International tax law


International tax law is incredibly complex. For example, tax law in the UK alone consists of taxes on:

  • Purchase
  • Sale
  • Income
  • Death

Different categories of people and businesses are eligible for different tax breaks and tax planning is essential if you are to pay the minimum amount of tax required.

International tax law is even more complex. Not only is there national legislation in whichever jurisdiction you are considering, there are international rules as well. In addition to this, most nations have some kind of regulatory body that enforces and in some cases creates its own secondary legislation.

If you need advice on international tax law you will need the assistance of an experienced specialist international tax lawyer. Call us.

Residing abroad

It is common for tax lawyers to advise clients to take up different residences due to the tax breaks this will afford them. For example:

  • In England income over £37,500 (less deductions) is taxed at 40%
  • In Monaco however there is no income tax, making it a haven for the super-rich
  • If an F1 racing driver, for example, earns £50,000,000 per year, one can see why an international tax lawyer might advise that they live outside of the UK

International tax law is not, however, just for the super-rich. In fact anyone who lives or works in more than one jurisdiction or has a lot of capital would benefit from the advice of an international tax lawyer.

What to do when you leave the country

Note that you must inform HM Revenue & Customs when you leave the country. Your local tax office can give you form P85 that you must complete in full before you leave the UK. This is so your status officially changes to non-resident. You may also, under international tax law, have to complete a tax return before you leave. Your tax office can give you more advice.

The double tax agreement comes into effect if you have an income (such as a UK state pension) but your normal place of residence is outside of the UK. To avoid this situation the UK has agreements with over 100 countries called the:

  • Double Taxation Agreement
  • Double Taxation Convention

Under international tax law you may be able to claim a full or part-exemption from any double taxation you may be liable to pay.
Working part-time abroad and in the UK

International tax law becomes more complex if you will be working part of the time in the UK. For non-residents you would normally pay UK tax on the money you earn whilst in the UK. However, there are certain jobs that are treated as special cases under international tax law. These jobs include:

  • Seafarers
  • Oil and gas workers
  • Crown employees
  • Students
  • Entertainers and sports people

If your part-employment falls into any of these categories you should get advice from your local UK tax office. If you also earn an income as interest on UK bank or building society accounts, international tax law could come into play. And any rent income you get from a UK property will also have tax due on these payments.

It is vitally important to have your tax and income affairs in order if you do not normally live in the UK, but you are still a UK citizen. If you are in any doubt about your legal status, the advice from a qualified solicitor will be invaluable.

International tax law is very complex. You should not base your actions on any assumptions about your income or tax liability without taking comprehensive legal advice about your particular circumstances. For more information on instructing a lawyer, see our page on using a tax lawyer.

Are you thinking about residing abroad for tax break purposes? Contact Law works with specialist tax lawyers who can assist you in advising on the best way to look after your finances and your assets, without breaking the law. Please call us on 0800 1777 162 or complete the web-form above.

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