Sunday, 20 August 2017
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Weekly Financial Update

Uncertainty in the economic and political world is creating a great deal of volatility in the Foreign Exchange Markets. The US and North Korea situation is at the forefront of this, and when instances like this occur the US Dollar becomes a bit of a safe haven currency. The US Dollar again extended its gains, more against the Pound rather than the Euro.

Enjoy ten years of tax-free pensions in PortugalMany Britons have discovered that the Algarve is a fantastic place to retire. It is not just about sun, sea and golf. Portugal has actively encouraged new arrivals by offering extremely favourable tax breaks through the ‘non-habitual residence’ (NHR) regime. 

If you qualify for NHR, you could enjoy tax-free foreign income – like UK pensions – for your first ten years living in Portugal. Even without this special regime, however, Portugal can be a tax-efficient place to retire. First let’s look at how NHR works.

Euro Weekly Update - March 24th 2017Having walked the presidential election, Emmanuel Macron won an equally emphatic mandate for his La République En Marche! party in the National Assembly, winning 301 of the 577 seats. It put his coalition with the Democratic Movement in a commanding position with a total of 350 seats. The result did not come as a complete surprise, and France is only one of 19 members of the euro zone.
But it is an important one and investors have been reassured that the Franco-German core of Euroland is singing, if not necessarily from the same hymn sheet, then certainly from the same book. Investors' confidence in the viability of the euro is no longer under threat, even if there continues to be a debate about its fair value.

Brexit a year onIn the aftermath of the UK general election’s unexpected outcome, we reach the milestone of one year since Britain voted to leave the EU. What do we know today about how Brexit might affect expatriates in Portugal?

4801After losing the majority in Parliament, in an outcome she could hardly have imagined seven weeks earlier, when she surprised all by announcing an early election. May told the British Nation that she needed their backing to strengthen her position ahead of Brexit negotiations. Far from backing her, the British vote ended up with a far weaker premier, facing calls from furious Tories to sack her closest advisers and even to quit herself.

A year on from the Brexit referendum, Britain’s future place in Europe is once again an open question.

eurozoneThe UK general election has been the biggest news factor in the financial markets this past week. The result, although sold as unexpected, probably wasn’t that much of a surprise considering the way other elections have gone in the UK.

However, it naturally added to volatility in the market. The Pound had been steadily falling, so this event was expected to make it move lower.

UK Hung Parliament - What it meansIn another political shock, especially to pollsters' credibility, the Conservative Party have failed to secure an outright majority. However, assuming the 10 Democratic Unionist Party MPs side with the Conservatives, and Sein Fein do not take up their seats, the Tories should be able to form a Government.

There is plenty of rumour that Theresa May will have to step aside, but it is not clear who would succeed her – Amber Rudd only scraped by with a victory in her constituency. A leadership vacuum and a reduced mandate add new clouds of uncertainty to the economic landscape.

UK inheritance tax reformsThe UK tax year that started on 6th April introduced a new Residential Nil Rate Band for inheritance tax. Changes to the domicile regime were also meant to come into effect then, but these have now been put on hold until after the June General Election.

Liability to UK inheritance tax is based on domicile, not residence. If you are a UK domicile, or are deemed domiciled under HM Revenue & Customs rules, your worldwide estate above £325,000 is liable to tax at 40%. Assets in the UK are liable regardless of domicile.