Global mobility – meet our expert Tom Boniface

Published by Tom Boniface on 12 September 2023

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The world, it is said, is shrinking, thanks in part to technology and the ease of travel. It is no surprise then that global mobility is on the rise, with the UK a top destination for businesses and wealthy individuals.

But just as our planet grows smaller, the tax and regulatory environment in the UK, and indeed around the world, is more complex. An adviser that brings deep technical insight is a given, but one that takes the time to listen and understand what an individual really needs is invaluable.

Tom Boniface was promoted to Partner in July 2023. He leads the firm’s global mobility team, helping those looking to live and work in the UK manage their financial affairs in an efficient way.

There are many reasons wealthy families choose to live and work in the UK – a family connection, career move or education – but it is a common myth that they come here with a view to simply pay less tax, says Tom.

Tom’s clients are primarily drawn from the US, the Middle East and the Far East. Following the UK’s decision to leave the European Union, the number of EU nationals choosing to live and work in the UK has dramatically tailed off. “They are,” he says, “unlikely to return anytime soon.”

The non-domicile regime has come under recent criticism with the Labour Party suggesting they would replace it should they be elected to lead the country. Yet it is a system that is being widely copied across many other European countries, recognising that is broadly unfair to tax an individual on their worldwide income should they decide to live and work in another country for a limited period of time.

An individual who is registered with HMRC as non-domiciled in the UK continues to pay tax on their UK income but does not have to pay UK tax on income or capital gains earned overseas. Individuals will be required to pay an annual fee of up to £60,000, called the remittance charge. The tax status does not allow them to bring their money into the UK or deposit it in a UK bank account, leaving them facing a potentially high tax bill if they do.

“The tax regime is complex and less generous to non-domiciled individuals and individuals want to make sure they are paying the right tax, at the right time and the right amount. In many instances, they recognise that it is their duty to pay tax; they just don’t want to leave themselves exposed to UK taxes that they need not pay.”

Individuals living and working in the UK for a set period of time want and need to know how they will be taxed on the money they earn, the implications on pensions contributions, their ability to buy a home, or bring money into the UK to pay, for example, school fees.

With a complex domestic tax landscape, made more so by financial affairs in their home country, the difference between a good and great adviser is the ability to not just answer client questions but to read between those questions. It is the soft skills that complement technical knowledge that is valued.

“Our clients need more than just answers,” explains Tom. “They need and rely on us to offer guidance, to explain the process, and implications.”

Kreston Reeves clients also take great comfort from the firm’s close involvement with Kreston Global member firms in their home jurisdiction. It means that tax advisers work closely together to ensure a clients’ affairs are considered in all jurisdictions.

It is this joined-up approach of technical advice matched with the soft skills and global understanding that stands Tom and the Kreston Reeves global mobility team apart.

To learn more about Tom and how our global mobility team can help your business, contact him today.

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