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Blogs & News

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Expat financial planning blogs & news

Our blog site is designed exclusively to inform on issues that relate to and impact expatriates around the globe.We cover a wealth of topics that include insurances - pensions - investments - estate planning and tax - all designed to keep you informed and up to date.

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CSM Ltd - Expat Financial Planning Blog Team


UK introduces new tax penalties for overseas investors dodging tax liabilities

The "Requirement To Correct" (RTC) legislation came into force on September 30 2018

Britain’s so-called “requirement to correct” (RTC) legislation came into force on 30 September 2018.

The new law requires taxpayers to declare any foreign assets that could affect their UK income tax, capital gains tax or inheritance tax.

Investors who notified HMRC (Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs) before the deadline were granted 90 days to disclose any offshore assets and pay the relevant tax due.

Australia, Switzerland and Singapore are among the countries that have signed up to let tax authorities share information internationally.

Any individuals who have paid the incorrect amount of tax on overseas income in previous years must have corrected their tax returns by the deadline, or the potential fine will double to 200% of tax owed.

Estate planning for your digital assets

Digital assets are not nearly as easy to retrieve as physical assets

Further to an earlier blog post entitled 'Securing your digital assets' - another article , this time authored by the Drake University, takes the issue further.

What will happen to your Facebook account when you die?

What about all your photos shared on social media, your texts with loved ones, or documents on cloud-storage systems?

In just the two-year period from 2012 to 2014, humans produced more data than in all of human civilization before that – and the pace is only accelerating.

It’s not clear what people’s digital presences will look like in years to come, but it’s sure that an increasing number of people will be creating and accumulating growing reams of data until the day they die. But then what?

How to think internationally about wills

"Do you have a Will & is it up to date ?"


"Do you have a will, and is it up-to-date?" - Without a relevant will, it is difficult to plan clearly for life’s later events; and not even life’s self-confessed singletons are immune from such considerations.

It is a question we always ask, and we are surprised by the increasing regularity with which we come across a blank sheet or a will that is well past its sell-by-date.

The importance of a will

UK individuals without a valid will die intestate, which means the intestacy law will determine how and to whom the estate is distributed.

Interestingly, the assets do not always automatically go to the surviving spouse.

5 common mistakes UK expats make with domicile & tax

Misunderstandings persist around issues of domicile - IHT - Wills & tax

British expats still have some crucial misunderstandings about their domicile status and tax position that could leave them and their loved ones financially exposed and even land them in trouble with HM Revenue & Customs, warns Rachael Griffin at Old Mutual Wealth.

The research from Old Mutual International shows that a lack of knowledge can lead to unexpected consequences.

"Inheritance tax will be a concern for many UK expats and appropriate planning needs to be in place to mitigate any on-going liability.”

OBR Reports Increase In Number Of Families Paying IHT

Inheritance Tax (IHT is largely a voluntary tax - proper planning can significantly reduce liabilities

According to the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) the number of UK families paying IHT on death has reached a 35 year high.  The main driver of this is the surge in UK house prices. 

Almost three times as many families as six years ago are expected to face the tax. 

The OBR estimates that just over 40,000 families will face IHT in the current tax year but that this will rise to over 45,000 in 2016/17. 

The new residence nil rate band (RNRB), when it is introduced (gradually) from 2017/18, will have an initial "reducing" effect but it is thought this reduction will be gradually countered by predicted increasing house prices.

Securing Your Digital Assets

Securing digital assets is hugely important

You might think that dealing with an estate is a relatively straightforward matter, and in certain circumstances this can be the case.

However if you (or somebody else) is acting as an executors you ‘stand in the shoes’ of the deceased and are charged under the Will with the responsibility of distributing the estate assets and resolving any outstanding issues.

Have you ever thought how your executors and perhaps family or friends (if they are on hand to assist) would cope with your online accounts?

Celebrity Will Mistakes & Lessons We Should Learn

Very costly mistakes can easily be avoided with a correctly drafted Will

Emma Myers runs her expert eye over three celebrity wills which didn't work out as originally planned...

Celebrities may seem to have it all, but they are only human and can be just as likely to make mistakes as everyone else, especially when it comes to estate planning.

However, making a mistake with estate planning can have serious repercussions for our nearest and dearest, as these examples highlight.

Brits Set To Lose GBP 550M in IHT Due To Poor Planning

HMRC set to capitalise on Brits who do not plan effectively


The predicted £550m wastage is £20m more than last year and an increase of £78m on 2013.

The TaxAction Report 2015, which was carried out in partnership with Prudential, also found that only one in four Britons think their estate will be subject to IHT when they die.

A common IHT planning mistake identified by the report was a failure to place life protection policies under trust, which could reduce a £100,000 life insurance pay out by as much as £40,000.

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