3 Things We Wish British Expats Were Aware of
by Richard Taylor on Aug 25, 2020
In this video, Richard discusses the 3 things he wishes all British expats living in the USA were aware of. There isn't a book to read on relocating to the USA from the UK, neither are there many specialists that work with UK connected individuals living in the USA. But most of all, and if you're like the majority of the people we work with, you probably didn't expect the move to the USA would last a lifetime so you didn't think you needed to prepare or organise legacy UK ties.
00:00 One of the three things I wish all British expatriates living in America were aware of, number one would be avoid PFICS. What is a PFIC? It stands for passive foreign investment company. Essentially, it's nearly any non-US mutual fund unit trust ETF. And lots of Brits arrive in the US unwittingly invested in PFICS through an ISA maybe, or just holding in a normal account. They are not well received by the IRS and it can lead to some very costly problems down the line. So, I wish all Brits were aware of and took steps to avoid prefix. Number two would be to declare everything always. Basic state pension payments into a UK account that you don't bring here, declare it. UK property, paying you any rental income that you don't bring to the US, declare it. Small UK pensions that you think are relatively unimportant and meaningless and small bank accounts, declare them. Linked to this would be, I would strongly urge any and every expatriate, not to DIY it. Not to use TurboTax.
01:19 There's nothing. That's not a dig at TurboTax, but in my experience, expats have additional nuances, complications, things that can trip them up. And they are often missed when an expert tried to do it himself, or sometimes works with a local CPA who perhaps hasn't got that breadth of experience. So that would be number two, declare everything and use a cross border CPA. Number three would be don't neglect Legacy UK pensions. We speak to a lot of expatriates who have been here 20 years, who have got several pensions just languishing in the UK that they have just not dealt with because they did not know that they had options and they had help available to them in America. That's a significant opportunity costs potentially, through just not maximizing on these assets. So, don't leave them languishing and kick that can down the road. There is help available. There are options. So, there are three things I wish all British expatriates were aware of. And if you like this, please check out our YouTube channel, reach out to us. We'd love to hear from you and help in it, if we can at all.
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