All accountants and tax agents should now be sending or have sent a letter or e mail to their clients saying
From 2016, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) is getting an unprecedented amount of information about people’s overseas accounts, structures, trusts, and investments from more than 100 jurisdictions worldwide, thanks to agreements to increase global tax transparency. This gives HMRC unprecedented levels of information to check that, as in most cases, the right tax has been paid.
If you have already declared all of your past and present income or gains to HMRC, including from overseas, you do not need to worry. But if you are in any doubt, HMRC recommends that you read the factsheet attached to help you decide now what to do next.
There are special rules if you work overseas (and rules for working away in the UK)
This blog focuses on working overseas. The important thing to make sure you keep good records and tell your accountant!
Office/employment outside UK
TCGA92/S223 (3) (b)
You may allow relief for a period of absence of any length throughout which an individual worked in an employment or office all the duties of which were performed outside the United Kingdom, or a period of absence throughout which the individual lived with a spouse or civil partner who worked in such an employment or office if the conditions set out in CG65046 are fulfilled.
All of the duties of the employment must be performed outside the United Kingdom. You can ignore any return to the United Kingdom for holidays, but you should not ignore any duties which are in practice performed in the United Kingdom even if they are only incidental to the main duties performed outside the United Kingdom.
In the Autumn Statement 2013 it was announced that a CGT charge will be introduced from April 2015 on ‘future’ capital gains made by non-UK residents disposing of UK residential property. George Osborne said…
“Britain is an open country that welcomes investment from all over the world, including investment in our residential property”
“But it’s not right that those who live in this country pay capital gains tax when they sell a home that is not their primary residence – while those who don’t live here do not. That is unfair.”
UK Residents typically pay capital gains tax at 28% on any profit from selling property that is not considered their primary residence.
Property lawyers and estate agents said foreign owners would be relieved the tax will not apply to historic gains before 2015. But they cautioned that the overall impact could be marginal as many foreign investors see London property as a safe and profitable place to park capital.
“Tax is not the primary driver for the majority of international buyers of residential property in London,” Knight Frank’s head of global research, Liam Bailey, said.
“It is important to note that the change to CGT rules brings the UK in line with other key investor markets, such as New York and Paris, where equivalent taxes can approach 35-50 percent depending on the owner’s residency status.”
It was not immediately clear how the tax would be collected and how it would apply if foreign owners used a domestic company to purchase property.
When a company disposes of an asset and makes a capital gain, as the main rate of corporation tax in 2014 is 21% (20% small profits rate) there could be a future tax saving opportunity for overseas investors to transfer property to limited companies.
There are other tax implications for example ATED (Annual Tax on Enveloped Dwellings) and SDLT (Stamp Duty Land Tax) but now could be a good time to consider your options.