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About whocares

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  1. Spotted another pram in the master bedroom. Looks like someone (adult female presumably) whose hobby is playing with those dolls which are very lifelike? Odd. (But harmless one hopes!) Wouldn't put me off but might alert me that someone living there is not right in the head!
  2. Standard now I think. I got one recently. Deadline to reply was end Oct. I replied to say I was living in France ... just like I TOLD THE BANK (I was going to France) before I left. So they should know, having my address here etc?! But still they send out the forms and I was supposed to fill them in and post back. Which I did. Then I got a 2nd lot of forms ... reminding me to reply before end Oct. Same day as I got a letter saying "thank you for returning your completed form" and which specified I was tax resident in ... the UK. I supposed that just means any UK arising income (n theory) would be taxable? But I was properly confused having offered evidence that I am a tax payer in France and do not live in (nor visit) the UK anymore. Which made me wonder what was the point in asking me where I am tax resident if I say "France" and they then say "UK"? I phoned the help line provided ... waste of time. The chap knew nothing (about tax) and could only suggest I phone HMRC if I needed to have my tax situation clarified. (As if!) I already know I am fine with HMRC. So none of this paper-filling made any sense. Got mad then decided to just leave it. Very confusing! I think they just need to ask for some reason. But I was expecting them to say "yes, it seems you are tax resident in France ... as you told us you would be". Would be interested to see what letter you will get back!
  3. I wouldn't call that a "penthouse" flat! Still very expensive IMO (after price reduction) for a 2 bed flat with no headroom at the edges?! (But I don't know the area I must admit.)
  4. Quite agree ... it looks very ugly now. (I wouldn't want to pay GBP 1.4million for that!)
  5. Transferwise seems good. https://transferwise.com/ We have used them for smallish amounts. (GBP --> EUR.) And a friend uses it. (I think for monthly amounts GBP---> EUR.) I have only read good things about them online. Nb There might be an upper limit per transaction but you could be multiple transactions if needed I suppose?
  6. Russsell Brand making fun of Oz politicians talking about the current HPI ...
  7. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2960410/So-working-home-TV-presenter-Dan-Snow-aristocrat-wife-told-T-tear-7million-country-mansion-s-orangery-replace-two-storey-office.html TV presenter Dan Snow has lost a battle to tear down an orangery in the grounds of his £7million country mansion and build a two-storey office in its place The couple bought the four-bedroom house in Exbury, Hampshire, from convicted mercenary Simon Mann for a reported £10million in 2009.
  8. http://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-27166144.html Started at £1,250,00 in Aug 2010. Now offers over £695k. So asking price down by about 44% ... so far? (Too remote and too expensive to heat by the look of it?)
  9. Many years ago, I was posted to the Middle East, (for a proposed period of 3 yrs, which ended up being longer), and was paid tax-free in the local currency, which at that time was pegged to the USD. (So essentially it was USD.) I opened a local bank a/c for salary to be paid into, (in local currency), and then transfered roughly half my salary into GBP most months. (Kept half for living expenses.) This money was sent to an a/c I had opened offshore in Jersey, with same bank I used onshore in UK. Offshore is the way to go IMO. Nb I didn't have to go to Jersey to open an a/c. All was done by letter. (Pre online days!) Might be a bit more involved now, as all banks are now annoying in this repsect, eg asking for certified copies of UK passport, work contract, salary slips, and/or utility bills from overseas. (So ask banks what paperwork they would require for you to open an off-shore a/c, but all can be done by mail/phone.) Some of my colleagues transfered less frequently than monthly, to reduce transfer costs which were fixed, and about £25 per transfer, IIRC. The transfer rate to GBP, (which was given daily at the local bank) varied daily, was also open to some negotiation eg "can I please get a better rate for a transfer of X,XXX amount?". (I usually got a slightly better rate like this, simply by asking for it!) And I used to watch the daily rates and try to pick a 'good' day to do my transfer. (But no-one can really say which way rates will go, so essentially it will always be a guess.) My exposure to currency fluctation, (ie USD versus GBP, like your situation), was then limited to monthly changes in rates. (Nb I wanted all my savings to be in GBP not USD.) Before I went abroad, I told my UK bank I would be becoming UK "non-resident (for tax) and I opened an offshore a/c with them (in Jersey) which gave me tax-free savings. I had various fixed term deposits (FTDs) for better rates, which I rolled over every 6 months or so. (I must have also sent GBP to my onshore a/c for bills.) I was clearly considered a "non-resident", from day one of my posting, due to the proposed length of my overseas contract, as long as I obeyed the visit rule of not > 90 days per year etc. (Nb At that time, 3 yrs working overseas was the min proposed period to qualify as "non-resident". Not sure if still the same now.) Nb You also need to consider your UK tax status!! Working overseas tax-free is great, but watch out for UK tax being applied. You need to avoid UK tax if you can ... by obeying all the rules. Normally, if you work abroad for a certain period, your earnings can be sent back to the UK without any UK tax to pay, but the rules are quite complex. So it really pays to know what you are doing. If you do not (yet) have a tax advisor, maybe start by seeing your bank manager and asking for some basic info? Then google and check out the expat forums and HMRC website etc. (Or pay for some independent tax advice.) Good luck! It's (usually) fun working overseas!
