1. I had my home in the UK, I sold it while there.
2. A bus hit our bus in India Jan 2012 while I was being a tourist en route to the UK. From seeing the UK GP the sciatic pain worsened substantially throughout 2012 so that I had to move about the house from furniture to furniture for support and go up stairs on hands & knees. I had private osteopathy appts, one with a musculoskeletal consultant, twice weekly acupuncture for a year, and via the NHS - imaging, physiotherapy appts, steroid injection (only 1 as effect lasted only 3 days so they wouldn't do more).
I left NZ employment to travel back to the UK, make arrangements and return to retirement; I have permanent residency here.
There was no end to the treatment plan, the sciatica is still a very limiting and painful issue - I have weekly chiropractor appts and am still waiting for a private appt with another musculoskeletal consultant for likely surgery.
3. I was in the UK for the extended period of Feb 2012-Sept 2013 solely because of the extreme pain of the sciatica. I had planned to sell, pack, be back in NZ within a few months but could not get done what I had to in order to leave. I finally had no recourse but to get on with it and arrange continuing medical appts on arrival here.
I need to know what more I can do. I'm not certain HMRC connected my follow-on letter to them with the medical letters attached once I had received them to send. He has quoted rules RPSM09104610 and 660 which I will today access - but find little of HMRC docs make sense to me. I overstayed in the UK due to medical necessity not choice. I closed the QROPS fund in a circumstance of severely reduced mental capacity due to longterm analgesia and severe pain. Surely there is some humanity, some space for these realities impacting?!
If it all comes to the worst outcome - what is the 55% taxed on? In the 1990s I invested a total of £54,521 from a company plan transfer plus payments. I was Oncology Clinical Trials Mgr for a pharmaceutical company. In the mid-90s I retrained as a Counsellor to actually do some good and have made very basic pay ever since. My fund on closure was about NZ$250,000. It was asset-stripped and annually taxed there and here the last five years so that it barely tripled in 25 years. To pay 55% now is a final insult to my attempt to care for my own old age. And does the 55% take into account that the investment capital was £54.5k and the little more is all already taxed interest?
I will gather info and come back to this page.
In part response - I have not been out of NZ since arriving in Sept 2013 via airport wheelchair transfers, the sciatica is such that I am virtually housebound.
I am now on my own but of course very late there, I had promised to cook dinner for neighbours and they just left.
Here is a timeline I created some months ago to attempt in my analgesia-induced numbed state to make sense of things. Bot***** *****ne - I suppose I just can't believe that because I have always paid my dues, always played straight and done the right thing, I am in this position of my future being completely compromised by an action when I made when incompetent through constant pain, lack of sleep for months and strong analgesia.
Here is the timeline I gave myself trying to make sense -
September-January 2012 - Cambodia, Laos, India on way back to UK
India - bus hit our bus = spinal damage, within week - children in orphanage while trying to help pulled me from seat on pile of concrete blocks so I fell several feet onto blocks to avoid little ones below me.
February 1 – back in UK; accessed medical care
March 2012 through September 2013 – right side sciatica; on hands and knees, housebound, months of treatment - osteopath/ acupuncture/ physiotherapy
could prepare and sell Chichester home and return to NZ
appalling stress due to lack of income
September 18 – final departure UK for NZ
November – bought house NZ, found plumbing and wiring inadequate, rainwater tank for house supply polluted, septic tank soak field ruptured
December 23 – fell from ladder
Shoulder dislocation, fracture, rotator cuff torn, ligament damage
Jan – steady supply GP analgesia prescriptions – 3-4 hourly
Feb 20 – x-rays/ultrasound of shoulder - fracture, torn rotator cuff, ball joint ‘rubble’
Feb 27 – GP more pain meds
Feb – neighbour putting in illegal campground right outside my living room window, battles, Council meeting
March 12 - Perry Turner, Orthopaedic Surgeon
March 20 - MRI of shoulder injuries
April 9 – Perry Turner, Orthopaedic Surgeon
April 9 – GP more pain meds
April – May – Osteopath, Acupuncture, Physiotherapy appts 2-3/week
May 20 – 2 large amalgam fillings replaced
May 23 – GMI withdrawal form sent to me to close fund
June 12 – brain starting to work off meds, worried, email to GMI to pause pay out – no response;
June 16 – fund closed and pension in ASB account
July HMRC confirmed I must pay 55% tax on the whole of pension fund – approx. $146,000.00 – which has already been taxed!!
