Living in Exile – life can be so cruel at times

by Mark Alexander

2 years ago

Living in Exile – life can be so cruel at times

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Living in Exile – life can be so cruel at times

As you may know, my wife and I moved to Malta in March 2016 to help mitigate the effects of changes to finance cost relief affecting individual landlords. This is my latest blog on the subject.

Since I began growing my property rental business in 1989 I have become accustomed to high gearing and would even go as far as to say I have become comfortable with it.

Many people cannot understand how I can sleep at night with over £5,000,000 of debt hanging around my neck. Maybe I am a bit strange, but if so it’s probably safe to say that if you are reading my blog we share a similar mindset.

When George Osborne decided not to allow landlords to treat mortgage interest as a legitimate business expense I became naturally concerned.

How would this affect me?

You have probably asked yourself the same question.

If you don’t have the answer (proper numbers) you cannot really even begin to consider solutions. My wife and I can help you with that, further details are below. Meanwhile, I will share the solution which was best suited to us.

As with all solutions there are costs. The penance we will serve is a minimum of 5 years living in exile on a little Mediterranean island 90km South of Sicily. I had to cut my wife into my business just to create a partnership so that we will not pay Stamp Duty when we eventually incorporate. I will not feel the benefit of that until the 2018/19 tax year and even then I will still have to pay corporation tax.

Life can be so cruel at times!

My wife and I are going to have to endure 300 days a year of sunshine and Mediterranean cuisine just so we can sell our properties to our own company without having to worry about CGT.

Not every solution is quite so draconian as the one we will have to endure but I never was one for taking the easy way out!

OK so fair enough, we won’t pay tax on dividend income from our Consultancy business from now on but we will have to watch speedway on TV instead of live. We also have to endure friends and family staying with us for free holidays, thus exposing us to having to see a lot more of them than we ever did whilst living in the UK.

If I was to tell you that our only pleasure is paying a LOT less tax I would be lying, but of course you knew that didn’t you?

Having said all of that, please appreciate that none of this was of our own making, we were forced into it by the policies of George Osborne!

Whilst the above is written somewhat tongue in cheek, everything I have said above is absolutely true. If my wife I had chosen to do nothing we would have been taxed into oblivion.  Well, not quite, but our spendable income from our property portfolio would have halved.

Before we decided on our current path we investigated as many other options as possible. Moving to Malta wasn’t our only option.

There were several other strategies to help our tax position whilst staying in the UK, but for us the move to Malta was the most preferable. It may not be the best option for many others because every person’s situation is slightly different (financial, family etc.) and there is usually more than one solution to consider.

If you need a bit of help to quantify the effects of the new tax changes on your finances, and some guidance on the most appropriate solutions for you to consider, my wife and can help you.

ABOUT US

My wife has a Masters Degree from the University of East Anglia in International Business Finance & Economics. She is also a qualified accountant having previously worked for Bernard Matthews at Great Witchingham Hall in Norfolk as well as other international companies.

I have been investing into property since 1989 and previously built the most successful commercial finance brokerage ever to have operated in the UK (in 2008 it was ranked #38 in The Sunday Times Profit Track 100). My property rental business was built as a result of investing disposable income into building a buy-to-let portfolio. This enabled me to retire from financial services in 2009 and never have to complete another exam, of which there were many. I passed them all of course!

Technically we are both semi-retired now but we do like to keep our hand in by doing a couple of hours a day each of property, finance, tax and law consultancy work.

We provide value for money guidance and a total satisfaction, no-quibble, money back guarantee.

To find out how to hire our expertise for a couple of hours just click on the orange button above.



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