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Topic: The legalities of being an American in Britain  (Read 64203 times)

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Re: The legalities of being an American in Britain
« Reply #90 on: October 17, 2008, 12:50:50 PM »
It is true of some countries, just not the UK.

Vicky

I'm just curious what the source was, and why Jim was looking there?


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Re: The legalities of being an American in Britain
« Reply #91 on: October 20, 2008, 06:39:05 PM »
Although I just read this last week and I did copy the information I can't quite remember were I copied it from.
From my recollection it was from a British government publication that was on the web.
Sorry I can't be more specific.


Re: The legalities of being an American in Britain
« Reply #92 on: December 15, 2008, 05:01:27 PM »
[mod note]

Off topic queries have been moved here: http://talk.uk-yankee.com/index.php?topic=49426.0


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Re: The legalities of being an American in Britain
« Reply #93 on: January 08, 2009, 03:24:52 PM »
I have been lurking for a little bit as a guest to see where is should post, I am an American here stateside and always wanted to travel to the UK or someday hopefully live there.  I believe that we should write to the new administration via there change.gov website.  I see alot of things that could be rectified under legal, and social benefit  reciprocity and healthcare agreements and treaties.  if we have healthcare and social security reform over here, we shuld make this easier for expats.

I am in a situation that it would be imposible to get an ILR or even citizenship over there due to being on benefits over here.  If i am wrong please comment :)

comments are welcome :)

Christopher W. Fisher


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Re: The legalities of being an American in Britain
« Reply #94 on: January 08, 2009, 06:30:33 PM »
I have been lurking for a little bit as a guest to see where is should post, I am an American here stateside and always wanted to travel to the UK or someday hopefully live there.  I believe that we should write to the new administration via there change.gov website.  I see alot of things that could be rectified under legal, and social benefit  reciprocity and healthcare agreements and treaties.  if we have healthcare and social security reform over here, we shuld make this easier for expats.

I am in a situation that it would be imposible to get an ILR or even citizenship over there due to being on benefits over here.  If i am wrong please comment :)

comments are welcome :)

Christopher W. Fisher

Even if you weren't on benefits in the US you still would find it very difficult to move to the UK unless you had a British spouse.  They aren't going to open the borders in either country to make an open exchange between the two. 


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Re: The legalities of being an American in Britain
« Reply #95 on: March 17, 2009, 06:07:53 AM »
So much paperwork to do just to make it across! Eventually we get to it. And sometimes we find out, often accidentally, that some advice given, then followed, isn't actually correct.

I'm hoping this is a thread that gets added to as more information comes out. I hope that people will share their own knowledge and experience...maybe even set a few things straight.

This next stage of my life is getting things in order. Actually doing things that will ease a continuing life here, set the stage for retirement, etc. And it's for this reason that we started talking with people...insurance, financial advisers, solicitors...all those folks that are here to help in that that "Life" stuff.

And I may have some bad news for those who are American and are now living in the UK.

Initial stages, so most of this is NOT actually verified. I'll add as I know more...

Income Tax - I was told I didn't have to file income tax to the US if I didn't earn any money there.
I was told utterly wrong. I have since made all that up, so I am up-to-date. Just because your salaried income is not up to the minimum they state, that doesn't mean you don't have other income they can't tax.

Voting - Two years ago I stopped receiving absentee ballots that used to come happily in the mail to me. They had been automatic before.
I wanted to make sure I was voting in the Presidential election this year, so I phoned up my office of elections in the US and was told I had to request a ballot each year. This can be done online. But she did it on the phone with me. Imagine my surprise to get a new registration card in the post, all filled in with my official US address being the elections office. I wondered how they got past the 'I have no US address' bit.

Wills - I always felt I was fine to just have one will. A second one would confuse matters.
The US does not recognize UK wills, and your estate will be treated as though you have no will, even if you have one in the UK. The UK does not take inheritance tax, but the US does. Tip: get a will done up in the UK and have the same will filed with a US attorney. I am in the process of finding out more...whether this can be a UK attorney with US ties, such as being a Public Notary.

