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bigduckontax
bigduckontax, Accountant
Category: Tax
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My Partner and I and British but we have been resident in

Customer Question

My Partner and I and British but we have been resident in Germany (Berlin) since 2001 when we retired from our jobs in the British Civil Service and from the NHS. Our sole incomes derive from my UK Work (Civil Service) pension and my partner's UK NHS pension together with both of our UK National retirement pensions. We have no income whatsover from Germany.
We have now received from our Bank in the UK (Lloyds) letters asking us to complete a TAX RESIDENCY SELF-CERTIFICATION FOR INDIVIDUALS forms. We find it very confusing indeed. For example we do not understand even the heading of the letters "Confirm where you are resident for tax purposes". I have been in phone contact with LLoyds Bank who are prevented from giving advice. They said I should simply get in touch with a UK Tax Advisor. Obviously I cannot go to a German tax advisor and it is for this reason that I turn to you to ask if this is the wort of thing you can help us with at this time. Sincerely *****
Submitted: 24 days ago.
Category: Tax
Expert:  bigduckontax replied 24 days ago.

Hello Ian, I am Keith, one of the experts on Just Answer, and pleased to be able to help you with your question.

You are in the same boat as lots of ex pats. You should tell Lloyds that you are resident in Germany. However, pensions are invariably taxed in country of origin. You will also be taxed in Germany too so will have to rely on the Double Taxation Convention between the UK and Germany which precludes the same income stream being taxed in both jurisdictions. This is achieved by means of tax credits, the tax paid in the UK being allowed against your German liability. The Convention does not, however, protect you from differences in rates of taxation.

When you left the UK in 2001 did you both complete a Form P85 and send it to the Inland Revenue as it was then. If you did not you should both do so immediately, but now, of course, to HMRC. Fortunately there is no time limit as to its submission, it is available on the web and can be filed on line. On receipt HMRC will classify each individual as non resident. Once so classified you may spend up to 90 days in the UK in any one tax year without breaching your non resident status.

Now let us go on to tax codes; remember that State Pensions (SPs) are taxable, but paid gross. Your occupational pensions should have the code numbers being applied to them reduced to collect the tax due on the SPs. Another little administrative chore to monitor, sorry.

I do hope that you have found my reply of assistance.

bigduckontax and other Tax Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  bigduckontax replied 24 days ago.

Thank you for your excellent support.

Customer: replied 24 days ago.
Thanks for your reply which assures me that there will be an end to this horror. I will examine your message in detail in due course. Lloyds already know that we are resident in Germany and they therefore say that from our prevously provided info to them that if this is so, then that "indicates where (we) may be resident for tax purposes" namely Germany. On the wretched form therefore I assume we just have to say that our "Jurisdiction of Residence for Tax Purposes" is Germany
Expert:  bigduckontax replied 24 days ago.

Correct, it is all part and parcel you banks current inquisitiveness of prying into peoples' locations. It has not been unknown for Lloyds in particular to arbitrarily shut down the accounts of people living overseas without notice. Since they were originally Army Agents through Cox's and King's, this scarcely seems an impressive method of business.

Customer: replied 22 days ago.
I think I now have enough inforation to enable me to finish this matter. I phoned HMRC in Manchester today, armed witth the information you have given me, and I had a very long, detailed and helpful conversation with their advisor. I now have enough information to complete the form.
I have just one query and that is about my membership oF Just Answer. I have paid the introductory offer of 42 Pounds which enabled me to contact you. I am confused slightly now that I may have inadvertently signed up to a continued monthly suscription to Just Answer at more than 50 Pounds/month. I have to say that I certainly cannot afford to enter into any such continuing subscription. Could you please confirm that your company has not signed me up to any continuing commitment to subscribe monthly to Just Answer? I know that there is an option to cancel (all?) subscriptions on your website and I will certainly do this in an hour or so.
In conclusion, I wish to repeat my sincere thanks to you for your help in this whole business.
Expert:  bigduckontax replied 22 days ago.

I have had customers with the same problem before. Unfortunately I have nothing to do with fees and you must approach Just Answer Administration on such matters. I only respond to questions on a one to one basis and am not involved in administration.

Please be so kind as to rate me before you leave the Just Answer site.