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Do I need an accountant?

Discussion in 'Teaching overseas' started by Nezelette, Feb 25, 2011.

  1. Nezelette

    Nezelette New commenter

    I'm starting to look into financial matters in preparation for this summer's move to Asia and it all looks a bit confusing. UK residency, expatriate landlord certificates, double taxation, offshore accounts... it all sounds a bit much for me to sort out on my own. But is it? Do you guys have an accountant in the UK? Or even an international accountant / special expat accountant? The fees seem quite outrageous, yet the amounts you could lose by making a mistake seem even more terrifyingly huge.
    I'm mainly worried about being considered a UK resident because of the flat we own here (and will be renting out) (I do understand I will pay UK tax on any profits from rent). Also, I have a couple of extra bits of income dripping into my UK account at irregular interval (from examining and writing jobs). Would it be better to have those paid into a non-UK account from the moment I leave the country?
    I have looked at past threads but they have only confused me further...
     
  2. Nezelette

    Nezelette New commenter

    I'm starting to look into financial matters in preparation for this summer's move to Asia and it all looks a bit confusing. UK residency, expatriate landlord certificates, double taxation, offshore accounts... it all sounds a bit much for me to sort out on my own. But is it? Do you guys have an accountant in the UK? Or even an international accountant / special expat accountant? The fees seem quite outrageous, yet the amounts you could lose by making a mistake seem even more terrifyingly huge.
    I'm mainly worried about being considered a UK resident because of the flat we own here (and will be renting out) (I do understand I will pay UK tax on any profits from rent). Also, I have a couple of extra bits of income dripping into my UK account at irregular interval (from examining and writing jobs). Would it be better to have those paid into a non-UK account from the moment I leave the country?
    I have looked at past threads but they have only confused me further...
     
  3. 576

    576 Occasional commenter

    I don't think it's that complicated.
    I have a property in the UK that I rent out but I don't pay tax on the rent as I filled in a form for HMRC.
    An agency rent my property out for me.
    I added my Dad onto my current account so he could access my money if that was needed & left him the internet log-in details for all the other accounts
     
  4. Sandman

    Sandman New commenter

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    I
    think a chat with your local tax office could prove advisable and I would put
    specific questions in writing if anything seems ambiguous or is not
    clearly laid out in IR documentation. A good accountant will be worth his fee
    but with the appropriate effort and care the fee can be minimised. Nobody can
    give accurate advice on your individual situation without careful consideration
    of your circumstances. I have written the response below as a fellow teacher and should not be taken as financial advice or be
    construed as professional advice as I am not qualified to give it.


    [quote
    user="Nezelette"]I'm mainly worried about being considered a UK
    resident because of the flat we own here (and will be renting out) (I do
    understand I will pay UK tax on any profits from rent).[/quote]


    This will
    not change your tax status. You technically qualify for non resident for income
    tax purposes after being out for a full tax year so you would need to be out of
    the country until April 2013 (17 months if you leave in September).You
    have an annual limit on days you can be back in the UK. In other
    countries e.g. Canada the rules to achieve non residence are much stricter.
    Capital gains liablities are longer as you have to be out five tax years to be exempt.


    You are
    liable to tax on the profit of a rental property as it arises in the UK. However
    you are allowed to offset expenses such as interest (not capital repayment)
    agency fees, accountancy fees, repairs (not capital improvements) and if
    furnished a wear and tear allowance. Also you still receive your personal
    tax allowance so it is quite possible that you end up with no income tax liability.
    I think a quote for a set off house accounts from a local accountant
    should be reasonable. You have to fill in a form so that rent is not deducted
    at source by the agent each month.Capital gains could be a further
    complication.Don't forget to change your house insurance to cover tennants.


    [quote
    user="Nezelette"]Also, I have a couple of extra bits of income
    dripping into my UK account at irregular interval (from examining
    and writing jobs)[/quote] Any income that arises from work in the UK is taxable
    in the UK. So if you're examining was conducted in the UK it would be taxable
    not where you remitted the money. Not sure if this
    affects your tax residency status.



     
  5. I should be so lucky! All I need to work out my accounts are the fingers of two hands.
     
  6. Nezelette

    Nezelette New commenter

    OK, thank you very much guys. It gives me a much clearer picture. I guess looking at websites specialised in accounting for expats wasn't the best of ideas (message was pretty much "if you don't hire us you will loose thousands of pounds" etc.)
    I usually do my accounting myself, so I will see if I carry on, perhaps with a bit of extra advice.
     

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