Insurance - I've never had a problem getting insurance here. But there may be a funny about this when it comes specifically to life insurance. Something was brought to my attention, but it needs investigating before I freak people out.

Domicile - You can be a UK resident, but chances are you will always have US domicile. And if you have US domicile, you will always be subject to US tax. Even things you pass on to your heirs will be taxed. If you do not want US domicile, you must cut off ALL ties. No bank account, no voting, no citizenship...don't even request to have your ashes scattered in your hometown.

Social Security - I changed my address with the Social Security Administration in the US Embassy in London, and I soon received a report on how much money I'd get upon retirement. The form said I'd get such a report each year.
I didn't. Because I hadn't been filing income tax, I hadn't been receiving the updated reports on future Social Security payments. I have since written to ask they send them to me again. I'll keep you briefed if I hear.

More on taxation - Many of the things "normal" British couples do in order to take advantage of tax breaks do not apply in cases of US/UK couple combos. This is because of how the US taxes. The EU and the UK have an agreement that does not allow for double taxation; the US does not follow this. It therefore does not make sense to put things in partner's names for any sort of tax break...instead of spreading the tax between the two earners, it does this PLUS makes the half taxed again in the US.
just do like al franken and tim geitner, and not pay taxes.


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Re: The legalities of being an American in Britain
« Reply #96 on: September 02, 2009, 02:38:22 PM »
just do like al franken and tim geitner, and not pay taxes.

The UK Does take inheritance tax. I think the current threshold is only £250k.


Re: The legalities of being an American in Britain
« Reply #97 on: September 10, 2009, 08:58:42 PM »
Tax Question has been moved here: http://talk.uk-yankee.com/index.php?topic=56993.0


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Re: The legalities of being an American in Britain
« Reply #98 on: October 11, 2011, 07:31:40 PM »
Wow all this? I can understand an American having to pay taxes back home I guess, still being an American citizen and all, but the idea of a UK spouse paying US taxes when they dont live in the US is absolutely ridiculous. What are these people playing at?
Visa Timeline: Been together 9 years, and my visa took a long A#@ time!


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Re: The legalities of being an American in Britain
« Reply #99 on: April 10, 2013, 01:35:50 PM »
Ok, confused. I have a different situation. Hubby from UK, we live in USA, we have been married two years and are trying to move to UK in two years.

I had heard that as a US citizen I will still need to file taxes after I move to UK. So, hubby asked at Jackson Hewitt, (who does our taxes) and was told that we only have to file for the year in which we work in the USA... not after that.

If we don't own property in USA, and don't intend to return, what would IRS do if we don't file? How would they "attach" us? Could they?



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Re: The legalities of being an American in Britain
« Reply #100 on: April 10, 2013, 01:39:16 PM »
Jackson Hewitt is wrong. US citizens are taxed on their worldwide income.


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Re: The legalities of being an American in Britain
« Reply #101 on: December 20, 2014, 02:41:13 PM »
I've asked this in another thread so this is a bit of a cross post...
But as a person on a work permit do I have the option of doing a business here or employing people?


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Re: The legalities of being an American in Britain
« Reply #102 on: April 08, 2015, 05:39:21 PM »
I'm not going either to address other issues or to read all the pages and pages of answers by others. The following is, however, simply wrong:

Wills - I always felt I was fine to just have one will. A second one would confuse matters.
The US does not recognize UK wills, and your estate will be treated as though you have no will, even if you have one in the UK. The UK does not take inheritance tax, but the US does. Tip: get a will done up in the UK and have the same will filed with a US attorney. I am in the process of finding out more...whether this can be a UK attorney with US ties, such as being a Public Notary.

Domicile - You can be a UK resident, but chances are you will always have US domicile. And if you have US domicile, you will always be subject to US tax. Even things you pass on to your heirs will be taxed. If you do not want US domicile, you must cut off ALL ties. No bank account, no voting, no citizenship...don't even request to have your ashes scattered in your hometown.