8 – Perry Turner, Orthopaedic Surgeon - off surgery list
Sleep in 1 ½-2 hour snatches cushioned upright against headboard, generally approx. 3-4 hours sleep/night
Tearful, exhausted, cognitive abilities terrible, evidence of memory and language skills badly eroded; logic frequently failed – costly mistakes re work on the house
Frequent desire to harm self to stop the pain and distress
Was I concussed in the fall? No one with me, lay on the ground 50 mins, no idea if I had been unconscious.
Frequency of analgesics + sleep deprivation + constant pain – could my decision-making have been affected to the extent of a case in legal terms re releasing pension fund?
When re-collecting myself early/mid-June I knew I couldn’t release my pension yet as I had been in the UK, detained with sciatica longer than should have been there.
Feel I had misdirected myself by a terrible fear during the acute pain to make safe/be secure.
NOW discover that NZ IRD will tax me on the June withdrawal!! Ruling came into force from April 2014. How was I to be aware? Why did GMI not make me aware of this change when I applied for the withdrawal in May?
Additionally, I had finished at Dunedin hospital (part-time placement) and then completed my tutor placement in the Dunedin Medical School September 2011 and travelled back to the UK via Cambodia, Laos and then 2 months in India as a volunteer on two projects in the villages outside Bangalore and an orphanage in Mysore.
While I was in the UK I was offered by a kind friend the possibility of sitting on a boat with only a few metres and three steps to hobble between from mid-June to end August while he took it down through France en route, stage one, to the Med.
I also left the UK for 3 weeks in September 2012 (I think) for NZ as I had an around world ticket and it expired then, I had extended it twice as I expected to use it much earlier. Stayed with friend in Dunedin NZ, wheelchair airport transfers, continued with acupuncture locally in Dunedin, returned to UK to complete what needed to be done to emigrate.
My house had not been sold while I was in NZ, it was sold while I was in the UK, September 2013, because I could not prepare it earlier for sale, I could hardly move. I've never experienced anything like it in my life, at least birthing was quicker!
I stayed in my own home in Chichester while in the UK. In NZ I rented accommodation, 5 in 5 years as they put the properties on the rising market as soon as my furniture was in place.
I feel certain I am sending this too late today for any response, the joys of a shrinking world.
Hi Sam, Your stamina is wonderful, I am very impressed.
I'm rather confused as you offer two opposing statements above -
"… there should not even be a UK tax consideration as…" and then at the end "But you have no tax recourse on this matter I am very sorry to say…"
unless the first applies to the UK, the second to NZ tax liabilities. But the UK Appeals office has all this timeline info and stated in the brief letter received Saturday that the 55% tax does stand. An HMRC chap in an hour long telephone discussion last Sept told me categorically that the proof of exceptional circumstances: medical emergency that kept me more than 6 months in the UK 2012/13 was the only way by which the residency clock was not reset to zero. He assured me this would remove the tax liability. I sent those medical letters but received no acknowledgement that the Appeals office had even considered them. All conflicting statements.
When I say tax has been paid, I refer to tax paid on interest at source (post-Gor***** *****) for the 25 year period - the last 5 years here - of pension funds investment during which £54.5k became an appalling approx £150k pension pot.
This tax takes me to a point I needn't have bothered investing in mature hope 25 years ago, encouraged by the govt. Very shabby dealings have occurred with 'my' money while not in my control, but not by me.
So assuming I am being taken into penury by this one brief action during a bad period, does HMRC allow staged payments over, say, five years? It's in a bank savings account that loses 5 months interest if I take it out now. Would it be due right now as we speak and I'm about to accrue daily interest?
My last request
Thank you so much Sam, I'm very, very grateful for some clarity. It's an absolute minefield for people just trying to get on with their own areas of work expertise. A great deal is expected of us in terms of awareness and knowledge - rather more than is reasonable I think.
Thank you again for sticking with my question so long,
I did rate 'Excellent'.