Are You Aware and Up to date with your overseas tax and inheritance regulations

Many Legal firms both in #UK and overseas advise their client who are the owners of overseas holiday home owners to check tax and inheritance implications. A high percentage of #UK and #Irish residents have invested in overseas property in recent years, but many have neglected to consider the effect this could have on their Will and inheritance tax planning.

Many have no Wills many in the country of residence.

The number of English people that are expected to purchase a holiday or retirement home abroad in the next five years is likely to increase, yet the majority does not understand the implications this will have.

The interaction between UK and foreign succession and inheritance tax law is a complex area and if you are lucky enough to purchase your dream holiday home, or are escaping to the sun for retirement, it is crucial to seek advice on how to manage your overseas assets..

It is important to consult a competent legal practitioner and get advice on the how and why of making a second Will drawn up in the country in which your property is located. Make sure there is no clauses which state that all your other Wills are invalid, and ensure that they are limited to the country in which your property is located otherwise your foreign Will could unintentionally cancel out your UK Will.

It is important to be aware of the different aspect to Inherence Law in the country you now intend to be domiciled. You solicitor should be able to advise you but also consult ex pat communities who will freely provide information.

For instance the inheritance process in Portugal is generally governed by the laws of the deceased’s nationality, thereby avoiding potential conflicts of law; however, if spouses have different nationalities, Portuguese law determines that the national law of the country where they both usually reside is applicable. In the absence of a usual place of residence, Portuguese law provides that the applicable law is that of the country where both spouses have a close family connection.

In certain circumstances, the law of the country where the property is located may become applicable. For example, if the deceased was an owner of property in Portugal, and the law of his/her nationality or residence determines that the law of the country where the deceased’s property is located takes precedence, then Portuguese inheritance law becomes relevant.

Yes it can be complicated so the need for a competent practitioner is essential. Tax implications can be similarly complicated.

Owners of foreign property you may also be expected to pay tax to that country’s government. In countries such as France and Spain, inheritance tax is payable by your beneficiaries at different rates depending on how they are related to you (or not) and how much they are inheriting.

Be aware if you don’t plan well your estate may in effect be subject to double taxation. The UK has treaties for inheritance tax purposes with several countries, and it is important that clients take advice on whether there will be a liability to foreign tax after they have died and also what reliefs are available to reduce any tax payable in the UK.

When your spouse or partner dies the last thing you want is try to sort of Tax or Inheritance issue in your Sun home location. Be wise have your planning on Inheritance and tax completed before you relax in the sun.

Motoring Regulation in France

Motoring Regulation in France

Changes in French driving rules regulations and laws.

In the past two years a number of regulations and road traffic laws have in changed in France.

– Speed Cameras

A number of changes have taken place in French laws and regulations. Which apply to all motorists driving on French road.

Since March 2013 The France authorities have introduced new hidden mobile speed cameras. A number of these are now operating onboard unmarked police cars. They are located mostly on the main north-south motorways routes. As well as the ban on warning devices, the French government is installing around 400 new, unsigned, fixed speed cameras as well as taking down signs indicating the location of existing camera sites.

If you’re a regular driver on French roads you will be aware of this new speed detection initiative. But the regulations apply to the occasional visitor as well, so be aware if you are just off the many Ferries after renting an apartment with and driving to the Provence, Gascony, Brittany or a weekend to beautiful Paris be careful on the roads On motorways there is a slight tolerance; but vehicles clocked at over 140 Km/h in a 130 stretch of motorway are liable to get pulled over. It is planned to deploy a hundred of the new cars June 2014.

Satnav and speed camera alerts

Since 3 January 2012 French laws have prohibited drivers from carrying any device capable of detecting speed cameras. This includes products or devices able to warn or inform of the location of speed cameras e.g. Satnav or gps systems capable of showing speed camera sites as Points of Interest.

The law is primarily aimed at speed camera detectors and sat-navs. It is unlikely that the French police will turn their attention to atlases but there is no guarantee this would be the case.

If you have a satnav capable of displaying French camera locations in France then you must at least disable camera alerts. Contact the manufacturer for advice too as a software or database update is likely to be available that will remove camera data for France from the device.

If you have a satnav system built into your car then contact the vehicle manufacturer in the first instance.

With regard to TomToms and other GPS systems, which have speed camera locations programmed in to their software, the situation is confusing. These are not officially “radar detectors”, but manufacturers are obliged to make new software available, and most have done so. Tomtoms and other GPS systems are technically in breach of the law if they still have radars listed in their Points of Interest software; and even if it is not clear how roadside police can stop and check for offending software, rather than hardware, drivers are warned to err on the side of precaution and download the latest map software for France. This is advisable anyway, since older software is not up to date with regard to new routes, new speed restrictions, and other changes.

For both existing radar warning devices and GPS devices, current radar information is being replaced with warnings to announce “danger zones”, many of which will be areas with speed cameras.

– French Breathalyzer law

In March 2012 – the French government confirmed that from 1 July 2012 drivers of all motor vehicles and motorcycles (excluding mopeds) must carry a breathalyzer.