Social Security - I changed my address with the Social Security Administration in the US Embassy in London, and I soon received a report on how much money I'd get upon retirement. The form said I'd get such a report each year.
I didn't. Because I hadn't been filing income tax, I hadn't been receiving the updated reports on future Social Security payments. I have since written to ask they send them to me again. I'll keep you briefed if I hear.

1. A Will valid under English law (2 witnesses, etc.) will be honored in every U.S. state. Even, in most cases, Louisiana which has traditionally had civil-law rules (notary, etc.)

2. If you have two wills, they need to be carefully drafted so the second does not revoke the first. And at probate the probate court will almost certainly want to see both originals -- and unless the lawyers are clever, they may not get them back.

3. One may be best advised to use the California option (common there because probate costs are high): an inter-vivos trust (with, often, the Will pouring over into the trust).

4. Real estate is a particular problem. In England the Land Registry doesn't accept registration in US form or for more than 4 persons. And a "trust for sale" or "land trust" may be misunderstood in American law because it's not a trust at all really.

5. In all US jurisdiction the spouse can (in the absence of a valid contrary pre-nup) elect against the will and get 1/3 to 1/2 the estate regardless of what the Will says.

6. In England but not the USA an estate may be made bankrupt. In the USA insolvent estates are matters of state law. See this case where the English "creditor" happily got nothing: http://uniset.ca/lloydata/css/harrison/harrison-11.pdf (this was part of the Lloyd's of London scam, and A. Cary Harrison was a victim of the scam)

7. UK "Inheritance Tax" is not an inheritance tax (like, say, the German one or some US state taxes, where the rate varies according to the relationship of the heir) but an estate tax. A Potentially Exempt Transfer (gift) in the UK may or may not be exempt in the US as well.

8. Trust taxation is arcane. Do not have UK-resident trustees for a US trust.

9. Do not include the boilerplate instruction "after my just debts and taxes are paid". Instead, give your executors discretion to pay foreign tax if in their sole discretion it is in the interests of the estate to do so.

10. If you don't understand the above it may not matter: this concerns Americans who own homes in London, and so on. People with money.

11. The English law of domicile has little in common with that of American states and never mid what your lawyers told you: one may have different domiciles for different purposes (as the late great law professor Willis L. M. Reese showed). Here's the case every US law student reads for conflict of laws class: http://www.uniset.ca/other/css/182NW227.html (Evan Jones died aboard the Lusitania). It is quite easy to lose an American domicile, and one probably does as soon as s/he is naturalized in Britain, if not sooner. On the other hand generations of British people can be "non-doms" as anyone who listened to the Labour Party promises today will know: https://encrypted.google.com/search?ie=UTF-8&q=non-dom+mandelson

12. But wait ... there's more. Think: QDOT and Community Property. The latter is recognized in English law on the basis of immutability (the US states' rule is partial mutability: status of assets depends on marital regime when acquired). A QDOT is virtually impossible in England and totally impossible in Continental Europe. Google it.

13. For Social Security there is a Totalization Agreement. You can find it on the SSA Web site. You can game Social Security (and NICs for a State Pension) to a certain extent, but in the USA the Windfall Elimination Provision will recapture some of your gaming. Still, you'll get Medicare Part A while visiting or living in the USA, something a recent American retiree I met did not -- because she never paid FICA or SET. Make sure you have 40 quarters of coverage: you can contrive to do this if you have a clever tax accountant or tax return preparer. $650 per year, more or less.
« Last Edit: April 08, 2015, 05:47:45 PM by punktlich2 »


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Re: The legalities of being an American in Britain
« Reply #103 on: April 08, 2015, 06:30:10 PM »
Why are you replying to a post that's 11 years old?


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Re: The legalities of being an American in Britain
« Reply #104 on: April 08, 2015, 07:35:17 PM »
Why are you replying to a post that's 11 years old?

1. 11 years old or not, it's still wrong and it still shows up on a search engine.
2. I am unlikely to be back at this forum again soon.
3. The delete button is your friend.


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