July 2011

UK retirees owning property abroad could spend more time at home tax free

UK (received from Jimena Real Estate) New UK Treasury reforms could see retirees who live and own property abroad able to spend up to a third of their time back home each year without paying any tax. The new laws, to be implemented in April 2012 if they are passed, will allow British retirees living abroad to be back in the UK for 119 days of the year before they are liable for any local taxes. This will come as positive news for many expats who live and own properties in European destinations such as France or Spain, but still spend a significant part of the year back in the UK seeing friends and family or for medical issues.>>>
Under current regulations, expat retirees are only able to spend up to 90 days in the UK per year before they are deemed 'resident' and charged tax. Not only will this number of days be extended in the new laws, it will also allow those who have been home for under 90 days in the last 2 tax years able to retrospectively 'claim back' their extra days - in other words, they will be able to spend 182 days total in the UK next year before they are charged tax.

Chief executive of tax and investment planning firm Blevins Franks, David Franks, said the reforms would be a welcome relief for both British expats living abroad, and foreigners who own property in the UK and spend significant time there. "The new rules are a major advance in providing certainty for individuals who have homes in the UK and visit there frequently, so we hope they will be implemented", he said. "They are still at the draft stage at the moment, but they have been welcomed by tax practitioners and so we do not expect any major changes."

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