Ok so you never drink and drive but the regulation is there so prudent to comply with same. The cost of a single-use certified breathalyzer is about €1 and can be purchased in many supermarkets, chemists and garages throughout France.

Remember that the legal limit of blood alcohol level in France 0.5 mg. per ml – just over half the legal limit in the UK (0.8 mg per ml).

The regulation will be enforced from 1 November 2012 they were originally going to enforce a €11 on the spot fine but decided against that so now there is no fine. Yes hard to understand the sense behind the whole issue

So theoretically you are still required to carry a self-test breathalyzer when driving in France but there is no current legislation demanding a fine for non-compliance.

The original official announcement stated that one unused, certified breathalyzer must be produced showing the French certification mark NF. Carrying two single-use breathalyzers will ensure that if one is used or damaged, you will still have a spare to produce. The breathalyzer produced has to be in date – single-use breathalyzers normally have a validity of twelve months.

– Reflective clothing for motorcyclists

January 2012 – the French government announced that from 1 January 2013 all drivers and passengers of a motorcycle over 125cc or a motor tricycle over 15 KW/h must wear reflective clothing when riding their vehicles and in the event of an emergency stop/breakdown.

January 2013 – the French government announced that the law that made reflective equipment compulsory for motorcycle riders and passengers in France from 1 January has been abolished.

The requirement was to have been that clothing must have a minimum reflective surface of 150cm2 (approx 23in2) in total, either in one piece or in several pieces, and must be worn between the neck and waist.

If you’re a regular visitor or planning a longer journey through France you might be interested in the latest offering from the French road tolling authority. Sanef France has extended the Liber-t automated French tolls payment service to UK motorists through Sanef Tolling.

Enables UK motorists to use the automatic telepeage/tag lanes, which have previously been reserved for French residents.

PHONING AT THE WHEEL BEWARE…. Drivers caught using a mobile phone while on the road in France are liable to an on-the-spot fine of 130 Euros – and 3 penalty points if they have a French driving licence.

STRANGE GANTRIES SPANNING MAIN ROADS In recent months, hundreds of strange gantries have been erected over French roads. Contrary to popular belief, they are not average speed cameras, but HGV eco-tax cameras. All HGVs, including foreign ones, will be liable to this new carbon tax, also being introduced in other European countries. The start date for the Ecotax system was first scheduled for July 2013, then 1st Jan. 2014: now it has been postponed again to placate protesting Breton lorry-drivers.


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Mark Zuckerberg – the biggest donor in 2013

Mark Zuckerberg – the biggest donor in 2013

Donation of 18 million stakes of Facebook.

Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan were the most liberal American donors in 2013, with a gift of 18 million stakes of Facebook stock, esteemed at more than $970 million (Nz$1.17 billion), to a Silicon Valley non-benefit in December.

The Chronicle of Philanthropy reports that Zuckerberg’s gift was the biggest altruistic blessing on the general population record in 2013 and put the adolescent couple at the highest point of the magazine’s yearly rundown of 50 most liberal Americans in 2013.

The main 50 patrons made gifts a year ago totalling $7.7 billion, or more vows of $2.9 billion.

The Chronicle’s proofreader says the most critical actuality from the agenda was the measure of cash hailing from living benefactors, which totalled about the same sum as the two past years joined together.

”It’s a certain sign that the economy is improving and individuals are getting a great deal less wary,” says Stacy Palmer, Chronicle manager.

A portion of the country’s grandest suppliers don’t show up on the 2013 record, not in light of the fact that they quit being liberal, but since their gifts in 2013 were included as promises past years.

Case in point, Microsoft prime supporter Bill Gates and his wife Melinda gave their establishment marginally more than $181.3 million last year, however they were paying off a vow of about $3.3 billion they made in 2004.

CNN-organizer Ted Turner and Berkshire Hathaway executive Warren Buffett likewise made expansive blessings to past promises.

It took blessings totalling at any rate $37.5 million to make the agenda not long from now. Forty-two of the main 50 made endowments of $50 million or more.

Thirty made enormous endowments to schools and colleges, yet Palmer notes most school blessings headed off to science and research in 2013, not to structures, as in past years.

Ten of the 50 made the agenda in view of estates after their passings, incorporating the second greatest provider in 2013, George Mitchell, a Texan who made his fortune in vigor and land.

At No 3 were Nike executive Philip Knight and his wife Penelope, of Portland, Oregon, who made a $500 million test award to Oregon Health & Science University Foundation for disease research.

The Knight vow requires the college to match it inside the following two years.

No 4 was altruist and previous New York chairman Michael Bloomberg, who made blessings totalling $452 million in 2013 to abstractions, nature’s domain, open health and different reasons.

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Nineteen individuals or couples on the agenda have marked the Giving Pledge, began by Bill Gates and Warren Buffett in 2010.

More than 120 of the world’s wealthiest people and families have vowed to give in any event half their riches to philanthropy since the development started. In spite of the fact that most individuals on the agenda were noticeable affluent individuals who have given liberally previously, Palmer said a couple of were amazements, incorporating Jack Macdonald, a Seattle attorney, who gave $139 million to three non-benefits upon his demise.