Volume 14, Issue 13
16 - 31 March 2015
UK expats to keep personal allowance
he UK government has confirmed the continued availability of UK personal allowances for expats until April 2017 at least. Moreover, the taxfree personal allowance for all will increase to 10,600 pounds from next month. This is welcome news for the five million Brits who live abroad and were fearful, following a statement in the British budget last year, that non-residents would start paying income tax from the first pound of their income. The issue has been very sensitive in Thailand which has about 70,000 British expats living here most or all of the year, many retired people living on fixed incomes or state pensions. They stood to lose at least 2,000 pounds a year, if tax relief had been abolished, or 4,000 pounds for a married couple.
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The British government now states, “Last year the government launched a consultation on whether or not to restrict the income tax personal allowance for non-residents. Whilst the government believes there is a strong rationale for doing this, it recognizes it is a complex change for both employers and individuals who may be affected. The government will continue to discuss implementation of this change with stakeholders. Should the government decide to proceed, a more detailed consultation will be undertaken. No change will come into effect before April 2017.” Tax specialists say that the government has backed down, at least for now, because there are too many categories of expats to fit a one-size-fits-all solution. Continued on page 4