  10. Interesting. (I also thought he was putting the weird accent on a bit!)
  11. Wow ... those graphs gave me a bit of a headache. But I tried to understand what the implications were for current and future house prices in France. < have a personal interest as still thinking of buying in France to retire > If u go to 1st link under heading "3.6. Property Prices and Rents in the Long Run : Presentations" of the OP's link (entitled "House Prices in the Long Run (January 2014)" , and then jump to p227, (of that French doc), you will see a graph called "Prospective sur les Prix ". (Never mind if you can't read French. Think it's quite clear.) To me (if I understand it correctly) the graph seems to be saying that 1. House prices in France are well above a historial 'tunnel' value of 1. (Comparing house prices to disposable income over the years.) 2. There are 5 possible scenarios for future house prices in France, which are: - "F" = "divergence from the historical 'tunnel' value of "1", which means prices can continue to go "up, up, up". - "C","D", or "E" = the establishing of a new 'tunnel'" value (eg 2, 3 or higher) where a higher ratio is here to stay. But there will be a new stable 'tunnel' established at that ratio..) - "A", or "B" = back to the historial 'tunnel' value of "1", which means big falls and then stability at the re-established historical value. They say "F" looks unlikely. And I would have to agree, at least outside of Paris/Cote D'Azur? I assume that French economy is not going well, and incomes are not rising but taxes are? They also say "C", "D", & "E" all look unlikely. (Again I would agree. Assume for same reasons why "F" is not likely, plus sellers of rural homes can't find enough ppl with the money who want to invest large amounts in a French house for hols or retirement eg the Brits/Dutch?) So that leaves "A" and "B", which are a return to the historcal 'tunnel' ratio of prices to disposable income . Does that imply the authors believe that French house prices will continue to fall from here on? And then stay at lower levels for quite a while? (Anyone else bothered to read the whole report/try to find out what the conclusion was?) Prices look ~30% down in rural France (from say 2008) but still VERY high compared to local earnings. Maybe the quality is better/up, but hard to find a buyer, even if looks good value compared to say rural UK. (Cos supply of houses > number of serious buyers?) Some sellers look desperate to sell but are slow to recognise how much they need to lower the price. Or else they just can't. (Cos they need the cash to go home etc.) So they might be stuck for years, until they find someone who loves and house and will pay nearer to the asking price. Would like to buy but worry a lot about selling if/when I want to go back to UK. So watching and waiting for now. (But will need to decide soon probably!) If we do buy, we need to make sure we are not paying too much. (But of course, sellers will just see this as us being stingy.)
  12. This is exactly my view. Low interest rates allow people to believe they can afford to buy at a higher multiple than in the past. (Plus it's still cheaper than renting in some areas?) But if no-one would lend them the money, they wouldn't be able to go ahead? (Unless we are still talking about liar loans?) So IMO it's both "low interst rates" and "loose lending" ... and much less due to "lack of building". (There are plenty of places under-occupied, under-used and left empty.)
  13. So he hasn't made any gain then, in AUD terms? (So no CGT probs for him?)
  14. I am not an expert, but as far as I know there's no UK CGT liability for him if he has been resident outside of UK for more than 5 years, which seems to be his case. But this situation might be changing in the near future, (as mentioned by the poster above), to bring non-residents into UK CGT range for UK disposals. (Not yet in place, and details unclear.) So might be a good idea to sell before this happens! Will he have any Australian CGT liability though? (He needs to check re CGT in his country or residence.) Also he might have to look at any "currency movement", (GBP v AUS$), if he has to pay CGT in the host country, as the host country will (probably) look at the price paid in the local currency (in this case AUS$) on the date the UK asset was purchased, and compare this to the sale value (in local currency) on the day of sale, in order to calculate the "profit" in the local currency ie AUS$. (As opposed to just considering the "GBP profit" and converting that into local currency, if you see what I mean.) There can be a BIG difference in the calculated "AUS$ profit" depending on the local currency value on those 2 key dates. If the £ has changed a lot in value, versus the local currency, (AUS$), over the period of ownership, it could work in his favour, or against. Not much you can do about that I suppose except be aware how the CGT bill might be calculated? Hope that helps for now. (But please check with an expert!)
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